Eyewitness Soller. Isabelle Van Passel co-founder of XO Private

Isabelle lives in Soller in Spain, and her passions are travel, tourism, hospitality, and surfing. With XO Private she creates extraordinary travel & lifestyle experiences – needless to say she is in the constant search of a world as far away as possible from the 9 to 5, dinner and bed lifestyle. And here Isabelle tells us about Soller.

Three words that characterize Soller?

Authentic, charming & picturesque.

How do you get around Soller?

An old wooden railway line has linked Palma and Soller since 1912 in an enjoyable train ride through mountains and valleys. An ancient tram takes you on a journey from
Soller passed orange groves to the Port of Soller. Both charming trips bring travellers on a nostalgic adventure and are a must when visiting.

What is the best kept secret about Soller?

In June 2011 the UNESCO declared the Serra de Tramuntana a World Heritage Site.

An event not to be missed is 'Es Firó':during the month of May, the inhabitants of Soller reenact the invasion of the Moores and their successful defeat. This realistic festival celebrates its cultural heritage by dressing up as both the invaders and locals, in traditional costumes of the time period 1561. After a huge battle on the beach with real shotguns and wooden swords, the grand finale of singing and fireworks takes place at the main square of Soller.

What is your favourite area in Soller and why?

The lovely square named “Plaça de la Constitució” which is surrounded by inviting cafés offering sunny terraces and featuring a fountain in its centre, is the meeting place for Sollerics.

The best place for a hot chocolate or coffee in Soller?

Hidden in a side street just off the busy Calle de la Luna lies the little treasure Café Scholl. The Café feels like home and boasts a charming patio. Try out the home-made cakes to complement your hot drinks. Address: Calle de la Victòria 11 de Mayo 9 E-07100 Soller – Mallorca.

What is one restaurant we must try out while in Soller?

Randemar is a Mallorquin house in the Port of Soller boasting stunning views of the sea and the Tramuntana Mountain range. The beautifully decorated restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine. Sip a cocktail or taste local wine al fresco in the terrace lounge area. During the summer months live music can be enjoyed.

Where would we meet you on weekends?

On my stand up paddle board surfing along the breath-taking coast and discovering hidden coves.

Do you have a favourite museum/gallery we all have to visit when in Soller?

The stunning art nouveau mansion of Can Prunera Museu Modernista showcases a gorgeous façade of Soller’s calcareous stones in combination with exquisitely wrought iron work. The museum is home to a permanent exhibition of great artists; including Pablo Picasso, Paul Gaugin, Paul Klee and Joan Miro.

What are some of your favourite places to shop for A) groceries and B) clothes?

A) The 'Cooperativa' was founded in April 1899 and sells the local produce of the contracted farmers.The Soller market on Saturdays is not only for shopping fresh food but rather a social event. Go and mingle!

B) Mademoiselle by Plaza 13 Couture is housed in a magnificent building. The stylish fashion boutique is family runned and offers Spanish clothing brands and jewellery.

What souvenir shall we bring back from Soller?

Soller is famous for its oranges and olive oil. Olive oil production has been rooted in the Mallorquin culture for many centuries. The 'Cooperativa' produces high quality virgin olive oil.

THE TOURISTIN: Thank you so very much Isabelle. Safe travels always.

Meet more eyewitnesses from South Africa, USA and Europe here.
From Berlin with love