Welcome to Orange County
It's orange harvest time in the Soller Valley and to mark the occasion the area focused on Soller, its port and the pretty village of Fornalutx is holding its 12th annual orange festival.
Oranges have been cultivated in the idea growing conditions of the valley for hundreds of years and have brought much wealth to the area over the years. The fruit was so well regarded for its juiciness and sweet taste across the sea that Louis XIV of France, the Sun King of Versailles would eat no other oranges than those from Soller.
Back then, it was easier to trade by ship with the Spanish mainland and France than the rest of Mallorca because of the difficulty of getting donkeys and carts through the Tramuntana Mountains! Nowadays with the rail tunnel for the lovely old train and the now free road tunnel, getting to Soller is so easy.
The orange festival is held over two weeks (normally in June) from tomorrow so that the activities on hand can cover the actual harvesting and treatment of the oranges as well as the more exciting aspects like eating, drinking, dancing, music and general celebrations.
The gastronomic aspects of the fair are focused on the special menus provided by a host of restaurants in the three towns over the fortnight. All of the meals feature oranges in some form or another – as ice cream, marmalade, juice, liqueur or just plain old oranges – with some very creative dishes lined up for our enjoyment.
The good bit is that just €20 will get you three courses (drinks are extra) and even better you can jump on the fantastic old train from Palma, tram it down to the port, enjoy a meal, and get back home for just €33!! How about that for a great deal?
You can get all the details of the restaurants, the meals in Spanish, English and German, and a map with their location by clicking the links
If you are in Soller on Saturday 10th March then you'll catch the opening of the fair with live bands, music, dancing, fruit cocktails and a tapas and pinchos event in Soller's main square by the town hall.
Enjoy it if you go.