a Mediterranean jewell
Fornalutx is recognised as the prettiest village on the island and among the prettiest in Spain. It sits in the midst of the Sierra de Tramuntana within the Soller valley, surrounded by olive groves and lemon and orange orchards. Its origins go back to the middle ages and the lay out and construction of the houses recall the building techniques of the Moors, who occupied Mallorca until 1229. With its cobbled streets and steps, much of the village is accessible only by foot.
An Insider’s View
To walk through the village is to recall another age when the pace was slower and the rhythms of life were dictated by the harvest of the olives and citrus fruits. It was the Swedes and the English who first “discovered” Fornalutx after World War Two as a place in which to buy holiday homes or as a place to live. As a result, several nationalities live side by side today in friendly, companionable and tolerant harmony.
For the visitor, the main attractions are the narrow, cobbled streets lined with plant pots and flower baskets. There is a fine Town Hall with battlements which date back to the 17th century and a church whose origins go back to the 13th century. There are numerous restaurants and tapas bars and you can´t do much better than just sit in the square, among the locals, with a glass of vino tinto in your hand and watch the world go by.
If you are lucky and if you stay in the square late enough, you may catch one of the many village fiestas. The Fornalutxians love to party and they start off by welcoming the New Year in with dancing in the village square. Party hats, Spanish champagne (cava) and the mandatory twelve grapes are given to anyone who turns up. (According to Spanish custom, you have to swallow a grape at every stroke of midnight to ensure a prosperous new year. It takes some practice!)
The Ceremony of the Three Kings follows on twelfth night, January 5th – a magical event which reminds you how lucky the children are to be brought up in a village where the family and childhood are so important. Two weeks later, there´s the feast of San Antonio, a charming tradition when we celebrate the village animals, come. The annual, week long village fiesta is organised around September 8th, the feast of the Virgin Mary.. Folk dancing, discos are interspersed around the running of the bull – not to the taste of some visitors – but it is a village tradition that goes back some one hundred years.