Sóller is something like the capital of the Tramuntana Mountains. Settled peacefully between the mountain range and the sea, Sóller has a history of „kingdom of oranges“, inspiring many world-known artists and nowadays also tourists. Sóller has it all: the mountains, the beaches, and the attractions. Let me reveal the best things you can see and do in Sóller according to our own experience.
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The charming historical town is a great starting point to explore the “orange valley” and the mountains. In comparison to Palma de Mallorca, it’s a tranquil haven at the foot of the Tramuntana Mountains. The center of the Old Town is the main square, Plaça de sa Constitució with the majestic Church of Sant Bartolomeu dating back to the 13th century.
The square is surrounded by cozy cafés, restaurants, and bars. We also accidentaly visited the regular Saturday market on the square we didn’t know about. And it was a pleasant surprise! You can find anything there: souvenirs, local crafts, fresh fruits and orange products.
The old town is also famous for its modernist buildings from the beginning of the 20th century when the town experienced economic and cultural flourishing. This was possible mostly thanks to the trade links with France. The local producers made their fortune by exporting oranges to France because the town was cut off from the rest of Mallorca by the mountains. In 1912, the famous rail to Palma was built, and the traders could finally export their goods all over the island.
Walk the Gran Via Avenue and the Cristofor Colom streets to witness the most splendor modernist residences.
At the time of writing, this museum is temporarily closed due to the Covid pandemic. Check the official websites for updates.
Sóller is a perfect vacation destination for artsy, bohemian people. I’m not that much into modern art, but I’m partly Bohemian (haha). And honestly who would say no to original Picasso or Warhol? The art gallery resides in a stunning Art Nouveau building and features a permanent Modernist art collection as well as local contemporary artists’ exhibition. While we were there, we also discovered the tranquil back garden and admired the Art Noveau glass decoration and contemporary furnishing.
The famous Port de Sóller is just 4 km (2.30 mi) north of the town. It would make a nice walk; however, we decided to take the tram on this one (and that’s something coming from me!). Dating back to 1913, the tram operating between the town and the port is Mallorca’s first electric tram line. The tram resembles San Francisco in style, but the view is completely different. You’ll pass through the mountains and valleys full of orange gardens ending up on the coast. How cool is that?
There’s one beach at each end of the bay, with fine-grand sand, loungers, sunshades, and water sports rentals. Be prepared that the water can be quite cold in the winter though. Although Karin is ready to take a dip anytime anywhere, she passed on the opportunity this time. Check out our article about The Weather in Mallorca Month by Month if you are curious about when to go.
Arguably the tourist’s most-loved attraction is the Palma-Sóller train. It takes about an hour and links the two cities by a rare narrow-gauge railway (with 914 mm / 36 in width). Of course, it’s much faster to get there by car (approximately half an hour), but you would miss all the fun! The railway runs through the valleys and mountains, 13 tunnels, and over the photogenic “cinc ponts” viaduct. It reminds me of the legendary Harry Potter/Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scotland, just shorter and sunnier.
Our tips for Sóller: A trustworthy organization providing tour guides and bike rentals are Tramuntana Tours. Prepare mentally for the driving. The mountain roads around Soller are narrow and winding.
Enough of trains, we’re not Sheldon Cooper. Explore the local mountain villages from up close. The whole region was basically something like Lake District in Mallorca for English writers and artists. I mean, I get it, the Mediterranean climate, sunny hills, and orange groves are more inspiring than cold and rainy estates in England. But not only the English preferred the north coast villages. It’s simply a stunning setting for a sabbatical, who could NOT like that? And quite affordable compared to other exotic destinations.
There are three villages near Sollér worth visiting. Deiá is a small village 2 hours’ drive west. It’s famous mostly as a residence of an English writer Robert Graves, but the truth is, many artists seek this romantic bohemian refuge over the last century. I guess that explains why there are so many fancy, expensive manors and villas for rent in such a small village.
Just a little further west lies a bigger village called Valdemossa. Yet another coastal village with its typical rural stone houses architecture. The major attraction in Valdemossa is the Royal Charterhouse from the 15th century built for King James II of Mallorca. In the 19th century, this complex was also a home for Frederic Chopin and George Sand on their visit. Her famous novel A Winter in Majorca came out of this trip.
