Palma de Mallorca, 22nd May 07
THE TOWN & PORT OF SOLLER - WHERE FRANCE & PUERTO RICO MEET MALLORCA
Further investment in Port Soller has completed its transformation which co incides with restoration projects of existing buildings bringing their French and Puerto Rican influences.
Soller and its picturesque Port have been undergoing a transformation over the past few years. Now further investment of just under 3,000,000 € (just over ₤2 million pounds) has completed this redevelopment. In addition, a new wave of restoration of existing buildings has brought out the French and South American influences on this area which originate from the historical trading and immigration links between Soller, France and Puerto Rico. This association greatly influenced Soller’s buildings and even its local dialect.
Port Soller’s New Look
A new tunnel and increased parking areas behind the Port’s seafront has taken traffic away from Port Soller’s traditional sea side promenade. Now, all the cafes, restaurants and hotels along the seafront have lain wooden decking down to increase their terrace areas and visitors can safely walk along the seafront and enjoy the views.
Old military buildings have been pulled down on the seafront and the existing marina has been restructured and now has capacity for 400 moorings.
Port Soller’s Maritime Museum is located on top of the hill overlooking the Port. Inside it tells the story of how Soller, which was so isolated from the rest of the island because of its dramatic mountain range, has relied on overseas, trade mainly with France, since Medieval Times.
The Sollerics built ships to trade Soller’s famous oranges, olive oil and fish. Some even travelled further a field to Latin America, especially Puerto Rico and having made their money, they returned to Soller to build their own houses and establish new commerce. This is all explained in a short video presentation with English voiceover.
One of the exhibits demonstrates how Mallorcan traders, many of which lived in France, returned speaking French and introduced French words into the Mallorcan/ Catalan dialect. Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10.00 – 14.00 and 17.00 – 20.00 and 10.00 – 14.00 on Sundays. Entrance charge 3 € per person. tel 971 63 22 04
Antique Train Station & Tram
The famous antique Soller train was originally built in 1912 to improve communication and trade between the town, Palma and the rest of the island. However, there are not many train stations in the world that can boast an exhibition of two famous international artists. The visitor should arrive early at the station to enjoy a collection of Miro paintings, Picasso ceramics and various black and white photographs of the two artists at work, or on Mallorca. Free entrance.
Visitors may continue their journey on Soller’s antique tram, which is over 90 years old and is the last remaining tram in service in Spain. Much of the original tram still remains as the operators prefer to restore and maintain the authenticity of this rather special mode of transport. The tram operates between Soller’s town centre and Port Soller and takes the visitor on a short 3 kms journey through gardens and orange groves.
RECENTLY OPENED HOTELS IN EXISTING BUILDINGS
Located just off the main square, this hotel has recently opened in an area which was historically associated with Puerto Rican influences. The British owners have transformed an historic 100 year old “senorial” mansion house to provide metropolitan chic in a mountain setting. The hotel combines elegant contemporary style with the original Latin influences of the building and features eight double rooms.
Outside the hotel has a large swimming pool with sunbathing deck, a tropical courtyard garden, a shady gazebo and dining space. Prices start from €160 euros per night in a double room to include breakfast (excluding local tax). Reservations, Tel: + 34 699 235 239 www.avenida-hotel.com.
The eight double bedroom “La Vila” hotel has opened on Soller’s main square in a typical 19th century art nouveau townhouse, which was completely refurbished and converted into a hotel in 2005.
It has maintained the elegant décor and modernist style of that time with impressive trompe l’oiel decorating the main stairwell which leads off to all the rooms. The hotel features a bar and café area with a terrace overlooking the hotel’s private courtyard. Prices start at 88.50 € per room, per night, to include breakfast and local tax. Reservations, Tel:+ 34 971 634641 or www.lavilahotel.com
The Swedish owners of the popular Hotel Portixol on Palma’s outskirts bought this hotel which was originally built on Port Soller’s sea front in 1954. They have transformed it into a stylish vintage seaside hotel offering guests all modern day conveniences in a contemporary design setting.
The hotel offers a variety of room options from its 82 bedrooms mostly with either sea or garden views. All the rooms are decorated in a clean cool style and are fully equipped with TV, DVC, CD, DSL, AC, mini bar and safe. Although part of the hotel was first opened in 2005, now all the hotels new facilities, including a second outdoor swimming pool and “spa- gymnasium” area, are now complete.
The hotel features an informal bistro restaurant on the ground floor and a breakfast dining room on the first floor. A bar area and a private room for small conferences and meetings. Prices start from 130 euros per double room, per night to include breakfast and local tax. Reservations,
Tel: + 34 971 631 850 www.esplendidohotel.com.
Soller Hotel Association
There is an excellent choice of hotels in the town and the port and just outside in the rural areas. For further information and reservations: www.sollernet.com.
Soller has a reputation for producing some of the best citrus fruit on the island and no visit to Soller is complete without sampling a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.
Now a local company, called “Fet a Soller”, which is famous for its excellent ice cream and sorbets, will launch its own website this Autumn which will feature online shopping for a selection of local produce including Soller oranges, the famous “sobrasada” sausage, jams and preserves and local olive oil. In the meantime, all this produce can be bought in the company’s own shop just off Soller’s main square in the front of the market area. For more information,
Tel: + 34 971 631 708 email@example.com.
A good selection of cafes and restaurants are located all around the town square and port. Some new restaurants have opened and many have focused on the art nouveau French influence of existing buildings and retained original lamps, wall furnishings and tiles.
For a birds eye view of Soller’s Port and an opportunity to sample freshly caught local fish and prawns visit the “El Faro” restaurant, located beside the lighthouse overlooking the bay.
Reservations: + 34 971 633 752 www.restaurantfaro.com.
Soller’s Botanical Gardens and Natural Science Museum
For keen gardeners or anyone interested in natural wildlife, a visit to Soller’s own botanical gardens is a must. The gardens, which were first started in 1985, have become a centre for the research and preservation of local plant life. The gardens display a wide variety of plants and herbs from the Balearic Islands and the Mediterranean in general. In the natural science museum, the objective is to preserve plants which are close to extinction and to reintroduce plant life into the area.
Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10.00 – 18.00. Sundays and holidays, 10.00-14.00. Closed Mondays. Entrance 5 € per person. Further information: www.jardibotanicdesoller.org.
For further information, please contact:
Mallorca Tourist Board, Dominique Carroll / Anna Skidmore,
Tel:(+34) 971 725 396 Fax: (+34) 971 713 540
Further Press Releases:
FIVE NEW HOTEL OPENINGS IN MALLORCA SPRING – SUMMER 2013 (31st May 13)
GOOD NEWS FOR MALLORCA IN 2012 (09th Feb 12)
THREE KINGS - THE FESTIVITIES CONTINUE! (05th Jan 12)