On rails: Catalunya by train

Do you know you can enjoy a ride on some of the original trains that were once used to transport coal and cement? Several organizations are working to restore those trains and railways, offering touristic train trips along some of the best hidden places of Catalunya, including guided tours and historic explanations to make the... View Article


Do you know you can enjoy a ride on some of the original trains that were once used to transport coal and cement? Several organizations are working to restore those trains and railways, offering touristic train trips along some of the best hidden places of Catalunya, including guided tours and historic explanations to make the most of the adventure.

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One of the options, the one that stops in more villages, is the train of the lakes. We could say that this train is an ideal recommendation to spend a day or a weekend, but you can travel on it each weekend for a whole month, and you still wouldn’t have seen half of what the area has to offer.

Aquatic activities, cultural visits, history, legends, gastronomy, … But you can also take this train to enjoy the views and the landscape and to watch from the window the orographic changes of the country, rivers, gorges and dams. During Summer (each Saturday from April until early November) you can also enjoy this same journey on a diesel locomotive and period carriages.

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The route starts in Lleida where, before getting on the train you can enjoy a visit to some of the places included in the 1714 route or visit some of the most emblematic places in the town. Once on board the train, destination La Pobla de Segur this will ride along the river Segre, first, and the river Noguera Pallaresa, second, stopping at different villages along the way, such as Balaguer, Àger, Tremp, … Any of the 15 villages where the train stops since it arrives to its destination, are well worth of a visit. Starting with the confluence created when the waters of the river Segre merges with the waters of the river Corb in Vilanova de la Barca, known as the Tossal Roig, but also the Saracen castle and the Gothic temple in Tèrmens, the salt mines in Vilanova de la Salt, the fortified town of Àger…

If you want to enjoy aquatic activities Sant Llorenç de Montgai, Celleres and Salàs de Pallars offer a huge variety of activities in their respective dams.

If you are looking for some charming places, you will find them in each one of the places you visit: the Gorge of Collegats (Pobla de Segur), the Waterfall in Rivert (near Salàs) or the Valley of the vultures” (Tremp) are just a few examples of what this area has to offer.

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Another choice, for those of you who loved trains and nature is the Cement Train. Covering a distance of just 3,5 kilometres, it connects the village of la Pobla de Lillet with the area know as Clot del Moro, in Castellar de n’Hug. This track, which was made with the solely purpose of transport cement from the factory that was on the area of the Clot del Moro until the trains station in Guardiola de Berguedà, is a great option nowadays to enjoy museums and places of great architectural value immersed in unique natural spaces. The Castle of Lillet, together with the old bridge and the old quarter; the Artigas Gardens or the Springs of the river Llobregat, one of the most important rivers in Catalunya, are just some examples of what you can find in this route of roughly 3 kilometres.

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Our last recommendation is the Mining Train, a small train that will take us until the Mina Nova de Coll de Pradell, in Vallcebre, including a guided visit with an explanation of the history of the mine, the train and its surroundings. The association has restored the original carriages of the train and adapted its rails, allowing the access and visit to the mine.

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And if you don’t mind, we will add still another train that, although it doesn’t travel on rails, will takes us to discover some of the best places in l’Empordá. We are talking about the Tramuntana Express, a small train on wheels, like the ones we can find in any touristic destination on summer, with an added value: it offers a huge variety of guide tours along the area, to let us discover and enjoy the natural and cultural assets of the Empordà. Visits such as the Dolmen in Vilajuïga, the Aigüamolls (wetland) of the Empordà, the route of the exile in Porbou or the cellars in la Vall d’Amunt are just some of the recommendations of the Tramuntana Express for the 2014 season.

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Do you know any other touristic train in Catalunya? Have you already enjoyed some of our recommendations?

You can share your experience with us on FacebookTwitter or Google + or share your pictures on Instagram. Remember to always use the hashtag #livecatalunya


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