In 2021 Sarah Drane described her favorite 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 favorite of British travelers, Simon Maurice suggests some alternative goodies that UK visitors’ best-loved Balearic Island has to offer:
Railway to Soller: Take the scenic route and let the train take the strain
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 travelers 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 Constitucion – 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.
Soller and Porto de Soller are lovely, but it is as much about the journeys themselves. A combined train/tram ticket for around €32 gives you a round trip from Palma to Soller and a return trip from Soller to Port de Soller as well.
Rainy day? Head for Manacor
One of the great things about Mallorca is its weather – usually. However, even during the summer, you can get the odd day when it is cloudy or even rainy. When that happens, a trip to Manacor, close to the Island’s South-Central coast, will deliver you two attractions that aren’t weather dependant.
Caves of Drach: Between Manacor and nearby Porto Cristo, are the caves of Drach. Yes, they are one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Island, but there is a reason for that: they are simply spectacular.
The journey through the imaginatively lit cave system opens up fantastic displays of subterranean nature with various vast galleries of stalactites, stalagmites, and water formations that are delivered to you in guided, language-specific groups which last around an hour.