Nestling in the foothills of the Tramuntana Mountain range, in the beautiful valley of Sóller, is the enchanting and historic village of Fornalutx. Surrounded by sweet smelling orange groves and ancient olive terraces, Fornalutx is a wonderfully romantic get-away. The upper village is built on ancient mule steps.
Fornalutx, known as 'the village of a thousand years' was built around a 10th Century Moorish tower and fortified farmstead. The houses sit partially on its ancient castle wall. The village is an oasis of tranquility, with historic houses built in mellow, caramel-coloured stone, lining cobbled mule steps rising from above a charming town plaza.
Staying in this historic 'Aldea Mil Años' pueblo, one can almost experience the spirit of the early settlers. The Venetian traders cutting through the high passes in search of olive oil, the then currency of the Mediterranean. The Roman soldiers milling Saharan wheat in the water mills powered by the valley’s abundant springs. The Moors, with their understanding of all things created in stone, ceramic, and terra-cotta.
The very name Fornalutx is the subject of debate. Some say it derives from 'horno' and 'lutz' - describing the men’s view of the carbon burning oven lights as they came down in the evening from harvesting the terraces. Others say that it originates from the glow of the smithy’s forge or 'forja.' Your choice. The smithy is still there, hand crafting beautiful railings and village lamp-posts.
As Fornalutx offers a true oasis of tranquillity in the daytime, scented by citrus trees and almond blossoms - so the imposing peaks of the Tramuntanas fall steeply into the sea, creating coves so sheltered as to be almost invisible. These in turn give way to lush green valleys and, in the winter, rushing 'torrentes.' Many of these areas can be explored from the village by taking the local twisting mountain roads, revealing a different panoramic vista at each turn.
However, it is always a joy to return in the evening to Fornalutx - three times awarded the 'Most Beautiful Village in Spain'- to enjoy its five excellent restaurants, three bars, and convivial evening ambiance. The village has been written up in 'Bon Appétit', 'National Geographic Traveler', 'Town & Country' and the 'Los Angeles Times'.
(See details and historical background of FORNALUTX and the SÓLLER VALLEY at our other property ESQUEREDO (VRBO #15228)
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Note that the road 'C-710' to the left, also known as the 'American Road,' has been voted as one of the 10 most beautiful vista roads in EUROPE! It was built by - yes - the Americans to access the top of the Puig Major mountain (1,445m) for the NASA space shuttle tracking dishes (amongst others!) and the road goes to nearly 1,200 meters (4,000 feet) high
The fact that Fornalutx is still a local village, lived in by locals, run by locals and enjoyed by locals; the families having familial links that go back 1,000 years (The Aldea Mil Años = the Village of a Thousand Years.)
HIKING: The abundant footpaths through the terraces are suitable for all levels of fitness. Close by Fornalutx is the 'Baranque' - one of the hundred wonders of the world. These stone steps were cut through the mountains perhaps 2500 years ago by the Carthaginians, as they expanded their oil trading routes. To this day, nobody knows whether the great stones of the ancient olive tree terraces perched precariously on the mountainside, were rolled up the hill, or drawn down. The valley, part of the TRAMUNTANA NATIONAL PARK, is famed for its walking paths, from easy strolls to advanced hiking, climbing and overnight camping.
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