Port de Sóller
In recent years, the northwestern resort of Port de Sóller has undergone an impressive revamp – and become home to a global hotel brand – blending quaint and contemporary to highly pleasing effect. Discover everything that makes Port de Sóller a wonderful destination on Mallorca for holidays or a second home.
History & Culture
Inextricably tied to the Med, Port de Sóller has historically taken a dynamic seafaring approach to its isolated situation. Separated from the rest of Mallorca by the Tramuntana mountain range, past generations had to take to the water to make trade possible.
Had they lived to bear witness to the modern-day construction of the Sóller tunnel, the area’s residents would have marvelled at the possibility of wagons rolling into their village. Easy road communication, however, would have robbed Sóller of its rich maritime past; the necessity for exploration opening up this humble corner of the island to the world, bringing import and export of goods, most notably citrus fruits, and, less desirably, pirate invasion.
Fleets of Turkish and Algerian pirates landed on Sóller’s beach in 1561. Armed with only wooden swords and small stone catapults, the town’s inhabitants courageously defended their homes from the attack, causing defeat and earning them a place in Mallorca’s hero history book.
Thanks to its remote location, and the use of the area as a training base by the Spanish military, Port de Sóller was protected from overdevelopment when the tourists started arriving, helping preserve its natural charm and beauty.
Improvements in recent years to Port de Sóller and its road network have given this place a new glamour, making it a fitting location for a luxury Jumeirah-branded hotel, introduced in 2012. Set atop a cliff, the hotel overlooks the entire bay with its long, lively promenade, perfect for leisurely strolls.
The San Francisco-style tram shuttling between the town and Port de Sóller – its tracks passing citrus-filled gardens – was originally used to transport oranges, but is now a pleasant way to travel to the attractive horseshoe-shaped port.
As well as a working harbour, this is a seaside resort, with plenty of facilities, hotels, restaurants, bars and shops all geared to the needs of holidaymakers. Yacht charter and holiday rentals – from apartments to luxury villas – are widely available.
Things to do in Port de Sóller
Pleasure boat trips from the port follow the rugged coastline to Sa Calobra, where it’s a short walk to the spectacular Torrent de Pareis. The alternative route to this hidden gorge is the thrilling and incredibly engineered mountain road to Sa Calobra. With 12 hairpin bends and awesome views, it’s not for the faint-hearted!
Hikers and Nordic walking fans are in their element, with the Serra de Tramuntana’s GR221 long-distance path – the Dry Stone Route – passing through the port. Near Cap Gros lighthouse on the western edge of the port, the route passes the Muleta refuge on the way to the country estate of Muleta Gran and beyond. Walking in the opposite direction takes you through the port and town towards Fornalutx and Biniaraix hamlet. To walk with a guide, check out Mallorca Hiking or Tramuntana Tours (who also specialise in bike rental).
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