October 29th, 2016

All aboard the orange express

by Mary Willoughby

soller-train-pic

Many of us perceive Mallorca to be all about bustling holiday resorts and beaches however there is a very different side, undiscovered by many and this fabulous train journey gives you the opportunity to take a step back in time and see some of the most spectacular scenery that this fabulous island has to offer.
Leaving from Plaza Espana in the centre of Palma, next to the main railway station this old fashioned wooden carriage train meanders through the famous wine region and through some pretty mountain villages before it reaches the stunning and extremely quaint valley town of Soller.
Soller was relatively isolated until the arrival of the train line and later on the tunnel, which is carved through the mountain side and journeys to and from there took some considerable time snaking over the zig zagging mountain tracks or by sea.
The area of Soller, due to its lush green valleys was and still is today, hugelyimportant to the farming industry of Mallorca and is renowned on the island for producing oranges. The birth of the train in 1912, meant that these, plus other farming produce could be easily brought to the Capital city of Palma and traded, hence this service becoming known as the orange express.
Nowadays this train line is used as a tourist attraction and the trains have been restored to a beautiful standard and offer a delightful trip to this wonderful town of Soller, with its character filled cobbled streets and picture postcard stone cottages swathed in bougainvillea and the area has a completely different feel from the rest of the island with a real bohemian, chic and serene ambience.
A few kilometres away from the town is the spectacular Port of Soller, with its enchanting crescent shaped bay which can be reached by the tram service, which is available as part of the train package. This very upmarket resort is definitely worth a visit, with a very arty feel and extreme natural beauty with the spectacular mountains as a backdrop its little wonder why the famous Jumeirah group have chosen this idyllic spot for a world class hotel.
It really is an incredible day out and gives the opportunity to see Mallorca’s impressive beauty and perhaps a great time to do this is in the spring where the mountain sides are swathed with the delicate blossom of the almonds and oranges.

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