Vall d’Or (Golden Valley),
Grand merchant houses, orange and lemon groves, a famous tram which connects the small town of Sóller with the Port de Sóller district, all surrounded by the steep hills of the Serra de Tramuntana. Sóller is an old Mediterranean town, designed around narrow streets with traditional style residential townhouses and is very popular with tourists & day trippers.
Even if you are only on the island for a short visit, the narrow-gauge, train 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.
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 village came through the over development of seaside destinations in Mallorca during the 70s and 80s relatively unscathed and it retains its traditional fishing port charm.
Plaza de la Constitución (Constitution Square) is the main square in Sóller and is a very popular meeting place for both locals and tourists. Constitution Square is one of the most scenic main squares in the Balearic islands and is surrounded by modernist buildings and dominated by the Church of Sant Bartomeu, which dates from the 16th Century. The square was built in 1813 and was once used as a bullring with the balconies of the fringing town houses rented out to spectators. Sant Bartomeu Church was famously renovated in 1904 by a disciple of Antoni Gaudi named Joan Rubió who gave the largely baroque church a beautiful new modernist façade.
Jardí Botànic (Botanic Garden) was opened to the public in 1992 having been founded 7 years previously. It is a centre for the conservation, study and understanding of Mediterranean flora, specifically the flora of the Balearic Islands. In addition to conserving the rare and endangered plant species of the Balearic and other Mediterranean islands, the foundation also educates adults and school children about the flora and also has a conservation biology research function. Jardí Botànic specialises in the management of plant species that are in danger of extinction with the objective of helping these species survive within their natural habitats.
The Balearic Museum of Natural Sciences (Museu Balear de Ciències Naturals) is dedicated to the education, conservation and exhibition of the natural heritage of the Balearic Islands. The museum can be found in the grounds of the Jardí Botànic (Botanical Gardens); which is a centre for the conservation, study and understanding of Mediterranean flora, specifically the flora of the Balearic Islands. This is all located in a country estate known as “Camp d’En Prohom”, on the outskirts of Sóller. The Balearic Museum of Natural Sciences has five exhibition rooms, an audio-visual presentation room, conference room, library, classroom and various other spaces dedicated to storing collections.
The Tranvía de Sóller is one of the most well-known tourist attractions in Mallorca. It is a tram nicknamed ‘red lightning’; which connects the beautiful town of Sóller with the Port de Sóller district. We’re not sure why the tram is referred to as ‘red lightning’, it is neither red nor very fast. The trams are orange in colour with wooden framed windows, open-sided wagons and wooden benches. The tramline opened in 1913 and some of the railcars and carriages used today date back to this period of time. The journey from Sóller to the port takes around 15 minutes and passes through Plaza de la Constitución; which is the main square in Sóller and is a very popular meeting place for both locals and tourists.