Nice ride through Soller and along Port de Soller beach / harbor
7 Euro one-way for less than five kilometers
Can be really packed, even in lower season
It is one of the the classic trips on Mallorca and something like a must-do for many tourists: taking the two-stage trip from Palma to Port de Soller. You typically take the historic train, the Tren de Soller, first and then change into the historic tramway, Tranvia de Soller (or: Tramvia de Soller in Catalan), down to the picturesque harbor borough. However, during my stay in May 2021, only the tram has been operating – thus, I took the opportunity and have a ride with it. The tram is one of two first generation tramways in Spain.
Tranvia de Soller – Rolling Stock
During my trip the tram with number 1 has been operating. The Tranvia de Soller is having three of these trains in their depot. These three motor cars are original ones, built in 1913 in Zaragoza. They also have a 1932 historic tram car from Bilbao. The train has been operating with open trailer cars, which have originally been used in Palma – but there are a lot of other wagons in their stock. Some of the motor cars, for example, have been acquired from Lisbon. Thus, even if you have multiple rides on the tram, especially during peak times, you may have a ride with different motor cars and trailer.
We had the downhill trip in the original motor car and then changed to the open trailers for the direct return uphill. All trains operate on three feet / 914mm narrow gauge tracks.
Tranvia de Soller – Network, Timetable, Tariff
The total track length is 4.86 km. The tram however operates between Soller right in front of the train station and Marysol in Port de Soller only. The motor car is always at the front of the cars in direction of travel – which means that the motor car changes its position at each terminal. The tram depot is located in Soller. There are in theory seventeen stops, typically just consisting of a platform, no buildings. These are typically used by locals only, tourists take the full route. A one way ticket is seven Euro.
During my trip with the tram, there were some six or seven trains per day in each direction. Typically, the tram leaves every half an hour between 7:00 and 20:00 hrs and to hourly trips until midnight. If you want to park in Soller or Port de Soller, this may be tricky in peak times – it was already a challenge during our stay in Western Mallorca. The operating speed is 25 km/h, so that, including all potential stop, one ride is about 20 to 25 minutes. There are no services at the stations itself (there are also no toilets in the stations or the trams).
Tranvia de Soller – The Trip
This section of the review is based on the downhill trip from Soller to Port de Soller – some pictures from the uphill trip have been inserted in appropriate positions. After the train station, you first pass the lovely Placa de la Constitucio (Constitution Square) with beautiful buildings and some lovely cafes. The next major sight you pass by is the Market Hall, before the tram takes a slight left turn and leaves the beautiful center of Soller and heads through residential areas and small plantations.
I would say that latest when the tracks cross the Ma-11, the trip is rather attractive when you enjoy the Mallorca hills in the background rather than the buildings and the street nearby. The route is now more or less in parallel with the road connection between Soller and its harbor and beach borough.
Not too far away from Hotel Marina we stayed in, the tram takes a right bend and you are now taking the last minutes right on the promenade street at the harbor of Port de Soller. To me, this is the most beautiful part of the trip.
Tranvia de Soller – My View
The pictures below have been taken from the trip after we came back to Soller. The tram has been packed, people were already standing in the carriages. I guess the loading of the wagons in non-Covid-19 peak times must be massive. Of course, it is cool to take that tram ride – but you have to be aware that the medium part of the trip is not that exciting and that 14 Euro for the return is quite a bunch of money – maybe it is more sensible to take one way with the tram and return by taxi, which is according to my information some ten Euro (and thus: cheaper – if you are in a group). I love historic trains and I liked this ride… But it is not as special as I thought.