Ventas de Zafarraya is a small town in the municipality of Alhama de Granada (Province of Granada). But some decades ago this small town with only 1.200 inhabitants was very important to a lot of people. Between 1922 and 1960 Ventas de Zafarraya was the stop of a train that connected the provinces Málaga and Granada. The train was very special because it had to overcome a height difference of 1.000 metres between Vélez-Málaga and Ventas de Zafarraya. For this they used a special locomotive frame as well as a ramp.
Since 2014, a miniature version of this train is running again from the train station in Ventas de Zafarraya to the viewing platform »Axarquía«. The train, which consists of a mini steam locomotive and three carriages with space for 30 people, was built by Mare Ingeniería. The rail system has a width of 15 inches. The maximum speed of the train should be 15 kilometres per hour. However, during its tour with tourists, the train drives with half the speed. This project was initiated by the former mayor Francisco Cazorla and the managing director of the company Mare Ingeniería Ferroviaria, José Luis Pinilla.
In the local museum you can check out the past of the municipality
After the train ride of about 30 minutes (including a break at the viewing platform »Axarquía« ), it is worth visiting the local museum, which focuses mainly on the history of the train, agricultural machines and collected objects from 1922. It is located in the lower rooms of the Hotel Alpino and it is managed by the brothers Paco and José Antonio.
A trip to Ventas de Zafarraya is worthwhile for the whole family. The municipality also offers excellent hiking trails in addition to the local attractions. If you want to go on a trip with the »Tren del Llano«, you have to register in advance for a group. (Editor/Photos/Video: Michael Trampert)