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Soller a town to Discover
Soller is a beautiful authentic Mallorcan village situated on the north west coast of Mallorca in a sumptuous fertile valley of orange groves set between the spectacular Tramuntana mountains and the Mediterranean sea.
The picturesque town’s charm originates from its privileged location, surrounded by a lush valley stuffed with citrus (oranges and lemon) and olive trees right next to the sea.
Soller has gone through the history of Mallorca, inhabited since the Talayotic period, occupied by the Romans and the Moors (Soller’s name comes from the Arabic word suliar which means shell).
But it was in the 19th and 20th century that Soller’s economy skyrocketed, thanks to maritime trade with France and the development of olive and citrus crops which brought its wealth and the names of: Orange Valley and Valley of Gold. During this period, the wealthy families constructed their stunning properties with plenty of French heritage.
However, the “sollerics” remained isolated from the rest of the island until the construction of the railway line from Palma to Soller, traced by the Mallorcan engineer Pere Garau and was completed in 1912. The tram track connecting the town to the Port de Soller was inaugurated in 1913.
The picturesque vintage wooden train still transports today the visitors from Palma on an unforgettable journey of 27 km through the beautiful Mallorcan countryside in all seasons and bravely climbing the Sierra de Tramuntana. The tram track is used by tourists to reach the port, the locals as well widely use it as a common public transport.
The access to the Soller Valley is also easy by car thanks to the 3 km tunnel dug into the mountain, whose crossing has become free for almost 2 years now.
The citrus heritage of the Orange Valley dates from over 600 years ago. Originally brought in Arabian boats, the Moors quickly understood that the abundant water of the Sierra de Tramuntana and the Mediterranean climate plus the proximity to the sea would make the oranges very special in terms of flavours. Today more than 125.000 orange trees are grown in the Soller Valley.
The oranges of Soller are still exported with a high demand as the several varieties growing on the valley have a high sugar content and give large quantities of juice.
In the heart of town (the main square), the charming Plaza de la Constitución surrounded by trees, shelters the stunning church of San Bartomeu whose origin dates back to 1236, a harmonious mixture of styles: modernist, neo-Gothic and Baroque with its peculiar facade, the fabulous work of the architect Joan Rubio (a disciple of Gaudí).
The square is surrounded by narrow streets filled with typical small shops and old, traditional houses that host the great museums of Soller.
Can Prunera, Museum of Modern Art – in this beautiful Art Nouveau building you will discover a collection of works of art from Picasso, Andy Warhol or the Mallorcan artist Miguel Barceló.
The Museum of Soller or Casal de Cultura (House of Culture) – a traditional Mallorcan house typical of the early 20th century and displays period furniture, clothing and objects.
On the outskirts of the village the Museum of Natural Sciences has the largest collection of fossils on the island and in the adjoining Botanical Garden grows the largest variety of plants in Mallorca.
From the Plaza de la Constitución, you will take a stroll through Calle Lluna – a shopping dedicated street where time seems to have stopped. Filled with traditional and delicatessen shops, restaurants and more.
On Saturdays, when the weekly market takes place on the main square, Calle Lluna’s shop owners take the center of the pedestrian street to put their stalls and display their best products for sale.
The vintage wooden tram is by far the best way to get from Soller to Port de Soller, only 3 km away, however the access to the port is also easy by car or bus.
Port de Soller is certainly one of the most picturesque harbours on Mallorca. With 2 stunning sandy beaches, fashionable boutiques, its promenade along the sea and its delicious restaurants, no wonder why Port de Soller has become a sought after area on the island.
In the last decade a number of boutique hotels have opened in the valley, making Soller a fashionable holiday resort. A large number of foreign residents have bought a property and established permanently, which appeals people looking to relocate. The real estate sector is booming on the Soller Valley
Things to do in Soller:
Hiking and trekking enthusiasts will not be disappointed. Many routes are available with the “Ruta de Pedre en Sec” (dry stone route) with a length of over 50km which passes through Soller and crosses the Sierra de Tramuntana, running from Andratx in the south west to Pollença in the north east of Mallorca.
The cyclists can also take on the roads from Soller up to the Sierra de Tramuntana and the Coll de Soller, a winding 9 km course with a drop of over 470m with incredible sea views.
Of course, water activities are available from Port de Soller: boat trips such as the “must see” Sa Calobra or Sa Foradada, scuba diving and yacht charters are easy to find.