STRAWBERRY TRAIN 2018: ALL ABOARD!
A Guidepost Report
> 42 kilometres (26 mi) south of Madrid.
> 17th largest city in the Comunidad de Madrid and this autonomous community’s largest and most populous urban center outside the Greater Madrid Area.
> A Royal Estate of the Crown of Spain since 1560, during the reign of Philip II.
> Until 1752, only the royalty and nobility were allowed to dwell in the town.
> In 1752, during the reign of Ferdinand VI, Aranjuez, previously reserved for the royal family, nobles of the royal court and palace servants started to be opened as a town with overnight accommodation for visitors. Previously, these visitors were obliged to lodge in nearby settlements such as Ocaña.
> The Cultural Landscape of Aranjuez is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
STRAWBERRY TRAIN 2018
> The Strawberry Train is an excursión train operated by RENFE between Madrid and Aranjuez. Constructed in 1851 as Madrid’s first railway line and the second railway line in Spain, the original purpose of the railway was to connect Spain’s capital with the Royal Palace of Aranjuez.
> The train was once pulled by a steam locomotive and included 6 wooden coaches of 19th century vintage but for the 2013 season RENFE has declared that a conventional electric or diesel locomotive will be used to pull the coaches.
> All passengers receive a plate of the famous local strawberries en route from hostesses dressed in the period costume of the 19th century.
> It ia called the Tren de la Fresa (Strawberry Train) because it went past vast fields of strawberries.
THIS YEAR’S EXCURSIONS
This year the excursions run from April to June and from September to October.
April 14, 21, 22, 28, 29
May 5, 6, 12, 13, 19*, 20, 26, 27
(*Special visit on 19 May to mark the Ancient Music Festival. Departure: 11:00am. Return at 9:50pm. Inclusive of the two concerts in the afternoon.)
June 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30
September 22, 23, 29, 30
October 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21
Departure for Aranjuez: Príncipe Pío train station, Paseo de la Florida s/n, 28082 Madrid: 9:50 h. Arrival at Aranjuez station, 10:44 h.
Departure from Aranjuez: Aranjuez train station, 18:55 h. Arrival at Madrid Principe Pio: 19:48 h.
Once in Aranjuez, there are FIVE ITINERARIES to choose from.
>ROUTE 1 (Basic) – Natural Strawberries: Return journey on the Strawberry Train, free visit of Aranjuez (Prices: Adults €23 / Children €10)
> ROUTE 2 – Strawberries and Cream: Strawberry Train+ Chiquitrén (train for the kids) + Guided walking tour of the Parterre Garden and the Island Garden (Prices: Adults €26 / Children €17)
> ROUTE 3 – Strawberries from the Tajo: Strawberry Train+ guided tour of the outside of the Royal Palace and the Prince’s Garden, Parterre Garden and King’s Garden + boat trip on tourist boat (Prices: Adults €30 / Children €19)
> ROUTE 4 – Royal Strawberries: Strawberry Train+ return journey by bus from the train station to the monumental area + guided tour of the Royal Palace + visit to the Falúas Museum and the Prince’s Garden (Prices: Adults €30 / Children €19)
> ROUTE 5 – Strawberries and Wine: Strawberry Train+ visit to the winery of the Royal Court built by Carlos III in 1782 and tasting of two wines + visit to the bullring built by Carlos III in 1797 (Prices: Adults €40 / Children €22)
Tickets can be purchased in advance at:
– Railway stations that have advance ticket.
– Renfe: 902 320 320 (phone sales) / www.renfe.com (internet sales)
– Travel agencies
Featured image/Ahmed Helal, CC BY2.0
Palace gardens/Eric Titcombe, CC BY2.0
Hostesses alighting from Strawberry Train/Aranjuez Tourism Office
Strawberry Train/Andres Gomez, CC BY-SA2.0
Costumed train hostess with the strawberries/Aranjuez Tourism Office
Royal Palace/Angel Serrano Sanchez de Leon, CC BY-SA3.0
Apollo Fountain/Barcex, CC BY-SA2.0