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Posts Tagged ‘daytrip’

a rather unknown yet very refreshing way to get to know the natural beauty of spain is touring the ´vias verdes´. for many people this may sound new but the spanish government has been working on this initiative for some years now. the vias verdes, literally the ´green ways´ are old railways that are currently not in use as such anymore. they were restored by the government in order to serve as cycling lanes and hiking paths for nature lovers and people who like outdoor sports.

touring these ´vias´ is a different and very fun way to explore the spanish nature while at the same time being a very budget and eco-friendly one. since these paths are a great promotion of outdoor activities, they literally bring a breath of fresh air for people of all ages. it is therefore, no surprise that their popularity in spain is increasing every year. now is the perfect time to indulge yourself into the cycling life and to get your sport shoes ready, let´s go!

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via verde over an old train bridge

a little note on the history of the via verdes; after trains stopped running along these tracks, they fell into despair. however, today the old railways have been restored and rearranged into proper bike lanes and trails for walkers. In total there are currently 1900 kilometres of ´vias verdes´ and they can be found all over spain. all tracks can easily be reached and they is a range of difficulty in them so that there is a path for everybody, from young kids and their parents to senior citizens or people with reduced mobility.

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enjoy the variety of the spanish nature

the beauty of the spanish nature can be enjoyed to the fullest on the ´vias verdes´ since there is no outer-disturbance due to the fact that all motor vehicles are forbidden so there is no traffic noise. a track along a ´via´ will lead you to charming villages, over beautiful bridges and through dark (former) train tunnels. the gorgeous scenery is very unique and shows you the beautiful forests, olive yards and rivers and even beaches. along the way you will find areas to rest and enjoy the views while you can have some lunch or a snack at one of the many picnic areas. information about the routes, the towns or the nature can be received at the restored train stations that now serve as information points.

train station via verde

restored train station along the via verde in bot in terra alta

bellow we will present some ´vias verdes´ which we recommend to our clients and think are worth a trip. first of all, we would say that the ´via de la jara´ is a beautiful track that one has to check out. this path will take you over the aqueducts and train tunnels in toledo and offers stunning views on the rivers and valleys.

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via verde de la jara

In catalunya the via verde ´sant feliu de guíxols´, located close to girona, is one of our recommendations. this route is 39 km long and leads cyclists through tunnels, forests and even brings them to the beautiful seafront. the route is perfect since it shows us the variety of the catalan countryside and provides for an interesting and challenging one-way track.

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via verde sant feliu de guíxols

the last recommendation from our side is to go and explore the beautiful ´torrevieja greenway´, which could also easily be reffered to as the ´salt flats greenway´. this route is based on the old albatera-torrevieja railway line and combines an urban section and a beach one at acequión. the trail leads cycslists around the local salt lakes where flamingos can be spotted if you are lucky.

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flamingos & torrevieja

please contact us for more information on the routes, hotels or other recommendations for the ´vias verdes´ for all regions!

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catalonia as a region is famous for many things, its beautiful beaches, is great modernista architecture, its passionate football mentality  and also for its delicious cava. the latter is  called the ´´champagne of spain´´ and is produced in one of the oldest viticultural regions in europe. this region, the penedès, is located a little south-west of barcelona and definitely worth a trip if you are visiting the capital of catalonia. its bubbles and culinary traditions have been attracting tourists and sparkling wine-lovers for decades and that is not for nothing!

a small historical recap shows us that this wine producing region finds its origin back in the days of the roman empire. the specific attributes that we were used by the romans then can now be found in the wine museum of vilafranca del penedes, one of the area´s most important wine towns. then, during the time of the moorish occupation, the wine produced here was exported to countries all over europe and even beyond, to south america (we are talking about the 18th century here!).

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endless vineyards in el penedés

then, things took a very interesting turn as the phylloxera plague occurred. this plague changed the course of growth and the type of the grapes as they were now slowly changed into white ones instead of red ones. the latter resulted in the start of the production of cava around the 1870s. the white grapes are currently the most dominant ones in the region as the red wine production only plays a small role in the landscape of the vineyards in the penedès region.

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white grapes now prevail in the region

the penedès area is currently seen as one of the most modern and innovative spanish wine regions. their grapes have been widely researched by wine pioneer miguel torres and he is the one who provided the region the fame it enjoys today. 95 % of all the cava produced in spain finds in origin in the penedès region and in 1991 the region got recognized as a DO region, in catalan: a denominació d’origen region. this means that the wine produced here is officially recognized and it is even seen as one of the best of spain after the rioja area.

Ruta del Vino del Penedes. Caves Pere Ventura

the famous codorniu caves in the penedes area

cava is produced using grapes from different regions and blending them into a perfect mix of delicious bubbles. if you get bored by just drinking the ´´normal´´ plain cava, you should definitely try the rosé version that consists of 3 different types of grapes, the xarel.lo, macabeo and parellada. moreover, there are many young wines produced in this region, white ones that are very fruity and crisp whereas the red one are more full-bodied and aromatic, characterized by an intense red color. although, the is apparently some choice in other wines, cava stays our favorite!

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cava label

we recommend to visit the penedès as it is the centre of one of the most fascinating wine regions in spain, full of history and culture. the spanish rail system is a very handy way to travel down the penedès and from barcelona, it’s just 90 minutes to tarragona. this trip takes you along the a catalonian coast where you will find some beautiful small towns such as cadaqués, a colourful fishing village was the birthplace of salvador dali. you can stop at several wine cellars along the trip and do a winetasting while your at it! another options is to stop in the beautiful beach town sitges (check our earlier post about this famous town) and enjoy a day at the beach and a night full of partying. all in all, we can state that this regions has an overwhelming amount of choice when it comes to leisure combined with the typical catalonian culture.

please contact us for more information or requests!

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the stunning landscape of the penedian vineyards

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