Port de Soller could be the location you are looking for, for your vacation in Mallorca! Do you want a beautiful sandy beach with access to luxury bars serving delicious cocktails on the stunning waterfront? Similarly, you want to watch the sunset surrounded by awe-inspiring mountains and wander down the quaint town’s beautiful alleys. Then look no further than visiting Port de Sóller, on the Western coast of Mallorca.
My husband and I have just returned from a wonderful last-minute trip to Mallorca and we had the most amazing time. We planned the trip 1 week before travelling to Mallorca with no prior knowledge of where to go. Our only requirements were that we could travel there easily, as we were not going to hire a car. That we could easily see more than one location, a week on a beach can sometimes be too much. We wanted affordable luxury, incredible views, and nice restaurants. We also enjoy a culturally rich location and admire beautiful buildings. So, with a little bit of research, I came across Port de Soller.
Located on the Western coast of Mallorca, Port de Soller is only a 30-minute drive from the city of Palma. Conveniently this is also where the international airport is located. Nestled at the bottom of the Tramuntana Mountain ranges, Port de Soller is a beautiful fishing village that serves as the port for the nearby town of Sóller. The port is filled with traditional white fishing boats and lined with bountiful restaurants and bars all serving the fresh catch of the day and jugs of delicious sangria. In other words, you have arrived in heaven.
There is a long sandy beach that stretches the width of the port, allowing for ample opportunity to swim with the fish that frequent the shallows. It is also the only place that has sandy beaches on the West Coast of Mallorca. Only a few steps away can you then escape the heat of the midday sun and relax for a delicious lunch or cocktail at one of the many restaurants that line the shore. The port comes alive at night with alfresco dining being the main attraction. There are also no nightclubs here and the feeling is that you are in a more upmarket location.
Why Visit Port de Soller?
If the above hasn’t convinced you to visit Port de Soller on your next vacation to Mallora, this surely will. One of the most interesting aspects of visiting is the local Tram. This antique tram that is over 100 years old makes daily trips between Port de Soller and Soller. It travels along the oceanfront before taking the 30-minute picturesque journey into the Tramuntana mountains. Arriving into Soller, the view is majestic as it passes through the town square and Església de Sant Bartomeu. This Baroque church with gothic features is a breathtaking view to capture on your journey and makes a very unique experience.
Port de Soller is easily accessed from Palma but also close by to other fantastic places like Deia and Valldemossa. If you don’t have a car it takes just 20 minutes to travel by local bus to Deia. Also, one of the many reasons we wanted to stay here was its close proximity to other places to sightsee.
Known for fantastic hiking and mountain bike riding, being located in the Tramuntana mountain ranges makes Port de Soller a perfect active holiday destination. With plentiful water sport activities as well there is so much to do here.
I have previously mentioned the nearby town of Soller. This is actually the main town and Port de Soller is simply Soller’s Port. However, the two have completely different vibes. Soller is more like the old town, consisting of beautiful winding lanes. The breathtaking architecture of the buildings is set across the backdrop of the mountains, offering magnificent views around every corner. The main square is also the place to be and where everyone congregates at dinner time. Restaurants line the square serving traditional Mallorcan fare as the antique tram travels right through the middle. Children play on the cobbled street as locals attend mass at the Església de Sant Bartomeu. Orange trees dot the streets adding to the unique and beautiful atmosphere that is Soller.
Port de Soller Itinerary
7-night Itinerary for Mallorca -we decided to stay in Port de Soller for the first 3 nights. We then moved to Soller which is only 5 minutes away on the bus for 3 nights. Our final night was spent in Palma as we had a morning flight on our last day. We chose this itinerary to allow us ample time to spend in each location. Transport between the two towns isn’t bountiful in the evening and so this allows more freedom.
Things to do in Port de Soller
Port de Soller Beach
The beach stretches for the width of the port and is split up into 4 little bays. The sandy beach is one of the main attractions and thus is lifeguarded properly. Some sections offer sun loungers and parasols for hire – about 18 euro for the day for two loungers and a parasol. However, there is plenty of space to relax for free on the sand. The water is clear and inviting with little fish that make it a great snorkelling spot. The beach is within spitting distance of the bars with many offering takeaway drinks. Alternatively, the local supermarket is only a minutes walk so you can pack a picnic.
Soller Tram and Train
Take a ride on the antique tram to Soller or the train if you are travelling to/from Palma. This unique experience is a popular tourist attraction in the area and an absolute must-do activity. As mentioned earlier, the train and tram are over 100 years old. They have been impeccably looked after to retain their original features. A visit to Port de Soller is not complete without a ride on them.
Port de Soller Sunset
As the port is set in the mountains you don’t get to see the sunset on the horizon unless you go to a high viewpoint. We stumbled across the perfect viewing platform on an evening stroll. Located only a 5-10 minute walk away you will find the Museu de la Mar – Museu Marítim de Mallorca, Sóller. The museum is perched on the edge of the cliff facing West and therefore offers breathtaking ocean views. We sat on the bench watching the boats sail into the port and the birds fly high above the cliffs as the sunset on the horizon.
