VIA VERDE, ORANGES

and MOORISH CASTLES

WINTER ROUTE

WINTER SUN  CYCLING HOLIDAY VIA VERDE + SIERRA ESPADÁN

In the winter months it is ideal weather for cycling around Valencia! We have a special winter sun program; a combination of the 'Via Verde' railway track and a colorful route through the orchards along the coast and the Moorish castles in the Sierra de Espadán.

You cycle right through the citrus plantations, which are packed with oranges and mandarins in winter. In February, the almond blossom turns the mountains pink and at the end of March you can sniff the sweet perfume of the 'Azahar', the bloom of the oranges. If you 've seen our video about the almond blossom , you're sold ...

This tour is perfect for sporty cyclists who don't mind a climb (with a nice descent as a reward). There are excellent e-bikes for recreational cyclists, who can take any slope without any problems.

 
 
Description

In winter, weather is ideal for cycling around Valencia! We have a special winter sun program; a combination of the 'Via Verde' railway path and a colourful route through the orchards along the coast and the Moorish castles in the Sierra de Espadán.

You cycle straight through the citrus plantations, which are packed with oranges and mandarins in winter. In February, the almond blossom paint the mountains pink and at the end of March, you can sniff the sweet perfume of the 'Azahar', the bloom of the oranges. Have a look at our video about the almond blossom  ...

This tour is perfect for sporty cyclists who don't mind a climb (with a nice descent as a reward). There are excellent e-bikes available for recreational cyclists.

On the Mediterranean sea and on the lower parts of the 'Via Verde Ojos Negros' railway track, it is also great cycling weather in winter, with temperatures between 15 and 20 degrees during the day. In and around Valencia the sun shines no less than 300 a year!

For this tour, we take you on the first day from Valencia city to Barracas or Albentosa, about 1000 meters above sea level.

You will then cycle back to Valencia in 4 or 5 stages. The route follows much of the old mining track 'Via Verde Ojos Negros' and then continues through the foothills of the Sierra de Espadán and the coastal plain along the Mediterranean Sea. (*)

The tour is self-guided, using our extensive roadbook in English (or optional GPS). Everything is arranged for you, from bicycles to accommodation and optionally, daily luggage transport.

The difficulty of this tour varies from 1 to 3 (on a scale of 5).

The first part is easy; Greenway Via Verde cuts right through the mountains, over old railway bridges and through tunnels, in a beautiful landscape full of mountains, photogenic villages, orchards and vast plains where you will hardly encounter anyone. There are no steep slopes on this part of the route, because the path was built as flat as possible for the train at the time. Much of the route even goes downhill.

At the end of the Vía Verde we lead you towards the Sierra de Espadán. This is the callenging part, with some climbs. Your reward will be splendid views and a luxurious stay at eco-hotel Mar de Fulles, with a fantastic slow food restaurant.

The last stretch,along the coast, is almost flat. Here you'll see bright orange fruit under blue Mediterranean skies.

Read here the article (PDF) about this trip, written by Kees Volkers and published in 'de Vogelvrij Fietser', the magazine of the Fietsersbond. (January 2018)

Jounralist Jeannette van Ditzhuizen also tested the route. Her travel report was published in Dagblad Trouw.

(Sep 9, 2018)

(*) it is possible to shorten or extend the stages.

By combining the 'Via Verde' route with our cycling tour to the Albufera lake, rice fields and River Xuquer' you can compose a 15-day cycling tour, with start and end points in Valencia.

Read more about our extensive security, extensive cancellation policy and low deposits here.

Route

 

View the (global) route on the map here .

No rights can be derived from this map.

 

Day 1 Via Verde Albentosa / Barracas - Navajas, 55 or 40 km (Monday)

 

In the morning we bring you from Valencia to the starting point, more than 100 km inland.

You start on a plateau, about 1000 meters above sea level. Depending on the weather, we start in Barracas or Albentosa, further inland. Here is a spectacular high bridge over a deep gorge. Barracas is located on a vast plateau. The cycle path here is almost flat, with mountains everywhere on the horizon. You soon start a descent. You cycle over countless railway bridges and through a number of long tunnels (up to 500 m long).

You spend the night in B&B Villa Pilar in Navajas, a beautiful Villa from 1910 with a vintage interior.

