The Ojos Negros Greenway is one of the most attractive greenways in Spain for cycling.
The reasons are several but the five main ones are these:
- You pedal through three provinces: Teruel, Castellón and Valencia.
- Most of the route is downhill, making it very affordable and suitable for everyone.
- The route runs along the old train tracks that linked Ojos Negros and Sagunto, which is safe, without cars.
- It is the longest greenway in Spain.
- You can enjoy different landscapes and interesting tourist enclaves at a cultural and gastronomic level.
For all these reasons, it is not surprising that the Vía Verde de Ojos Negros arouses much interest as a cycling route, both among regular cyclists and among those who use this form of transport less.
However, it still raises a basic question that seems not to be clear:
Where does the Ojos Negros route begin?
To answer, a bit of history and some nuances are needed. And although we explain it in more detail below, we now tell you the essentials.
The thing is that during the 20th century, the town of Ojos Negros (province of Teruel) and the port of Sagunto (Valencia) were joined by train. The reason for this was to transport the high-quality iron extracted in the first enclave to the Blast Furnaces of Sagunto to be smelted. And although in the 1970s this mining route ceased to be used as such, at the beginning of this century the governments of the Valencian Community and Aragon adapted it for use and enjoyment by bicycle, in what is known as a greenway.
Can you go from Ojos Negros to Sagunto by bicycle?
Of course. Although the official route, the one that flows through fully adapted sections, goes from Santa Eulalia del Campo (still in Teruel although somewhat closer to the destination than Ojos Negros) to Algimia de Alfara (province of Valencia and a town that, although close to Sagunto, is in the interior).
This is what is technically known as the Vía Verde de Ojos Negros.
But we can still complicate it a bit more. More and more people choose to lengthen the route and instead of finishing in Sagunto, they complete an additional stage that takes them to Valencia. This last section is done through the Vía Verde de la Xurra and although it is not particularly beautiful, it is safe and allows you to enjoy Valencia.
Depending on which origin and destination you choose, there are 160 / 217 / 249 km of bike route. It all depends on the time you have and the desire you have to give everything, as there is no section of great technical difficulty.
Below we give you all kinds of useful information about the Ojos Negros Greenway so you can prepare for this bike trip.
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Technical sheet of the Ojos Negros Greenway
These are the general data of the Ojos Negros Greenway:
- Official route: 160 km (from Santa Eulalia to Algimia de Alfara).
- Complete route: 217 km (from Ojos Negros to Sagunto).
- Extra route: 249 km (from Ojos Negros to Valencia).
- Duration (non stop cycling):
- Official route: 8 hours and 30 minutes.
- Complete route: 10 hours and 45 minutes.
- Extra route: 12 hours and 25 minutes.
- Unevenness: from 1151 m of Ojos Negros we climb to 1230 m of Puerto de Escandón (passing through Teruel at 915 m above the sea) and then it is a continuous descent to sea level in Sagunto.
- Difficulty level: Low (does not require preparation) – Moderate (because of the length).
- Suitable for: Alone | In a group | With children | With pets.
- Route type: Linear – Not circular.
- Main tourist spots:
- Historic center of Teruel.
- Historic center of Segorbe.
- Historic center of Jerica.
- Regajo Swamp.
- How to get to the starting point:
- By train: medium-distance line 49 that connects Valencia and Teruel. Telephone sales: 912 320 320.
- By taxi: transports people, bicycles and luggage. Telephone: 629 522 300.
- Rest areas: Puerto Escandón, Puebla de Valverde, Sarrión, Mora Station, Albentosa, Palancar, Barracas, Jérica and Navajas.
The Via Verde of Ojos Negros in stages from Teruel to Sagunto and Valencia
As you have seen, there are many options for traveling the Ojos Negros Greenway: origin, destination and format. In terms of format, you have two: cycle the route without delay or do it with the philosophy of slow cycling. That is, enjoying every moment, every landscape, every corner and every meal. No hurries.
We recommend the second. The Ojos Negros Greenway is a cycle route and to enjoy it to the fullest you have to do both: pedal and discover the surroundings. Of course, the choice is yours. We explain the entire route from Ojos Negros to Sagunto and from there to Valencia. In five stages. You can do them in a single day, in two or in five.
Yours is the choice of which sections you do and in what way. It is also not the same to go alone than with children. Therefore, adapt what we tell you to your preferences and needs.
By the way, you can do the route the other way around, starting in Valencia or Sagunto and going to Ojos Negros. But that would be uphill and increases the difficulty.
