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Mallorca's Top 3 Hidden Gems (Spain)
By:Sylvia Arad

Mallorca is a great island destination catering especially to family holidays. It is possible to experience a little of everything on this paradise island, which boasts great beaches, mountains and some world class sites. Yet for those looking to discover some of the lesser-known sights, here are some of Mallorca's hidden gems:

C'An Det Olive Oil Press

Olives have been grown in Mallorca since they were introduced by the Romans. One of the 3 remaining mills of its kind in Mallorca, C'An Det Olive Oil Press in the Soller Valley continues extracting olive oil by traditional methods, using original millstones and a hydraulic press. The olives are ground by the millstones, then pressed hydraulically, after which the oil is extracted. The process is fascinating, especially so since this farm is run by the descendents of its first owners, who started the press in the 16th century.

Visits must be arranged in advance.

Palma to Soller Railway

The train line from Palma, Mallorca's capital city, to Soller opened in 1912. The only one of its kind in use today, the train's carriages date from its inception and still hold their original character, straight out of an Agatha Christie novel, with their leather seats, old-fashioned lights, small brass luggage racks and sash windows.

The charm of this train, especially for children, is that it goes through 13 tunnels on its way from Palma to Soller. The train travels northwards, winding its way steeply up into the mountains. Between tunnels, the views are spectacular. Reaching the Soller valley, you're greeted by beautiful mountains, olive trees and orange groves, and lovely whitewashed homes. The town of Soller is a small, charming town dominated by the old train station and a lovely central square.

From Soller to Port de Soller, only 15 minutes further, a small local open-air tram operates. The tram travels in rickety-clackety-clack fashion along the coast. Arriving at the harbor, there are cliffs on either side and a short distance away, you'll find the lighthouse which boasts a stunning view from the top.

Palma's Garden of Alfabia

These little-known gardens date back to the 13th century and serve as a passage back in time with their splendid character. Designed in Moorish style as a reflection of paradise on earth, the gardens are indeed a paradise. Water is an essential element throughout the gardens - the alfogras, or gurgling waters here are both decorative and practical. The 'juegos de aguas', the water fountains, holds a pergola with 72 columns and 24 hydras that spout jets of water creating an interlaced pattern that produces a dazzling spectacle. The colorful flowers surrounding the gardens and terraces are amazing, and the fruit and palm trees soar to the sky.

Wandering amongst jasmines, oranges, poplar groves and the pergolas, and the movement of water, you can't help but admire the interplay between the flora and usage of water as a design element in creating a haven of tranquility and unique beauty.

I'm a trip consultant, planner and manager who loves creating unique intercultural adventures for families. I want to impart information,tips and personal experiences especially related to family adventure travel.

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