A quaint town in north-west Mallorca, where the journey is all part of the experience.
Sóller consists of two parts. Nestling in the foothills of the Traumuntana mountain range of Mallorca, among the orange groves and olive trees, you have the town of Sóller. About 3km away, on the island’s northwestern coast, you have the port – Puerto Sóller.
Getting to Sóller from Palma is not only easy, but also delightful. The Ferrocaril de Sóller is a 100-year old railway with vintage wooden carriages that takes you on an hour-long journey through some of the most beautiful scenery that the island has to offer. The journey itself stands among the best railway journeys you can take anywhere in Europe.
Top sights to see
Sóller was built to be the centre of the orange trade and as you look around you’ll see evidence that this is an upmarket place, with signs of wealth that you’ll rarely see elsewhere on the island.
The town square is dominated by the impressive Sant Bartomeu church. First built in the 13th century it was modified in the late 17th century and in the 20th century Joan Rubid, a pupil of Gaudi, added a modernist façade.
Most of the pleasure is to see the beautiful, lavish town houses and manor houses that were built with the money brought by the orange trade. Just wandering around the town and taking in the architecture is a pleasant way to pass a couple of hours.
Cultural attractions in Sóller
Sóller has two museums and an art gallery that are worth visiting. The Natural Science Museum promotes the botany and zoology of the island and has a large collection of fossils. It also includes the Botanical Gardens, which showcase the flora of both the Balearic and Canary islands.
The Museu del Casal de Cultura is set in an old 18th century manor house right in the centre of the town and contains a huge collection of relics and antiques from old Sóller. The best of the bunch, however, is certainly the art gallery.
The building housing the collection is an architectural delight, with modernist façade, a stunning stairwell and some beautiful murals and glasswork. The collection inside includes paintings by modernist painter such as Picasso, Magritte, Matisse and Basquiat.
Things to do in Sóller
One of the best reasons to come to Sóller is to enjoy the great outdoors. Hiking along one of the many great trails will take you through some of the best scenery that Mallorca has to offer. Alternatively you can hire a bike and explore the countryside that way. From road cycling to challenging mountain routes, be sure to consult a guide to avoid straying onto private land.
On the coast, you can enjoy boat trips to see the dramatic scenery of the coastline or if you’re feeling particularly adventurous you can charter your own boat and take the helm to explore under your own steam. Sóller also boasts some great SCUBA diving.
If you prefer something more sedate then Sóller’s horseshoe-shaped bay has a couple of great beaches to take in some sun and sea.
Food and drink
The best restaurants are found in Puerto Sóller and the town itself doesn’t have much beyond a few cafés for quick snacks. The main square is the best place to go, though, and you can find some great examples of well-cooked local cuisine at great value.