Stage 1: Ojos Negros – Teruel (56 km)
Ojos Negros is the town in Teruel where the Ojos Negros Greenway technically begins (there is a reason it appears in the name of the route). The idea of starting at the beginning, at the origin of where everything began, is attractive. You can leave the car in Sagunto and take the train to Monreal del Campo and from there ride a bike to the town to start this adventure also known as the Ojos Negros route. There you will also see a Sierra Menera locomotive.
Another option you have is to get off the train two stations earlier, in Santa Eulalia del Campo. This town in Teruel is about 30 km from Ojos Negros but it is where the official route of this greenway begins. From here and up to Algimia de Alfara (Valencia) the road is fully conditioned for your use and enjoyment.
You decide where to start the Ojos Negros Greenway!
Throughout this stage we find several deteriorated train stations. Despite their state, we can imagine what they were like before and what scenes must have been seen during the more than half a century in which the Sierra Menera train transported iron along this mining route to the Sagunto furnaces.
In any case, the end point of this first stage is Teruel. This provincial capital is considered the capital of Mudejar Art by UNESCO and has an architectural and cultural heritage that makes a calm visit fully justified. For example, the old town, the Cathedral of Santa María de Mediavilla or the mausoleum of the lovers of Teruel. Not to mention its gastronomy in which the ham and the black truffle stand out.
Stage 2: Teruel- Mora Station (47 km)
Shortly after leaving Teruel, about 25 minutes and 6 km, we pass under a bridge over which the train passed, known as the Viaduct of Fuente Cerrada (photo). It is what appears in the image above.
However, the highlight of this stage is the ascent to Puerto Escandón, the highest point of the entire Ojos Negros Greenway. In other words, the next 12.7 kilometers are the most complicated, although they are not really. We go from 915 meters above sea level in Teruel to 1,230 meters in Puerto de Escandón.
The good news?
Then everything is down! The descent is progressive until the sea level.
Puerto Escandón has no more. It is simply the railway station of the Teruel municipality of La Puebla de Valverde. Nowadays it is quite disused but it is a good place to take a break before pedaling again.
It must be said that before reaching the highest point we go through several tunnels that, although in theory they have lighting, sometimes it does not work and it is advisable to carry a flashlight or headlamp. Little advice aside, it is quite an experience to cross these tunnels by bicycle: if we go with kids, they will love it!
Shortly after, we cross wonderful landscapes of truffle holm oak, especially around the town of Sarrión. And it is the most important area in the world for the production of black truffles!
Como final de esta etapa hemos escogido quedarnos aún en la provincia de Teruel. Concretamente en la Estación de Mora de Rubielos, en el pueblo de Albentosa. Por el camino recorremos en bicicleta el viaducto de Albentosa, un puente por el que circulaba el ferrocarril y sin duda una de los experiencias más espectaculars de la Vía Verde de Ojos Negros a estas alturas.
As the end of this stage we have chosen to remain in the province of Teruel. Specifically at the Mora de Rubielos Station, in the town of Albentosa. Along the way, we cycle over the Albentosa viaduct, a bridge over which the railway ran and without a doubt one of the most spectacular experiences of the Ojos Negros Greenway at this point.
Stage 3: Mora Station – Segorbe (52 km)
This stage of the Ojos Negros Greenway has many spectacular tunnels and viaducts, but the Albentosa one for us is the most spectacular of all.
Keep in mind that from now on the slope is downhill: we have already done the most difficult part! Shortly after we change provinces and enter Castellón. Until Segorbe, the end point of this stage, we pass through two very interesting points to see: Barracas, Jérica (we recommend visiting its old town and its Mudéjar Tower) and Navajas (a very charming town and where the Salto de la Novia is).
Shortly after leaving Jérica behind, we enter the Sierra de Espadán Natural Park and have beautiful views from the Mirador del Regajo over the reservoir. This is without a doubt one of our favorite stops (you can see us in the photo, right?) and we highly recommend pausing to take in the visual spectacle.
Finally, Segorbe, the capital of the Alto Palancia region. It is a place worth spending time for two things:
- Visit the old town, with an architectural heritage declared Site of Cultural Interest.
- Try its typical dish: the segorbina pot (or olla segorbina, in Spanish). A stew with which we replenish energies.
Stage 4: Segorbe – Sagunto (38 km)
We leave Segorbe and enter the Sierra Calderona Natural Park, another enclave of nature. In addition, we cross the orange groves of Campo de Morvedre. It is as it is: the picture is pretty.
