About Port de Sóller
The remote Port de Sóller in north west Mallorca is a picturesque, small coastal village which has become well known and popular particularly due to its historic tram, large bay with protected harbour and scenic surroundings. As an old fishing harbour, it is also a great place to eat fish and seafood and the well-equipped marina is the perfect starting point for yacht and sailing trips to neighbouring bays such as Sa Calobra, famous from the Hollywood film Cloud Atlas. This abcMallorca guide offers you useful and important information on Port de Sóller – for your holiday and for living here, should you decide to do so!
History & Culture of Port de Sóller
The location of this small coastal village has often played a decisive role in its history. Separated from the rest of Mallorca by the Tramuntana mountain range, past generations had to take to the water to make trade possible. With its isolated setting it is, therefore, hardly surprising that Port de Sóller is so closely associated with seafaring and the Mediterranean.
The historic train which travels between Palma and Sóller began operation in 1912. Almost ninety years later, the tunnel for cars was completed. Before this, drivers had to travel via the Coll de Sóller – a great challenge, perhaps, for cyclists – although not a particularly agreeable journey for drivers due to its many hairpin bends. Since 2018 the use of the tunnel is also no longer subject to a toll charge!
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. This attack is still re-enacted and the victory over the invaders celebrated in the big annual folk festival Es Firó.
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.
Major Attractions in Port de Sóller
Port de Sóller’s setting alone is a sight in itself: surrounded by the imposing peaks of the Tramuntana mountain range with the huge protected bay with its anchored boats rocking gently to and fro, the vast expanse of the sea in front and sprawling orange groves in the distance.
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. The well-equipped marina is one of the few protected harbours on the north west coast and therefore the ideal place for yachts and sailing boats which can also be anchored in the bay.
The Torre Picada (Catalan torre de vigilància) watch tower in the north east of Port de Sóller was only built half a century after the great pirate attack of 1561 and became part of the island-wide defence system against (pirate) attacks. A short hike leads to the tower which is rewarded with far-reaching and stunning views – the tower was, after all, not built on the cliff without good reason. Unfortunately, though, it is currently not possible to visit this as it is now privately owned.
Housed in a former monastery (Santa Caterina d’Alexandria) with a long and colourful history, the port’s Museu de la Mar tells the story of its peoples’ fascinating maritime past. The building itself, constructed in the late thirteenth century, was destroyed and rebuilt several times through the centuries, once experiencing an incarnation as a leper colony and hospital. Events are occasionally held here.
The neighbouring town of Sóller (an approximately 45-minute walk away) offers many further sights and attractions. The town’s emblem, the impressive 14th century Saint Bartholomew church (Sant Bartomeu), stands on the Plaza Constitución. In the Museum Can Prunera, meanwhile, visitors can view permanent and guest exhibitions with works by famous artists such as Picasso, Kandinsky and Warhol. In the Balearic Museum of Natural Sciences (Museu Balear de Ciències Naturals) and the Botanical Garden (Jardí Botànic) you can marvel at typical Mallorcan flora and fauna and find out many interesting facts about the island’s plant life. Saturday is market day in Sóller.
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!
Boating trips are also offered to nearby Cala Deià with stunning wild coastal cliff scenery along the way. Snorkelling is possible along the entire coast and the water is refreshing and crystal clear. If you want to sample fresh fish: Cala Deià is home to the beautifully situated restaurant Ca’s Patro March which is well known for its excellent fish.
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).
To hike through the ravine of Biniaraix (Barranc de Biniaraix) which is, undoubtedly, one of the most beautiful hiking routes in Mallorca – which even the employees of Bestard Boots agree with – it is best to take one of the TIB buses to the Cúber reservoir and start from here. The descent takes about four hours and the walk has a medium difficulty rating. The view and the atmosphere in the ravine are truly unique!
