Port de Sóller

Port of Sóller: five recommendations

Port de Sóller is located in the bay of the same name, on the north coast of Mallorca. It is connected by road and tramway to the small town of Sóller, at the foot of the Serra de Tramuntana, and is the departure point for maritime excursions to coastal places of special interest such as Sa Foradada, Tuent, Sa Calobra and the Torrent de Pareis.

What a century ago was a small fishing district, today has become the main tourist center of this area of Mallorca. Its special charm and the tranquility it offers to the visitor, together with its varied restaurant offer and its renovated hotels, make Port de Sóller one of the most popular destinations in Mallorca for national and international tourism.

Besides being able to enjoy the beaches of Port de Sóller and water sports, let's see what other things we recommend to do or visit in this privileged place.

The docks and the seaside neighborhood

In any sea port it is advisable to take a stroll through it. We can start ours from the last tramway stop, in front of the Marisol Restaurant, located in the tramway station. This historic restaurant opened on May 5, 1929 and today offers its services to travelers arriving at Port de Sóller or making the famous "Island Tour", which combines the trip from Palma, by train and tramway, with the boat to Sa Calobra.

From the Marisol we will walk along the docks and walkways of the marina where traditional Mallorcan "llaüts" moor up to motorboats, sailboats and luxury yachts. Further on, walking among the boats and the lively terraces of the bars and restaurants, we will reach the fishing pier and the fish market.

On the docks rests the seaside neighborhood of Santa Catalina, a small maze of houses, narrow streets and steep slopes staggered. At the top, terraces provide a viewpoint overlooking the bay with the Serra de Tramuntana as a backdrop.

The varied restaurant offer in the area includes Mediterranean and seafood dishes such as paellas, rice dishes, stews and grilled fresh fish and seafood.

The Santa Catalina lookout point and the Museum of the Sea

The oratory of Saint Catherine of Alexandria presides over the seafaring quarter at its highest point. This small church of the 13th century is at the present time the seat of the Museum of the Sea.

The Museum of the Sea is part of the Maritime Museum of Mallorca and functions as a center for research and interpretation of the relationship with the sea of Sóller and its inhabitants. Its exhibition room displays old naval pieces, objects related to the world of fishing and trade, models of boats, photographs and historical images, documentation and other elements related to the sea. In the audiovisual room you can listen to the testimonies of the old fishermen of the place.

Next to the oratory, a terrace on the cliff gives us the opportunity to extend our view towards the immensity of the Mediterranean Sea and to observe without obstacles one of the best sunsets of the island.

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An trip to the lighthouse

The specific location of the lighthouses, on top of capes and ledges, makes a visit to their surroundings almost inevitable. In Port de Sóller it is possible to approach the lighthouse located on the Cap Gros, a mass that closes the bay in its western part.

You can get to the lighthouse on foot or by car on a narrow road with some curves, although affordable. If you do it on foot you can start the tour from the port itself, walking along the promenade, or from the tramway stop at the Plaza de Sa Torre.

The walk takes about 25 minutes and its route runs all the time by the sea. At the top, the north-facing viewpoint offers one of the best views of the Bay of Sóller, the harbor and the mountains. On the other side of the lighthouse, an esplanade facing west is ideal for watching the sunset.

A tower defense against pirate attacks

During the 16th century Sóller was raided twice by Barbary pirates. In 1542, the corsair raid destroyed the Oratory of Santa Catalina, in the Port of Sóller. In 1561, a large pirate host, after anchoring their ships off the coast, reached the town and, although repulsed by the local militia, left behind death, looting and destruction.

These continuous attacks on the coastal towns led to the construction of a line of watchtowers along the entire Mallorcan coastline. The one that guards the Port of Sóller, on top of a cliff, is called Torre Picada, magnificently preserved.

Starting from the Port of Sóller, a walk of less than half an hour between terraces of olive trees and pine forest takes us to the foot of the tower. Although the interior is not accessible, the views of the bay, the mountains and the rugged north coast make the walk worthwhile.

Boat trip along the north coast of Mallorca

Unlike other coastal areas of the island, the north coast of Mallorca is steep and rugged. The slopes of the Serra de Tramuntana drop down to the sea giving shape to a spectacular landscape. From the port of Sóller you have the opportunity to explore these unique landscapes by sea: cliffs, coves, caves and crystal clear waters. The shipping company Barcos Azules offers excursions to Sa Foradada, Tuent and Sa Calobra.

Sa Foradada is located southwest, between Deià and Valldemossa. It is an impressive perforated rock that forms a small peninsula that juts out into the sea. During the trip the boat passes in front of the picturesque coast of Deià.

Cala Tuent is the cove with the widest virgin beach on the north coast. A magical place surrounded by pine forests at the foot of the highest peaks of the Serra de Tramuntana. As it is not very crowded, it is an ideal place for relaxation and disconnection.

Sa Calobra is formed by a small port-refuge for fishermen and a beach of pebbles and turquoise waters. From there, on foot along a cobbled path and through tunnels drilled in the rock, you reach the mouth of the Torrent de Pareis.

The Torrent de Pareis is one of the most unique places on the island, declared a Natural Monument. A canyon of high stone walls that winds through the mountains until it meets the sea. At its mouth, a tongue of white pebble beach invites you to swim in a unique environment.

Or, if you feel like going further with your excursion, embark on a sea trip to the coastal destinations of Sa Foradada, Tuent, Sa Calobra and Torrent de Pareis.

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