The Manacor to Artà ‘Via Verde’ otherwise known as the Mallorca Greenway, is one of a network of over 100 ‘Greenways’ across Spain – walking and cycling routes along disused railway lines which are accessible, largely flat, and suitable for use by people of all ages and physical abilities.
The first steam train pulled out of Manacor, home of the island’s pearl industry, in 1921 making its way to the pretty town of Artà. Yet just fifty years later the service ended but happily the story of the line was not over. Where trains once ran is now a 29 km linear eco-trail where walkers, cyclists and horse riders share the space harmoniously.
Along the way are several seating and picnic areas as well as bike parks.
Landscaped with the planting of thousands of trees, shrubs and wild flowers, you can meander along and enjoy the rolling tree-clad hills, peaceful valleys, small towns and villages as well as some distant sea views.
The Greenway can easily be divided into stages and if you are on foot, car parking close to each stage’s starting point is easy. With level gradients, it offers the perfect way to explore this stunning area of Mallorca by bike hire which can easily be be hired.
En route you will pass by the old stations, now restored, of Sant Llorenç des Cardassar, Son Carrió and Son Servera (which now serve as interpretation centres ) and Artà’s station has become an outlet for local artisan products.
Sant Llorenç de Cardassar has a tempting refuelling spot with pleasant café-restaurant. Make sure to also include the 7th-century Christian basilica of Son Peretó, halfway between Manacor and Sant Llorenç, and just off the road parallel to the Greenway is Catalan architect Joan Rubió s unfinished neo-Gothic church (open to the sky) in the centre of Son Servera (follow signs for ‘Església Nova’).
Whilst this railway was never intended to reach the coast the middle section runs very close, providing magnificent sea views and at Son Servera, if you are on wheels, you can connect with the bike lane which drops down to beaches. Bring your swimming gear.
Mallorca offers something for everyone and this gentle car-free Greenway through sedate countryside offers the perfect walk or ride.
For itineraries and maps click www.viasverdes.com/mallorca