Soller is on Mallorca’s north-west Coast and is only a 31 minute drive from Palma airport. It’s approximately
33km/20 miles from the airport.
Many picture Soller as a quaint little harbor town spread around a tranquil Mediterranean bay. This actually describes the port of Soller which to many has become synonymous with Soller.
Soller town is found nestled inland just over 3km/2miles away. Both the port and the town are set to the backdrop of mountains. Mallorca’s highest, the peak being Puig Mayor at 1,445m/4740ft.
The town of Soller is much loved with tourists, many who arrive on the train from Palma meander through the narrow streets of the old town. Many will end up among cafes and tapas bars while taking in the fresh air and sunshine.
While there are many plazas with cafes throughout Soller, one of them, Placa Constitucio is a little more atmospheric. Tourist can relax in the square or take a coffee amid mature trees and old buildings such as the town hall and the impressive architecture of the Sant Bartomeu church. Add to this the fairytale like quality of the tram curving its way through the tables and pedestrians, it makes for a pleasant experience.
Soller Port stretches around a naturally formed bell shaped bay, the actual harbor is at the north end of the bay and the port is centered there. There are two beaches at each corner of the bay and a thin strip of beach lining the edge of the bay and linking the two beaches and marina to the north. There are many beach and water activities on offer.
Joining the edge of the bay between the two beaches and then heading to the marina are the tracks which carry the occasional toy like tram with its dinky carriages.
One of the great things about Soller port is the one mile long spacious promenade that edges around the whole bay. This presents spectacular panoramas of the bay from every vantage point, which on a calm day at dawn or dusk can be unbelievably tranquil.
Along the promenade it’s only about a 20-minute walk from one end to the other. If you venture to walk 100m or so further on the street continuing to the south of the bay you will be rewarded with a raised view of the whole bay and the port.
The promenade has cafes, bars and restaurants scattered here and there all the way around. This offers patrons the novelty of drinking or dinning on the edge of the bay in a pleasing atmosphere.
Even if you have hired a car it is worth taking the vintage tram that connects Soller town with Soller Port. The tram along with the vintage train have become symbols of Soller and both are highly recommended.
The tram can be picked up at either the port or Soller town or the various stops along the route. If you take the tram from Soller town it will wind its way through the narrow streets and plazas out into a valley alongside the main road to the port. On route there are good views of the mountains and surrounding countryside including fields of orange trees. The tram has been aptly nicknamed the ‘Orange blossom Express’.
The price for an adult is €7 one way, which is paid on the tram.
There is also an old-fashioned train with mahogany and brass carriages that connects Soller with the capital city Palma. It goes around 5 to 6 times every day in the summer and 4 times a day in winter and offers stunning scenery. It is €18.00 for an adult one way, €25.00 return.
Soller has a number of museums that are worth seeing. The Natural Science Museum is one. There is also a connected botanical garden which has a range of flora from the Canary and Balearic islands. The focus of the museum is on zoology, geology, fossils and botany.
The Museu del Casal de Cultura. As the name suggest this museum shares Soller’s past culture though its historic relics and antiques. The museum is located in the town center in an old 18th century manor house.
The art gallery, Can Prunera is an interesting viewing place to visit in Soller. The gallery is not far from the Placa Constitucio main square and is housed in a stylish early 20th century building with a modernist facade, a pretty stairwell and attractive floor tiles. It has on display various artists; Picasso, Miró, Matisse and national artists.
Museu de la Mar is a maritime museum showing how the history of Soller is linked to the Mediterranean. It is housed in an old thirteenth century chapel, the Oratorio which overlooks the port of Soller. Besides the amazing views there are some highly interesting displays to see featuring Pirates, invasions and the local fishing history.
Boat trips start from the port of Soller and information about the various trips or mini charters are on display by the marina. The boat trip from Soller to the beautiful Sa Calobra is very popular. The trip includes a stop a Cala Tuent and trip time is 1 hour 15 minutes.
A return ticket price is around 25 euros.
Saturdays mornings are when the local market takes place in Soller. The market starts from 8am to around 1pm in the center of Soller town. The covered market hall starts the market off and the stalls continue their way up to the main square and including a lot of side streets.
This is the historic center of Soller town. There are a number of cafes, bars and restaurants to enjoy in this thirteenth century square. Dominating the placa is the impressive architecture of the Sant Bartomeu (Saint Bartholomew) church. The baroque church structure which dates from the seventeenth century was renovated in 1904 by an ex-student of Gaudi who gave the church a modernist facade.
These villages haven’t been overly modernized and are a good example of a traditional Majorcan way of life, from an era long passed. There are two mountain villages very close to Soller, Fornalutx and Biniaraix both within 4km/2.5miles and both are walkable for those with the will to climb.
The mountainous area around Soller the ‘Serra de Tramuntana’ is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is very popular with those who enjoy walking in nature or just a peaceful break from crowded tourist traps. Hikers have a wide choice of trails to choose from including coastal walks. The best walking times are Autumn to Spring as Summer is extremely hot.
‘Puig Mayor’ is the highest mountain on Majorca at 1,445m/4740ft and overlooks the surrounding countryside.
Sadly this peak is a military area and is closed off, however the adjacent peak, Puig de Massanella is the highest reachable peak at 1,364m/4475ft.
Many cyclists are drawn to this part of Majorca for the challenge and beauty the mountain tracks and roads offer. The gradients include many hairpin bends and are similar to those found on the tour de France. In the high summer much pleasure can be had riding in the evening, when the roads release the day’s stored energy and cycling seems like gliding through a warm blanket of air.