The Greenwich Meridian Route came about as a result of an interest in doing something different. The pioneering initiative, at the end of the 20th century, was Carros de Foc (Chariots of Fire), which emerged thanks to the efforts of Miquel Sànchez, guard of the Ventosa i Calvell refuge, and to the other guards at the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park. This is a trekking route that runs through this wonderful part of the Pyrenees, visiting 9 mountain shelters.
In 2005, the Pedals de Foc (Pedals of Fire) route came into existence, applying a model that had been designed for some time and which benefitted from the experience gained from Carros de Foc. This initiative was clearly process and client oriented, taking advantage of previous experiences. Then, in 2008, Pedales del Mundo (Pedals of the World) emerged; this name originated on the island of Lanzarote and came from my friend Maxi Biela, a man from Lleida living on this wonderful island, who was the creator of Pedales de Lava (Pedals of Lava).
Thanks to this, I have had the opportunity to complete many professional bicycle routes, not only in Spain, but also in other European and South American countries, some of which have been incorporated into the Pedales del Mundo network. On these routes, users will find a hard-working organisation that will help them to enjoy their adventure to the full.
Today, after choosing to leave the organisation of Pedales del Mundo in December 2011, I must say that the Greenwich Meridian Route is much more than just a well-organised route. As I clocked up the kilometres, I began to realise that I was on a journey on which not only did the landscape undergo a gradual but continuous change, but there was a growing feeling that the route itself was taking hold of me and was unwilling to let me go.
Unlike on other journeys, on which you can walk or cycle for several days contemplating a monotonous landscape and passing through village after village with only its name as a distinguishing feature and the only thing that keeps you going is that internal desire to finish something you have started, on the Greenwich Meridian Route, you become hooked to the sensation of living an adventure unlike anything you have experienced before, largely because of the wonderful diversity that you encounter.
I should also add that this is not an easy route that anyone can do, although it is also true that there are alternatives along the route which help to reduce its difficulty. For the more experienced, a total variation in altitude of 10,500 metres in 500 kilometres may not seem that much, but many of the climbs and descents are concentrated at the beginning and end of the route and some of the gradients on the climbs are rather steep. Trying to keep as close as possible to this imaginary line by following tracks and footpaths will, for some, add the enjoyment of tackling technically difficult terrain, while, for others, who prefer not to use the alternative variations, it will constitute a considerable challenge.
There are also other elements that make this route special, such as unique experiences like crossing one of the largest reservoirs in Spain by motorboat in order to deviate as little as possible from the Ø Meridian. This is a fantastic opportunity that you will only be able to enjoy on the Greenwich Meridian Route. This is, without a doubt, the greatest journey on the Iberian Peninsula.
If you are doing the route by bicycle, my advice to ensure that you enjoy it to the full would be not to take either saddlebags or a trailer with you, because some of the paths are very narrow. If you use the luggage transport service (which is available at a very reasonable price), you will be able to limit what you carry with you to an absolute minimum. This applies to both MTB and road bicycles.
For those doing the route on foot, it is important to realise that there are some very long walks through uninhabited areas where there will not be any accommodation available; this is something that you should bear in mind when making your plans. You will need to take sleeping gear with you and also sufficient food and drink. You can also hire a service that will take you to a population centre and return you to the same point on the following day.
You can do this route on your own, or through Ø Meridiano. You can download the tracks that you need to follow from this website. Even so, for your own peace of mind, I would advise you to reserve in advance the place where you plan to spend each night. On this website you will find a list of establishments where you can stay and the number of kilometres between each of them. To make your arrangements easier, and at no extra cost, Ø Meridiano can make these arrangements for you. Please note that this will not imply any extra cost.
At the same time, and if you do not want to carry any extra weight, you can contract the luggage transport service. Every day, your suitcase will be taken to the place where you have decided to spend the night, for a very reasonable price. This is a nice way to provide employment for some of the people who live in the areas through which the route passes.
The Greenwich Meridian Route finishes in Castellón; once there, you can either use public transport to return to the place where you left your vehicle or use the service that we provide to make your return journey.
Also, if you like, in the village of Torla – where this route through Spain begins – you can purchase the Ø Meridian Carta Magna for a token price. This will enable you to save a few euros on the price you would otherwise have to pay for the crossing of the Sea of Aragón. Furthermore, a significant part of the profits will be destined to an NGO which works near the Greenwich Meridian in Africa. This will also allow you to obtain a gift on your arrival, but this will only be given to those who have acquired the Carta Magna and can certify that they have completed this journey.
Finally, the Greenwich Meridian Route in Alicante offers a new concept, a product for another day, and a truly unique experience, which is no less adventurous, as it implies a trip into the heart of this marvellous province. The place where you will hand in your Passport is really unique and special and is well worth visiting.
All that remains is for me to say that I hope that you enjoy the Greenwich Meridian Route. Many people will thank you for doing it.
Òscar Balsells Sales
Talks / Consulting Service
We have more than 15 years of experience in the creation and introduction of successful tourist products and models. We therefore know what is really important in a business related to active tourism.