The majesty of Mallorca’s mountain range is what shapes the north west, blessing visitors with dramatic scenery, a sense of seclusion and some of Europe’s best hiking possibilities. Nestling within the Serra’s peaks and valleys are some of the island’s most precious towns and villages, giving the surrounding landscape a run for its money in the prettiness stakes -each with their own distinct flavour.
The ‘famous three’ of Sóller, Valldemossa and Deià are the best-known places. Picturesque Sóller is situated in a bowl surrounded by mountains, dominated by Mallorca’s highest: the Puig Major. A military zone is located at the summit, however, hence neighbouring peak, Puig de Massanella, is considered the highest reachable point.
The town of Sóller is one of the most beautiful in Mallorca. It is paradise for hikers and cyclists, gourmet lovers and a desirable option to live. Her is your complete guide to Sóller. […] Sóller
Long, extremely winding roads are characteristic of this region, but the pay off for tricky driving are the spectacular views. Far better to be a passenger (depending on your comfort level!) as you take in the sights of gems like Fornalutx, the idyllic stone-built settlement in the foothills of Puig Major.
Known as the ‘Prettiest village in Spain’, with narrow, cobbled streets it is certainly worth a visit. Four hotels and a few cafes, it is a quiet spot in the Tramuntana and close to Sóller. […] Fornalutx
From Fornalutx, the Eastern Serra rises up to the grandiose, almost mystical municipality of Escorca, home of the monastery of Lluc: Mallorca’s spiritual heart. To the west of the range lies handsome Esporles, a louche little town that once thrived on the textile industry but now seems to flourish on the good country living it offers just a short distance from Palma.
A pretty valley town in the west of Mallorca that is growing in popularity as a place for foreigners to settle who are seeking a convenient location with a traditional setting. Well worth a visit. […] Esporles
Take the road from Esporles towards the coast leads to neighbouring Banyalbufar. With its fertile terraces overlooking the sea growing vines and tomatoes, its name derives from the Arabic for ‘founded by the sea’; its irrigation system owing to the Moorish period. Banyalbufar and the villages in this area cluster around four small mountains, and much of the terrain is covered in vast stone oak forests, making for some wonderful walks.
Legend has it that the Malvasía wine cultivated here was so good, it played a key part in the decision of King of Aragorn to launch an island invasion.
A breathtakingly beautiful towns on the west coast of Mallorca, Banyalbufar is known for its hundreds of steep terraces dropping to the sea, home of the Malvasia grape and its laidback nature. […] Banyalbufar
History & Culture of Northwest Mallorca
The Serra de Tramuntana was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2011 in an attempt to protect its unique landscape, customs and heritage. For a region rich in history and legend, there is much at stake.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Serra de Tramuntana is the backbone of Mallorca. Find out what this spectacular mountain range has to offer. […] Discover the Serra de Tramuntana
How times have changed in Port de Sóller; once cut off from the rest of the island due to the looming mountains surrounding the town. Instead of relying on Palma for trade – the journey by donkey cart was long and arduous – Sóller’s inhabitants took to the sea, trading oranges and fishing the waters. The fine craft of shipbuilding was perfected in the harbour, its secrets passed down from father to son.
The arrival of the railway changed everything. In 1912, a tunnel cut through the rock of the Col de Sóller mountain was opened, opening up a wealth more possibilities for the town. More recently in the 1990’s, the Sóller road tunnel came into being and many more holidaymakers started to arrive to the pretty horseshoe-shaped bay; but Sóller’s maritime legacy remains strong. The cultural consequences of world exploration are still evident in the remaining ancestral homes in Sóller’s old town, and, thanks to trading links with France, many families still speak French.
Make the most of your time in Port de Sóller with the abcMallorca guide on the history, culture, best attractions, hotels, restaurants and things to do. […] Port de Sóller
Nowadays, Port de Sóller has gone upmarket due to the arrival of a full-blown luxury hotel the Jumeirah. Built on a cliff overlooking the harbour, this five-star jewel fuses Middle East opulence with Mediterranean charm and has given the small resort a huge facelift.
All of us living in Mallorca are surrounded by infinite beauty. Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa wanted to share this beauty with all of us in this great video. […] Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa presents: the beauty of Soller
Deià has its own remarkable story. The humble village began to take on a cosmopolitan air with the arrival of a famous English author and poet. Robert Graves sought refuge in this corner of paradise hidden in the hills after the First World War, returning after time spent away to live out his days in peace and tranquillity.
The burial place of Robert Graves is Deià’s cemetery, a reminder of his love for the village he called home in the shadow of the Teix mountain.
