Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day trip ideas: Aranjuez and the Strawberry Train

In between Madrid and Toledo is the very elegant UNESCO town of Aranjuez, which was once where the Spanish Royal Family spent their summers. Tourists can visit the many old palaces and summer residences and their very ornate gardens. The Royal Palace, the Fountain of Mariblanca, the Chapel of San Antonio and the Isabella II and Panterra gardens are absolute musts. For those interested, there is also a bull fighting museum. The region around the town is a famous producer of very delicious strawberries and in the summer months, the Strawberry Train (an old stream train) runs for tourists and makes a memorable day out.

Getting there: from Sol or Atocha Cercanías stations, trains leave two or three times an hour. The journey time times around 45 minutes and the shouldn't cost more than around six or seven euros return. The Strawberry Train runs on most weekends from spring until the end of October, however we are trying to find new information for 2011. Tickets are 26€ for adults and 18€ for children, although it includes some entries to attractions and strawberry tasting. It leaves Madrid's Railway Museum at 10am and returns later in the evening. In late April we read in the the local press that the train would not run this year due to financial reasons, but we've since heard that a rescue package was put together, so it should run as normal.

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