Having lived on the island for some time I viewed the Tourist trains with good humour. As I drove by them I’d always toot my horn and wave. It had not crossed my mind to hop aboard – until this week.
On a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, our hottest so far this year (29 degrees and climbing) I made my way to the Promenade of Es Cana (Canar).
Here I met Toni, owner and indeed often still a driver, of three trains on the island. They’re not really trains but a 4 x 4 engine with an Alicante built customised train-shaped body overlaid. Behind this there are two glass enclosed carriages.
Toni commenced his first route in 1994 and expanded further in 1997.
Hopping aboard the summer route which was billed to incorporate a cultural and environmental element, I was relieved to find the carriages surprisingly cool.
Behind me sat five ‘Geordies’ (Newcastle, England), each of them having paid 15€ for the experience. I asked them if they would at the end of the journey tell me if they thought it was good value?
“Oh, we’ve done this before. Both the morning and the afternoon ones. It’s a great way to spend a few hours.”
So we set off. Rosa, our guide every now and then pointing out relevant facts about our journey as we headed to our first point of interest.
I found myself learning things and I thought I knew Ibiza quite well!
Stopping at a 17th century farmhouse, beautifully restored and maintained, we sampled Heirbas, an island liquor. We had already learnt about almonds, olives, figs, carobs, sage, lemons and why the earth is so red in the valleys. We even learnt why island chairs are so low, so tiny. Myth has it that the original islanders where just five foot tall with six foot wide hands to move the rocks… and that these tiny chairs were from their time. Close but not quite right! Jump on a Tourist Train to discover the truth and much, much more.
It's those tiny, tiny chairs...
I’m loathe to give too much away. Although I can’t help but mention the train stopped at Cesars. A beach bar (& so much more) that’s straight out of one of those brochures you drool over when you’re stuck in the office and wondering what the point of life is.
I now understand completely why the Geordies take a Tourist Train each time they visit the island and indeed after Sundays experience, I am keen to jump on some of the other routes available!
I thought it was going to be quite drab but it turned out to be really good fun.
Keen photographers might be a little frustrated at the non-opening glass windows which reduce photographic opportunities but the frequency and range of stops and the well selected locations quickly made up for this.
Whilst the tour proved to be entertaining and informative for adults (everyone from post-clubbers recuperating after the Saturday night to those that when you said “Club” they waited for Soda to follow) it’s not an ideal choice for young children.
Watching the jet ski's, available to hire from Cesars as we chilled at the bar.
After the journey my companion and I went to join island-based friends and shared our experience. Like me, they hadn’t considered jumping aboard but after our day out, they’re all enthused. Whilst free for those with Residencia, there is no doubt in my mind that those wishing to relax and explore the island with an informative guide, it is 15€ well spent.
For more information and contact details, simply explore Tourist Trains, Ibiza.
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