Port of Soller is a wonderful natural harbour on the spectacular north coast of Mallorca. Until recently a major military base, Port of Soller has always been a popular trading centre for Mallorca due to it well sheltered bay and handy position between the mainland of Spain and the island. Port of Soller is the only safe haven for yachts traversing this part of Mallorca coast. Recently great efforts have been made to make the harbour more yacht friendly and as a result this is a fantastic port to add to your list of places to visit on your Mallorcan sailing holiday.
(Note: the old town of Soller lies inland some kilometres away)
Surrounded by the mountainous terrain of the Tramuntanas , Port of Soller has an old world charm that is hard to resist. Cafes and restaurants line the foreshore and provide the perfect atmosphere for sipping coffee whilst contemplating fishermen tending their daily catch and planning the next day’s sail.
There are several alternatives for mooring. Marina Tramuntana has a pontoon on the northwest side of the harbour for visitors with power and water and access to rudimentary showers and toilets. While more expensive than the Port Authority quay, it is more sheltered if the weather turns nasty. Their second area is around the outside of the main concrete quay (originally part of the old military base). The same facilities are offered.
The Port Authority quay (Moll Transit) is the long pontoon to the southeast of the harbour. There is power and water here as well. Near the harbour office on the main quay you will find toilet facilities etc. The Port Authority also offers free water on the old ferry quay when the fishermen are out to sea. You will need a special adapter to use the taps. The adapters are available at the local hardware shop but more than likely your charter boat will have one on board.
Your final option for spending the night here is to anchor in the bay south of the harbour. There are numerous mooring dotted about but as is normally the case in Mallorca there are debates over who owns what. Unless you are sure you are welcome to pick one up it is better to anchor. Swimming buoys are laid in the summer which can restrict swinging room and the authorities in Port of Soller do occasionally enforce the “200m rule”. That is, you must not anchor within 200m of the beach or swing into the swimming area so watch your spacing.
You can find all you need to re provision in Port of Soller as well as several chandlery shops if you are missing some vital piece of equipment.
Port of Soller is an excellent base for walking as it lies on the La Ruta de la Pedra en Sec (Dry Stone Route). This beautiful walk negotiates the rise and fall of the entire length of Mallorca’s Tramuntana Mountains – approximately 140kms in total. Port of Soller also has many circular walks that incorporate parts of this track and others. These range from easy to hard in terrain and distance. Visit the local tourist office for more information. For great views out over Port of Soller, follow the road out towards the lighthouse on the western side of the bay. There are some lovely cafes and bars along the way if you find your throat becoming parched.
Before sailing away you may want to take a trip inland to visit the old town of Soller. Inhabited since at least 5200BCE, Old Soller is a pretty little town with some wonderfully ornate 18th century buildings and well thought out squares, including the very relaxing Placa Constitucid. The central area surrounding this square is choker block with quirky shops, delightful cafes and sophisticated bars. One of the highlights of this trip however, is the method of accessing Old Soller from Port of Soller. A vintage electric tram still chugs its way up and down the 4.8km route, delivering tourists in style. Built in 1913, the Tranvia de Soller was designed to carry people but more importantly also to enable more efficient transportation of produce during the booming orange trade era. In fact most locals will tell you Old Soller was built with “orange money”. The Tram cost 5.50€ for an adult and 2€ for a child one way. The bus is somewhat cheaper at just over a euro each way but not half as quaint! If you have suddenly discovered your “inner trainspotter” during your tram ride between the Port of Soller and Old Soller, you might also be interested to know that from Old Soller you can board yet another vintage train (built in 1912) and enjoy a magical trip through 30 kilometres of stunning scenery and arrive in Palma approximately one hour later.