In 1912, a train line was opened between Palma and Sóller, making the northwestern coast of Mallorca accessible to the city. Prior to 1912, the journey across the mountains of Mallorca made passage difficult, and the Palma-Sóller road was a terror to navigate (and still is!). The train ride today is much like in was almost 100 years ago. Vintage railcars with mahogany panels and brass fittings rattle along the track through numerous tunnels. The ride is neither fast nor exciting, but the vistas are spectacular, and the numerous tunnels along the way provide a glimpse of how difficult construction must have been. Some of the windows on the train are badly scratched, so be sure to get a seat with a "clean" window since there is lots to see.
Five trains a day leave from Plaça d'Espanya in downtown Palma for Sóller. The 10:40 am train has a short photo stop, but is often the most crowded. The ride is about an 1.5 hours, traveling across the plain, through the tunnels in the mountains, and arriving in a lush valley of orange groves between the mountains and the sea. Sóller has a fine selection of pastry shops and tapas bar for the weary traveler, many surrounding the Plaça Constitució.
We arrived in Sóller after lunching in Deià. Since we drove via Valldemossa, the ride was not as harrowing as if coming straight from Palma. The train ride back to Palma was fun and gave us an opportunity to see more of the beautiful island.