Keen cyclists can try the challenge of the Coll de Sóller (the tunnel is closed to cyclists), and mountain bikers have spectacular terrain to tackle.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Serra de Tramuntana is the backbone of Mallorca. Find out what this spectacular mountain range has to offer. […] Discover the Serra de Tramuntana
There is a PADI dive centre located in the port; beginner or experienced SCUBA diver, you’ll discover the magical underwater world on this coastline, where the mountains meet the Med.
Various water sports equipment such as stand-up paddles and boats (with and without boat license) can be hired in the harbour. Alternatively, take a kayak and paddle along the wild coast, on your own or with friends, dipping into the water now and again to explore the fascinating underwater world.
Port de Sóller Bay/Beach
There are two beaches in Port de Sóller; one at each end of the bay. The best is the 270 metre-long Platja d’en Repic beach, popular with families for its golden sand.
The Platja des Traves is the closest beach to the port zone, with the tram line passing behind it. Both beaches offer sunlounger and parasol rental, and Platja des Traves offers pedal boat hire.
Playa d’en repic is a family friendly beach in the horseshoe bay of Port de Soller, with a boardwalk full of great restaurants, shops and cafe’s. […] Playa d’en Repic
Restaurants in Port de Sóller
As you’d expect, the port has an abundance of restaurants to suit all culinary tastes and budgets.
Mallorca´s valley of gold is home to a growing number of good restaurants. Read about some of our favourites in Soller, Port de Soller, and close by. […] Restaurants in Sóller and Port de Sóller
For spectacular views down over the port and open sea, there’s Cap Roig at the Jumeirah Port Sóller Hotel & Spa, and Sa Barca Restaurant.
Sunset dining at Sa Barca seafront restaurant in Port de Sóller is a real pleasure. This seaside favourite serves wonderfully fresh Mediterranean cuisine with a touch of Asian flavour. […] Sa Barca Restaurant
Romantic restaurant Agapanto offers regular live music and occupies a privileged position at one end of Platja d’en Repic. Sister restaurant Sa Frontera is between the port and town.
Part of the Bikini Island & Mountain Hotel, the Neni restaurant offers a wonderful array of shareable dishes inspired by Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking. An al fresco terrace also offers great views over Sóller bay.
Neni, in Port de Sóller, is designed for a savvy, international diner – one who appreciates the art of food and the fun of eating it. […] Neni at Bikini Island & Mountain Hotel
Head to Restaurant Randemar for atmospheric dining on the seafront, where luxurious décor, perfect views and excellent food combine to winning effect. This place is eternally popular, so it’s best to book.
Get to know the best restaurants on Mallorca, by region or type. Gourmet trends, hot recommendations and the most talented chefs – it’s all here!
Hotels in Port de Sóller
The jewel in the area’s accommodation crown is the luxurious Jumeirah Port Sóller Hotel & Spa, boasting 120 spacious well-appointed guest rooms and suites, restaurants, swimming pools, superb Talise Spa – and arguably the best views of any hotel on the island.
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.
Perched above the quaint Port of Sóller, on the enchanting northwest coast of Mallorca, you will find the first hotel of the Jumeirah group in Spain. […] An Oasis of Luxury
Inspired by San Francisco hippie-chic, the sixties-infused Bikini Island & Mountain Hotel is also perched on a hill with fabulous views over the bay.
Bikini Island & Mountain Hotel features breathtaking views over Port de Sóller, plus swish boho styling, deluxe facilities and top service. […] Bikini Island & Mountain Hotel
Down in the port, the Swedish-owned ‘modern-vintage’ Hotel Espléndido is a cool seafront hotel decorated with original ‘70s Scandinavian art.
Hotel Espléndido in Port de Sóller is one of the most stylish hotels on Mallorca, with a stunning location overlooking the bay, a sandy beach, and a great bistro restaurant. […] Hotel Espléndido in Port de Sóller
A tastefully renovated mansion set in beautiful grounds close to the beach, Hotel Es Port was once an olive and citrus estate, echoing the Port de Sóller of days gone by.
