In 2021 Sarah Drane described her favourite places to go to in Mallorca and offered some excellent recommendations. With travel due to open up later this and Mallorca being a long-established favourite of British travellers, Simon Maurice suggests some alternative goodies that UK visitors’ best-loved Balearic Island has to offer:
Soller is a picturesque town in the hills of North West Mallorca. It is accessible by car, but by far the most fun and relaxed way to get there is to take the little mountain railway train – the Ferrocarril de Soller – that starts in Palma and takes travellers on a beautiful winding, scenic, hour journey through the Sierra de Alfabia mountain range to Soller.
There, you can enjoy the delights of the picturesque town or you can take a second train (more of a tram really and, in fact, the way oranges were originally transported from the local groves to the port) down to Porto de Soller, with its beautiful beach and promenade. The main square in Soller – the Plaza de la Constituicion – is a great place for lunch or simply sampling some “café society” and, if you go on Saturday, there is also a bustling market.
While you are in Soller, do NOT leave without checking out the station itself, because you will find that within the station building is an Art Museum, which has a permanent Picasso exhibition that majors on his ceramics and also, a second exhibit featuring noted Spanish Surrealist artist, Juan Miro. Visiting both exhibits will probably take no more than half an hour, but both are fascinating and are even better because entry is free.
If you’re an art fan, there is, however, some great stuff to buy at the Gift Shop. Also worth a visit, is Soller’s Can Prunera Museum of Modernism which hosts varying exhibitions of art, all displayed in this Art Nouveau residence.
The Rafa Nadal Academy, unsurprisingly, majors on Tennis, with courses of various types for all levels – both indoor and outdoor. It also offers football, various gym/athletics training activities, a full spa and its own restaurant. You can even stay there, with a range of accommodation available at the attached Rafa Nadal Sports Centre.
The complex has 26 tennis courts – including a show court – and it regularly hosts Professional ranking tournaments. In 2019, we watched Andy Murray play in a comeback tournament there and admission was free – the tournament being paid for by a local sponsor!