The Port of Soller is a place of safety
Published in the Majorca Daily Bulletin on
Tuesday 10th January 2017
Photographs by Rachel Fox
When the weather turns and the sea becomes menacing outside our harbour wall the boats come in. On this side of Majorca, the Port of Soller is one of the few Ports of safety. The boats come in to shelter and can anchor inside the harbour area for free. Charges apply to proper moorings with facilities but for safety, in an emergency you can park up your boat in our waters till the storm passes. The stories abound of people who did just that and sheltered from the storm with us. The Port of Soller was not on their itinerary but the weather pointed them in our direction and some of them never left. Many have huge stories to tell of the seas becoming their enemy for a few hours and lives almost being lost. On benign days it is hard to imagine that the sea can whip up such frenzy but the Port of Soller has a history book of stories. The tornados are a sight to behold when they come racing in taking the beach umbrellas and pedalos with them. In the last ten years the success story of the Port of Soller has brought boats and sailing to the forefront of our world.
Local people have always had their Llauts and family Sundays were spent gently sailing the bays to the beaches only accessible by sea. The paellas cooked on an open fire on the beach is a childhood memory for hundreds of people here. As tourism grew the possibilities when turning left or right out of the harbour mouth were investigated for their day trip potential. Turning right takes you towards Cala Tuent, Sa Colobra and the Torrent de Pareis Gorge. This is a trip known to thousands as it is on the Soller Train, Tram and Boat day trip itinerary. People staying all over Majorca take that trip and it has become the most successful tourist destinations on the island. The emblematic annual concert in the Gorge of the Torrent de Pareis in July brings millions to this place for their annual musical pilgrimage. They travel by boat, road and helicopter to get there and the sea is full of private yachts that have headed there for the event.
If you turn left out of the harbour you head for the Deia coastline and Sa Foradada the cliff that pokes out into the sea. There are restaurants in this area that are only accessible by sea and their summers are full of people on boats small and large enjoying all that the sea has to offer. The Night Manager series of last year made one of them especially famous and now Ca’s Petro March is the place to eat. Most people arrive there in Cala Deia by boat but it is also accessible by a cliff walk.
The sea straight ahead from the Port of Soller harbour is used by the fishermen and those looking for the dolphin pods of the area. Sunset sails and cruises have become big business and delight for so many local holiday makers. The sunsets of this area are legendary and these evenings stay in the memory box of all.
The sea for a Solleric is their escape from the stresses of life and from poverty in years gone by. The migration stories of the Soller Valley are well catalogued and when thousands of young men left the Valley after the orange harvests failed this was their route. In those days’ passenger ships sailed from the Port of Soller to France taking with them oranges, almonds and workers. This was also the beginning of the journey that took many of them on to the colonies of Spain. The connection between Puerto Rico and the Port of Soller was born at that time and eventually brought back the American influence to the Valley. This era cannot be underestimated and to this day the French influence is very evident here. The latest statistics show that 65% of Soller people have a French connection in their family history.
In this past week we heard that the Gran Hotel in Soller has been sold (for 10 million euros) to a French company. The delight of local people is evident and they are all asking if the new owners are Sollerics. Many of them wish Soller to continue to be the 21st arrondissement of Paris.
The Port of Soller is changing by the day and there are lots of new boats and activities for everyones pleasure coming on stream. We look forward to welcoming you here very soon to have a look and enjoy..