Sheep grazing in the Sóller Valley

Within the vast terrain of Mallorca’s Northwest region, home to the Serra de Tramuntana Mountains, are found charming hilltop villages, endless hiking and cycling trails, rocky beaches, old stone fincas and an appreciation of rugged and rural living.

Mallorca’s Northwest region is defined by the Serra de Tramuntana Mountains and a host of quaint villages, olive and almond trees, sheep and mountain goats, excellent hiking trails and dramatic cliffs. While there are many ways to look at the map of Mallorca, for our purposes, starting in the south, we include in the Northwest region: the village of Puigpunyent up north to the beaches of Sa Calobra and the monastery of Lluc. Within this area are found some of the most popular towns to live and visit including Valldemossa, Deia, Soller and Fornalutx, where shops and restaurants are plentiful and contemporary life is met with traditional ways.

The Sóller Valley, once known as the “Golden Valley” because of its rich agricultural history, is filled with orange and lemon trees, as well as pomegranates, persimmons and avocados. The Valley includes the town of Sóller, Port de Sóller, the quaint micro-village of Biniaraix, a gateway to a favourite hike along the GR 221, and Fornalutx, an exclusive hillside village once voted Spain’s most beautiful village. Sóller is one of the larger towns in the region, featuring a lively pedestrian street with independent shops and restaurants and it is the home of the popular Sóller train, which has a smaller tram that goes to the Port de Sóller and the larger train to Palma.

The Northwest is also home to beautiful beaches, both sand beaches with all the amenities, such as Port de Sóller, which has a kilometre long boardwalk with shops and restaurants and stylish Esplendido Hotel, as well as out of the way rocky outcrops like Llucalcari, where one can jump off the rocks into the sea. Perhaps the most visited beach in this Northwest region is Sa Calobra and Cala Tuent, both accessed by a legendarily curvy road or via boat. Incredibly busy beach destinations despite them being difficult to reach, they do merit a visit.

Aerial views of Cala Deia
The incredibly windy Sa Calobra road

About 25-minutes from Sóller along the MA-10 road, Deia mixes a creative, free-spirited style with luxury living. Niche boutiques, secluded villas, and one of the island’s most beloved beaches, Cala Deia. Belmond La Residencia sits majestically on the hillside of Deia and makes a lovely place to stop for a drink.

Continuing south, Valldemossa, perhaps one of the most photographed villages on the island, is spread out along the mountains, yet it is only a 15-20 minute drive to Palma thanks to a well-made connecting road. With beautiful historic sites and independent shops and restaurants, Valldemossa is a popular visit throughout the year.

The tiny, ancient hillside village of Banyalbufar offers a close look at the historic agricultural systems and the terraced farms that line the steep hillsides are a feat of creativity and beauty. The tiny beach here is a special experience.

Esporles and the rural, laid back village of Puigpunyent are two of the island’s most under-the-radar locations – close to Palma but hidden among dense nature, with Esporles offering more in terms of restaurants, conveniences and shops and is home to a quirky museums called Sa Granja.

Several of Mallorca’s architectural treasures and landmarks are found in the Northwest region: Sóller’s Sant Bartomeu cathedral, the Robert Graves Museum in Deia, large stone pirate towers along the coast, Lluc – a hidden 17th sanctuary in the mountains, and the monastery in Valldemossa made famous by George Sand and Frederic Chopin, are some of the more notable. The Northwest today is also home to many wellness and yoga retreats that combine the practice with daily hikes and meditation.

One of the best ways to experience the dramatic scenery of the Northwest region of Mallorca is driving the MA-10, known to some as the “American road.” Stretching from Pollensa in the north to Andratx in the south, the road winds through the mountains offering breath-taking scenery at every turn.

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