Port de Sóller is an idyllic harbour village on the north-west coast of Mallorca – wedged between mountains and coastline, it has a wonderful charm to it. It is blessed with natural beauty, surrounded by the Tramuntana mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, blue-green sea and two beaches that open onto the bay. The pedestrianised promenade is lined with boutiques, cafes and restaurants while pretty nearby villages like Fornalutx and Sóller are in easy reach.
Port de Sóller is somewhat detached from the rest of the island by the dramatic Tramuntana Mountain range with houses built on its foot overlooking the picturesque harbour. It combines the best of both worlds – beautiful mountain scenery and an unspoilt natural bay. It is a hiker’s heaven with many walking trails leading through the surrounding mountains whereas the calm sea is perfect to be explored by boat. While it is a great destination for an active holiday, it is as attractive for people who just want to sit back and relax on the beach, sip on a coffee in one of the many cafes and go for leisurely strolls along the promenade.
The sheltered horseshoe shaped bay of Port de Soller is just stunning with two beaches on each end, Platja d’en Repic which is popular with families and arguably the nicer one of the two and Platja de Traves which is closer to the port.
Port de Sóller has a rich maritime past with the port once being the main connection with the outside world. The construction of the Sóller tunnel helped to make it easily accessible by train and car but its remote location saved it from overdevelopment, preserving its natural charm and beauty to this day.
The village is tiny with everything centered around the pedestrianised promenade that is lined with cafes & boutiques as well as ice cream shops, of which I recommend ‘Io Gelats Artesans’ (loved the hazelnut flavour!). To our delight, we also discovered that Port de Sóller boasts excellent restaurants, a separate entry with all of our favourite restaurants coming up soon!
Mallorca has around 300 days of sunshine a year yet we managed to visit during a time of rainy spells, with heavy rain clouds coming over the mountains that brought torrential rains and thunderstorms. Thankfully we had sunshine in-between on most days that we used to discover the area, walking along the bay from end to end enjoying the different viewpoints.
We stayed at the Jumeirah Port Soller, built high up on a cliff, it offered spectacular views of the cloud formations above the sea below and the mountains in the distance. This luxurious retreat with its fabulous spa was the perfect place to ‘sit out’ the few thunderstorms and heavy rains. Full review of this amazing hotel coming up soon!
While it would have been easy to stay the whole time in Port de Sóller we decided to explore the immediate area. Most people hop on the popular vintage tram to visit the nearby inland town of Soller. The tracks of the tram, which was once used to transport oranges to the port, pass through olive groves and citrus-filled gardens along the way before it reaches the centre of Sóller.
Sóller has also become a well-liked day trip from Palma de Mallorca with day trippers arriving on an old wooden train that links Palma’s Plaza de España with Sóller passing through gorgeous scenery. The town owes its wealth to the fertile citrus groves of the valley and compared to Port de Sóller, it is rather residential. Its main square, Plaza de la Constitución, is where most people congregate.
The church of Sant Bartomeu dominates the town square with the Banco Central Hispano with its rich facade right next to it.
There are also plenty of cafes, bars, pastry shops and places to enjoy freshly squeezed orange juice as well as local ice cream around the square.
Port de Sóller is surrounded by charming medieval villages like the mountain village of Fornalutx which has been named as one of the prettiest villages in Spain. There are hiking trails leading to it from Port de Sóller as well as Sóller, however, with the unpredictable weather conditions at the time we decided to take the short drive there instead.
Fornalutx is tiny with a delightful sleepy feel to it, narrow alleyways lead up and down the village that is quickly explored on foot. Green shutters and flower pots decorate the honey-colored stone terraced houses while cats happily greet its visitors.
We had a lot more planned for our time in Port de Sóller from tasting the local oranges at Ecovinyassa to boat trips and various hiking routes and feel that we have only scratched the surface of what Port de Sóller, with its beautiful surroundings, has on offer – it definitely was not our last trip to this area!