Creative types continue to be drawn to Deià’s scenic beauty, and a number of artists live here year round. The village is also a known celebrity haunt, with many famous faces choosing to stay at the emblematic Hotel La Residencia – including – but certainly not limited to – Princess Diana, Gwyneth Paltrow, Harrison Ford and Sting.
Andrew Lloyd Webber owns a villa here, and best-selling author Helen Walsh’s novel The Lemon Grove is set in the heat of a sizzlingly seductive Deià summer.
Want to know where artists and media moguls gather in Mallorca? Read more with abc-Mallorca to find out what makes the mountain village of Deià so special. […] Deià
Emmy-nominated BBC series The Night Manager perfectly illustrates the type of well-heeled international visitor attracted to Deià’s authentic loveliness, in its kidnap scene filmed at Ca’s Petro March, the popular fish restaurant at Cala Deià.
The global success of the TV series showcasing the natural beauty and luxury of the island, has had a very positive impact on upmarket tourism on Mallorca. […] A dangerous game, a beautiful island
The fables continue further down the winding mountain road in Valldemossa, first with the arrival of composer Frédéric Chopin and his lover, writer Georges Sand, who spent a winter holed up in the cells of the old Carthusian monastery in the town (Sand penning a not-too-complimentary account of their time there in her book, A Winter in Majorca).
In 1867, an Austrian sailor and explorer landed in Valldemossa and was instantly enraptured. Archduke Ludwig Salvator, seeing the island as an escape from the pressures of the court, bought up pieces of land in the town’s surrounds and poured his energies into conserving their nature and wildlife. The estate of Son Marroig he acquired, which includes the palace of S’Estaca, currently belongs to American actor and actress Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones. It’s possible to hike to the former house of the duke – now a museum in his memory – from which you can view the jutting Sa Foradada peninsula.
Discover the beauty and rich cultural heritage of Valldemossa, the historic town in West Mallorca within the Tramuntana mountain range. Read more… […] Valldemossa
Produce of the region
The olive oil produced by Valldemossa estate Son Moragues is the only 100% Mallorquina olive oil in the world. Dating back to the 14th century, this emblematic finca is undergoing a revival thanks to the hard work and enterprise of its current guardians. You can visit to buy the most exquisite olives, organic jams and fresh produce, and of course, the gold standard of oil, gift boxed and contained in hand-blown glass bottles.
The Valldemossa estate of Son Moragues produces heaven-sent olive oil based on sustainable, organic-certified farming methods. […] Son Moragues
A trip to a Northwest winery is a splendid way to discover a practice of grape cultivation that has its roots in Roman times. Produced under the hallmark of Vino de la tierra Serra de Tramuntana – Costa Nord, one of the most popular wines cultivated here is the delicious Malvasía variety. These two interesting bodegas in Banyalbufar and Estellencs welcome tasting visits.
Drop in to sample the unique wines of the Son Vives Wine Cellar and Bar produced on the hand-carved terraces of the slopes of Banyalbufar in Mallorca. […] Son Vives Wine Cellar Banyalbufar
Hobby winemaker Tomeu Isern produces some of the best wines in Mallorca at the Tomeu Isern Wine Cellar. Be one of the few to experience this Estellencs vineyard. […] Tomeu Isern Wine Cellar
10 attractions & things to do in Northwest Mallorca
Should you ever tire of lounging around admiring the splendid views from the villa pool, here’s abcMallorca’s selection of what to get up to in the northwest.
If you really want to get away, visit the sacred site of Lluc. High up in the municipality of Escorca, this sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin Mary dates back to the 13th century and really is like escaping back in time. As well as a church, museum, botanic gardens and restaurant serving rustic Mallorcan food, there is the opportunity to walk up a stone path to the summit of the site with a sign of the cross, and magnificent views. Time your visit right and you can also see a touching performance by the choir school. See lluc.net for more details.
Sóller train and tram
The Palma to Sóller train is an inspiring way to see the Mallorca countryside. Hop on at the Plaza de Espana station; tickets cost 22€ one way – a total cost of 44€ return. The best option is to buy a combined train and Sóller tram ticket. For 30€, you get a round ticket from Palma to Sóller, plus return tickets for the quaint tram ride running between Sóller and Port de Sóller .
The train has been running since 1912 and operates six times daily from Palma, and five times daily from Sóller (four times going in each direction in winter). View an up-to-date timetable at trendesoller.com.
