Palma to Soller by Train
A trip over to the pretty town of Soller from Palma on the Orange Express train is a joyous dip into the past and a must for any discerning visitor to the island of Mallorca.
Founded in 1911 – and built from the profits of the orange and lemon trade, the railway was originally built to transport the fruit down to Palma. Whilst
the bulk of the oranges and lemons were exported to France by sea, it took a whole day to transport the remaining citrus fruit to the Mallorca’s capital
city by road.
The narrow gauge train departs from Placa Espana in Palma (all buses pass through Placa Espana) at scheduled times every day throughout the year – the
timetable changes summer and winter.
The 100 year old wooden rolling stock is quite enchanting, terrifically atmospheric, beautifully polished and finished. I’m thinking Harry Potter meets the
Railway Children. The journey itself is 27km and takes approximately one hour.
Upon arrival at the booking office in Placa Espana, allow a little extra time to purchase your ticket. Fifteen minutes before the departure of the train,
the small area becomes extremely crowded, so popular is this Majorcan excursion.
It is a bit of a good natured bun fight to get everyone seated before setting off clackety clacking through the baked back streets of Palma. It’s not long
before urbanisation turn into lush green countryside and the vista opens up and you are passing through the pretty orange and lemon groves.
As you head north, you can’t help but notice that the huge mountain range of the Sierra de Alfabia is looms majestically ahead, and despite the fact that
you are travelling slowly uphill, the ancient train is never going to climb that high! Luckily there are some 13 tunnels ranging in length from 33 to 2876
metres which enable you to cut through the mountains and head on your way over to Soller.
Some (crazy) people like to stand outside the carriage on the footplate of the train to take photographs – I don’t know if this is advisable or safe, as it
is extremely noisy and a tad dark when you are in the tunnel.
As well as water for the journey, remember to take your camera. The train makes one stop in the picturesque town of Bunyola for a photo opportunity looking down over the town of Soller. From there it winds down around the mountain towards its final destination.
If you are lucky enough to be in Mallorca around February time, this journey takes on a whole new meaning.
The almond blossom and the citrus blossom is an amazing sight.
Fields of fluorescent blooms is reason enough to venture up to Soller out of season.
Soller is famous for oranges so whilst you are there, do take five minutes to take a zumo de naranja (orange juice to you and I). If it’s open, the church in the square (more gold inside than you can shake a stick at) is stunningly beautiful. Antonio Gaudi spent a bit of time in Soller and interesting examples of his work are evident. More about Gaudi another time.
From the square you can catch a tram down to the Port of Soller where there is a super beach, fabulous restaurants and cafes etc.
Tickets cost 12.50 one way or 19.50 return for tourists (concessions for residents). You can buy a joint Train/Tram ticket for 28 euros
For up to date information Tel 902 364 711 http://www.trendesoller.com/en/cms.php/Train_Itinerary
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