Our favorite village, in all categories, is Fornalutx, a small jewel in the middle of the Serra Tramuntana mountain range, surrounded by a deep valley beginning at Mallorca's highest mountain, Puig Major and ending in the village of Soller.
The effort to maintain the village's traditional look and feel, from the cobblestone streets to the traditional facades, has created one of the best preserved villages in Spain. On several occasions, the village has been designated as the most beautiful and best preserved village in Spain.
The reasons are several: the well-preserved old stone houses with their beautiful shutters, the charming little square, the cobbled streets that are too narrow to drive, the alleys which in some places turns into stone staircases, the well-kept gardens, the surging green surroundings and the high mountain peaks surrounding the village. The village is only 40 minutes from Palma, a walk from the small town of Sóller and a few minutes by car from the beach in Port de Soller.
In the center of the village is the small square "Plaça d'Espanya", surrounded by cafes and a small supermarket. Overlooking the square lies the church.
The charm of Fornalutx lies in how untouched it is in contrast to the modern world. The contrast with Palma and some of the other more developed areas on the island could not be bigger.
The cobbled streets and all stairs in the old village center are gorgeous and carefully decorated with many pots and plants along the walls and outside the front doors.
Despite its size, here are a number of small cozy restaurants along the main street.
At the north entrance to the village there are two restaurants (Can N´Antuna and Es Turo) with an outstanding view of the Sollerdal valley.
In Fornalutx you walk. There are three generous municipal parking spaces, two in the north of the village and one in the south.
As you walk around in the small alleys, take a look at many of the facades where you can see the famous painted plates, known as "Arabic plates", dating back to the 13th and 18th century. These small pieces of art in red on white background are found on the roof tiles under the ceilings that extend over the small houses. The drawings describes a jumble of different things - from plants and animals to people and religious images.
The plates are not only decorative, they also have a symbolic meaning and are said to protect the residents of the house from bad luck.
Fornalutx is surrounded by large crops of orange and lemon trees. Thanks to the favorable conditions, here are also a lot of cactus growing. Higher up in the terraces in the valley there are amazing olive groves. Some with trees over a thousand years old.
Thousands of sparrows and other small birds fill the groves and in the surrounding orchards there are donkeys, sheeps and goats.
The story of Fornalutx begins over 1000 years ago when the village was an Arab property, probably only a farm. After the Catalan conquest of the 13th century, the population in the area grew. The church, which stilremains, was completed in 1639. It has undergone many renovations since its original Gothic-style design.
Fornalutx was part of the municipality of Soller until 1837, when it became independent.
One of the most remarkable buildings in the village is the town hall, or "Casa de la Vila", which contains a defense tower dating from the 17th century.
On September 8th, the village celebrates its patron saint with a party that attracts visitors from all over Majorca.
The fiestas consist of several events organized around the sacred ox.
The festival begins in the early hours of the morning, with traditional music played by locals on tambourine and flute. This musical cacophony is meant to announce the arrival of the ox, which then is led by the village's youth in a rope around the horns through the streets of the village. When the festival is over, the ox brings to the slaughterhouse near Sóller. This tradition, typical for Fornalutx, has been celebrated since the mid 1800's.
Fornalutx location in Serra de Tramuntana makes it an ideal starting point for hikers and bikers. The village is within easy reach of the famous GR221 trail that winds along the entire mountain range.