The breakfast is included. For dinner, there are several options in the village, but you can also use the outdoor kitchen / BBQ of the villa.

A luxury alternative is **** Hotel Martin el Humano in Segorbe, a hotel with Spa facilities in an old monastery (at extra cost)

 

Day 2 Via Verde Navajas - Sierra de Espadán / Mar de Fulles, 30 or 45 km

From Navajas you follow the former railway through the valley of the Palancia river. At the village of Soneja, take a sidetrack, cross the river and begin a gradual ascent to the Sierra de Espadán; a protected nature reserve known for its red sandstone cliffs and forests full of cork oaks.

If you take the shortest route, the road gradually goes uphill over a distance of about 10 km. Afterwards, enjoy a quick descent towards the hotel, with stunning views over the mountains and almond trees.

In February these bloom profusely, with pink flowers.

If you take the longer route, climbing will be more gradually. 

The rest of the day you can enjoy the views in peace from 'eco-hotel': ' Mar de Fulles '. It's all about sustainability here. Power is generated 100% with solar energy, water is used as economically as possible, there is no TV (instead huge windows to stare endlessly at the mountains). And a very good restaurant, mostly offering local products, vegetables and herbs from their own garden. Most guests stay an extra day here, to relax and enjoy the fantastic nature in the area. The Sierra de Espadán is a paradise for hikers and sporty cyclists, with well-maintained, low-traffic roads full of hairpin bends, climbs and fast descents.

Day 3: Sierra de Espadán, 30-50km (Wednesday )

From the eco-hotel, we organise a transfer to cross a mountain pass, with spectacular steep ravines. (too dangerous for the average cyclist) We drop you off at Aín, a photogenic village at 500m above sea level, in the middle of the protected nature reserve. Here you first cycle (or walk) through the 17th-century streets and along with the fields in the valley around the village. Special is the ancient irrigation system with channels and aqueducts. On the terraces around the village, you will find all kinds of fruit, olive and almond trees. Then you cycle on quiet roads through the Sierra de Espadán. Via the reservoir of Benitandus and the village of Sueras, you come to a spring at the foot of a Moorish castle ruin, a nice place for a picnic or short walk. Then you cycle on to Onda, where hand-painted ceramic tiles have been made for centuries. You can see them in the local ceramics museum.

Above the village is a huge Moorish castle with many towers, beautifully restored. You will stay in ** Gran Hotel Toledo in Onda.

Optionally, you can extend the stay in Onda by a day for an extra bike ride to Fanzara, a mountain village with towering graffiti and a tour around the huge azure reservoir of Sitjar.

Day 4: Sierra de Espadán - La Plana (coastal plain), 40-65 km (Thursday)

Today you descend to the coastal plain near the Mediterranean. Via extensive orange plantations you cycle to Sagunto, where you can visit the Roman castle and amphitheatre.

In la Vall d'Uixo, you can visit the caves of San Josep. Here you can cruise around the longest underground river in Europe.

You spend the night in ** hotel Puerto Canet, not far from the sea. Or you can drive that same day on the 'Via Xurra' (another former railway line) through a horticultural area with small farms to Valencia. (+25 km)

Day 5: Sagunto - Horta Nord - Valencia, 38 km - 50 km

 

If you spent the night in Canet yesterday, you will first drive to Puerto de Sagunto, the terminus of the old mining railway line. Here the trains were unloaded with iron ore at the steel mills or at the ships in the harbour. One blast furnace has remained as a monument, an iconic structure. Then you cycle through orange groves and the 'Via Xurra' towards Valencia. A nice detour is a visit to to the 'Marjal dels Moros', a wetland and reed land directly behind the sea. This is a popular stopping place for migratory birds. There are a number of observation huts.

Then you cycle through the Horta Nord, the vegetable garden of Valencia. Here you pass dozens of old farmhouses and fields full of artichokes, onions or Xufa (groundnuts), the main ingredient of a local drink: Horchata. You can taste it in one of the 'horchaterias'.

Via the beach promenade and a part of the former Formula 1 circuit, you enter Valencia, where you 

can cycle through the city. Valencia is located by the sea and is completely flat. Cycling is easy, following the cycling lanes that lead you to the historical centre, nowadays free of motorized traffic. One of the most beautiful runs through the bed of the Turia river, nowadays an urban park of 8 km long.

