“Art Nouveau Masterpiece”, “An Ancient Train and Ancient Tram”
23rd of June, 2010
Our day out trip within Majorca was without doubt to Soller. That is all it takes, just one day to fully explore Soller and enjoy the beach of Puerto Soller. At only 1 hour away either on the old train or by bus, it is the next major tourist destination after Palma for its rich history and impressive architecture; famous for the Catalan Modernist style chosen by the then bourgeois society which made of Soller and Palma their residences.
For us there was no way for other option that coming here on the ancient 1912 wooden train. The route is only 27km but the landscapes you will see are well worth to pay the extra than if taking the cheaper option, the bus. It is a very scenic route along plantations of olive, almonds, oranges, lemons and many more; small villages, forests and the mountains. You can be at either end of the carriages on the little balcony for better views and pictures, but also you will get the chance to grab the best pictures when the train stops and you can go out for few minutes on the highest point with views over whole Soller below.
Linking both Soller and Puerto Soller is the 1913 wooden trams. But honestly, this is something we did not take and instead took a taxi for just one quarter of the price the tram would have been.
Since Soller is a small town, it won’t take you longer than 3 hours already including time for lunch or coffee, giving you still plenty of time for Puerto Soller where to enjoy the beach and the beautiful promenade and views.
Looking for a place to eat can also be challenging. Either overpriced or they are full, but if you are on a budget it could be optional you consider bringing food with you as we did. Being 4 of us that would have cost a lot for perhaps something not even good as unfortunately many of those restaurants are living from the tourists and quality tend to be second while price first in importance.
What to see and do in Soller:
- Constitution Square Is the main square in the town filled with cafes and trees. The tram passes through it linking it to Puerto Soller. Important buildings here include:
-Bank of Soller Built in 1912 by modernist Catalan architect Joan Rubio i Bellver who was a follower of Gaudi, is the most remarkable art nouveau building in the town and clearly influenced by the works of Gaudi.
-Church of Sant Bartomeu Is the main church in the city. Original construction dates back to 1236 although the current structure is baroque from the 17th century. The bell tower addition is an art nouveau landmark also created by Joan Rubio i Bellver.
- Gran Via One of the most elegant streets filled with art nouveau houses once belonging to wealthy and bourgeois families from the early 20th century.
- Streets around You will see on every street beautiful Mediterranean style houses and mansions from the 16th to 18th century, and those modernist ones from the 20th.
- Puerto de Soller Few kilometres down from the town is the sea where you will find nice beaches although small, the maritime promenade where all the shops and restaurants are, and the port.
There is no other transportation around here than the taxis and trams running between Soller Town and Puerto Soller. Walking is not an option unless you are happy to walk 5 kilometres under the sun and heat.
Soller train as explained before, is the nicest way to get in. A single ticket is 12 while return 19 Euros. You can also arrive to Soller by bus, it will be half the price of the train but less scenic and charming. The tram is 5 Euros per way, but a taxi charges the same and can accommodate 4 people, reducing you cost as little as 1.25 Euros per person.
As our base was in Palma we cannot recommend any place in here. The choice is by far much more reduced than in the capital and prices also higher as demand is high and room availability reduced. There are no big hotels nor chains, bur rather medium to small and family run business, or haciendas and villas.