Day Trip to Deia
Located only 20 minutes from Port de Soller is Deia. A beautiful hilltop village nestled inland from the rugged coastline. Named by Richard Branson as the “most beautiful place in Mallorca” and it is easy to see why he loved it. He even bought a rather fancy villa hotel called La Residencia. Also the local beach – Cala Deia, has become famous for its part in being a filming location in The Night Manager. To get to Deia by public bus you just need to take bus line 203 from Soller. At only a couple of euros per person to make the journey it is worth a visit. It is also worth taking note that the roads to Deia are winding and hug the cliff’s edge. The route is reminiscent of the roads on the Amalfi coast and driving here by yourself is not for the faint-hearted.
Hiking the Tramunatana Mountain Ranges
This area of Mallorca is known for the beautiful green mountain ranges that are the Tramuntana mountains. Therefore the area is immensely popular with those that love to hike. A popular hiking route is from the nearby aforementioned beautiful village of Deia to Port de Soller. It is advisable to start at Deia to avoid the steep hill from Soller at the beginning of the walk. Also, you don’t want to miss the last bus back from Deia. The route follows what once was the old road connecting Deia with Soller. The coastal walk takes approximately 3.5 hours and is about 10km long. There are plenty of hiking routes in the area to keep you occupied, but I would plan these in the slightly cooler months to avoid any heat exhaustion.
Road Cycling in Port de Soller
The area around Soller is particularly popular with road cyclists. The sweeping panoramic views, vast winding roads and vast array of routes make Soller a fantastic base for a road cycling holiday.
Boat Trips in Port de Soller
With Port de Soller being an active port, there are so many options for fun boat trips. Whether you want to hire a speedboat for the day and explore the coastline and hidden beaches. Or catch the passenger ferry that visits nearby Sa Calobra. You can even charter a luxury yacht. We didn’t do any boat trips but based on how Sa Calobra looks with Torrent de Pareis, at only 30 euros per person return this would be the most amazing trip.
Where to Stay in Port de Soller
Our requirements for a hotel in Port de Soller were:
It needed a swimming pool,
Needed to be as close to the water front as possible,
Needed to have air con,
Include breakfast daily,
Get atleast 9/10 on reviews
Be below £150 per night
After thorough research, we settled on staying at the 4* Aimia hotel and absolutely loved it. We also found that booking the hotel direct was the cheapest option – which surprised me as that isn’t always the case.
The Aimia hotel was set back one road from the waterfront, had large minimalistic rooms that were cleaned to an impeccable standard. The breakfast was a buffet of delicious hot and cold food set in the alfresco dining area by the pool. We were able to order eggs freshly cooked, you have to try the omelettes! In addition, the front desk staff were incredibly friendly, and the swimming pool was the highlight offering respite from the Mallorcan heat. With plenty of sun loungers to go around, although that didn’t stop several guests trying to reserve them at breakfast with a book or hat. We absolutely loved this hotel, being only a 30-second walk from the ocean it was the perfect hotel for Port de Soller.
Where to Stay in Soller
Soller is a more traditional and historical town than the port. Many of the properties are located in the town centre and therefore don’t have the same facilities. But the lack of facilities is made up for in charm and character.
Our requirements for a hotel in Soller were:
Centrally located to the tram and train station,
Close to Església de Sant Bartomeu,
Have air con,
Include a daily breakfast,
Get atleast 9/10 on reviews
Be below £150 per night
We decided to stay at the 3* Hotel S’Ardeviu, a family-run hotel within a 30-second walk of the main square. This traditional hotel was beautifully decorated with a stunning garden terrace. Traditional local-style breakfast was served out in the garden every morning. There was a communal lounge serving complimentary local aperitifs and a separate tea/coffee area. The owners were incredibly warm and welcoming, therefore we would highly recommend staying here.
The Best Bars in Port Soller
We tried to do our best to sample as many of the best bars in Port de Soller. You get a taste for an afternoon cocktail whilst on holiday and before you know it, it’s become a daily ritual. We required that the venue had to provide a nice view, a great vibe, great staff and delicious, well-portioned cocktails. Also, we didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg getting one either.
Ocea is in such a fantastic location on the waterfront. Centrally located along the beachfront, with comfy sofas and funky decor. They serve a fantastic selection of delicious cocktails and even have an extensive smoothie and juice menu. They also serve healthy food like greek salads and wraps. We ate there on our first night and the food was super fresh and tasty so we would highly recommend visiting. We came several times just for the cocktails. Prices were around 7 Euros for an Aperol Spritz.
We stopped by Albertross to enjoy a couple of Aperol Spritz’s because we noticed that they often have live musicians play opposite the bar. The staff were super friendly, the seating is directly on the promenade. The vibe is awesome and it makes the perfect spot to people watch. It cost us just under 16 Euros for 2 Aperol Spritz’s.
