Choosing the right location in the Sóller Valley

Lying in a fertile valley planted with orange groves, the town of Sóller was founded by the Moors during the Arab occupation; indeed it gets its name from the Arabic word ‘sullar’ (golden bowl).

For many people coming to Casas Mallorca, the first question is where should they choose their new property.  The Sóller valley is primarily rural, with many fincas, cottages and olivars situated within the agricultural neighbourhood, or on the hillsides, but the valley has four urban centres.


With its 13,000 inhabitants, Sóller is the commercial and cultural centre of the Tramuntana Sierra and the starting point of many itineraries following mountain and coastal paths through the “valley of oranges”. Sóller is a working town, with myriad small businesses and a few light industrial units to complement the rural activities.  Although many hotels and restaurants close for the winter ‘off-season’, the town remains open year round, with good supermarkets and food shops, ferreterias (hardware stores) and banks. In 1912, the Sóller valley was connected to the rest of Mallorca with a new train line, which, two years later, was complemented by a tramway (tramvia) used mainly for fruit and vegetable transport to the harbour. Today, the colourful trams ferry tourists between town and port, an excellent bus service will take you to the centre of Palma in 35 minutes, and less than 40 minutes in the car will get you to the international airport.

Puerto de Sóller

Like several towns on the island, Sóller has its own port just 3 km down the road. Originally a small fishing village servicing the main town, the puerto started to expand in the 19th century when the export of citrus fruits grown in the valley became big business. In the years before the opening of the Sóller tunnel in 1997, It was only possible to reach Palma by ship or an exhausting and dangerous travel over the mountain pass Coll de Sóller.  Trading with France by sea was easier, and led to an increase of French culture in Sóller as residents imported furniture, fashion and goods. Now the Puerto is at the heart of tourist activity in the Sóller valley, thanks to its gorgeous sandy beach (built around 2003) but its plentiful amenities do close down noticeably in the winter season as the tourists vanish. 


Regularly included on the list of Spain’s most beautiful villages, the mountain eyrie of Fornlautx is a short drive from Sóller.  Founded in the Middle Ages by the Moors, the mountain village nestles on the flanks of Puig Migdia, which is one of the highest mountains on the island. Terraces of vineyards and wooded slopes surround the village and the scent of lemon and orange blossom runs through the streets. In front of house entrances are buckets of flowering oleander shrubs, hibiscus and olive trees. Narrow streets, which are partially linked by stone steps, converge on a charming square, the heart of village life.


Smaller and quieter still, the tiny village of Binairaix has houses dating back to the 16th century, and a tiny plaza with café and restaurant. It is the starting point for hikers to tackle the famous Barranc trail which leads up and up through the through the Biniaraix Ravine, a gateway to many of the thrilling routes and climbs of the Tramuntana mountain range.

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