Among the travel experiences that I always wanted to share there is certainly this train experience in Majorca (Mallorca): Ferrocarril de Sóller (which is also called Tren de Sóller). Not that it is one of the best things I have ever done, but I do believe that if you are in Majorca then going on a day trip to Sóller is definitely an enjoyable way to spend time.
That year my friend Consuelo and I found ourselves travelling to Majorca with two complete strangers: Marco and Mattia. All right, they were not completely unfamiliar since they were friends of people we knew. These two, however, were at the beach all the time and we didn’t really want to spend the whole week that way. After 3 days of beach life in Cala Millor, Consuelo and I decided to explore Majorca.
This is how one day we decided to take a day trip to Sóller with the Ferrocarril de Sóller.
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What is Ferrocarril de Sóller?
The Ferrocarril de Sóller is an interurban wooden historic electric train which runs 27 km from the capital Palma to the picturesque north-western town of Sóller through Serra de Tramuntana mountain range. It passes through 13 tunnels varying in length from 33 to 2,900 metres. The journey takes just under an hour.
The railway is characterized by an unusual narrow track which is only 914 mm wide (an English yard), which is pretty unusual nowadays; moreover its rolling stock is extremely varied. It is meticulously finished and maintained using traditional methods
Ferrocarril de Sóller, a bit of history.
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Work on the railway started simultaneously from Palma and Sóller on 3rd June 1907 on the profits of the orange and lemon trade, and that’s why the Ferrocarril de Sóller is also known as “Orange Express.” The area around Sóller in the northwest of Mallorca is a fertile farming region, nicknamed the ‘Valley of Gold’ for its production of olive oil and oranges.
And before the Tren de Sóller route was built, the only way the farmers could reach the markets in Palma was by mules and donkey carts through the narrow passes of the Tramuntana Mountains. It was exhausting for the draft animals.
In other words, the surrounding mountains isolated this part of the island, preventing passengers and goods from being transported to and from the port of Palma and the rest of the island.
That changed on 16th April 1912, when the Sóller to Palma railway route officially opened, allowing the farmers to finally be able to take their products to market easily.
As you can imagine, nowadays the olives and oranges are transported by road and it goes without saying that the Tren de Sóller has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Majorca. It carries over one million tourists a year. Not bad, right?
Palma-Sóller journey in details.
The Palma Sóller classic train journey starts at the railway station at the Plaza de Espana in Palma, where there is a specific place just for those travelling to Sóller.
Once you reach Sóller, you can either stay and explore the town of Sóller, or you can decide to take the antique tram another 20 minutes’ ride to Port de Sóller, on the coast. I did both. We first went to the port where we had our lunch, and then we came back to visit the old town which is very picturesque with plenty of local shops, cafes, and restaurants. We stopped at the square in front of the church for a drink before catching the train back to Palma.
How much does the Palma to Sóller train cost?
Well, the train trip from Palma to Sóller doesn’t come cheap! And this is definitely the sorest part of this fun experience.
- A one-way ticket from Palma to Sóller (or vice versa) costs €18
- Round trip costs €25.
- A one-way ticket on the tram from Sóller to Port de Sóller (or vice versa) costs €7.
- A combination return ticket on both train and tram costs €32.
Important notes: the Ferrocarril ticket counter does not accept credit cards. And it isn’’t possible to make reservations or purchase tickets in advance. You can only buy the ticket the same day of the journey. The tickets for the tram, unlike the ones for the train, are acquired on board only, unless you have purchased a combination ticket at the main station in Palma.
To be honest, tickets can be pre-booked through travel agents. You pay a bit more, but it makes things easier since you then simply have to collect them at the kiosk the day of your trip.
Ferrocarril De Sóller, must know things.
- I recommend that you arrive at the station at least 60 minutes before the train leaves in order to avoid any issues (I do not want to talk about the Spanish organisation).
- During the high season this train runs frequently. And these additional trains are decided on the same day, which means that you can only check them the same day of your trip on the information screens located in the main station of Palma.
- I also recommend that you check the return time before departure.
- Ferrocarril De Sóller has a stop in Bunyola. If you catch the train here, then the ticket comes a bit cheaper.
- With the Sóller train ticket you will get 40% off on Plaza De Espana underground parking.
- It is not allowed to carry bikes on board.
- Note that the tram journey from Sóller to Port de Sóller (or vice versa) is about 20 minutes so on your way back, I recommend that you plan accordingly t to avoid missing the return train to Palma. Especially if you have to take the last one.
- And the access for the trains back to Palma will be opened between 20 and 30 minutes before the departure time.
Check-out this link for more Things to do in Mallorca
Tren De Sóller, is it worth it?
I know, both the train from Palma to Sóller and the tram from Sóller to the Port are definitely over-priced. But allow me to say that Sóller is certainly worth a visit, as is the Port Sóller. Along the train journey you’ll see villages, olive trees and orange groves, and some mountain scenery. However, let me also say that even if the views weren’t as great as I imagined, I feel like suggesting this day trip to Sóller if you happen to be in Majorca because it is a great way to see a bit of the island.
And if you are going to Sóller, you must definitely travel by train. If you want to save some money, you can return by bus since the Sóller –Palma bus costs only € 2.40.
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