is the Balearics' capital City; despite most tourists to Mallorca passing
through here via the island's airport, many look any further than the airport
and it’s linking roads.
actually accommodates about half of Mallorca's population, it is a developing
vibrant, cosmopolitan place; it’s stylish, sophisticated and bursting with
life, it also boasts some of the islands best restaurants, shops and nightlife
and has a thriving art scene and lively café society.
name originates from the Roman City of Palmaria and is also known as Cuitat
city of Palma now seen, is a relatively recent creation: the tree-lined
promenades of La Rambla and Passeig des Born (home to florists and newspaper
sellers) were built on a dried-up riverbed in the 19th century; the walls that
once surrounded the city have been pulled down to create the ring road Las
Avingudas; and Passeig Maritim (the waterfront highway and promenade) was only
reclaimed from the sea in the 1950's.
it’s relatively recent creation, the preservation of the old town makes it a
great place to wander through, amble around its winding lanes, admire
refurbished old buildings and take in some of the great architecture.
Palma to Soller Train:
The train journey from Palma to
Soller carries you straight through the mountains and valleys of the Serra de
The mountains run the length of
Mallorca's north coast, pine-covered slopes almost lean into the sea. As you
climb higher the forest hills clear into barren crags and peaks. They run for
88km from Andratx to Pollença, with the rocky outcrops of Sa Dragonera and Cap
de Formentor. The highest peaks are Puig Major at 1445 metres and Puig
Massanella at 1349 metres. There are no rivers, but there are several mountain
torrents which swell after rain, as well as the Cuber and Gorg Blau reservoirs
which are essential resources on an island that is often affected by draught.
The people of Mallorca are grateful
to the mountains in winter as they act as a buffer, shielding the island from
the fierce tramuntana wind and taking most of the island's rain and snow. In the
summer they provide a cool retreat from the heat of Palma and the South.
Towards the end of the 19th
century, difficulty with communication between Soller and Palma led to the
construction of a railway line. The trail, which was opened on 16th April 1912,
was constructed on the profits of the orange and lemon trade, and was built to
transport the produce to Palma.
The train (more like an old tram)
has a quaint appeal, it threads its way through the mountains and can seem like
something out of an Agatha Christie novel, it’s now become part of Mallorca's
The train's route offers some
spectacular views of the landscapes - views which can only be seen from the iron
road. After Bunyola, an orchard stretches out between the mountains, the train
then crosses the Alfabia range through tunnels to views of the valley of Soller
and the surrounding mountains.
As well as the usual trains, there is one tourist train per
day which stops at the valley of Soller for a few minutes to allow tourists to
stop and stand on the platform to take pictures of the surrounding views.
Telephone 0034 971 630301 for further details.
Soller is situated in the Northeast
of Mallorca and lies in a valley in the Traumuntana range down to the sea. The
Soller valley is isolated by mountains and can be reached from Palma by car, or
by the Palma-Soller train which takes one of the most spectacular routes on the
Soller is a very beautiful town and
used to be a very rich area. It is also one of the most popular areas for walks
on the island.
Valerie Crespi-Green (author of
'Landscapes of Mallorca' available from Sunflower Books) organises guided walks
around the island. For more details and bookings call Alternative Mallorca on
0113 278 6862 or fax 0113 274 2204.
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