An option for oil
tourism in Jaén is the so-called Green Way of Oil, an attractive offer
of inland tourism that recovered part of the infrastructure of the abandoned
railway Jaén-Campo Real (Córdoba) as a green corridor for cycling, hiking and
other sports in direct contact with nature.
This route runs for almost 128 kilometres, 55 in the province of Jaén, 73 in the province of Córdoba, and 14 municipalities, five of them in Jaén: Jaén, Torredelcampo, Torredonjimeno, Martos and Alcaudete, plus another nine in Cordoba: Luque, Baena, Zuheros, Doña Mencía, Cabra, Lucena, Aguilar de la Frontera, Moriles and Puente Genil. It is currently the longest greenway in Andalusia.
Built between 1882 and 1893, this railway belonged to the Linares-Puente Genil line, which was dedicated throughout much of the twentieth century to the transport of various metals from the mines of Linares and, especially, the abundant olive oil to the port of Malaga and the markets of the south of the peninsula, so it was popularly called the Oil Train. Technical and commercial reasons motivated its abandonment in 1971, closing definitively to the transport of passengers and goods on January 1, 1985.
Its entire route, from Jaén to the provincial limit of Córdoba, meanders through lands of olive-growing countryside that make up a landscape of an authentic sea of olive trees dotted with typical Andalusian farmhouses. The presence of the Sierras de Jabalcuz, la Grana, la Caracolera and del Ahillos, located very close to the south and east of the Greenway, provide diversity to the relief and landscape. In the province of Cordoba it continues along the Green Route of the Subbéticas, which increases its interest as an alternative means of getting to know these two provinces.
It currently has 12 railway stations, many of which have already been refurbished to offer tourist services, 13 Eiffel metal railway viaducts, three tunnels, six footbridges over roads, 45 rest areas, 13 parking areas and five fountains.
Last January, the Diputations of Jaen and Cordoba signed an agreement with the Government that will allow to combine the conservation of the natural environment surrounding the Via Verde del Aceite with the improvement of its condition and the promotion of tourist and sports activities with an investment of 10 million euros.
Walking along the Via Verde del Aceite (Green Oil Route) allows you to learn about the way of life and traditions of the environment, through the activities organised by numerous companies, such as visits to oil mills, guided tastings and the sale of oil, in almost all the municipalities along this route.
If you want a more cultural visit, in almost all the municipalities you can hire guided tours through their tourist offices, but if you want to make the most of it, you can rent bicycles, ecological vehicles, tandem vehicles and even go horse riding. Without forgetting the traditional crafts, with the possibility of visiting the potters and goldsmiths workshops.
The wetlands rich in avifauna of Laguna Honda, Chinche and Salobral or El Conde are obligatory stops along the way. Several alternative circuits can be accessed from the Greenway, such as the Route of the Castles and Battles, of which five municipalities from Jaén form part, and the Archaeological Route of the Towers, between Torredelcampo and Jaén. And, after a long day of cycling or hiking, visitors can relax in the Arab baths of Jaén, the Hacienda Minerva de Zuheros or the Spa Vaho de Lucena.