Best of the Mediterranean #1 Port de Soller

Port de Soller is situated in an idyllic horseshoe bay tucked behind the cliffs making up the rugged north west coast of Mallorca, Spain. It’s the only all weather anchorage on this part of Mallorca’s coast and there is a choice of anchoring in the sandy bay, mooring on a new floating pontoon or entering the harbour itself.

The town is small and sleepy and although definitely a tourist town it has managed to retain its charm and character. This is in part thanks to the fact that it was a very difficult place to get to until a road tunnel through the surrounding Serra de Tramuntana mountains was opened in the early 1990’s. This meant that Port De Soller missed out on the nasty development so often associated with Spanish coastal resorts as they became popular through the 70’s and 80’s, and that’s something to be thankful for.

The port is fringed by a safe, sandy beach ideal for kids to play on and lots of cafes, restaurants and bars that are popular throughout the day and into the evening. The local delicacy is a juicy bright red prawn that sea foodies flock from far and wide to sample straight out of the surrounding waters.

 

The backdrop to the town are the lush, green serra de tramuntana foothills which are dotted with fruit trees and olive groves, before they make way to the dark massifs of the Serra de Tramuntana beyond. The opportunities for hiking, trekking and mountain biking are only limited by your ability, fitness and thirst for adventure. We did several walks through the foot hills where the land is terraced and cultivated. We met donkeys, locals tending their land and saw little stalls selling fresh orange juice. You can wander till your heart is content.

The town of Soller lies a couple of miles inland from Port de Soller and there is a  vintage tram that runs from the town to the port for those who don’t fancy the walk. Soller is famous for oranges, and the cash this fruit has bought into the town has, over the centuries, been spent on some beautiful buildings including the impressive church of Sant Bartomeu which dominates  the town square.

Visiting in May we were lucky enough to be in town for one of the Moros y Cristianos, one of the most exciting festivals in Mallorca. The festival celebrates the defeat of an invading Algerian force in 1561. The story goes that the Moors landed in Port de Soller and made their way inland where the brave women of Soller repelled them with treacle on the streets and catapults from above.

The reenactment is a loud and exciting affair and a full of colour in the way only a Spanish festival can be. Everyone is in fancy dress. The locals take to small boats, fire cannons and take part in mock hand to hand combat on the beaches. It’s an assult on the senses and like so many of the Spanish festivals there appears to be little regard for health and safety. You will certainly never see a festival like this in the UK or Australia!

Our kids fluctuated from mesmerised to terrified to overwhelmed and back again multiple times during the afternoon, they had never seen anything like it. If you can plan your trip to coincide with this festival you will not be disappointed!!

 

As far as connections go, Palma, is only 45 mins away by train or bus.  So if you arrive in Soller by yacht you can use it as an economical base from which to explore the island, avoiding the seriously expensive marinas in Palma. In May we paid 25 Euro a night on a floating pontoon inc power and water. The harbour was 40 Euro a night and anchoring free. There isn’t much by the way of chandlers in Port de Soller, but in Palma there is everything you could wish for.

It is a wonderful place to visit by boat and was a real highlight of our first season. In addition to Soller, there are also some excellent day anchorages up and down the coast including Deia which was the home of the poet Robert Graves.

There is something here for everyone and Its a yachtmoretolife must visit destination!

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