Opposite the Parc de l’Estaciò, the narrow Tossal street now runs where trains from Carcaixent used to continue their journey onwards to Denia. This is also the starting point for Sendero de Gran Recorrido (Long Trail) GR-236 known as the “Ruta de los Monasterios” (Route of the Monasteries) which, for the first stretch towards the village of Almoines, also makes use of the old railway route. Cyclists and walkers are provided with a dedicated tarmac path, separated from the rest of the traffic by a high kerb.
Just 200m further on we reach the broad ravine carved by the river Serpis. Until 1996 this was as far as we could go along the former railway route since the old railway bridge had been dismantled at the same time the tracks were taken up. As part of the work to convert this route into a Greenway a spectacular concrete bridge was built, a more solid structure than the previous railway bridge, which elegantly spans the normally shallow waters of the river Serpis.
Once across the broad river bed of the river Serpis, our beeline route takes us in a south-easterly direction. Some 300m further on we cross under a road (CV-671) which leads down to Grao de Gandía along the right bank of the Serpis. Once having climbed the gentle incline up from the underpass we find ourselves among what are to be our constant travelling companions: orange trees. The Greenway now follows a long, straight course which cuts boldly through the regular patchwork of orange groves.
The orange groves are located in flatlands irrigated by a dense network of irrigation canals which distributes the scant water flowing in nearby rivers. At Km 1.5 we cross the first major irrigation canal, the Daimúz canal, by a modest bridge.
At Km 3, several thousand orange trees later, our route passes over the road that runs between the town of Bellreguard and its beach. Throughout the area it is very normal for the traditional town centre to be inland among the orchards while, 2 or 3 km away, there is a seaside settlement. This coastline, which in days gone by used to be an unbroken sandy beach backed by orange groves, is now a built-up strip of urban development in which it is hard to tell where one town ends and another begins.
Returning to the Greenway, we continue along the easy to follow route and, shortly after leaving Bellreguard behind, we once again cross over the placid waters of the river Serpis, at this point channelled into the Madre irrigation canal.
At Km 4 we pass close to the little village of Palmera, which borders on and practically melds with its neighbour, Alquería de la Condesa. Just outside the village the Greenway once again ducks under the cars to avoid the road leading to nearby Piles.
At Km 5 we cross another irrigation canal, in the case the Piles canal. From now until we reach the end of our route at Oliva there are few surprises along the way, although we may come across people doing routine work on the orange groves whose fruit, so important to the economy of this region, finds its way into the homes of so many European countries in more northerly climes.
From here we arrive without incident to Oliva, the end of our Greenway. It is possible to continue down to the road to Oliva beach using a green painted cycle lane. Another option (perhaps more interesting and with less traffic) is to follow this cycle lane for a kilometre before turning left towards the Municipal Sports Centre where we can follow the course of the Las Fuentes canal, which is covered for the first few metres. After about 800 metres we come across a tarmacked path and cross a bridge to the left side of the canal. This section of the canal is more ‘natural’, with plant life and some waterfowl. The surface of the trail is compacted earth and the going is completely flat all the way to the port of Oliva and its beach (it is around 2 km from the Sports Centre to the beach on this canal service path) .
Here beside the warm Mediterranean Sea is a good place to finish our excursion and, weather permitting, perhaps reward ourselves with a relaxing dip after our walk or bike ride.