Port de Sóller is a very pretty coastal village located in a large and protected horseshoe bay separated from the rest of Mallorca by the Tramuntana mountain range.
Before the Sóller tunnel opened in the 1990s, Port de Sóller was a difficult place to get to with cars having to travel via the Coll de Sóller with tight hairpins every 200m or so. This road is now a popular cycling route with little traffic, especially since the tunnel has not been subject to a toll charge since 2018.
The isolated location of Port de Sóller at the foot of the mountains and the use of the area as a training base by the Spanish military resulted in the village coming through the over development of seaside destinations in Mallorca during the 70s and 80s relatively unscathed and it retains its traditional fishing port charm.
The village’s main role historically was to service the main town of Sóller located a few miles inland and to protect its residents from pirates. During the 19th century when the export of oranges and lemons grown in the area became very profitable, the port expanded significantly and just a decade or so ago, millions of euros were poured into sprucing up the port.
In 1561, Sóller’s beach was invaded by fleets of Turkish and Algerian pirates. The town’s residents managed to defeat the pirates using just using wooden swords and hand-held catapults. This epic defence is re-enacted each year in a festival called Es Firó.
The horseshoe bay has a sandy beach and a pedestrianised promenade with many cafes, restaurants and shops in addition to a few hotels, Many of the restaurants serve seafood; however there are more and more high-class eateries opening in the port due mainly to the opening of a 5-star luxury hotel on the hills above the village.
Sóller is an old Mediterranean town, designed around narrow streets with traditional style residential townhouses and is very popular with tourists & day trippers. The town is connected to Port de Sóller by a vintage tram, the Tranvía De Sóller; which takes passengers on a lovely journey through citrus and olive groves.
Even if you are only on the island for a short time, the narrow-gauge, Tren de Sóller journey from Palma to Sóller should be close to the top on your things-to-do list. One of the most rewarding excursions on the island, the vintage train to Sóller is a very popular attraction with a journey time of around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Sometimes known as the Orange Express, the wooden train was originally introduced to transport oranges and lemons from the Sóller valley to the capital, replacing a stagecoach service, which crossed the high mountains via the Sóller pass on a steep, narrow dirt track, which was exhausting and tediously slow.
Funded by profits of the citrus fruit trade, the Tren de Sóller has trundled along the winding 27.3km route to Sóller since 1912.