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Via Verde Ojos Negros

1000m above sea level

WINTER SUN  CYCLING HOLIDAY VIA VERDE + SIERRA ESPADÁN

In the winter months, the weather is ideal for cycling around Valencia! We have a special winter sun program; a combination of the rail cycle path 'Via Verde Ojos Negros' and 'Via Verde del Trenet'. A colorful route through orchards full of oranges, rice fields and past Moorish castles in the Sierra de Espadán.

The citrus plantations are packed with oranges and mandarins in the winter. In February the almond blossom colors the mountains pink and from the end of March to the end of April you can smell the sweet perfume of the 'Azahar', the bloom of the oranges. If you've seen our videos about the almond blossom, then you're sold...

This tour is mostly downhill or over flat terrain. Sporty cyclists who are not afraid of a climb will enjoy one stage, climbing in the mountains. (with a nice descent as a reward). There are excellent e-bikes for recreational cyclists, so that they can easily tackle any slope.

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Description

In winter it is nice weather to cycle around Valencia,
with daytime temperatures between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius. In and around Valencia the sun shines no less than 300 days a year!
We have a special winter sun program; a combination of the rail cycle path 'Via Verde Ojos Negros', the 'Via Verde del trenet' and a colorful route through orchards, past Moorish castles in the Sierra de Espadán and the rice fields around Lake Albufera.
You cycle right through the citrus plantations, which are packed with oranges and mandarins in the winter. In February the almond blossom paints the mountains pink and at the end of March you can smell the sweet perfume of the 'Azahar', the bloom of the oranges. Have a look at these videos...

One stage is perfect for sporty cyclists who don't mind a climb (with a nice descent as a reward). There are e-bikes for people who cycle to enjoy the views... 

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

You will cycle back to Valencia in 5, 6 or 7 stages. The route follows a large part of the old mining railway 'Via Verde Ojos Negros' and then continues through the foothills of the Sierra de Espadán and the coastal plain along the Mediterranean Sea. (*)

You cycle on your own, based on our extensive English route description (or optional GPS) from one hotel or B&B to another. Everything is arranged for you, from cycling to daily luggage transport.

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

The tour starts easily; The Via Verde Greenway cuts right through the mountains, over old railway bridges and through tunnels, in a beautiful landscape full photogenic villages, orchards, mountains and vast plains. There are no steep slopes on the Greenway, because the path was laid as flat as possible for the train at the time. A large part of the route is even downhill.

At the end of the Vía Verde we will lead you towards the Sierra de Espadán. There you have to go uphill, but the view and the final destination on that day (a sustainable eco-hotel with a fantastic slow food restaurant) is your reward.

The further stretch along the coast is easy. It is almost flat, at sea level. 

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

 

Writer Jeannette van Ditzhuizen also cycled the route. Her travelogue was published in Dagblad Trouw (PDF).

(September 9, 2018)

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

By combining this route with our cycling tour 'Albufera and Xuquer' and/or 'Land of Contrasts' you can put together a 15-day cycling tour, with a start and end point in Valencia.

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

Route

Day 1. Via Verde Albentosa/Barracas - Segorbe, 40 or 60 km

In the morning we take 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 and the condition of the trail, we start in Barracas or Albentosa. Near Albentosa is a spectacularly high railway viaduct over a deep gorge. Then you come to Barracas on a vast plateau. The cycle path here is almost flat, with mountains on the horizon all around. Soon you start a descent. You cycle over numerous railway bridges and through a number of long tunnels (up to 500 m long).

You spend the night in ****Hotel Martin el Humano in Segorbe, a hotel with Spa facilities in a former monastery (Spa can be booked on site, at extra cost)

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

From Segorbe you follow the former railway through the valley of the Palancia river. At the village of Soneja you leave the Greenway to cross the river and start a gradual climb 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. Then you enjoy a quick descent towards the hotel, with stunning views over the mountains and almond trees.

It blooms profusely in February with pink flowers.

If you take the longer route, you drive around the highest mountains to get to the hotel.

 

The rest of the day you can enjoy the views from the terrace or restaurant of 'eco hotel': 'Mar de Fulles'. Everything revolves around sustainability here. Electricity is 100% generated with solar energy, water is used as economically as possible, there is no TV (instead huge windows to gaze endlessly at the mountains). And a very good restaurant where as much as possible is cooked with local products, vegetables and herbs from their own garden.

 

Most guests extend their stay here by 1 day. To relax and enjoy the fantastic nature.

Or to cycle an extra route in the Sierra de Espadán. For this extra trip (30-50km) you need to allow a day.

 

OPTIONAL DAY TOUR:

TOUR ESPADÁN 41 or 50 km

In the morning we first take you to a mountain pass, with spectacular views over steep canyons. 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 the fields in the valley around the village. The centuries-old irrigation system with canals and acuaducts is special. On the terraces around the village you will find all kinds of fruit, olive and almond trees. Then you cycle on a quiet road right through the Sierra de Espadán.

From Ain there is a short route back to the hotel which is mainly downhill.

