Would you like to escape from the crowd, run away from the noise and daily pressure of your life, and plunge into a moment of calm and pacification? One of your secret escapes might become Sóller, a small town surrounded by mountains in the north west coast of Mallorca, in the Balearic Islands of Spain.
Sóller Valley, also known as ‘valley of oranges” or ‘valley of gold”, is the heart of Serra de Tramuntana mountains, catalogued as a World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO, and for good reason. The cultural landscape of Serra de Tramuntana consists of paths, terraces, walls and traditional constructions in dry stone. Humans harmoniously integrated here with the nature, creating a region that is unique in the world.
Finca Ca’s Sant is a small boutique hotel in Soller where we found refuge for a couple of days. The charm of this hotel lies in the hospitable owners, soothing ambience and unique Mediterranean climate with clean mountain air. Lovely hosts are always ready to give a helping hand and reserve a place either in the restaurant, at the beach club, or on the boat to make your stay truly unforgettable.
Finca Ca’s Sant has been in the same family, since the 13th century. Over the years Ca’s Sant has passed through times of greater and lesser splendour, changing even with regard to its dimensions. Jaime Arbona Colom received the farm in 1950 and transformed its physiognomy, acquiring some adjoining orchards and carrying out modernisation work on the farm and the house, and also designing the romantic Garden of Ca’s Sant. Thirty years later ownership has come to his daughter Lourdes Arbona, who with her husband Rafael Forteza, has made the most significant alterations to Ca’s Sant, turning the property into a small, charming hotel, renovating the farm entirely and creating products, such as the farm’s own marmalade. Today a new generation bears witness to the responsibility implied by over seven centuries of history.
During an evening walk around Sóller, we found ourselves out for a dining experience in one of the restaurants, Luna 36. It took the host (maitre d’ hotel) a little bit of time to find our reservation, as at the first day of our stay at Finca Ca’s Sant, I remembered only the first part of the hotel’s name which is “Finca”. It was funny to find out that “Finca” in Spanish means “Farm House” and there were plenty of those in our village. The restaurant Luna 36 gave us a good intro into the traditional Spanish cuisine full of juicy vegetables, olives and hamon in charming alfresco setting of a sympathetically set 19th-century building.
One of the local attractions is the electric tram line which connects Sóller and the Port of Sóller as of October 4th, 1913 and is running until now. The journey starts from the center of the town, Plaza da la Constitucion, behind Sant Bartomeu church and drives you to the beautiful beach and the local promenade of Port de Soller. I would say, it is quite a pleasant ride of 20 minutes to the port in the open trailers that will give you some romantic feelings and make your thoughts to fly back to the past.
Historical note: “The three motor trams, numbered 1 to 3, and their trailers 5 and 6 are the originals, dating from 1912, ordered from Carde & Escoriaza in Zaragoza. The open ‘jardinera’ trailers were acquired from Palma in 1954.”
If you wish to upgrade your level of escape to absolute, then take a private boat trip from Port de Soller, have a 2 or 3 hour ride to the north and explore the bays which are not possible to reach by car, and get yourself lost in the blue water of Mediterranean and underwater fauna. No need to be specifically lucky to spot numerous species of combo jellies, scat shoals of fish and many other interesting sea creatures. Side note; the boat trip was also nicely recommended and pre-booked by Finca’s owners for our convenience, as there may be a waiting list for the better trips in the high season.
After a couple of days escape, being lost from the public, you might wish to socialise and jump into the atmosphere of a beach club. If Champagne and groovy music is to your taste, then UM Beach House Portals or Balneario Illetas – Beach Club are definitely your spots; not forgetting to book you beds in advance. In general, this short break was fully of pleasant surprises, and definitely one to return to.
Tips: To get around, and have a comfortable stay on the island, it is recommended to hire the car with navigation.