By the evening the cycling package ends and you hand in the bikes.

You can extend the cycling package with extra days, for example for a bike ride at the Albufera lake and the rice fields, south of Valencia. See the description for day 6.

To stay in Valencia we're hotel Acteon (****) recommend.

This hotel has a secure parking garage for bicycles. If you stay here overnight, we can extend your bike rental for the rest of your stay.

The hotel is conveniently located near the futuristic buildings of the 'City of Arts and Sciences' not far from the beach or the old town.

Day 6-10: (optional)

Albufera and Ribera de Xuquer

, 40-60 km per day

From Valencia, you can make an extra trip of 1 to 5 days , south of the city.

Have a look at the full program here. 

Via the dunes and the beach of El Saler you then cycle to the Albufera lake, a protected nature reserve where special (migratory) birds regularly descend. A visitor centre with an observation point is located by the lake. Rice fields surround the lake. This is the best place to eat an authentic paella, in a typical 'arroceria'.

You can cycle through the rice fields via small dikes. A few times a year this area is flooded, when it is extra beautiful because there are many birds around.

And a little further south is the river Xuquer (Jucar). We have set out a beautiful route in the basin of this river. It is a flat terrain (easy cycling), with lots of persimmon and orange groves.

You can further extend your cycling holiday by, for example, linking our route ' Land of Contrast ' to your stay. This route takes 8 days and ends in Valencia again.

 

prices

 

Price for 2 participants, based on 5 cycling days / 4 nights:

€ 530 per person, based on occupancy of a double room.

Optional daily luggage transport for 2 persons: € 65 per day.

You can also bring your own luggage on the bike. For € 3 per day we provide large bicycle bags with a volume of up to 65 liters.

Are you coming with a group?

The price for 4 to 8 participants (5 days cycling / 4 nights)

based on 2 persons per room:

€ 450 per person.

Optional daily luggage transport for 4-8 persons: € 20 per person per day.

You can also bring your own luggage on the bike. We provide large panniers up to 65 liters for € 3 per day.

You can of course also bring your own bicycle bags.

 

INCLUDING:

Trekking bike with panniers and helmet for 5 days, 4 nights accommodation in hotels or B&B based on bed/breakfast, briefing and detailed roadbook (English) , support in English, German, Spanish or Dutch and roadside assistance (in case of serious technical problems) between 9:00 and 18:00, GPS tracks are available for the Wikiloc mobile app or as a .gpx file for your own GPS device. Optionally you can rent a GPS through us.

You should also be able to find your way based on our (paper) directions.

 

Surcharge E-bike: € 20 per person per day.

Deposit: € 50 for normal bicycles and € 150 for e-bikes.

Surcharge for single room: € 175 for 4 nights

Surcharge GPS device: € 10 per day

Extra night in ****hotel Acteon Valencia or ****Silken Puerta Valencia: € 40.00 p.p.p.n. including breakfast.

On request, we can shorten or extend the route.

All rates based on availability and on departure on Monday or Tuesday.

The price may differ on other departure days, during holidays or local events or 'fiestas'.

If you fill in the booking form, we will check availability and get back to you as soon as possible with a quote.

Read more about our extensive security, extensive cancellation policy and low deposits here.

This tour basically starts on Monday and is available all year round. In extreme weather conditions, it may be necessary to shorten or temporarily adjust the route.

Where possible, we will guide you along cycle paths or low-traffic local roads.

 

NOT INCLUDED:

Extra nights, personal travel, accidents or cancellation insurance, your flight  to Spain / Valencia, airport transfers, bicycle deposit.

 

All prices mentioned based on availability and subject to changes.

For questions or reservations, you can also call us: +34 677 709 109

We speak English, Spanish, German and Dutch. See you soon!

ANY QUESTION?  ¿ALGUNA DUDA?

SPAINISH agencia de viajes

empresa adherida a

CREATURISME de

Comunitat Valenciana

Calle Borriol 9 puerta 30

46022 Valencia 

Valencian Community - Spain

info@spainish.es

Tel: +34 677 709 109

All information and rates on this website are subject to change. The mentioned rates are minimum rates per person, based on the maximum size of the group. Rates may vary depending on the number of participants. 

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