After Portugal, we hemmed and hawed as to where to go next. I know, what a problem to have. We had only 2 weeks left in the Schengen zone (as Americans, turns out you can only stay in most of the EU for a max of 90 days before having to leave for another 90 days!)
Rafe was the one to find out about Soller, a village on the Spanish island of Majorca. I knew nothing of Majorca other than some ill-informed impressions of Ibiza, which is actually a different island altogether haha.
We inquired about a nice-sounding Airbnb even though it was out of our price range. But since we were so last minute, they didn’t have other guests lined up, so we got a very steep discount. Again, procrastination pays off! (For any children out there reading: most of the time, procrastination does not pay off.)
Soller was a huge surprise (I doubted Rafe — but I will publically admit here that he was right.*) I’m in love. From our cottage, we just walk down a very steep hill through cobblestone streets to the village center where there’s a square lined with outdoor cafes, kids playing soccer, tiny shops full of Mallorcan-made goods, and a real sense of preservation. Miro and Picasso lived here for a time, and the dinky train station in town (it only goes two places) has an impressive collection of their works.
From where our cottage is, looking down at the village, there’s nothing to indicate you’re even in the present day. Just moss-covered stone houses, rambling gardens, orange and olive groves as far as the eye can see, and the peaks of the Tramuntana mountain range behind you. The loudest thing you hear is the gentle choo-choo of the steam train rolling by.
The setting is awesome for families. It’s mountainy (fresh air, quiet, walking trails galore) but with all the amenities of a nice town (mama needs her cafes) and also easy access to the beach. Its seaside sibling village, Port de Soller, is just a short ride away. As in, a charming 100-year old wooden trolley goes back and forth between the two towns.
Once you get off the trolley, Port Soller has a sandy beach and a nice promenade for strolling. It’s fairly upscale but not stuffy. Mostly families, bikers, hikers, and honeymooners enjoying life before it gets real. And the food is fresh and good. We will never tire of jamón and cheese baguettes at the beach.
We’ve encountered several European families who’ve told us they come here year after year. I can see why. If it weren’t for the fact that we legally can’t stay here any longer, we would in a heartbeat. Maybe we’ll retire here –that’d be nice, too.
* just this one time.