Third and finally, Fornalutx. Karin voted for this one as number one. A rustic mountainous village referred to as “the most beautiful Spanish village” was originally a Moorish farmstead. The current shape however formed after the Catalan conquests in the 13th century. The rustic cobbled streets of Fornalutx are easily accessible by the short hike from Sóller. While there, I recommend visiting the town hall with its’ 17th-century defense tower and the gothic church with a baroque touch.
Disclaimer: IMHO the villages are in a marvelous landscape and have charming streets and rustic houses but besides that, there’s nothing to see or do really. So, for us, it was a matter of a 10-minutes stroll in each, because it was impossible to even find a decent café or a restaurant. Half-day hiking in the surroundings is a better way to spend your time there.
The entire north coast is lined with the Tramuntana Mountain range. And while you can pretty easily get everywhere by car within an hour, sometimes it’s more exciting to walk and enjoy the scenery. Most of the routes are accessible all year, just think about enough water supplies and sunscreen during the summer months, we sweated up the storm in there. On the other hand, beware of private property as most of the areas, even in mountains, are privately owned. The best option is to visit the local Tourist Information Center which provides official maps and brochures with public trails. Here are my best picks:
A beautiful hike through the orange and lemon gardens with mild altitude changes is perfect for anybody. I advise hitting the route early in the morning or in the late afternoon unless you want to look like a ripe tomato. Look at the map of this route at alltrails.com for details.
This is one of the top 3 things to see in Mallorca! The hike to Alaro castle is a bit further from Sóller, but it was a pleasant surprise for me. The route up to the castle might be rough due to the rocky terrain, true. But the view is magnificent all the way. It’s an hour’s drive from Sóller and there are two parking lots under the hill.
Tip: The area around Sóller is also widely popular among cyclists. There are plenty of routes for road cycling as well as mountain biking. If you’re up for an adrenaline experience the winding mountain trails are the right option for you.
There are amazing beaches along the north coast. The two at Port de Sóller are the nearest but of course the most crowded. The rest is usually smaller and rocky, but that doesn’t mean it would be less crowded in the summer. Cala Deiá, for example, is rather small so it can get full rather quickly, but with the crystal-clear water and plenty of caves along the coast, it’s almost a great place for diving or snorkeling.
Tip: The crowds are much more bearable with a glass of cerveza (or two).
One thing you can’t miss is Sa Calobra beach. It’s an hour’s drive by car from Sóller, but it’s definitely worth seeing, I would say it’s in the Mallorca’s top 3, right after Cap de Formentor and Alaro Castle. You must try hard to reach it, but you’ll be rewarded with the beautiful scenery. The tiny, pebbled beach is tucked between the cliffs in the large gorge.
We drove through the narrow snaky-winding mountain road (a unique experience itself), but that only got us to the small coastal village with a restaurant and some facilities. That’s not the best, we traced the path through a long tunnel in the cliffs until we reached the end. There, a mesmerizing beach with turquoise water emerged in front of us and we stood there breathless. It’s not the best for bathing as the water there is quite cold even in summer, but the walk and the landscape are so worth the plight!
Tip: Are you a beach person? Take a look at Best Beaches in Mallorca: 15+1 Top Beaches for Families, Snorkelling, or Tranquil Relaxation.
Thanks to its excellent location and marvelous landscapes, of course, Sóller is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Mallorca. You don’t have to worry, there are not only the luxurious royal manors to rent. Here are the best 3 Hotel options in Sóller.
At Ca's Xorc, you will appreciate the stunning mountain scenery. This boutique hotel is a restored 18th-century olive mill, which means natural stone walls, heavy beams, and overall luxurious rustic style. Private pool, restaurant, and parking are standard, but the staff in here goes an extra mile to arrange anything else for you. Be it a boat charter, private massage, or car rental.
The very first eco-hotel in Mallorca is also proudly vegan friendly. Children are welcome here as well and babysitting can be arranged at request. The rooms are spacious, bright, and elegant, and the dishes are served in the tranquil rear patio with stunning views. There are three parking spots in front of the hotel that cost €8/day for guests.
'Sóller is one of Mallorca’s most charming towns, and L’Avenida it’s the coolest address.’ (The Times). Do we need to say anything else? Oh yeah, maybe we should mention, it’s adults only. The breakfast is served by a large private pool on the sundeck and near the secluded garden. The location of L’Avenida is super close to the town square, so it’s basically in the middle of anything you might need in Sóller.
Tip: If you’re looking for accommodation in other destinations in Mallorca, read also Top 25 Hotels in Mallorca: Luxury, Wellness, or Rural Retreat.
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