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Discovering Bunyola: Gateway to scenic walks and historical charms

The spring is the ideal time to get out there and walk the walks

General view of Bunyola. | R.F.

| Soller |

Bunyola walks are under my radar this week as the questions come in on Sollerweb. Many walkers don’t hire cars and use the bus to get to the starting points of good walking trails. I am asked often about the Soller Buses which will link to the beginning of great walks. I confidently send them off with a good map to begin their adventures in Bunyola.

Bunyola has acted as a link between Palma and the Tramuntana mountains. Age-old roads all converge here from Sóller, Orient, Valldemossa and Palma. The Bunyola fields and slopes have been used as meadowlands for royal hunts and for the supply of wood, charcoal, stone and ice. This makes Bunyola a great starting point for many of the route 221 treks of the area. Waterfalls, ice houses and charcoal pits are to be found in those hills.

One very popular route starts at the Can Penasso bus stop from Palma or Soller at the Ma-11 main road between Palma and Soller. The path starts on paved road, but quickly becomes narrow and quite steep until a ladder helps to cross a stone wall at the pass Coll de son Nasi (491 m). At the top Puig de Sa Gubia (608 m) there is a viewing platform (Mirador de Leandro Ximenis) with fantastic views of the bay of Palma, Galatzó, Na Fátima, Moleta de Pastoritx, Sierra de Alfàbia, Massanella and the Commune of Bunyola. Good views again during the descent with vistas of the Bunyola area, passing between olive trees, crop terraces, cisterns, old coal paths and with views of Puig de Son Poc (493 m) and Puig de Son Nasi (575 m).

Bunyola is a village and municipality located at the foot of the Serra de Tramuntana. It has a railway station on the Ferrocarril route from Palma to Soller. Some visitors join the train here as the rail journey through the mountains begins at this point.

The municipality has around 7000 inhabitants and exists on tourism, agriculture and a very large solar panel farm. Its proximity to Palma by car, bus and train means that many commuters live here and work in the city and surrounding towns. A town centre with a huge Church and a Market Hall gives a heart and gathering place for the residents. Many Sollerics live in Bunyola as marriages between the two areas create a mixed vibe. Some say ‘I live in Bunyola, but my heart is in Soller’ or vice versa.

The Raixa estate.

Apart from the wonderful walking routes and climbing paths the area has two major tourist attractions within the vicinity. The Gardens of Alfabia and Raixa are both accessed off the main road from the Soller Tunnel. Alfabia, is very close to Bunyola and was once the home of the Moorish viceroy of Mallorca, Ben-Abet. The beautiful gardens are charming with numerous footpaths, beautiful trees, plants and an impressive lake. The house itself is a mixture of Moorish, Gothic and even English style, but also has Baroque and Renaissance influences. Alfabia has become a very popular wedding venue and many famous names have enjoyed their nuptials here.

Continuing along the main road from Bunyola a right turn will take you to the Raixa Estate. This is an impressive country manor house (possessió) located in the municipality of Bunyola. The surrounding gardens, the monumental staircase, the big pond and the panoramic views offered to the visitor, make Raixa well worth a visit. The Bus from Soller stops at Raixa and then it is a ten-minute walk to the entrance.

The walks around Soller are well loved and now, Bunyola and all it has to offer, is on the walker’s radar. I am always delighted to be able to point them in the direction of our great bus service for the Bunyola routes.

The spring is the ideal time to get out there and walk the walks. On a clear day you can see for miles from the viewing points. Wonderful views which will remain for ever in the memory box. Spring in the Soller Valley and over the mountain in Bunyola is a joy.

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