Visit a beauty spot
The western cove of Sa Calobra is a seriously picture postcard-worthy spot that takes some getting to, but is undeniably worth the drive (or sail!) The narrow Ma 2141 road from Escorca takes multiple hairpin bends until it reaches the entrance to a gorge. You then have to walk through approximately 300m of tunnels leading to a small but spectacular pebble beach, with blue-green waters. It’s also possible to take a boat from Port de Sóller to Sa Calobra; a much more appealing option if you can’t face the prospect of traversing 14 km of road twists and turns!
In summer, when the weather is dry, experienced hikers can take the challenging route from Escorca through the gorge of Torrent de Pareis to Sa Calobra, spending time recuperating on the beach before catching the boat to Port de Sóller. A difficult hike requiring good physical condition, it takes around five hours and should only be undertaken with a qualified guide. See tramuntanatours.com for details of how to book an excursion starting from the Tramuntana Tours shop in Port de Sóller .
A succession of noble families have lived on the Raixa estate just outside Bunyola since the 13th century. Besides the grand early 19th century house and ornately landscaped gardens, there’s a special visitor centre aimed at giving an insight into the many facets of the Serra de Tramuntana. Opening times are from 10:00 hrs to 15:00 hrs Tuesday to Saturday (closed Mondays, Sundays and bank holidays). It’s wise to phone ahead and check the estate is opening in winter; call +34 971 237 636.
Raixa, the well-known estate in Bunyola has been reopened to public after 10 years. […] Raixa re-opens after restoration
Almost 150 years ago at the time of writing, Austrian noble Archduke Ludwig Salvator discovered Mallorca for himself, settling on the estate on Son Marroig. You can learn more about his life and adventures at his former house, located on the left of the road which leads from Valldemossa to Deià. Museum visiting times are 9:30 hrs – 20:00 hrs Monday to Saturday in summer, and 9:30 hrs to 18:00 hrs Monday to Saturday in winter (closed on Sundays).
Hiking to the Sa Foradada peninsula with its large ‘hole in the middle’ rock, visible from the house, is permitted, though you should ask for permission at the house, first. The walk takes around 2.5 to 3 hours, lasting for a total distance of 7 km there and back, and passing a small landing dock where it’s possible to take a swim.
Up in the mountain of Puig de Galatzó is an enchanting place: a private nature reserve and wildlife refuge in a Mediterranean forest. Visitors walk a path through the forest surrounded by vegetation, animals, waterfalls and spectacular views of the mountains. It’s possible to do a zip wire course and rock climbing, plus make use of a BBQ area and bar. Opening times vary considerably throughout the seasons; see lareservamallorca.com for details.
Calle Net, 07194 Puigpunyent.
A small traditional town, just 15 minutes west of Palma, Puigpunyent is a mountain village – with highlights including La Reserva Puig de Galatzó and the Gran Hotel Son Net. […] Puigpunyent
La Granja de Esporles
Be immersed in old-time Mallorca at La Granja. This 17th-century manor has lush landscaped gardens, natural springs and a museum holding live demonstrations of traditional crafts. There’s also a restaurant serving Mallorcan cuisine and a pleasant terrace cafe. Open every day in summer and winter; 10:00 hrs – 19:00 hrs in summer and 10:00 hrs to 18:00 hrs in winter.
Ctra Banyalbufar, km 1.5, 07190 Esporles
Discover a beach cove
Think pebbles rather than sand and clusters of visitors over crowds at the beaches of the northwest. What our pick of five gorgeous locales lack in size and facilities, they made up for in charm and seclusion. It’s perhaps wise to pack a picnic if you’re planning spending time on one of the beaches in this region, since restaurants and facilities are usually nowhere near those of the southwest, for example. Lifeguards and loos do not always feature, so plan ahead if you have young children in tow.
Small but very sweet, rocky Cala Deià is about as far from the golden sand beaches of the south as it’s possible to get, but it carries a definite air of glamour owing to the chic kind of sunbather is attracts, and famous fish restaurant Ca’s Patro March perched on the cliff overlooking the scene. There is a small car park, but it’s always crowded so perhaps the better option is to station your car further up the road and walk the last kilometre.
In the shadow of Puig Major, Cala Tuent is a remote-feel beach with dense pine woods all around. Care should be taken on the descendent road down to this semicircular sea inlet, which forms part of the unspoiled municipality of Escorca.
Steep vertical cliffs form the rounded inlet of Cala de Banyalbufar. Accessible from the road of Calle Major leading from the village of Banyalbufar, it’s generally not too busy and the amazingly transparent waters make it a favourite amongst divers.
