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Max Abroad : The Best of Spain

Quite simply writing about the best things Spain has to offer and anything that might crop up along the way. Spain is a lot more than just sun, sand and sea...

The "Green-Ways" around Spain - Cycling and Walking for all ages
Thursday, March 20, 2014

This is such a wonderful iniciative that I wanted to share it with you all as I have only recently discovered it...

Vías Verdes or literally, "Green-Ways" are old disused railway lines that have been recovered and reconditioned for use by walkers and cyclists. Exploring them is a different, enjoyable and environmentally friendly way of getting to know Spain, its culture and its landscapes.

This is an alternative ideal for all ages, which respects the environment and brings together sport and the great outdoors. Many years ago when the trains stopped rolling over these tracks once and for all, they fell into disrepair and were totally forgotten about. The old lines have now had their rails removed, and what was once the domain of wagons and locomotives is the realm of cyclists, walkers and day-trippers.

There are 1,800 kilometres of “Green-Ways” all over Spain. They are easy to get to, and being flat and even, provide no technical difficulties - ideal for all kinds of people: adults, children, the elderly and disabled too. It is well worth taking a trip on one of these trails where motor vehicles are forbidden. Not even mopeds are allowed on these routes, which are synonymous with safety and respect for the environment.

From north to south and east to west, there are 80 established itineraries and thousands of kilometres to be covered on fascinating routes that will take you to stunning spots and reveal a great deal about Spain's cultural heritage. The panels and signposts along the way will keep you constantly informed about interesting artistic locations and landscapes. In some cases there are even guides and guided visits available for certain areas: you just have to choose your line. There are also many places you can hire bikes on certain routes. On your way you will also be able to find accommodation, guesthouses and restaurants where you can rest and replenish your energy.

There are a host of possibilities: routes barely reaching kilometres, urban trails, country tracks through to itineraries of up to 190 kilometres. All in all, an original, varied alternative for those who want to discover Spain's rich landscapes and cultural sites in an easy, environmentally friendly way.



Here are a selection of some of the best routes around the country but to get full details of each itinerary and the different stages, sights and services along the way go to the interactive "Green -Ways" map and click on the route that interests you.



1. Vía Verde de la Sierra de la Demanda /  
Burgos 54 Km

2. Vía Verde de la Senda del Oso /  
Asturias 36 Km

3. Vía Verde Tajuña I y II 
Guadalajara / Madrid 21 Km and 49 Km 

4. Vía Verde del Pas /  
Cantabria 34 Km

5. Vía Verde del Cidacos 
/  La Rioja 34 Km 

6. Vía Verde de la Sierra /  
Cádiz - Sevilla 36 Km

7. Vía Verde del Valle de Turón 
/ Asturias 14 Km 

8. Vía Verde de la Jara 
/  Toledo 52 Km 

9. Via Verde de los Alcores /  
Sevilla 25 Km 

10. Vía Verde de las Vegas del Guadiana y las Villuercas 
/  Cáceres - Badajoz 56 Km 

11. Vía Verde Subbética 
/  Córdoba 56 Km 

12. Vía Verde del Val de Zafán /  
Teruel 33.6 Km 

13. Via Verde de Alcaraz 
/  Albacete 74 Km 

14. Via Verde del Noroeste /  Murcia 48 Km 

15. Vía Verde del Litoral /  
Huelva 49 Km 

16. Via Verde del Aceite /  
Jaén 55 Km 

17. Vía Verde del Campo de Cartagena /  
Murcia 51 Km 

18. Vía Verde del Ojailén /  
Ciudad Real 30 Km

19. Via Verde de la Campiña I y II 
Córdoba / Sevilla 28 Km y 65 Km 

20. Vía Verde de Ojos Negros I y II 
Castellón - Valencia / Teruel 67.7 Km and 92 Km 

21. Via Verde del Serpis 
Alicante - Valencia 40 Km 

22. Vía Verde del Carrilet /  
Girona 108 Km 

23. Via Verde de Maigmó /  
Alicante 22 Km 

24. Via Verde de Xurra 
/  Valencia 15 Km 

25. Vía Verde de la Terra Alta y el Baix Ebre / 
Tarragona 23 and 26 Km. 

Like 0        Published at 4:46 PM   Comments (4)

Defying the laws of Gravity
Thursday, March 6, 2014


The Enchanted City (La Ciudad Encantada) is another one of these beautiful places to visit in Spain.The "Serrania de Cuenca" is the destination this time, along with the birth of the "Rio Cuervo", the most visited place in the province of Cuenca.

It is situated in a limestone canyon that is almost 1,500 metres above sea level and is characterised by its curious rocky formations, sculpted over the millenniums by ice, wind and water. All this has modelled stone figures that look like humans, objects and animals and immediately spark the visitors' imagination. Within the limits of the Serranía de Cuenca Nature Reserve, only 28 kilometres from the city of Cuenca near Valdecabras, hidden between larges woods of pine trees, the Enchanted Coty can be found on a private estate, so there is a entry fee but it is only a symbolic 3€ for maintenance and preservation as it was declared a Natural Site of National Interest on June 11, 1929.



The route around “Ciudad Encantada” is marked out and many of the rocky formations have signs with the names of figures they resemble, all of which are pretty simple to recognise: The Boat, the Dog, the Sea of Stone, Roman Bridge, the Seal, the Bears, the Slide, the Lovers of Teruel, the Mushrooms, the Convent, the Turtle, etc. 

The reason behind the existence of all these fanciful and mysterious shapes is the different hardness and composition of the rocks. At the top there is magnesian limestone, grey and more resistant to erosion than the one below, which has a reddish tone. The lower part erodes faster than the upper part, creating shelters and cornices and shapes that simply defy the law of gravity.

The area around Ciudad Encantada is also magical. The vegetation includes gall oaks, savin, juniper, box trees, bramble, etc. Flocks of sheep graze in the surrounding area and there is a distinct scent of rosemary and thyme. 

Located between two rivers, the Júcar and the Huécar, Cuenca is unusual in itself. People say that this city is balanced harmoniously between nature and city life. It is another Spanish city declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, and rightly so. 



Like 0        Published at 12:09 PM   Comments (1)

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