Taking the Historic Tram to Port de Soller and Exploring Palmanova
We had thoroughly enjoyed our drive through the Tramuntana mountain region yesterday and our discoveries in the town of Sóller. After a restful night of sleep I got up at 8 am and walked to the main house of our rural hotel, Finca Ca’s Sant, to use their Internet connection. Then it was time for an outdoor breakfast on the terrace of our hotel, surrounded by palm trees. Fresh croissants, yoghurt, home-made orange marmalade and an egg were waiting for me.
Some of the products for sale by Finca Ca’s Sant: orange products & recipe books
My breakfast also included a traditional Mallorcan specialty: pamboli (literally translated: bread and oil), which are slices of fresh Mallorcan bread that are rubbed with olive oil and sometimes covered by a slice of cured ham or diced tomatoes. Sitting under the palm trees, admiring the historic mansion against the backdrop of the peaks of Mallorca’s highest mountains – it doesn’t get much better than that.
Morning view from the orange grove towards the Tramuntana Mountains
Even though we had already checked out, we asked owner Rafael Forteza whether we would be able to leave our car in the parking lot. Not a problem at all. So we left our car parked and walked the 10 minutes into the centre of Sóller which was extremely busy this Saturday morning: it was market day.
Pink shoes, anyone?
Dozens of traveling merchants had set up their stalls all over the downtown streets. Clothing, houseware, shoes, leather goods, toys, electronic products and many other things were on sale. Food vendors were selling all sorts of candy, a wide assortment of nuts and a great selection of olives. The “Mercat Municipal”, the permanent local food market, was full of local shoppers, buying groceries, fish, vegetables and fruits. The town was hustling and bustling.
Fish at the Mercat Municipal
We wanted to explore one of Sóller’s main attractions: the vintage electric tram to the Port de Sóller, also locally known as the “Orange Express”. The ride on this historic streetcar costs 4 Euros each way and is extremely popular with the tourists. Many of the carriages are open, so one can enjoy the fresh breeze during the 20 minute ride down to the waterfront town of Port de Sóller.
The tourists are having a ball in the tram of Sóller
The harbour town of Port de Sóller has a beautiful location on the northern coast of Mallorca. The town is built around a large round bay that is almost fully enclosed and surrounded by coastal mountains. It has an attractive waterfront promenade with many shops and outdoor cafés and a great Mediterranean ambience. Two lighthouses are located on the headlands that demarcate the bay on either side.
Views along the seafront walk in Port de Sóller
We strolled along the bay-front promenade, bought some ham sandwiches and drinks in one of the local grocery stores and sat down on a bench by the sailboat harbour. After a couple of very packed days on this island, it was nice to just sit and relax and take in the atmosphere of this port town on this warm and sunny afternoon.
Harbour view in Port de Sóller
In the mid-afternoon we took the tram back to Sóller. I admired the engineer who was piloting this ancient looking streetcar although he did not seem to be in the mood for interacting with any of the tourists. After getting lost in the maze of one-way streets of Sóller we finally found our way out of town and started heading towards Palma de Mallorca. Rather than taking the old winding road over the Sierra de Alfabia mountain we took the tunnel which is over 3 km long.
Interior of the historic tram of Sóller
It took us less than 20 minutes to reach the outskirts of Palma de Mallorca. Once on the ring highway that surrounds the capital city, we turned right to drive to the western bay of Mallorca into the town of Palmanova. This suburb of Palma, together with neighbouring Magaluf, is one of the most popular resort areas in Mallorca.
The pool area at the Torrenova Aparthotel