The picturesque village Sóller is set in a lush valley of orange and citrus groves, tucked away between the green mountains and the blue sea. In former times it used to be a rather isolated and badly connected part of the island. Nowadays, a tunnel gives easy access to this beautiful and Mediterranean-style village, which is visited by many day-trippers. Lovely plazas invite for coffee and tapas in the shade, architectural gems can be found throughout the town and a sweet smell of orange blossom hangs in the air.
It is said that Sóller lies in the ‘Golden Valley’ and it is believed that the town’s name derives from the Moorish word for gold ‘Sulliar’. However, it not the many orange and lemon trees are meant by this. The golden valley refers to the liquid gold in form of olive oil, which was produced in this region. Sóller is split into two parts, the port city – an important trade center with the rest of the world – and the main town a bit further inland. This was to protect the city from the many attacks by Moorish pirates during the 16th century. The most important battle dates back to 1561, when the Sollerics victoriously defeated the Moorish pirates. This date is commemorated every May with the ‘Moros y Cristianos Festival’.
Sóller is a popular daytrip destination for visitors coming with the ‘Tren de Sóller’, an old vintage train connecting Palma de Mallorca and Sóller. The old, rustic train is an attraction in itself and guides you through the lush green countryside and is maybe the easiest ways to get to Sóller. The village impresses its visitors with the mediterranean feeling: narrow streets wind through town past ochre-coloured stone houses, locals having a little siesta at the shady main plaza and children screaming and splashing in the fountains. Also the Art Nouveau buildings are impressive, have a look at ‘Casa Magraner’ in Calle la Luna and the Sant Bartomeu church. Afterwards immerse yourself in this mediterranean lifestyle by grabbing a cool beer accompanied by some delicious tapas at one of the many restaurants.
After a small refreshment, it is time to visit the port in order to look over the shoulders of the fisherman and stroll along the seafront. You can either walk to Port de Sóller along the orange groves, through the dry and hot Majorcan countryside or you can take the tram. The tram connects the village with the port and, same as the train, consists of old, rustic wooden wagons. At the port you can lie down at the beach and go for a swim or sit in one of the restaurants and enjoy the beautiful view over the harbour. The port of Sóller looks like a sea shell. This fact may be another reason for the name Sóller, as ‘Sulliar’ in Moorish does not only mean gold, but also sea shell.
Take the bus L211 from Palma to Sóller, which is the direct bus going through the tunnel. If you are arriving by car from Palma on the MA-11 highway, be prepared to pay a tunnel fee of about 5 €. Another option is the early 20th century train which leaves in Palma and goes until Sóller.