Every month we bring to your attention a tiny part of the wonderful West Coast of Mallorca. The village of Biniaraix, tucked away between Soller and Fornalutx is certainly tiny but it is outstandingly charming.
The entrance to Biniaraix is symbolically narrow. Many people carry straight on up the road that winds from Soller up through fragrant orange and lemon groves to Fornalutx and miss it completely. Which suits the residents of the village just fine.
But if you’re alive to the quiet joys of the real Mallorca or simply just curious, Biniaraix is a miniature marvel.
I asked my friend Anna Nicholas, the writer, hiker, marathon runner and adventurer who lives in the Soller valley, what she knew about Biniaraix.
‘It’s not the most wildly exciting village,’ she told me, ‘and was a tranquil agricultural area for centuries although it has an interesting history. It was a Muslim stronghold and the name derives from Ben-Arraiz, which I believe meant son of the sea captain. The traditional stone washstands at the entrance to the Barranc de Biniaraix ravine are a remarkable feature of the village. These were used as late as the 20th century. In the placa and close to the church of Immaculada Concepció there are ancient houses with painted tiles under the eaves, traditionally used to ward off bad spirits, issue warnings, tell stories and so on.’
For visitors to the island who come to walk, Biniaraix is known as the starting point for many outstanding routes up into the Tramuntana mountains. It’s where you begin the climb to the Puig de Massanella, Mallorca’s highest accessible mountain peak, walking along the cobbled pathway of the Barranc de Biniaraix ravine.
Best experienced outside of the high walking season – which you could do every day if you lived in Biniaraix – the Barranc has been declared an Asset of Cultural Interest, a protected Tramuntana heritage site. This is because of the way the drystone constructions of the pathway and walls have been integrated into the Barranc’s great natural beauty.
Of the many walks that begin at Biniaraix, those to Cúver reservoir, l’Ofre, a volcano-shaped vegetation-covered peak, and the monastery at Lluc are the most popular.
Wreathed in legends, l’Ofre is famous for its connection to the 1979 Manises UFO sighting which led to a plane from Mallorca making an emergency landing in Valencia. A more boring explanation might be that l’Ofre is not far from the Puig Major, Mallorca’s highest mountain and located in a military zone. Who knows what goes on inside those places?
The UFO sighting story probably kept locals at Biniaraix’s two cafés talking for years. Become a regular at Es Barranc, known as a welcoming café with great snacks, and La Bodega, widely regarded as the heart of the village, and you’ll probably hear all kinds of fantastic theories.
La Bodega is a café, art gallery, chess club at the foot of the church steps that specialises in fruit juices from the owner’s orchards. The almond cake is said to be sensational. Like the rest of Biniaraix, La Bodega feels like it has been unchanged for decades. As Charles Marlow’s Maria Garde says, ‘It’s a great spot to sit and watch the world go by. If anyone does go by!’
This sense that the old ways continue on in Biniaraix is one the village’s great charms. It may be tiny, but it has its own fiesta in mid-August and San Antoni festival on 17 January when demons dance by the light of the fire that glows on the ancient village.
According to Maria, there’s a good reason why Biniaraix is becoming one of the most sought-after locations on Mallorca’s West Coast.
‘Binairaix is incredibly quiet and peaceful and you have gorgeous nature on your doorstep. But you can walk to Soller in under 20 minutes. Soller is nice and bustling all year round. There are plenty of good restaurants and bars, so you can spend a long lunch or lovely evening there and walk back to Biniaraix comfortably. The same is true of Fornalutx. The walk is a little longer but it is wonderful to amble up through the orange groves and take your morning coffee in Placa d’Espanya.’
Opportunities to buy a home in Biniaraix don’t come up that often but Charles Marlow is delighted to offer three exceptional properties.
Can Fabiol is a charming, traditional home that has been carefully restored while retaining many original features including wooden beams and doors. Nice and secluded, Can Fabiol has a covered terrace and Mediterranean garden in which to sit and enjoy the fabulous views.
Can Xispa boasts a generously-sized pool and its own vineyard. Comprising a four-bedroom family home and two-bedroom modern guest casita as well as separate building with plenty of potential, Can Xispa has a rental license, which makes it even more desirable.
Can Lau has five large double-bedrooms and is set among fragrant fruit trees. Although the home has a rustic flavour and a classical Mallorquin feel to it, the spacious rooms are designed in a contemporary style and offer plenty of possibilities for you to create your own vibe. The pool is ideal for families and guests, and the garden is large and picturesque.
We would love to tell you more about the homes we have for sale or rental in Biniaraix. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +34 971 636 427.