Bike the "Via Verde" Greenway from Olvera to Puerto Serrano
Updated: May 19
Ride a traffic-free trail along an old railway line, through gorgeous, pristine Andalusian countryside. Olive orchards, goat farm, rivers and mountains. This is a great,full day out from Marbella and back in time for dinner on the beach. You can do 37 km one-way from Olvera to Puerto Serrano, or out and back 74 km (big day!)
This bike trail follows an abandoned railway track. The railway was meant to connect the agricultural areas of Cadiz provence with the more prosperous city of Jerez. Sadly the efforts to build it never succeeded, multiple wars and budget constraints always got in the way of completing the railroad between 1887 and 1990. Finally in the 90's it was decided to turn the pathway that had been constructed into a bike trail.
The trail passes through a gorgeous area of great ecological interest. You will ride through tunnels, across rivers, and see an observatory of endangered griffon vultures. The train stations at Olvera and Puerto Serrano have restaurants and rest rooms.
Finding the trail and hiring your bike
The start of the trail is at the Hotel Estacion Via Verde, just outside Olvera. This modest hotel also offers sleeping in old train wagons! The area is quiet and rural, the restaurant terrace of the hotel is very pleasant. They open for breakfast at 9, prices for breakfast and lunch are super reasonable!
Hire bikes at Chronoseca bike rental, conveniently located at the start of the trail! If you are going during the week and outside of school holidays, you can probably take a risk and not reserve, but always call or email ahead to make sure they are open - which seems to be 9 am. We recommend arriving when it opens! We got there in the middle of a school trip arriving for the day, so we were lucky to get the bikes we wanted and relatively quick service.
Ask Chronoseca for 2 things before setting off!
1. The bike map brochure, very useful to see where you are and how much further you have to ride to get to the different landmarks and Puerto Serrano station
2. The phone numbers of BIKE TAXIS in Puerto Serrano. You can call the taxi when you are about 30 minutes from the end point, and they will come and get you at Puerto Serrano station with a bike trailer to take you back to the starting point. It takes about 35 minutes to drive back to your car at the end of the day.
We were given this number, the taxi was very nice! Came to pick us up directly and price was about 40 euros to take our bikes back to the start: +34 629 543 517. Ask at the bike rental tho, to be sure to get the latest service providers.
The path is exceedingly easy to follow. You can't go wrong! There is no traffic and virtually no areas where you have to look at the map. The map is helpful just for letting you follow the trail and know when you need to call the taxi to prepare your return.
This tour is best done in the spring and fall, outside of the hottest summer months.
We were there at the end of May, wild flowers blooming and olive trees bursting with fruit.
Call your taxi about 40 minutes ahead of arriving
We didn't stop in Puerto Serrano for lunch but this would be a thoroughly pleasant option to take! Then you could call the taxi and make an appointment, when you sit down for lunch.
The restaurant bar at the Puerta Serrano "Estacion", right at the end of the trail, had a full menu of lovely food for bargain prices. But we wanted to get back to our seaview terrace for cocktails before sunset, so we didn't linger!
The countryside is absolutely gorgeous, and the country food all around inexpensive, delicious and completely underrated. Try the chicken with prunes (pollo con ciruelos), similar to the French specialty "lapin aux pruneaux". Other game dishes like rabbit and
baby goat stew are popular in the area.
You'll also want to sample the local cheese, the PAYOYO since you will encounter a local goat farm along your ride!
Back to the beach for the evening
If you arrived early, you should be back in Marbella in time for sunset cocktails on the sea view terrace. Unless you decide to explore the countryside further and maybe have dinner in a winery or country auberge in the Ronda area! Do you enjoy combining lazy beach days with out-back adventures, change of scenery and exploring local area? Book your next holiday with us, we'll make it happen!