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Sóller >  Google™ Map Aug 2011  Soller Coat of Arms

sóller Arabic valley of gold. Population - 14,150.

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Aug 2011

Soller Coat of Arms

You're probably in 'So-ye' on a day trip from Palma. If you're holidaying here, you're probably making your way back from Palma. If you live here, well done, you're likely to be loaded[1] and you've no need for any of this nonsense.

Whatever the whyfors, the Ferrocarril de Sóller will likely have been involved at some point and avoids the each-way toll if you had decided to drive.

This old, electric railway runs the 17-or-so miles north from Palma and while none of the engines or carriages are the 1912 originals, they're still best described as 'vintage'.

[1] If you do live here and you're loaded, there's a good chance you drive a taxi but more on that in a minute.

Remarkably, the train only takes 25 minutes and that includes a bendy, 200-metre climb that takes in 13 tunnels and a viaduct, none shown.

That time also includes an initially, worrying stop just about on the viaduct but it's all for your benefit, the view down to Sóller and beyond is an eyeful.

Sóller - Cinc-Ponts Viaduct

The train was needed to get the valuable crops of oranges and lemons from the cut-off town down to the port at Palma, that steep mountain pass just not passing muster by the 1900s.

They traded in the citrus for centuries and the source of the Vitamin C, you see, is the supposed source of the gold in the Arabic name.

It's standard, Spanish fayre once you're in Sóller, it mainly caters for the day-trippers and the backstreets provide the setting for that familiar, afternoon mooch. They're even trading in train knick-knacks, which is, after all, one of the main lures for the tourist.

Sóller - Carrer de sa Lluna
Sóller - Església de Sant Bartomeu

It all scores a fair few out of five and the Església de Sant Bartomeu is an attraction if you're fond of being told to 'Sssh!' and to cover up those shoulders.

  Can Prunera (Carrer de sa Lluna)

Modern art collection housed in a town centre mansion including works by Picasso and Joan Miró. That Catalan John, he really does get everywhere, doesn't he?

What's that? You fancy a plodge? For that, you'll have to head north to the beach at Port de Sóller. in the centre.

Near Sóller - Ma-11
Tranvía de Sóller

It's a walkable three miles but mainly along a busy road so the sensible option is the Tranvía de Sóller, another heritage, wooden train although it's more of a tram and will have you watching your Green Cross Code™s back in the centre.

Port de Sóller is more your traditional, Mediterranean resort although some of the beach could best be described as erm, serviceable. No, the best bet here seems to be a boat trip north-east to Port de sa Calobra.

Port de Sóller
Near Sóller - Port de sa Calobra

You'll get a taste of the mountainous north-west part of the island that's said to be good walking country. It's also a mecca for cyclists following in the foot pedals of Sir Wiggins of Bradleyshire who was known to do his winter training here so at least that's better than them spoiling your day driving up a hill in the Yorkshire Dales, eh?

Near Sóller - Port de sa Calobra

Port de sa Calobra, by the way, looks to offer not much more than lunch but you'll be battling with the busloads and the cyclists for a seat.

A tip... the trains back to Palma are quite infrequent and the last one was at 18:30. Pushed for time and deciding not to disembark, it's back on the tram and back at Sóller's main station by six on the dot.

Tranvía de Sóller

By ten past, it's standing room only and peep-peep! He's off! Seems this happens quite often and stragglers will then have to deal with...

a) A deliberately indecipherable compensation claim form.
b) A Sóller taxi driver, rubbing his hands in glee.

Looks like they 'So-ye' coming!

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