Via Verdes in Jaen for Walking and Cycling
Long and winding walking and cycling routes through the olive groves of Jaen are a great way to see the landscape and some history. There are some lovely XIX century metal viaducts crisscrossing the countryside. The old reconditioned railway lines known the Vias Verdes or Green Ways can be found the length and breadth of Spain. Many of these link together in an unending route snaking through the provinces. The Via Verde del Aceite, my local one and often cycled (a bit) starts in Jaen city and heads south-west towards Cordoba province. This particular Green Way covers a distance of 128 km, this route as its name suggests was the railway line used to transport olive oil from inland towards the coast. It’s is the longest Via Verde in Andalucia.
The old train station at Las Casillas has picnic tables and bike stands which make it a great stopping point in mid walk or cycle. And further along the route two of the old stations have become bars, one is a stopping place for motor homes and you can hire a bike there too.
Near the old station at Alcaudete there is a serious of wetland lakes which is a great spot for bird watching and is a fairly short stretch from parking so can easily done with pushchairs or wheelchairs too. With such an abundance of nature, Natural Parks, olive groves with over 66 million olive trees Jaen is a great slow travel destination for lovers of the great outdoors. Mountains, mountain biking, climbing and horse riding also abound and the gastronomy based on the local extra virgen olive oil with free tapas still given make it a great destination, not forgetting the flat walking and cycling on the Vias Verdes.
Once into Cordoba province there are two old stations which are now restaurants at Estacion de Luque bar and restaurant where you can dine in an old train carriage and Dona Mencia for bike hire very close to the lovely little white mountain town of Zuheros with its Cuevas de los Murcielagos or Bat Cave is worth a diversion, it´s also a good place to cool down in during the hot summer months.
See the Via Verde website which covers the whole of Spain.