We arrive at Algimia de Alfara, where the official route of the Ojos Negros Greenway ends. Until here, the route is fully conditioned and further on, up to Puerto de Sagunto, there are sections where you have to go alongside cars (although there usually are not many).
We continue towards the Mediterranean and pass near Torres Torres. We are in this town (specifically here), come and say hello if you want!
Update: since 2021 the Via Negra de Ojos Negros officially ends in Albalat de Tarongers (a town about 9 km closer to Sagunto) after a new section has been prepared.
Once in Sagunto, the most common final destination of the Ojos Negros route, we continue to its port. Specifically, up to Blast Furnace nº2. Here the iron extracted in the mines of the Terolense population where we began this cycling adventure was smelted. If you are interested, 90-minute guided tours are organized in the morning (inquire at 611 072 510).
Other places in Sagunto that are worth checking out are its old town, the Roman Theater and the castle. And if you want to enjoy the sea, you can go to Sagunto beach itself or go to the immediate town located further north called Canet de Berenguer (less than 20 minutes by bike).
Stage 5: Sagunto – Valencia (35 km)
This last stage that we propose is not part of the Ojos Negro Greenway itself. In fact, the path from Sagunto to Valencia runs along the so-called Vía Verde de la Xurra. It is an extra stretch of less than two hours that allows us to visit the capital of the Valencian Community.
Although we cross the Valencian orchard, the views are not the most spectacular, but the cycle route is fully equipped and is a safe way to get to Valencia, where we recommend spending the day and even the night. It is a charming city, with many corners, modern and classic at the same time. Some monuments and points of interest to highlight are:
- Valencia Cathedral.
- The Silk Exchange.
- The Central Market.
- The City of Arts and Sciences.
- The neighborhood of Carmen.
The Ojos Negros route Teruel – Valencia: frequently asked questions
What is a greenway?
A greenway is an old railway track that, after becoming inactive, is recovered and refurbished as a non-motorized natural path, becoming an ecotourism itinerary. In other words, every greenway was formerly a train crossing. They are routes open to all public, being accessible by bicycle, on foot, on horseback and in a wheelchair (the prepared sections are duly signposted). They have a very own and very easy to recognize identifying symbol: a green leaf.
Until 2020, the Spanish Railways Foundation, the entity responsible for the “recovery, custody, generation and dissemination of the historical, cultural, scientific and technological railway heritage” has recovered and transformed more than 3,000 km of old railway lines into non-motorized tracks.
What is the origin of the name of the Ojos Negros Greenway?
In 1900, two Basque businessmen founded the Sierra Menera mining company to exploit several high-quality iron deposits near the town of Ojos Negros, in Teruel. To transport the mineral to be melted in the port of Sagunto, they build their own railway network; a railway from Ojos Negros to Sagunto. This mining road was used until 1972, when it was abandoned to use another nearby one with greater transport capacity. At the beginning of the 21st century, the governments of the Valencian Community and Aragon convert the old railway line into a greenway. Photo courtesy of the Historical Railway Archive of the Madrid Railway Museum (Gustavo Reder Kleingebeil)
Why is the Ojos Negros Greenway so desired by cyclists?
We give you 10 reasons to understand it and that will make you want to discover it and live it:
1) Because it has an exciting origin.
2) Because it is the longest greenway in Spain. Its more than 160 km in length invite you to go through it at your own pace, with the duration you want and in the stages that you choose.
3) Because it is an easy route. Apart from Puerto de Escandón, the hardest section, the rest is flat and downhill. You don’t have to be a professional cyclist to do it. And if you want to enjoy the Ojos Negros greenway without any effort, do it on an electric bike.
4) Because it is properly marked and accessible. You can do the route with children and pets.
5) Because you discover three provinces in a single trip: Teruel, Castellón and Valencia.
6) Because on the same trip you cover sections of five important routes: Vía Verde Ojos Negros, Camino del Cid, Vía Churra, Vía Augusta and Ruta del Grail. And soon the Iberian EuroVelo.
7) For the gastronomic journey with which you will discover the delights of each place.
8) Because if the weather allows it, you will see the most starry sky in Spain.
9) Because you can discover and taste the black truffle.
10) Because the whole trip offers you calm, freedom and happiness.
What is the best period to do the Ojos Negros route?
The Ojos Negros greenway can be done throughout the year, although we recommend avoiding it in the hottest or coldest months. For this reason, the best time is from March to June and from September to November, both for the temperatures and for the landscapes.
How to get to the starting point?
