Sunday, 25 June 2017

Mallorca, Spain

In my previous post, I focussed on Magaluf, one of Mallorca's more well-known holiday resorts.  This post looks at the public transport systems more generally across Mallorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands.

Buses provide the vast majority of public transport around the island.  An extensive network of routes is provided by Transports de les Illes Balears (TiB), radiating out from the capital, Palma de Mallorca.

I found a wide variety of vehicles in use on the TiB network when I visited in April 2017.

There were plenty of standard, two-axle single-deck buses.

Of these, I found some which were low-floor with step-free access...

...while others were high-floor.




There were also buses with three axles...

... as well as articulated buses. 



Coaches were also in use on some services...

...while I also noted minibuses operating.


The bus routes are numbered according to which part of Mallorca they serve.

Routes operating to the west of Palma are numbered from 100 upwards.  Routes numbered in the 200s operate north of Palma, with routes numbered in the 300s operating into and around the north east of the island.  Bus routes serving the eastern part of Mallorca are numbered in the 400s, while routes numbered in the 500s serve the south of the island.

Four routes provide dedicated links from the airport to various destinations.  These are numbered A11, A32, A42 and A51.

TiB produces a printed route map and guide.  However, perhaps a sign of the times, the guide does not itself contain any information on how frequently each route operates, instead merely including a QR code for access to each route's timetable.  I guess that is OK if you have a smartphone and internet access, but not so good if you don't.

The bus network is complemented by rail services, operating on narrow gauge.

A line operates eastwards from Palma de Mallorca, to termini at Sa Pobla and Manacor.  Electric trains run from Palma as far as Enllaç.

Beyond Enllaç, diesel trains provide connections to Sa Pobla and Manacor.

Details of these train services can be found on the TiB website.

There is another railway, which is rather more well-known.

The Ferrocarril de Sóller is a heritage narrow-gauge electric railway, running north from Palma to the town of Sóller.

In Palma, the Ferrocarril de Sóller runs on street to reach its terminus, next to the TiB transport interchange.

At Sóller, a heritage tramway connects the railway station and town with the coast at Port Sóller.

The tourist information office in Sóller is a converted tram car.

The tram depot is in Sóller, alongside the station.

This image was taken as one of the trams was being returned to depot after a busy day.

At Port Sóller, the tramway runs along the waterfront for a short distance.


Tram number 1 is one of several original trams still in use, more than 100 years after the tram line first opened.



Special fares apply on the Ferrocarril de Sóller and on the tram, reflecting their status as a tourist attraction rather than an integral part of Mallorca's public transport system.  Nevertheless, the services run daily all year round.

For passengers who do not wish to pay the premium fares for the train and tram, TiB bus services also connect Palma, Sóller and Port Sóller.

Boat services, primarily aimed at tourists, operate from various ports around Mallorca's coastline.

Ferries also connect Mallorca with the Spanish mainland, primarily Barcelona, as well as to the islands of Ibiza and Menorca.

These are operated by two companies - Balearia and Trasmediterranea.

The crossings to the mainland take around 7 hours, therefore some sailings are overnight.

Palma de Mallorca has its own city bus network, provided by EMT, and a metro.  I will write about Palma in a separate post in due course.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Magaluf, Mallorca, Spain

Magaluf, on the south coast of Mallorca, is well-known as a holiday destination.  The town has developed primarily to cater to mass tourism and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.  I spent an afternoon in Magaluf in April 2017.

Bus services across Mallorca are provided by Transports de les Illes Balears (TIB).  Several routes from the island's capital, Palma de Mallorca, run to or through Magaluf.

The principal service is route 104, which generally operates every 30 minutes between Palma and Peguera.  Additional buses operate between Palma and Magaluf on Mondays to Saturdays, to provide a 15-minute frequency over this section of route.

Route 104 is operated with a mix of standard and articulated single-deck buses.

A number of the buses I saw were carrying advertising for visitor attractions.

As well as route 104, which operates as a stopping service, there is also an express service between El Toro, Magaluf and Palma.

This is route 105, which generally runs hourly, although it does not operate on Sundays.

Routes 106 and 107 also link Magaluf wth Palma, although these services are infrequent.

Another route serving Magaluf is the A11, providing a direct link between the resort and Mallorca's airport every 75 minutes.  Introduced in May 2017, just after my visit, the A11 also serves neighbouring resorts.

There is also a service 811 linking Magaluf with the market at Andratx on Wednesdays only.  Two buses leave Magaluf in the morning, returning from Andratx in the early afternoon.

There are plenty of coaches to be seen around Magaluf.

These provide airport transfers on behalf of package tour operators, free services to nearby visitor attractions as well as excursions.  They also provide school transport for residents of Magaluf.


Excursions by boat are also available.  One operator providing excursions along the coast, including trips to Palma de Mallorca, is Cruceros Costa de Calvia (CCC).





There are other operators too, including at least one which runs a "booze cruise" catering to Magaluf's party crowd. 

I will post separately about Palma de Mallorca, and other parts of the island, soon - watch this space!