Returning home with suitcase full of memories…
My first holiday abroad was to the beautiful Puerto Pollensa on the north coast of Majorca with my Mum, Dad and two brothers. That holiday gave me my taste for travel and I’m sure was part of the reason I wanted to be a Travel Agent ( it was just so exciting booking a holiday!)
It’s only taken me 30 (ish) years to come back and visit this dramatic coast again, (this time Port Soller) and it has lost none of it’s magic.
This holiday was about rejuvenation and exploration- so for the first time ever, our hiking boots and anoraks were in a suitcase alongside our swimsuits and sandals.
Port Soller is a picturesque village, a natural harbour full of amazing restaurants, jaw dropping views, lighthouses and a San Francisco style tram that links the port to Soller Town. It’s breathtaking backdrop is thanks to the Serra De Tramuntana which separates the ‘Valley Of Gold’ from the rest of Majorca.
The Serra De Tramuntana was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2011 so we couldn’t wait to tie up our walking boots and make our way along part of the famous ‘Ruta de Pedra en Sec’( the dry stone path) We chose the section of the mountain path that took us from Port Soller to Deia. The routes takes you though stone terraced olive groves, high into the clouds and past beautiful fincas (some serving good coffee and amazing apple cake) until climbing the stones steps into ancient Deia. The walk is about 12km and they say takes about 3 hours – I think if you ask Nick, that will all depend on how many photos your wife takes 😊)
Deia is very beautiful, perched gracefully at the foot of the mountains over looking the Mediterranean. It attracts artists and writers, walkers and cyclists and has a lovely selection of eateries! We chose a lovely pizzeria called ‘Es Punt’ a great pizza complimented by our first try of Majorcan Red Wine – delicious.
We jumped on the bus back to Port Soller which run every hour, a spectacular journey (not for the faint hearted)
This is the most iconic hiking route in Mallorca, the ‘Ruta de Pedra en Sec’ or Dry Stone Route follows 168.4km of signposted trails through dry stonework terraces where olive trees have been growing for centuries, mountain villages, pine and holm oak forests and olive groves, also offering breathtaking sea views and we couldn’t wait to do our next section…
A couple of days later we took the Tram connecting the port to Soller, what a delightful way to travel. The tram and it’s wagons are 1913 originals and in perfect condition. It cost €7 each to trundle along the bay, through orange groves and central streets reaching the tram station in Soller. The tram station links up with the Tren De Soller (Soller Train).
Inaugurated in 1912 you can travel between Soller and Palma using the trains and wagons from that same period. The journey is meant to be beautiful, crossing over the Serra D’Alfabia through tunnels, over viaducts and through the Soller Valley. We didn’t have enough time to do have this adventure on this trip but is a must do next time we visit. Todays visit was about walking from Soller to Fornalutz (which enjoys the status of being one of ‘The Most Beautiful Town In Spain’) -maybe an hour or two’s walk. To be honest we didn’t look at our watches. We were to busy looking in awe at the citrus groves which fringed the bottom of the mountains with bold colours, the crystal clear rivers and swooping swallows dancing in the sky. It’s a pretty steady walk, making your way through the small hamlet of Biniaraix with its fresh water wells and cobbled streets along the river with views over the valley and up the steep streets to the historic centre of Fornalutz. The Parish Church overlooks the lively square filled with cafes (yes more apple cake) art galleries and museums. It really does live up to its title.
We had only come to Majorca for a few days and wanted to explore the town of Soller a bit more before jumping back on the tram back to the port. Our whistle shop tour took us to the main street, ‘Calle de la Lluna (Moon Street), home to lots of boutiques, independent shops and a handful delicatessens. The town is full of beautiful homes, retaining old features and charm and it’s a really pleasure to walk through the maze of cool stone alleyways. We had enough time to enjoy a large beer and take in the incredible architecture of Constitution Square. The baroque church stands proudly over looking the vibrant space, filled with bars and restaurants. The Banco de Soller and the town hall are also here, both stunning buildings. There is so much more to see and do in the town including botanical gardens and museums
So what’s left to tell you…
… Port Soller. The perfect base for our 5 night break. We fell in love with it as soon as we arrived! We stayed in the Hotel Aimia on a bed and breakfast basis and had the most wonderful side sea view.
The team that worked at the hotel were so welcoming and knowledgeable and made our stay here brilliant. As I mentioned our trip was about rejuvenation, the lovely spa area and treatments definitely helped with that. We didn’t have chance to use the outdoor pool, however it was a great area with nice sun beds, seating and bar service. The location was perfect, right in the centre of the bay. To one side you have the old town of Santa Catalina full of wonderful charm, quirky shops and restaurants and then, as you cross the bridge you can enjoy the beaches of Es Traves and Ca’n Repic. Walk along the tree lined pedestrianised promenade and enjoy some tapas or a cocktail overlooking the sea.
The public transport is just fantastic and so organised, you can travel from Port Soller all over the island by train and bus.
There are so many restaurants to choose from, the foodies in Nick and I were in heaven – here are a few recommendations…
Beach Front Vibes – Es Reco Bistro
Amazing Paella – Es Raco Des Port
A Menu with a Twist – C’an Ribes
Something really special – Vint
Majorca isn’t always a top on the list for a early season getaway, the weather can be mixed but we will definitely be back the same time next year. I remember a lovely waitress saying to me ‘this is a great time of year- you can hear the sea’ and that was the thing – out of season everyone had time, time to chat, time to smile, time to say hello. It was just lovely.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my blog and please get in touch with me for more information.
Thanks Helen and Nick ❤️