Fornalutx, one of the most beautiful villages in Spain in Sierra de Tramontana

This small village is situated between the Puig Major massif, the highest point of Sierra de Tramuntana, and Sóller, the tourist destination of Mallorca. Despite its size it offers a multitude of possibilities for a complete getaway. It has both beach and mountain in a peaceful and relaxing environment. Therefore, in addition to bathing in the Mediterranean, Fornalutx offers routes and trips for hiking lovers. It also stands out for its proximity to one of the most important centres on the island.

It is worth noting that the pictures of Fornalutx have earned it recognition as one of “the most beautiful villages in Spain” by this association. An honour that it shares with Alcudia or Pollença in the Balearic Islands, Santillana del Mar in Cantabria or Almagro in Castile-La Mancha.

Fornalutx origins

Aerial view of Fornalutx | ShutterStock
Aerial view of Fornalutx | ShutterStock

Fornalutx is a village of stone whose name describes it perfectly. It comes from Fornalucem, which in turn derives from “Fornel”. It is a synonym of Fornal or Forge. The suffix “utx” is the Mozarabic name of the Romanesque suffix “ucem”. In short, all of them refer to the forge, which is necessary to give shape to the metal, and which requires the high temperature provided by the furnaces.

Its origin dates back to the conquest of Jaume I, when this ancient Moorish farmhouse was discovered and the network of its streets bears witness to it. Its agricultural advances allowed the creation of techniques such as the marjades and the water irrigation system. Just then, the whole area began to be populated. It is therefore a relatively recent history, “only” about 1,000 years old, in comparison with other towns.

Stones of traditional Mallorcan architecture | ShutterStock

Its history is inevitably linked to its neighbour Sóller, a town with which it formed a single municipal district until 1817. In 1837 its municipal rights were recognised as an independent town. From then on it would remain under its own control until the present day.

A rewarding landscape

Cobbled Street | ShutterStock

The landscape interest of Fonalutx is unquestionable. Likewise, its surroundings and architecture form a whole that makes this small corner a unique place. Right there lies its greatest tourist interest, which has contributed to multiplying its initial population. It is now made up of people of different origins and places. Stone houses or cobbled streets decorated with plants and dry flowers are its signs of identity.

Paved street with plants | ShutterStock

In 1983 this villa received the “Silver Plaque for the Promotion of Tourism in Mallorca for the Defence and Maintenance of the Villa”. On the other hand, it also won the II National Prize of Beautified and Maintained Villages of Spain. It is also worth mentioning that for its work in defence of nature it also received the Alzina Prize in 1995, awarded by the Grup Balear d’Ornitologia i Defensa de la Naturalesa.

Ca’n Xoroi Olive Oil Mill

Old streets with flowers | ShutterStock
Old streets with flowers | ShutterStock

Today a cultural centre, this old oil mill dates back to before 1888. The Mayol family acquired it in 1918 and it was later renovated. Thus, it went from the olive press to the olive crushing machine and from the beam press to the hydraulic press. At that time, the oil triage tanks were also added, leaving the old shop and the stable. It was in use until the end of the 1970s.

With the ticket you can visit the permanent exhibition of Tejas Pintadas, formed by 278 pieces from different municipalities. This artistic practice began at the end of the 16th century in Sóller and lasted until 1781, with the tiles from the building in Cas Vicari Solivellas de Fornalutx. With some 56 buildings in Sóller and some 28 in Fornalutx, this technique is based on making drawings with varied content. These include geometric, vegetable, anthropomorphic, zoomorphic and even religious drawings. What is unquestionable is their symbolic value. Not in vain, they were used to preserve and defend the house, as well as its inhabitants, from any external attack.

Henryk Zegadlo and Fornalutx

Commemorative stamp with Zegadlo figures | ShutterStock

This artist of Polish origin lived in the village for a decade. When he died, his wife donated 210 works of art that can now be visited in the room that bears his name. His work, clearly influenced by the stories of the Old Testament with which he grew up, made him a representative of Polish folk art. Figures and wood carvings or oil and watercolour paintings can be visited in various museums around the world. However, in Fornalutx you can enjoy his most private collection.

Trips around Fornalutx

Mountains near Fornalutx | ShutterStock
Mountains near Fornalutx | ShutterStock

One of the suggested itineraries starts from Sóller to reach the Ses Barques viewpoint and then descends to Fornalutx. The route passes through cart tracks and olive groves until it reaches the magnificent viewpoint from where you can enjoy one of the best views of the port of Soller. It takes a total of two and a half hours. It also passes by the Costa d’en Flassada and the Costa d’en Nicó, both of which were recovered by the Grupo Excursionista de Mallorca in 2000. Another route links the port of Sóller with Fornalutx via the camí de Sa Figuera, the Coll d’en Marquès and Ses Moncades.

To get to know the little villages in the valley, there is a nice option, with no major unevenness, which, from Sóller, allows you to go to Biniaraix, pass through Fornalutx, reach Binibassi and finally return to Sóller. Three hours of pleasant walk through one of the most beautiful areas of the island.

As for the Camí de sa Figuera, it is another pleasant route that allows you to explore part of the Sierra de Tramuntana, the natural park of the Balearic Islands. With a duration of two and a half hours, it has different levels of difficulty that allow it to be adapted to all capacities. It is not far from Gorg Blau. After arriving by car, there are several alternatives, always dominated by the beautiful reservoir.

Fornalutx festivities and symbols

Sierra de Tramuntana Mountain from Fornalutx | ShutterStock
Sierra de Tramuntana Mountain from Fornalutx | ShutterStock

On Sant Sebastià’s Day, a man named Fonalutx is honoured who, according to legend, was protected by the Martyr of Christ in times of epidemics. Meanwhile, the local coat of arms consists of a stone wall that serves as a base for two lions and an oven in the centre. These red lions symbolize courage, daring and fearlessness.

Useful information

Coordinates

39°4658 N 2°4427 E

Distances

Mallorca 54 km.

Parking

There are many parkings in the town centre.

Elevation

139 m.

Inhabitants

687 inhabitants (2016)

September 8th is the day of the Nativitat de la Mare de Déu (The day of Sa Patrona). The 17th of January is the day of the popular festival of Sant Antoni. Finally, January 20 is the day of Sant Sebastià.


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