Fornalutx is a mountainous village on Majorca, one of the Balearic Islands, in Spain. During our trip to the Balearic Islands this month we spent a fabulous evening strolling around the crooked streets of Fornalutx, dining in one of the many restaurants and drinking in the local bars in the village square. The views across the valley and mountains are every bit as impressive as the restaurants making it the perfect destination to get away or just enjoy a summers evening. Fornalutx, in the hills above Soller, calls itself the prettiest village in Spain and it’s easy to see why.
The Village: Fornalutx is a quiet little place tucked away at the top of the Soller valley and has wonderful panoramic mountain views. A number of walking trails are easily accessible from Fornalutx, making it a favourite spot for hikers. Surrounding mountains include the Alfabia Mountains and the Els Cornadors. Catalan is the most popular local language, however, most residents speak Castilian Spanish and you’re never far away from an ex-pat or two. Fornalutx covers an area of 19.5 km² and as of 2008 had a population of a mere 469 inhabitants.
Shopping: Fornalutx has a few little local shops but for more substantial shopping, you’ll need to pop down the road to Soller, two kilometres away. It’s an easy walk or short taxi ride along charming lanes and pretty lemon and olive groves. There are several good, boutique hotels in the village, all very charming and an impressive number of terrace restaurants and bars. Most of the restaurants boast breathtaking views of the olive and citrus groves sprawling across the valley and up the mountain side climbing ever higher until they reach the pine-clad foothills of Puig Major. I stood out on the balcony of one of the restaurants and soaked up the views, the backdrop is so stunning I almost look super imposed in the image!
The centre of Fornalutx is the Plaça d’Espanya, surrounded by cafés and a general store. Overlooking the square (on a higher level reached by steps) is the church, which has a large clock on its façade. Just down the street is the Panaderia de Fornalutx (the local bakery), and on the road leading out of the town several restaurants.
The Architecture: The village is typically stone and red roof tiles, with most buildings’ windows having green painted wooden shutters. The stone façades on the majority of these houses have been exposed in recent years by removing the original render to give the buildings a more rustic appearance. Built on different levels, many of the higher streets are pedestrianised and cobbled, with grassy paths leading off into the orchards and farms to the north. Fornalutx has received prizes and recognition for tourism and conservation. In 1983 it was awarded the Mallorcan Tourism Board Silver Plaque for the defence and maintenance of the village.
The Food: We dined at a very traditionally Spanish restaurant named Es Turo set a little out of the village centre, following a recommendation from one of the villages ex-pat’s who owned one of the more expensive restaurants in the centre (which was fully booked). Es Turo was a short walk from the village square up a small incline. Es Turo was reasonably priced and served delicious cuisine varying from Paella to Salads all made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The terrace offered plenty of shade and looked out across the valley with the greatest views imaginable, what a find!
‘My favourite thing is to go where I’ve never been’ -Diane Arbus