Take a trip to Port de Canonge, some 11 km to the east of Banyalbufar, and you’ll be sunbathing alongside the fishing boats. Crystalline waters and heavenly views out to sea make it popular with locals and in-the-know tourists alike, though the last six kilometres by road are very twisting.
In the opposite direction to Banyalbufar’s west is the small fishing harbour of Cala Estellencs, with its long, narrow pebbled beach. It has to be said that this aspect is rather modest, but the locale’s jewel is a crystal clear waterfall (the Torrent de Son Fortuny) flowing between the cliffs when there is enough water present, meaning you can bathe in the sweet, refreshing shower.
Jardins de Alfabia
Situated near Bunyola close to the entrance to the Sóller tunnel, the Jardines de Alfabia are a perfect example of Moorish elegance preserved. This impressive country house and garden is complete with fountains and ancient irrigation systems – one of the Arab gifts to the island. You can explore the house with its historical artefacts or simply stroll the gardens – or both.
Opening times are Monday to Sunday, 9:30 hrs to 18:30 hrs in summer, and Monday to Friday, 9:30 hrs to 17:30 hrs / Saturday 9:30 hrs to 13:00 hrs in winter. Note that latest entry is one hour before closing.
Ca’n Prunera museum
Weave your way along the main shopping street of Sóller and you’ll come across Ca’n Prunera, a striking modernist building housing an impressive collection of artworks by the likes of Kandinsky, Picasso and Warhol. Open every day from 1st March to 30th October, opening times are from 10:30 hrs to 18:30 hrs. From 1st November to 28th February, opening times are from 10:30 hrs to 18:30 hrs. The museum is closed on Mondays in winter.
Carrer Sa Luna, 86 – 90, Sóller
Ca’n Prunera in the centre of the town of Soller is the result of a childhood dream of publishing entrepreneur Pedro Serra. Visit the Art Nouveau museum. […] Ca’n Prunera Museum in Sóller
Best places to eat in Northwest Mallorca
This region offers hotel restaurants open to the public, lovely eateries at the beach and others in the beautiful mountains. Have a look at our guide! […] Best Restaurants in the Northwest of Mallorca
Four essential events in Northwest Mallorca
Each town and village in the Northwest holds firm to its own traditional calendar of events, with a few more recently established festivals added to the colourful mix, too.
The beauty of piano in Mallorca’s prettiest town
In 1930, Mallorcan composer Joan Maria Thomas started the Chopin Festival – the first in the world. The reign of Franco saw the event disappear for a period, and it wasn’t until 1981 that the event re-emerged. Now, annual the International Chopin Festival of Valldemossa is going strong with a full calendar of world-class performances taking place during August, in the grounds of the Carthusian Monastery. See the upcoming timetable at festivalchopin.com.
A centuries-old mock battle
Once a year in Sóller, the streets run amock with fighting (fake!) and noise. The battle of the Moors and the Christians sees the staging of a great mock battle, held to commemorate the great triumph of 1561, when locals beat off invading Moorish pirates with nothing more than stick weaponry and steely determination. Full of theatricality and with the whole village taking part, it happens on the Monday following the second Sunday in May and is quite a spectacle to behold.
Classical stars in a majestic clifftop setting
Running since 1978, the Deià International Music Festival attracts stars of the worldwide classical music scene. Taking place from May to September each year, the event offers plenty of opportunities to catch performances in the stately surroundings of Son Marroig, high on the cliffs between Deià and Valldemossa.
An ancient Christmas chant at a sacred site
Christmastime is magic at Lluc monastery, when one of the young choir members – the Blauets – is chosen to sing the touching Cant de la Sibil.la – a Medieval prophesy of the end of the world that has been declared part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO – in front of an assembled audience within the sanctuary church.
Living in Northwest Mallorca
Sóller, with its harbour and mountains offers variety year-round, explaining why so many artists and island aficionados have settled here. The properties on offer are varied, ranging from village cottages and villas with breathtaking views to rustic country fincas.
Those who have taken the narrow winding road over the pass will remember the impressive moment when the orange valley suddenly appears below them. The stunning combination of mountains and sea, traditional houses with their sandy stone facades and the fertile land account for the magic of this place. It’s not without reason that the area around Sóller, with its mountains and harbour, and the northwest coast from Deià to Valldemossa ranges among the most sought-after and most expensive real estate locations on the island. It is not only the beauty of nature, however, that makes Sóller so attractive. There are multiple factors that influence the property market of this region.
