Soller Majorca Mallorca Travel Destinations Spain

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Overshadowed by the 1,445 metre Puig Major, laid back Soller is one of the main towns in the north of Majorca. It sits in a bowl shaped valley of orange groves, a town of steep, narrow streets and old mansions.

Its wealth is based on citrus fruit plantations, and the smarter houses in Soller are the homes of the town's 18th and 19th century fruit merchants. The famous railway that connects the town with Palma was built in 1912 to transport fruit to the docks, from where most of it was taken to FranceFrance.

Less obviously touristy than much of Majorca, Soller has a slower pace of life too. This is typified by the charming, leafy plaza whose cafés and trees will keep most visitors sitting happily for a couple of hours. The square is overlooked by the brooding 14th century parish church of Sant Bartomeu. It has been remodelled over the centuries and now shows off a variety of architectural styles Gothic, Baroque and Modernist. In contrast, the Banco de Soller next door is more straightforwardly Modernist, with touches by Joan Rubio, a pupil of Gaudi.

When the charms of the square fade, there are two museums worth visiting: the Balearic Museum of Natural Sciences and the Museum of the 'Casal de Cultura' (Carrer de sa Mar, 13) which has archaeological findings and antiques.

On a less academic level, one of the joys of Soller is the trip there from Palma, either by road through the Serra de Tramuntana or on the slow train. This latter provides one of touristic Majorca's greatest pleasure as it ambles through the orange groves and down the mountainside.

It is worth getting out of the town to explore the locale, where there is some excellent mountain walking. You can get maps of routes from various shops or from the tourist office, based in an old railway carriage in the Placa Espanya. Many of the walking routes are signposted, and well known rambles last from a few hours to a couple of days.

Soller is not particularly geared to children, and families may want to head to the beach at Port de Soller. If you want to arrive in style, get there from Soller on the vintage tram that was imported from San Francisco at the turn of the last century.