This is one of my favourite things to do in Mallorca. The journey comprises a trip from Palma to Torrent de Pareis, with some intermediate stops. But do not expect a paradisiac beach or town, this is more of an adventurous tour, taking a train, a tram and a boat.
The journey can be divided into 5 stages. You don’t need to go through all of them. For instance, the fastest and simplest trip would be to drive to Port de Sóller, then take the boat to Sa Calobra, and finally walk to Torrent de Pareis. But you can also do the whole thing, adding a train and a tram. And you can even drive to Sa Calobra as well, although I would not recommend it.
1. Train Palma – Sóller
Ferrocarril de Sóller (Railway of Sóller) is the company operating the train from Palma to Sóller (the town), and also the tram to Port de Sóller (see number 2 below).
The train departs from Palma Railway Station (Plaza de España) and takes 1 hour. This historic electric train takes a route north from the capital across the plains, winding through mountains and 13 tunnels of the Serra de Tramuntana, finally ending in the large railway station of the northern town of Sóller.
At the official prices charged at the station, single tickets from Palma to Sóller or vice versa cost €18 (2018), and returns are €25. The return ticket from Palma can be extended with a return ticket on the tram for an additional €7, which represents a 50% saving since the onboard tram fare is €7 each way. [Wikipedia]
For more information and up-to-date timetable visit the official website.
2. Tram Sóller – Port de Sóller
The second stage is to take the picturesque tram from Sóller town to the Port. The journey has 12 stops and takes 15-20 minutes. Tickets can be purchased in advance and also on the train.
The tram was inaugurated on 4th October 1913. The track is 4868 metres long, and one outstanding feature of it is the iron bridge over the Torrent Major which was constructed by Maquinista Terrestre y Marítima. The tram was originally designed for the transport of passengers, but it was also used to transport merchandise down to the port.
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 trams in 1954. The Sóller tramway also has five motor trams from Lisbon, numbered 20 to 24 and re-gauged to fit the 914 mm track gauge. [trendesoller.com]
3. Boat Port de Sóller – Sa Calobra
The boat trip takes 1 hour each way and costs €30 per person with return, and €21 for a single ticket. Tickets can be purchased online with a 10% discount here, at the train station in Sóller or at the main office at the port. Trips can be suspended or delayed by weather conditions, so better to call the company (“Barcos Azules” = Blue Boats) the day before or the same day (+34) 971 63 01 70.
The boats have indoor and outdoor spaces. The latter is a terrace with seats, so you will need suncream. There is a coffee shop downstairs and the crew offers drinks on the terrace as well, such as sangria and beer.
A good piece of advice is to take a seat on the right side when going from Port de Soller to Sa Calobra, as you will face the island which has a much better view, including a lighthouse, cliffs, houses and more. The timetable changes over the year:
High Season timetable (April to October; e.g. 01/04/2019 to 31/10/2019)
- Sóller → Sa Calobra – Torrent de Pareis: 10:00* – 11:15 – 13:00 – 15:00 (*Confirm time calling to 971 63 01 70)
- Sa Calobra → Puerto de Soller: 13:45 – 16:40
Mid Season (February and March; e.g. 01/02/2019 to 31/03/2019) and Low Season (04/11/2019 to 24/11/2019) timetable
- Puerto de Soller → Sa Calobra: 11:15*
- Sa Calobra → Puerto de Soller: 13:45*
4. Sa Calobra
Sa Calobra is the name of the small village, where you can get by sea or road. It is 38 kilometres away from Sóller, between El Morro de sa Vaca and El Morro de ses Fel·les, and below Puig Major, a 1,445-metre peak, the highest in Mallorca.
There is no much to do in the town, there are a couple of souvenir shops, a beach bar, a hotel, scattered parking spaces and a few restaurants. For some strange reason, most restaurants (maybe all of them) offer all-you-can-eat and self-service. None of them looked attractive to us, so I would recommend taking some food with you and having a picnic by the Torrent/beach.
The village is popular for cyclists, as it comprises many hairpin bends and a 270° spiral bridge called the tie knot. The climb is officially called the Coll del Reis or the Col de Cal Reis, the pass at 682 metres (2,238 ft) altitude, and it is one of the main reasons cyclists come to Mallorca. You can find more information about it here.
And more importantly, there are plenty of signs around the village to get to the final destination, Torrent de Pareis…
5. Torrent de Pareis
Following the signs from Sa Calobra, you will walk 200 metres of tunnels on a beautiful footpath, finding stunning views of the turquoise waters from the hills. After 15-20 minutes you will finally reach Torrent de Pareis (“Twin Streams”).
The stream (canyon) begins several kilometres up in the mountains at the confluence of the torrents of Lluc and Gorg Blau. It terminates in a small pebble beach, a mixture of sand and gravel, which is 60 metres long by 25 metres wide. The area can get crowded in summer, with people having picnics, jumping to the water and exploring some of its cliffs.
The view is stunning, and the place feels natural and unspoilt. The Balearic government declared it a natural monument in 2003, having over 300 species of interesting fauna and flora.
The full hike along the canyon is of medium/high difficulty and takes approximately 3 to 5 hours downhill and 4 to 6 hours uphill. So it is for experienced and fit hikers. For more information about the hike, you can visit torrentdepareis.info or mallorcaoutdoors.com.