For my last full day in Palma de Mallorca, I moved my island adventures from the southern capital to the western coast. The city of Sóller is known for its mountainous landscape, orange and lemon groves, and rickety tram that connects the inland village to Port de Sóller, a horseshoe harbor with sandy beaches and breathtaking views of the sea. Both Sóller and Port de Sóller belong to the mountain range Serra de Tramuntana, a UNESCO World Heritage site dominating the island’s northwest coast. Getting from Palma to Sóller is simple, with several buses and trams leaving from Palma’s central transit station Plaza de España daily. Depending on the transportation method, Sóller is a forty to ninety minute drive and a round-trip ticket costs between five and twenty-five euros (cash only). Tourists usually opt for the Tren de Sóller, a vintage train dating back to the early 1900s with wooden carriages that take you through the scenic countryside. This railway however was temporarily closed for renovation, so I hopped on Bus 211 instead. While the bus isn’t much of an experience in itself, it’s a perfectly fine way to get from point A to point B, not to mention it’s also the cheapest and fastest option.
Port de Sóller
The bus stops in Sóller first and then continues to Port de Sóller, which is also the end station. I had initially planned on starting my day in the village of Sóller, but when the language barrier resulted in a one-way ticket to Port de Sóller, I decided to switch the order and head straight for the coast. I arrived at the port around 10:00 and began wandering the streets, which appeared to be unusually quiet. Most of the shops were boarded up and restaurants displayed signs in their windows that read “Closed for the holidays… Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! See you in March!” … that’s island time for you. I walked out to the end of the dock and watched the fish swim through the clear water and the ducks paddle along the surface, happy to see some sign of life in the sea.
From the dock, I followed the edge of the harbor to the far end and climbed up into the hills, wondering if maybe I would come across more people there. I did bump into a couple small groups of tourists and a handful of construction workers, but otherwise the streets were silent. At the top of the hill, I came to a landing with views as far as your eyes can see of a light blue sky flowing into a dark blue sea. I stood and stared out into the distance, completely mesmerized by the deep blue hues. I suddenly jumped when a stray black cat rubbed up against my leg, followed by a loud meow that begged for attention. I knelt down to stroke the little guy, a little wary as I always am around strays, but I could tell this guy was friendly. After some cuddles and a quick photoshoot, I made my way back down the hill to catch the tram to Sóller.
Also known as the “Valley of Oranges”, Sóller’s lush citrus orchards are surrounded by the peaks of the Serra de Tramuntana. The main town square features the magnificent Church of Sant Bartomeu and is bordered by several cafés and restaurants, from which winding alleys split off in all directions. Again I was surprised to find the village relatively quiet, with very little foot traffic and several establishments closed until March. I guess January isn’t the season to visit Sóller, but I didn’t mind too much because a relaxing day exploring the great outdoors was a perfect way to close out my four-week backpacking trip. Of course it would have been nice to experience the lively atmosphere I had read so much about, but I still enjoyed the change of scenery and would recommend the trip to anyone in search of the same.
I can’t believe how quickly my first month on the road came and went, I hope you are excited for February’s adventures!