The coastline has never been overbuilt, thanks to its rocky and steep formation, and remains unspoiled. The mountains and natural harbour of Sóller never offered enough space for uncontrolled growth and protective building regulations have been strictly enforced. There are very few plots for sale, leaving the current market limited to existing structures. Most available is property needing extensive and expensive repair, or newly renovated properties that change hands at a considerably higher price.
The small town of Sóller has a unique charm with its grand, shady Plaza Constitución and small, narrow streets. One of the main attractions is certainly the journey on the historic train from Palma to Sóller and a ride in the open trams (which were once delivered from Lisbon), connecting Sóller with the harbour every 15 minutes.
The real estate market is remarkably versatile; beautiful town palaces and village houses in the Spanish nouveau (modernismo) style are offered in the local real estate agencies, as well as executive, luxuriously renovated apartments. Many of the houses with their imposing facades have large patios with stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Sóller is no place for bargain-hunters though. While prices are more reasonable inland than on the coast, one can still find good value for money. An advantage of Sóller’s location is its proximity to Palma, which can be reached comfortably in 15 minutes, thanks to the completion on the Palma-Soller tunnel several years ago. Furthermore, Sóller offers all the amenities of a vibrant town: shopping facilities, schools, and cultural diversity and nightlife. Restaurants, shops and most village hotels stay open all year and those who prefer to do without a car can easily get around by tram and the train. Nature lovers can enjoy both the surrounding mountains as well as the nearby sea and beach.
Just above Sóller is the charming village of Fornalutx, elected ‘most beautiful village of Spain’ many times.
The majority of stone-built houses have been lovingly restored, and great care is taken to keep housefronts tidy and colorful with freshly-painted shutters and a multitude of plants and flowerpots. The narrow, cobblestone lanes add to the charm and the views over the valley and surrounding mountains are breathtaking. This fairtytale village is a dream, resulting in a very limited number of properties for sale. These facts make Fornalutx one of the most expensive locations in this region, surpassed only by the village of Deià. Houses of approx. 100 sqm to 150 sqm, for example, start at 400,000 – 500,000 euros.
In the natural harbour of Port de Sóller, apartments used to be quite affordable until a few years ago, when a tunnel was built to direct traffic to the outskirts of town, allowing for the seaside promenade to be pedestrianised and made much more attractive – hiking up prices considerably.
The villas situated in the mountains high above the harbour enjoy marvellous sea views and are set on beautiful, very private plots, which is one of the reasons why the entry prices start in the range of about 600,000 euros, with almost no limit beyond that.
A bit further down the coast, the picturesque village of Deià has long been a favourite spot amongst artists, musicians and writers. Some of the best restaurants on the island, including the luxurious hotel La Residencia, and the yearly international music festival featuring international stars attract an exclusive crowd. Almost all of the houses here have seaviews, and pools if situated outside of the village itself. Demand, however, far exceeds supply and there are very few properties for sale. This leads to a market situation where small apartments might well cost 350,000 euros.
Last but certainly not least, Valldemossa is equally stunning and very popular with commuters from nearby Palma. Well known thanks to the famous monastery and the culture centre Costa Nord, which offer a season of exquisite concerts each summer, the village is buzzing with tourists during the day but returns to its quiet self by night. Therefore, families live well and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. George Sand Urbanization is one of the few new-built urbanisations on the northwest coast, and although the structures are a bit modern, they successfully blend into the surrounding countryside.
Clearly the northwest coast has much to offer. While it lacks large, sandy beaches, it has plenty of unspoilt nature, picturesque villages, top-class restaurants and finca hotels, culture and, most importantly, the character and beauty of the original Mallorca.
The people buying property here tend to be eager to find privacy without pretence and even celebrities can stroll around places like Deià and Sóller without being bothered. Unobtrusiveness and tranquillity are what attract most to Sóller and its surroundings. “Sóller focuses on its nature, and it profits from it” said Franz Kraus when we met him in his ice cream garden in Sóller. “Economy by ecology is the buzzword” and this respect for nature is exactly what has protected this area of Mallorca.
Franz Kraus ex-general manager in the international food industry came to Mallorca and established the now famous ice cream factory “Sa Fábrica” in Sóller […] From Sóller with love
Casas Mallorca is a real estate agency specialising in the northwest of Mallorca including Sóller, Fornalutx, Biniaraix and the coast from Deià to Valldemossa. […] Casas Mallorca Real Estate Agency Sóller
We hope you’ve found this guide to the Northwest of Mallorca useful. It’s just one of more than 5,000 articles on this website detailing everything you need to know about the largest Balearic island.