NW Mallorca – Tramuntana
This is Mallorca’s most dramatic region, dominated by a chain of craggy, limestone mountains, stretching from Andratx to Pollensa. Impressive peaks rising to 1,500 metres and plunging sea cliffs are intercepted by sheltered valleys of olive or citrus groves and picturesque villages.
Why buy property in NW Mallorca?
- Stunning scenery & spectacular sunsets. The Tramuntana range was awarded World Heritage Status in June 2011 by UNESCO as an area of great physical and cultural significance
- The mountains are a haven for anyone seeking peace, tranquility & inspiration
- There are countless *mountain paths, old donkey trails & the famous ruta de pedra seca (the dry stone route GR221) which stretches the entire length of the coast, from Andratx via Lluc to Pollensa. There are also some challenging routes for cyclists, mountain bikers & climbers
What you should know about property in NW Mallorca
- There is only one sandy beach on this coastline within Puerto Soller. Water access is otherwise restricted to a few, small, stony coves accessed via narrow, serpentine roads with passing places
- The coastline is exposed to north westerly winds. Puerto Soller is a safe harbour with a marina, but this part of the coast is not ideal for real boating enthusiasts
- Many of the original stone houses were formerly owned by olive grove workers & are subsequently passed down through generations of Mallorquin families
- The mountain villages can be very busy in the summer months. Tourist visitors are likely to travel the “triangle route” from Palma to Valldemossa, via Deia to Soller and back to Palma
- Parking is limited and well controlled in the villages. Consider your parking options when buying property in the area
- The coast immediately west of Valldemossa can sometimes suffer from sea mists obscuring the view
- Properties in the Soller area will often have water rights described within their deeds with a certain number of hours per week from local mountain springs. Water deposits are common and there is a well organised tanker delivery service
- The legalities for rural properties can sometimes be complex. Ensure you are well informed of your boundaries, rights of way & building regulations
Seaview properties in NW Mallorca
There are surprisingly few places where you will find properties with sea views on the north west coast.
Banyalbufar A small, picturesque hamlet spread over a multitude of terraces, its Arabic name means “vineyard by the sea”. Richard Branson, former owner of the Residencia Hotel in Deia, bought an estate nearby hoping to create the new Deia, but gave up due to planning problems. In relation to the rest of the island, Banyalbufar remains fairly isolated – the approach is via a good tarmac road, but it’s winding & quite narrow in places, especially driving from the south.
- A country estate is for sale asking €19m, with rare private access to the sea below the property. Dating partially to the 15th century, there are various buildings over 200 hectares, with an original oil mill
Valldemossa The quiet, residential area of George Sand 3km west of Valldemossa is the only place with views of the sea. Valldemossa itself faces the city of Palma, just 15 minutes by car.
- A first class, rustic house with pool & views of the coast & sea is for sale asking €2.69m
Deia The best sea views are NE of Deia village as it sits slightly inland. A tiny municipality with only 752 official residents, 41% of whom are non spanish, it has attracted celebrity property owners including Michael Douglas & Catherine Zeta Jones and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.
- A 13th century monastery with 80 hectares of land is for sale.
- A 6 bedroom property with parking for 4 cars is under construction in Llucalcari asking €6.5m.
- A 3 bedroom stone villa with sea views less than 100 metres from the cove in Deia is asking €3m
Puerto Soller The only sea view properties are dotted around the harbour, in the hills of Sa Figuera to the north west of the port, and in Bens D’Avall which is an urbanisation 8 minutes’ drive west of Soller town. Steadily undergoing improvements, Puerto Soller lies 25 minutes from Palma via a toll tunnel. The port is traffic free apart from the 1912 wooden sided tram which runs between the port and Soller town.
- A 4 bedroom family home above Puerto Soller with pool is asking €1.7m
- A 3 bedroom finca with pool is for sale in Sa Figuera asking €1.2m
- A 2 bedroom apartment with impressive harbour views and community pool is on the market asking €540,000
Fincas & townhouses in NW Mallorca
The majority of rustic properties in the mountains are stone townhouses, either terraced, semi detached or back to back. Completely detached fincas outside the villages often come with substantial amounts of land which bumps up the price.
