Twenty five years have gone by since we last followed the orange blossom trail from Valldemossa through to Palma via Deia, Puerto de Soller and Soller, traversing the UNESCO protected Sierra de Tramuntana by bus, tram and train. Such a lot has changed, especially since Soller is no longer isolated, now that a tunnel replaces the windy mountain roads that were the main way in or out. The biggest change is the sheer number of tourists in Valldesmosa and Soller. When we last visited they were quiet towns where you could wander the streets and pick up an ensaimada to eat in a shady square. Not so now, you can hardly move for chi chi boutiques and open air cafes spilling out onto the street.
The hotel we stayed at in 1988 – the Esplendido in Puerto de Soller – has been upgraded to a very chic hotel well out of our price range!
Some things are the same though – the old San Francisco tram ride through the orange and lemon groves from the port to the town of Soller is as pleasingly simple as ever. It runs right through people’s back gardens and what you might call allotments if they were in the UK. The orange juice is as fresh and tasty as before, as is the almond cake.
The railway journey into Palma, travelling on a train dating from 1919, is a quirky trip through olive groves, mountain tunnels and the odd little town.
The view down into Soller was breathtaking.
Not sure I’d make this trip again in the summer months, but out of season, I’d love to!