The Donkey Bar is located in the Bikini Hotel and is about a 5-10 minute walk uphill from the port. The decor in this hotel is so awesome. It is super colourful and modern and so it’s an Instagrammer’s dream photo backdrop. The reason we came was for the cool vibes and the epic sunset views overlooking the port and mountains. Drinks are more expensive here at around 10-11 Euros per cocktail and service was pretty slow. It was a 45-minute wait before we even got served. However, I would still recommend it due to the vibes and views and take the bad experience with a pinch of salt.
The Best Bars in Soller
We came to Sa Granja two nights in a row because we loved it so much. After having a pretty average experience at another place nearby this place really made up for it. They have really friendly staff and a fantastic location in the square overlooking the church. Not only that- their jugs of sangria are only 9.50 Euros. That’s 2.37 Euros a glass!
Where to Eat in Port de Soller
Serving up fresh and healthy food like salads and wraps, Ocea is a great relaxed cafe to visit on the waterfront.
We got invited into La Sal by their location on the waterfront and their turquoise decor. Our reason to visit was to taste some tapas and it was delicious. We ate Patatas Bravas, which we have found varies in the recipe in almost every restaurant. Here they served it as yummy potato wedges with a fancy sriracha foam. We also ate black olive hummus with pitta and that was equally delicious. The drinks were ok, a weak Aperol Spritz can quickly put you off. I had a frozen margarita which was nice but not a great as the other bars we had visited.
Pizzería La Cuarteta
Nestled down a side street is Pizzería La Cuarteta, a fantastic takeaway pizza place. We fancied having an alfresco dinner on the beach and so we came here after checking out the reviews online. We got a pizza and 2 cans of beer for about 16 euros. It was delicious and made the perfect little beach picnic.
Where to Eat in Soller
So not only did we love coming here for drinks but the food was absolutely amazing and really good value. For the first time, I was spotted single portions of seafood Paella on the menu for only 12 euros. This is really uncommon I have found and it was so great I had it two nights in a row. My husband ate the pizzas and the portion sizes are fabulous. It isn’t any wonder that they get booked up in advance, we were lucky to get a table without a booking as we came out for dinner earlier than most do at around 7 pm.
Serving the best gelato in town, you can taste delicious Soller orange sorbet and vegan chocolate gelato. The perfect combo and at only 3 euros for 2 scoops on a waffle cone, you can’t go wrong.
How to Get to Port de Soller
The main airport in Mallorca is Palma and this is most likely where you will start your journey. There are several ways that you can get to Port de Soller from Palma International Airport:
Travel by Airport Transfer or Taxi:
You can prebook airport transfers and the journey takes approximately 30 minutes. There are no shuttle services as it is not located near other all-inclusive resorts as with the rest of the island. So a private airport transfer or taxi is what you would use. It costs about 60 Euros for this service.
By Public Bus:
The public bus journey to Port de Soller involves one change and is the cheapest option. The A1 Airport bus departs from outside the arrivals terminal at Palma airport and takes you to Placa d’Espanya which is where you want to get off. This is the main transport hub in Palma. The A1 bus journey costs 5 Euros per person and departs every 15 minutes.
At Placa d’Espanya you want to catch another bus from the underground terminal. Follow the escalator behind the bus stops down to the Estación Intermodal, where the buses and trains depart from. At the bottom of the escalator turn right, you will see a bus timetable on the big screen. There are two buses that you can catch to Port de Soller, number 204 and 203.
Bus 204 is the more direct route and goes directly to Port de Soller via the tunnel. It departs every 30 minutes and takes 45 minutes. It also stops in Soller first. You can see the timetable here.
Bus 203 is the more scenic route going past the beautiful towns of Valldemossa and Deia. This route obviously takes longer at around 1.5hrs and doesn’t depart as frequently. You can see the time table here.
How much does the bus cost to Port de Soller?
It cost us £4.58 for 2 people taking the 204 bus to Port de Soller paying with our UK debit cards.
You can use these same buses to get between Port de Soller and Soller, as well as buses 231 and 232. It cost us £3.04 using our UK debit card for a return journey for two people and takes about 5 minutes.
TIP: When it comes to paying for these buses, make sure you have two forms of payment. Some only take card payments. I would advise using a debit card which we know works as tap on/tap off. We saw a family from the USA trying to use a credit card and it wouldn’t work and they had no cash. It seems to depend on the bus whether they take cash or not. They advertise that they do accept credit cards, but it is worth making sure you have an alternative payment type. It is also advertised that by paying by card you receive a 60% discount on the cash fare.
By Antique Train and Tram
A unique way to travel to Port de Soller is via the antique train and tram. Departing from Placa d’Espanya, the wooden train that is over 100 years old goes directly to Soller. It takes a leisurely 1-hour journey through the Tramuntana mountains. The views are beautiful and it is such a unique way to travel. Once you reach Soller there is the option to catch the Tram down to the port. It departs from the same location as the arrival of the train, just down the steps on the main road. The Tram journey is 30 minutes long and a fantastic way to travel between Soller and Port de Soller.
Tickets for the Train cost 18 Euros one way and the Tram costs 7 Euros one way. Alternatively, if you are travelling from Palma for the day you can purchase a return ticket for both the train and tram for 32 Euros.
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