A Train Ride to Mallorca’s Valley of the Oranges

Mallorca’s beaches and tapas bars tend to steal the show during a family holiday but there’s a train journey the kids will love – and it’s well worth hopping onboard if you’re staying at a timeshare resort on the island this spring.

Soller’s old-fashioned famous wooden train clatters its way across the mountains from Palma to Soller, Mallorca’s famous orange growing region and it’s a beautiful journey. Sit back and take in the hour-long scenic route which crosses the most southerly part of the famous Serra de Tramuntana and cuts its way through thirteen tunnels, each new view as exhilarating as the last. At the end of the track you’ll reach the lovely port of Soller in Mallorca’s “Valley of the Oranges”.

The history of the train had nothing to do with tourism – crossing from Palma to Soller became a necessity in the early 20th century, but finding a way through Mallorca’s famously hilly scenery was a challenge when the islanders decided they’d link the capital, Palma, with Soller.

The solution was a train track. Soller was experiencing an economic high in those days for a number of reasons. It had a strong textile industry, money was being sent back to the island by emigrants overseas, and its orange and lemon exports to various parts of Europe were booming. The now famous train made its first journey across Mallorca’s mountains in April 1912 before the line was eventually “electrified” in 1929.

Today, the train is a tourist attraction, boarded by around a million visitors a year. It’s a unique way to see the island’s inland scenery, while Soller is a charming small port. Before you take the train back to Palma, stop off for a croissant and freshly squeezed orange juice – it’ll probably be the best glass of orange juice you’ll taste anywhere in Spain.

If you’re planning to visit Mallorca this year, two top timeshare resorts on the island include Hapimag www.hapimag.com at sandy Paguera beach, where the sea looks almost dark blue as it sparkles against a backdrop of pine trees, and Marriott’s Son Antem in Llucmajor is a great choice for golfers. There are also various exchange options through RCI and Interval International.

For more information visit www.RCI.com and www.intervalworld.com.

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