Palma de Mallorca Airport
Palma de Mallorca Airport lies 8km east of the city and receives an impressive level of traffic. Sometimes referred to as Son Sant Joan Airport, it's Spain's third largest, with direct services to 105 European and North African cities.
Bus 1 runs every 15 minutes from the airport to Plaça d’Espanya/Estació Intermodal de Palma in central Palma (€5, 20 minutes) and on to the entrance of the ferry terminal. It makes several stops along the way, entering the heart of the city along Avinguda de Gabriel Alomar i Villalonga, skirting around the city centre and then running back to the coast along Passeig de Mallorca and Avinguda d’Argentina. It heads along Avinguda de Gabriel Roca (aka Passeig Marítim) to reach the Estació Marítima (Ferry Port) before turning around. Buy tickets from the driver.
Taxis are generally clean, honest and abundant (when not striking), and the ride from the airport to central Palma will cost around €18 to €22.
Palma is the island’s main port. There are numerous boat services to/from Mallorca from mainland Spain and the other islands of the Balearics.
Bus 1 (the airport bus) runs every 15 minutes from the Estació Marítima (Ferry Port) across town (via Plaça d’Espanya/Estació Intermodal de Palma) and on to the airport. A taxi from/to the city centre will cost around €10 to €12.
All island buses to/from Palma depart from (or near) the Estació Intermodal de Palma on Plaça d'Espanya. Services head in all directions, including Valldemossa (€1.85, 30 minutes, up to 17 daily), Sóller (€2.65 to €3.90, 45 minutes, regular daily), Pollença (€5.35, 45 to 60 minutes, up to 14 daily) and Alcúdia (€5.30, one hour, up to 18 daily). All other significant coastal and inland centres are connected to Palma by usually frequent services (although some are served instead by one of the island's three train lines).
The Ferrocarril de Sóller is a popular heritage railway running from the old station on Carrer Eusebio Estada (next to Palma's Estació Intermodal de Palma) to the northwestern town of Sóller, stopping en route at Bunyola. The Estació Intermodal itself is the terminus for Mallorca's three regular lines: the T1 (to Inca; €3.25, 25 to 40 minutes), the T2 (Sa Pobla; €4.10, 58 minutes) and the T3 (Manacor; €4.10, 66 minutes). Services start at 5.45am and finish at 10.10pm on weekdays.
Make sure your service isn't an express bypassing the station you want; look for the bike symbol that indicates a peak service on which you can't bring your bike; and be aware that some trains require you to transfer at Enllaç. The T1 to Inca doesn't run on weekends, as the T2 and T3 both stop there anyway, and there are no express services.
The Slow Train to Sóller
Welcome to one of the most rewarding excursions in Mallorca. Since 1912 a narrow-gauge train has trundled along the winding 27.3km route north to Sóller. The train, which originally replaced a stagecoach service, departs from Plaça de l’Estació seven times a day (five times from November to February) and takes about 1¼ hours, with between four and five return trains daily. The route passes through ever-changing countryside that becomes dramatic in the north as it crosses the 496m-high Serra de Alfàbia, via 13 tunnels (some over 2km long) and a series of bridges and viaducts.
The train initially rolls through the streets of Palma, but within 20 minutes you’re in the countryside. At this stage the view is better to the left, towards the Serra de Tramuntana. The terrain starts to rise gently and to the left the eye sweeps over olive gardens, the occasional sandy-coloured house and the mountains beyond. Half an hour out of Palma you call in at Bunyola (an alternative boarding place that costs just €9/15 single/return from Palma or Sóller).
Shortly after Bunyola, as the mountains close in (at one point you can see Palma and the sea behind you), you reach the first of a series of tunnels. Some trains stop briefly at a marvellous lookout point, the Mirador Pujol de’n Banya, shortly after the Túnel Major (Main Tunnel; which is almost 3km long and took three years to carve out of the rock in 1907–10). The view stretches out over the entire Sóller valley. From there, the train rattles across a viaduct before entering another tunnel that makes a slow 180-degree turn on its descent into Sóller, whose station building is housed in an early-17th-century mansion. Return tickets are valid for two weeks.