Hotel Es Port in Port de Sóller is located just 150 meters from a sandy beach, offering spa treatments and restaurant. Centrally located to explore Mallorca. […] Hotel Es Port in Port de Sóller
Events in Port de Sóller
While the main beach is wonderfully safe for today’s visiting families with children, it proved to be dangerous for the Moors, whose ill-fated battle with the Christians was famously fought here on the sands. The event is commemorated with a noisy and passionate re-enactment, named Es Firó , during the second week of May’s Festa de Nostra Senyora de la Victòria. Expect gunshot, fireworks, and much good-natured revelling into the small hours.
Autumn brings the annual Classical Music Festival of Port de Sóller. Held in the specially-adapted chapel of the former Santa Catalina monastery, this much-anticipated event promises performances from top-class international artists, in an exclusive and intimate setting.
Less well known than Firó, but just as spectacular, is Sóller´s patron saint´s day, Saint Bartholomew, on 24th August each year. The eve of this important date in the town´s diary brings an impressive fire show by the performance group Esclatabutzes, part of a dramatic and exhilariting Night of Fire.
A lively carnival festival is held in Sóller and Port de Sóller at the beginning of the year. For two days, the people of both towns forget everyday life and get dressed up, take part in parades and processions and dance and celebrate.
Living in Port de Sóller
Mountains, sea, and a beautiful fertile valley – no wonder this is one of Mallorca’s most desirable residential areas. This side of the tunnel has a unique feel that sets it apart from the rest of the island.
The nearby town of Sóller has character, charm, a sense of community, and facilities that make it a pleasant place to live year-round. Its proximity to Palma is another feature that attracts people of different nationalities to set up home here.
The improvements made to the port in recent years have added value to real estate in and overlooking Port Sóller. And country dwellers enjoy fine views and tranquillity. Real estate extends from modern apartments to Art Nouveau town houses, to rustic golden-hued stone fincas.
According to a 2017-18 market report from Engel & Völkers, the average cost of a villa in the region ranges from 1.5 – 2.5 million euros whilst the price for apartments is between 450,000 and 500,000 euros.
Strict enforcement of building regulations has prevented overdevelopment, and you’re more likely to find an old property to restore – or that’s already been restored – than a plot on which to build your own place.
Casas Mallorca is a real estate agency specialising in the northwest of Mallorca including Sóller, Fornalutx, Biniaraix and the coast from Deià to Valldemossa. […] Casas Mallorca Real Estate Agency Sóller
Surrounding areas of Port de Sóller
The surrounding area of Port de Sóller is not only characterised by the Tramuntana mountains and the Mediterranean but also by agriculture and on the journey from Port de Sóller to Sóller, in particular, you will notice the orange and citrus groves which are so typical of the region. The taste of the Mallorcan citrus fruits is well known – it is said that Louis XIV of France ate only Mallorcan oranges because of their sweetness. It is therefore hardly surprising that the sale of them has grown continuously in recent years. And it is not only the delicious fruits but also Mallorcan products from the Sóller valley, in general, which are very popular. The Port de Sóller fishermen also catch the Sóller prawns (gamba roja) here which are especially popular.
While in the Port de Sóller area, visit the picturesque village of Fornalutx. Blessed with plenty of Mediterranean character and charm, the village lies at the top of the Sóller valley and is considered one of the loveliest villages in Spain.
Known as the ‘Prettiest village in Spain’, with narrow, cobbled streets it is certainly worth a visit. Four hotels and a few cafes, it is a quiet spot in the Tramuntana and close to Sóller. […] Fornalutx
Take the coast road south to Deià, and you might argue Fornalutx has some serious competition for the title. A hideaway haven for artists, writers and visiting celebrities seeking peace, Mallorca’s gem of a mountain village offers ravishing views and some very nice cafés and restaurants, ranging from the classy to the refreshingly authentic.
Want to know where artists and media moguls gather in Mallorca? Read more with abcMallorca to find out what makes the mountain village of Deià so special. […] Deià
More Places on Mallorca
The Balearic Island of Mallorca has a wealth of interesting towns and villages, plus the stylish capital Palma. Explore them all here!