The Via Verde de los Ojos Negros between the inland of Tereul and the coast of Valencia is the longest and is considered one of the most beautiful and most popular in the country. Due to its length (160 kilometers), it is split into two parts – the easiest way is to cycle from the interior toward the coast.
The first route starts west of Tereul in the town of Santa Eulalia and runs to Barracas in the province of Castellon, a distance of 92 kilometers. From Barracas it goes to Algimia de Alfarra, where it ends after 68 kilometers. There are plans to extend the route to the port city of Sagunto, but this will not happen for a while. The other side of the route, the one to the Ojos Negros mine, has been restored to look exactly like when the trains were running through the area.
The route is flat from the starting point to the city of Tereul, but from here the elevation steadily increases. From Escandon, it is almost completely downhill. The landscape is beautiful in its vast aridness. After Barracas you ride into the valley of Palencia and the landscape changes dramatically. You continue to descend at the end of the second stage.
Why Should You Cycle the Via Verde de Ojos Negros?
The route is interesting because of its variety of landscapes. From the bare highlands of Teruel to the green valley of Palencia and the huerta (garden) of Valencia. It is also the many beautiful places that make this route special, including Teruel, Sarrion, La Puebla de Valverde, Jerica, and Segorbe.
The Via Verde is in good condition. Alternating between asphalt and rammed earth paths you pass through 15 tunnels and over 3 bridges and 13 overpasses. It is best to cycle in Spring or Autumn as it is bitterly cold in the Winter and unbearably hot in the Summer in the inland areas around Teruel. Closer to the coast (near Barracas) you will find a much milder climate, making this part of the Via Verde accessible during the majority of the year.
Many Spaniards ride the Via Verde de Ojos Negros in two days. They start in Teruel, spend the night in Barracas, and ride to Sagunto on day two. From there they take the train (a so-called “tren de media distancia”) back to Teruel. Only 3 bicycles are allowed on the train so it’s a good idea to book in advance. Ask around in Teruel about the possibilities. You can also cycle from Valencia on the Via Verde de Xurra to the start of the Via Verde de Ojos Negros (not funny connected), and then ride inland a few days. The train will get you quickly from Teruel to Valencia.
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