The Palma to Sóller train journey is one of Mallorca’s most popular tourist attractions. It is a vintage train which travels from Palma de Mallorca to Sóller on the island’s north coast. The origins of the Tren de Sóller date back to the early 20th century when Sóller was thriving economically thanks to the orange and lemon trade. Unfortunately, for the town, it was relatively isolated due to the mountains of the Serra de Tramuntana so transportation of goods and passengers was difficult.
The construction of the Tren de Sóller began in 1907 and proved to be a remarkable fete of engineering which crossed bridges, went through tunnels and made its way around seemingly impossible curves. One of the highlights of the project was the 3,000m long tunnel which passed through the Sierra de Alfàbia. When the railway opened in 1912 it offered passenger transport as well as some some cargo wagons which transported military supplies and fresh produce from the Port of Sóller.
The Palma to Sóller train covers a 27km route which departs from a historic railway station just off the Plaça de Espanya in the centre of Palma. It slowly winds its way through olive groves, almond trees, ancient estates and the Sierra de Tramontana with brief stops at small towns such as Bunyola and Son Sardina. On arrival at the Sóller train station, passengers disembark and board the Tranvía de Sóller for the last 5km of the journey to the Port de Sóller.
If you’re visiting Palma de Mallorca or staying in the popular holiday resorts along the island’s south coast, a day excursion on the Palma to Sóller train is highly recommended. The train and tram schedules change during the different holiday seasons so you should check the Official Tren de Sóller Website for up-to-date timetables and fares.
What to Do in Sóller Town
Most passengers on the Palma to Sóller train choose to jump on the Tranvía de Sóller on arrival in Sóller and travel down to the Port of Sóller. However, there is much to see in this small town. You can stroll along to the Plaça de la Constitució which lies just 50m along the tram line. This is the centre of town where you’ll find the impressive modernist church of San Bartomeu which overlooks a series of smart café bars that surround the square. Café Central is a good choice for a genuine Mallorcan Pa amb oli sandwich.
What to Do in Port de Sóller
On arrival at Sóller port you’ll get off the tram right next to the Marisol café restaurant at Moll Turistic. This has a dining room overlooking the port for windy days and has a lovely sun terrace when the weather’s fine. As you stroll around the bay on the pedestrianised walkway you get wonderful views into the mountains which surround the whole of Port de Sóller. Boats operate from the port to Sa Calobra which is a marvellous way to appreciate the rugged coastline of north west Mallorca.
Beyond the tram stop there are plenty souvenir shops and places to eat on the opposite side of the road. Take a right up the hill heading for the Ermita Santa Catalina. On this street you’ll see a few restaurants such as C’an Ribes which have outdoor terraces overlooking the bay. At the top of this hill is the Soller Maritime Museum (Museu de la Mar) which is housed inside the Ermita Santa Catalina. Next to the entrance is a great viewing point over the sea which is particularly impressive on days when the sea is rough and the waves batter against the rocks below.
Puerto de Soller has a small, unremarkable beach but this is of little consequence as the majority of visitors are only there for the day. If you do fancy staying there is a quaint hotel on the seafront called Hotel Miramar and a few other hotels at the opposite side of the bay from where the tram stops. Alternatively, you could treat yourself to a night at the historic Gran Hotel Sóller in the town of Sóller.
What to Do Around Sóller
Soller lies in the middle of the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range that lines the north west coast of Mallorca. For centuries the high mountains to the south of Soller isolated the town from Palma and the rest of the island. Today a road tunnel goes under those mountains so if you’re touring mallorca by hire car the town is easily accessible.
Around Soller the landscape in spring is covered with oranges, lemons and olives. Beautiful local villages such as Biniaraix and Fornalutx are the best places from which to appreciate this landscape and have become popular havens for walkers and cyclists visiting the Tramuntana region. Fornalutx is particularly pleasant for a lunch break. Stop at the parking and enjoy fine local dishes at Restaurante Bellavista or head to the tiny snack bars under the clock of the church square. C’an Reus and Fornalutx Petit Hotel are a couple of lovely rural hotels in the village.