Soller The major settlement on Mallorca’s NW coast, Soller is a lively town surrounded by citrus groves. It has a magnificent backdrop of high peaks and a real heart. In the central square, Joan Rubio Bellver, a student of Gaudi, designed the façades of the church of Sant Bartolomeu & the modernist Banc de Soller. Within 20 minutes’ commuting distance of Palma via a toll tunnel, you can also take an open sided train into Palma’s Plaza Espana.
Before the line opened in 1912, the journey from the capital took the best part of a day. As a result, Soller historically turned to the west, setting up trade agreements for its lucatrive citrus business with Barcelona & France. To this day, it still attracts sizeable numbers of French visitors.
- A large, 6 bedroom town house with 340 sq metres of south facing garden & pool is for sale asking €1.2m
- A 1900s modernist town house with 5 bedrooms, 1 bathroom for renovation near the town square is also for sale. With excellent mountain views, the 2000 sq metre plot would allow construction of a pool
Fornalutx The narrow, cobbled streets & stone steps in Fornalutx are adorned with pots & plants and it was once voted the prettiest village in Spain. It’s famous for the distinctive, hand painted roof tiles under the eaves of many of its old stone houses, which go back as far as the early 17th century. It’s an idyllic setting in an orchard filled valley, overshadowed by Puig Major, the highest peak in the NW.
- A 6 bedroom, elegant, double fronted townhouse with 1000 sq metres of garden & pool is on the market asking €1.795m
- A 3 bedroom townhouse with expansive views, 100 sq metres of garden & garage is asking €720,000
Esporles Esporles is only 15 minutes NW of Palma and is away from the tourist zone. It has a sizeable contingent of residents commuting to the university and tourism colleges just outside the city. An amiable, leafy little town, its main street follows the line of an ancient stone watercourse.
- Above the village, a traditional finca with character & 15,000 sq metres of land is asking €2.5m
Puigpunyent Spread along a small valley & dominated by the mountain peak of Galatzo, Puigpunyent is best known for the fine hotel Son Net which sits on a plateau above the town.
- A 5 bedroom finca on the outskirts of the village with 17,000 sq metres of land & within walking distance of facilities is asking €2.495m
- A 3 bedroom finca with pool & open views needing renovation is available asking €525,000
NW Mallorca in 2014
Jumeirah, the Dubai-based group famous for creating the world’s first seven-star hotel, the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab, finally opened its luxury hotel Jumeirah Port de Soller & Spa, in April 2012. The 5 star hotel has 120 rooms & sea view suites and a 2,200 sq metre spa. The group is confident that the unique characteristics of the hotel, perched on the clifftop, will be embraced by discerning travellers. The cheapest off peak room costs €325 whilst the largest suite with its own 220 sq metre terrace will set you back almost €4,000 in the high season.
Puerto Soller seafront was remodelled in 2012 & its tram tracks relaid in the centre of the promenade. This allows visitors free access to the beach, which was improved with the addition of 40,000 tonnes of sand shipped from Albacete on the mainland.
The Hotel Rocamar on the approach to Puerto Soller will finally be demolished. The hotel had become an eyesore since its closure 11 years ago following an incident when a guest almost fell to his death from the 4th floor when a balcony railing gave way. The hotel owners subsequently failed to upgrade the building to recommended safety standards.
The Balearic government under the current Partido Popular is now pushing through legislation which will allow private investment in the Muleta urbanisation in Puerto Soller, on the approach to the lighthouse. Development had been stopped in 2007 by the socialist coalition government under pressure from environmental groups. This will save millions in pending compensation claims from developers, some of whom had made considerable investments in infrastructure.
Property prices in NW Mallorca
- As anywhere in the world, property prices in Deia, Soller & the Tramuntana are dictated by a very large number of factors but primarily by supply. In the second home market, vendor motivation is also important especially in the current economic climate
- Disregard general press reports on pricing in Spain. Mallorca is 3,640 square kilometres (1,400 square miles) which is twice the area of Greater London with its 32 boroughs. It is half the size of the entire municipality of Stockholm and nearly 5 times the size of New York City. Therefore, prices in Mallorca can vary for the same type of property depending on exact location on the island