The normal thing is to do the route from the province of Teruel to that of Valencia. You can do it the other way around, from the coast to the interior, but then the route is uphill. That is why the starting point of the Ojos Negros greenway is usually Ojos Negros itself or Santa Eulalia del Campo.
You have three options to get to the starting point:
– By train. It turns out that the route runs parallel to the Renfe medium-distance line 49 that connects the cities of Valencia and Zaragoza, passing through Teruel. So you can leave the car in Sagunto and take the train to Santa Eulalia or Monreal del Campo (if you want to start in Ojos Negros). Or the other way around: leave the car at the starting point and then return by train. The bicycle costs €3 extra and there is usually space for three bicycles that do not need to be disassembled. IF there is no space or you don’t want to pay the extra, you can disassemble the bike and wrap it in plastic so that it can be considered luggage. More info on 912 320 320.
– In taxi. You have a taxi service that can take up to eight people with their bikes and luggage. More info on 629 522 300.
– By post. For luggage, of course. Among the most experienced cyclists, taking everything by post to the closest post office to the start is distilled. In a large box provided by the Correos, you put whatever you want: panniers, helmets, a tent, a sleeping bag and, of course, the bicycle.
What should I take with me on the bike?
– Light. Whichever you want: headlamp or flashlight. Keep in mind that we go through many tunnels and although they are all illuminated, sometimes it fails and it is good to have some kind of light of your own.
– Water. It is essential to carry two liters of water in the form of bottles, small bottles or water drums. Although there are many rest areas with fountains to refill water, there are sections where they are not: for example, between the city of Teruel and the town of Cella in Teruel. You have to be well hydrated, especially in summer.
– Windbreaker. Better if it is waterproof (you never know). The windbreaker is not heavy and depends on the season in which you travel the Ojos Negros Greenway, you will need it.
– Groceries. It is always good to carry some solid with you, to replenish energy and gain strength. It is not always possible to buy groceries along the entire Ojos Negros route, especially in Aragón. On the other hand, in the Valencian Community you go through Jérica and Sagunto, where you can stock up without problems. It is important to bring something from home especially if you have allergies or intolerances.
– Essential kits. A first aid kit for humans and a tool kit for bikes.
– Sunglasses. To protect you from the sun and flying insects.
– Sunscreen. If you do the cycling route in summer, the cream is necessary to avoid burning yourself.
Where to sleep?
Along the Ojos Negros Greenway there are many rural establishments where you can sleep. We in particular offer you to relax in some little houses that we have in the town of Torres Torres. They are called El Rincón de Pau and they are very top.
Can the Ojos Negros route be done with children?
Of course! Throughout the official route, from Santa Eulalia del Campo to Algimia de Alfara, the Ojos Negros Greenway is completely safe as there are no cars. In addition, the slopes are minimal and the route is well signposted. Of course, if you go with children we recommend doing the route in several stages.
Is it advisable to do the Ojos Negros Greenway all at once?
Let’s see, by being able, it can be done in one fell swoop. For this you should start very early in the morning. But if it is the first time you do the Ojos Negros Greenway, we do not recommend it. We are in favor of slow cycling, of going little by little enjoying the landscapes, the places, the people and the food.
Is there a track of the complete Ojos Negros Greenway?
There are many maps and tracks of this fantastic cycling route. This is because there are several options from where to start or end it. But here you have a pretty good track that goes from Ojos Negros to Sagunto:
Do you want us to organize everything for you so that you just enjoy?
We have reached the end of this guide on the Via Verde Ojos Negros. We hope you find it useful and feel like coming to explore it by bicycle.
For this you have two options: either plan everything or plan nothing. If you don’t want to have to think about transportation, accommodation, meals, possible mishaps and bikes, we can take care of everything.
At Mediterranean Bike Tours we organize bicycle adventures that adapt to the tastes and needs of each one. We are from the area (we are in Torres Torres, right next to the official end in Albalat de Tarongers) and we love the environment. So we offer you options for sleeping and eating that we have supervised and know in depth. Specifically, for the Ojos Negros route we have options to do it in 3, 4, 5 or 6 stages. Click here to see more information.
The thing is that you leave the most boring to us so that you can focus on pedaling and enjoying yourself. And if anyone in the group is a little lazy to pedal, we’ve got you covered: we’ve got some great electric bikes! They are the ones that practically everyone wants.
You can contact us by calling 629 522 300 or by writing to us at email@example.com. Just tell us how much time you have and we’ll take care of the rest. We will be happy to assist you and see how we can help you!