The long route includes a short ascent and a beautiful descent along the Benitandus reservoir and the town of Onda. Here you will find the 'castle with 300 towers', worth a visit. Hand-painted ceramic tiles were made in the town for centuries. You can see these in the local ceramics museum.

At Artana you will be amazed by 'las Penyas Altas', a fiery red rock formation of sandstone pillars.

The last part of the route goes gradually uphill, back to the Ecohotel. Total altitude meters: approx. +500 and -700.

 

Day 3: Sierra de Espadán - Sagunto 

40-65 km

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

In la Vall d'Uixo, you can visit the caves of San Jusep. Here you can take a boat trip on the longest underground river in Europe.

You spend the night in **hotel Puerto Canet, directly on the marina and the boulevard of Canet den Berenguer.

Day 4. Via Verde del Trenet

You will be picked up from your hotel and taken to Carcaixent, the starting point of the 'Via Verde del Trenet'. This former railway line ran through the hills to the Mediterranean Sea.

Here you cycle through orange plantations and past old country houses.

Near the town of Simat de la Valldigna is a huge monastery, well worth a visit. You can have a snack on the square in the village, before you continue cycling towards the Mediterranean Sea.

Via the rice fields you cycle to Cullera, a seaside resort with kilometres of beaches and a beautiful boulevard, nice for a short walk in the evening.

You will stay in ***Hotel El Chalet (directly on the beach) or in ****Hotel Cullera Holiday.

You can extend your stay here for a rest day by the sea or an extra cycling route.

 

OPTIONAL DAY/ROUTE:

JUCAR RIVER

On this optional cycling day you meander along the river 

Jucar, the lifeline for this area. The water from the river has been used for centuries to irrigate the rice fields and orchards. On your way you will find a number of 'Azuds' (small dams) and canals that have been constructed for this purpose. The dams are popular places for birding. Where possible, you cycle on the dike along the river, bordered by colourful orange groves and persimmons.  And in mid-March you can enjoy the 'Azahar', the honey-sweet perfume of the orange blossom.

This entire route is flat, with no significant height differences.

It is very easy to cycle.

Day 5. Cullera-Albufera-Valencia

From Cullera you cycle through the rice fields and along the Albufera lake back to Valencia.

The rice fields are sometimes flooded in winter, which gives an extra dimension to this special area. You will see many migratory birds; various species of herons, ibises and flamingos.

On this day you can book an extra excursion with an experienced birding guide, who can tell you everything about the fauna and the special ecosystem of the Albufera.

The village of El Palmar is the cradle of paella, you can stop here to taste an authentic paella in one of the many restaurants.

Then you cycle back to Valencia via the dunes of El Saler. You enter the city through the Turia Park and the futuristic buildings of architects Santiago Calatrava and Felix Candela.

The kilometre-long Turia Park leads you automatically to the historic center of Valencia.

The cycling package ends in Valencia.

Don't want to miss anything from Valencia? Then book a citytour with a an English guide who will drive with you along all the highlights.

For your stay in Valencia, we can  recommend hotel Acteon (****).

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

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

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

 

This tour can start on any day of the week, as long as the accommodations are available. Different rates may apply on Sundays and public holidays.

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

€ 550 per person, based on occupancy of a double room, including breakfast.

Extension Ecohotel Mar de Fulles (incl. extra day rental trekking bike)

per person per night 65€ (*)

Transfer from Ecohotel to Aín and directions for extra cycling tour Espadán  45€ p.p. (*)

Extension hotel Cullera (incl. extra day rental of trekking bike) 49€ p.p. per night (*)

Extra route Jucar River: 12.50€ p.p.

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

You can also bring your own luggage on the bike. For €3 per day we provide large panniers with a capacity of up to 65 litres.

Are you coming with a group?

The basic price for 4 to 8 participants (5 days cycling / 4 overnight stays)

based on 2 persons per room:

€499 per person.

Optional luggage transport for 4-8 people: €100 per group.

You can also bring your own luggage on the bike. For €3 per day we provide large panniers up to 65 litres.

You can of course also bring your own bicycle bags.

 

INCLUDED in base price:

Trekking bike with panniers and helmet during 5 days, 4 nights accommodation in hotels or B&B based on bed & breakfast,

transfer to starting point route, detailed route information and maps, Dutch support 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 on the basis of our (paper) route description.

 

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

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

Single room supplement: €175, for 4 nights

Surcharge GPS device: € 10 per day

Extra overnight stay in hotel Acteon Valencia (if you opt for a 6th cycling day or if you want to extend your stay in Valencia): € 40.00 p.p.p.n. including breakfast.

We can shorten or extend the route on request.

All prices quoted are subject to availability and subject to change. Prices may vary during holidays, local events or public holidays.

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

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

 

 

In extreme weather conditions it may be necessary to shorten or temporarily adjust the route. The Via Verdes are in principle car-free. Outside of that, we guide you as much as possible on cycle paths or low-traffic local roads.

NOT INCLUDED:

Extra nights, personal travel, accident or cancellation insurance, your flight or otherwise travel to Spain / Valencia, airport transfers, deposit for the bicycles.

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

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