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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Panorama of Sóller from the north.

Sóller is a town and municipality near the north west coast of Mallorca, in the Balearic Islands of Spain. The town is some 3km inland, from the Port de Sóller, in a large, bowl-shaped valley that also includes the village of Fornalutx and the hamlets of Biniaraix and Binibassi. The combined population is around 13,000. A famous tramway, the Orange Express links Sóller to Port de Sóller.

Sóller is linked by the historic railway, the Ferrocarril de Sóller, and by a highway with a toll tunnel, to the Majorcan capital of Palma. The Andratx-Pollença highway also runs through the valley. The Ferrocaril was completed in 1911 after work began on the profits of the orange and lemon trade.

map of the Sóller tramway

The present-day economy is based mainly on tourism and foreign residents, complementary to the agricultural economy based around citrus and olive groves, which has, in recent years, suffered from low prices.

The focus of the town is the Plaça Constitució which is surrounded by cafés and has plane trees and a fountain in its centre. The tram passes through the Plaça on its way to and from the main station which has been restored to incorporate a museum of Picasso and Joan Miro. The church of Sant Bartomeu facing the east side of the Plaça is flanked by the ajuntament (town hall) and the Banco de Sóller, a remarkable 1912 Modernista building with defining ironwork, by the Catalan architect Joan Rubió i Bellver, a follower of Antoni Gaudí. The bank's organisation was founded in 1889 with the money of emigrants who returned to Sóller prosperous. On the other hand, the church can clearly be seen standing out from the canopy of the town from other parts of the Vall de Sóller (the surrounding valley). The original building dates from some time before 1236. The current main interior structure is now largely Baroque (1688-1733). The campanar (belltower) blends in well with its neo-gothic design. The remarkable façade is a 1904 construction also by Joan Rubió. The old street plan is of Islamic origin, lined with historic houses of the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. The town is bisected by a fast flowing river with a number of bridges and has a covered market. Sóller is also notable for the houses built in the early twentieth century by emigrants who returned wealthy to the town, particularly those on the Gran Via which reflect the fin de siècle Art Nouveau styles of France.

The renowned Jardí Botanic (botanical garden) is on the outskirts of the town and is laid out with the plants of the Balearics and the Mediterranean islands. The Modernista mansion in the garden houses El Museu Balear de Ciències Naturals[1] (The Museum of Balearic Natural Sciences). Despite its location next to the highway the garden is quiet.

Since 1980, Sóller has hosted a week-long international folklore festival every July.

The Banco de Sóller.

Notes

External links

Coordinates: 39°46′N 2°42′E / 39.767°N 2.7°E / 39.767; 2.7

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Orange groves in Sóller in front of the ever present mountains
Orange groves in Sóller in front of the ever present mountains

Sóller [1] is a town on the island of Mallorca, one of the Balearic Islands off the Spanish east coast.

Understand

Sóller is a town located near the north west coast of Mallorca. It is set in a green valley surrounded by Mallorca's highest mountains. Much of the town is residential and agricultural: it is full of orange and olive groves. The resort area of Port de Sóller is two kilometres away and is much more tourist oriented.

The combined population of Sóller and Port de Sóller is 12 000. New building has done much to spoil the town but the buildings in the old town, many of them art nouveau, are usually high enough to enable you to forget the damage.

Get in

By car

Sóller is twenty kilometres drive north of Palma de Mallorca on route C-711. Its a little tricky to get into the center of the city. In the first round-about after the tunnel, take the first right and then you will manage.

By train

The Ferrocarril de Sóller [2] train service runs between Palma's Plaza d'Espanya and Sóller six times a day between 8am and 7pm. Tickets are €10,00 single and €17 return and can be purchased at the station half an hour before the train leaves. The train journey is slow, taking over an hour, but is scenic, with marvellous views of the mountains on both sides of the tunnel. Note that even in the lower seasons, the train can be very crowded. The trains are very old fashioned with viewing platforms outside at front and rear of each coach and the line is narrow gauge.

By bus

TIB [3] operates several bus services to Port de Sóller. The IB-09 service operates between Palma and Port de Sóller; the IB-12 service operates between Peguera, Valldemossa and Port de Sóller; and the IB-15 service operates, except in winter, between Port de Pollença, Lluc, and Port de Sóller.

Beachfront at Port de Sóller
Beachfront at Port de Sóller

Get around

A tram service operates between the Sóller train station and Port de Sóller approximately every half hour between 7am and 8:30pm. Tickets are €4 per journey and are available on board. Like the train service from Palma, the tram service is very crowded, especially before the last train to Palma leaves in the evening.

  • There's an interesting and some would say beautiful church in the centre of Soller that was built by one of Gaudis students.
  • The town of Soller is located in a bowl surrounded by mountains which makes for very good walking.
  • You can take the toy train to Palma or take the tram to the Port of Soller or simply wander around and look at the beautiful scenery, streets and houses.
  • There is a free museum of modern art located at the train station. This has some pictures by famous artists.

Do

For bike lovers there are great tracks for both roadbiking and mountain biking. Please note that mountain biking is in rocky terrain so one need to be experienced and ride a full suspension bike. The old road to the Soller Pass (since the tunnel opended only a few cars on the road) is a magnificent ride on a road bike. Aprox. 50 hair pins if you cross the pass to the other end of the tunnel. Walking the mountains is popular guides are available.

Eat

Its possible to buy pizza just off the square and there are a couple of new places down the calle dela Luna.

  • Bens Daval. Outside Soller there's a place called Bens Daval who serves delicious food. You may have to book in advance.  edit
  • Cafe Soller, in the Square. A German run place, but its had the same menue for years and the food could be so much better and more varied.  edit
  • Gran Hotel Soller. Serves great food. You may have to book in advance.  edit
  • Luna 36, Calle de la Luna 36, +34 971634739 (), [4]. A recently re-opened restaurant serving great homemade food. You may have to book in advance.  edit
  • Immobiliaria Mas Properties, Plaça del Mercat, +34 971 630 318 (mas@immobiliariamas.com), [5]. Seafront apartments, charming mediterranean villas, rustic cottages nestled in the valley of oranges...  edit
  • Casa Margarita, Carrer de Reial, 3, +34 971 634214, [6]. Near train and tram stations - shared toilet but washbasins in rooms. Breakfast with boiled egg and delicious bread served in room by request.  edit
  • Port de Sóller - the local seaside resort
  • Palma de Mallorca - Mallorca's capital and largest city
  • Easy walks to delightful villages of Biniaraix and Fornalutx
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