On the weekend of April 29th and 30th, Sa Fira de Taronja (The Sóller Orange Fair) celebrates and promotes the abundant oranges that flourish in Sóller Valley. The two-day Orange Fair happens within the three-week Jornades de la Taronja (Orange Days) – a gastronomic festivity – which lasts from April 21st – May 7th.
The Orange Fair has a full schedule of activities for adults and children which include craft stalls, show cooking, workshops, music, and orange grove tours.
Orange Days is a gastronomic and cultural affair that sees dozens of restaurants in Sóller, Port de Sóller, and Fornalutx participating to provide, for decidedly reasonable prices, creative recipes that utilize local ingredients and highlight the succulent Sóller orange.
History of Sa Fira de Taronja
The history of Sóller cannot be uncoupled from the orange tree. In fact, the existence of Port de Sóller and the train and tram that get you there owe their existence to the citrus.
The orange trees’ introduction to the valley dates back to the 10th century when the Arabs began planting a sour and bitter version to ornament their patios. Half a millennia later, in the early 16th century, the sweet orange was hauled from its native land of India, across The Silk Road, on to the ships of the Portuguese, and finally to the ports of Mallorca.
Two hundred years later, the sweet orange trees flourished in Sóller Valley, and with a yearning to send the sweet citrus around the world, the construction of the Port de Sóller began. Once finished, the Sóller orange traveled to mainland Europe and even across the Atlantic to the Americas where all who tasted the nectar asked for more. The Sóller economy boomed in this period thanks to the orange and olive trees, but when a plague took its toll on the trees around 1865, the farmers abandoned their land for other parts of the world.
The early 20th century brought favorable weather and, with it, the farmers, trees and economy back to Sóller. In 1912 the Palma-Sóller train was inaugurated and began transferring the proliferating oranges and other goods that arrived at the port to Palma and beyond. A year later, with the completion of the tram connecting the Port de Sóller to Sóller, transportation of the citrus to the wider world became even easier.
What to Do at the Orange Fair—2023 Dates
The Fair kicks off Saturday morning around 10 am in the town of Sóller with vendors erecting their stalls in and around Plaza de la Constitución to sell all kinds of local products, crafts, and plenty of oranges.
Showcookings with master chef Juan Antonio Fernandez Vila will take place in Plaza de la Constitución at 11:15 am on April 29th and 11:00 am on April 30th.
Multiple restaurants will host tastings of products and dishes made with the Sóller oranges and other citrus fruits. Plus, during the two days of the Orange Fair, find exhibitions and tastings of the multiple citrus varieties grown in the valley from Cooperativa Agrícola de Sóller, as well as restaurants bringing their own bites to sample.
Music and Performances
While traditional music will be found in the plaza and marching around town all weekend long, Saturday evening will culminate in a live musical performance by NEW NOISE.
Complimentary guided tours of orange groves will take place on Apirl 22nd and 29th at 10 am. Reservations (691 779 532), Spanish or Catalan, and walking shoes are needed. On April 30th you can join a guided tour of Sóller’s water history (reservations necessary), and on May 6th go on a walking tour of “the most beautiful town in Spain,” Fornalutx (reservations necessary).
Sa Fira de Taronja 2023
Sóller, Port de Sóller and its exceptionally stunning neighbor, Fornalutx, are a showcase of travel, and the Sa Fira de Taronja exemplifies why; the fair’s bargains on food and transportation makes what feels like luxury affordable and highly accessible. The same is true of the valley as a whole.
If you enjoy fine dining, hotel bars, and oceanside cocktails, head to Port de Sóller. If it is UNESCO protected architecture, quaint coffee shops, and shopping you enjoy, try the town of Sóller. And, of course, one must take a stroll through Fornalutx: the mountain hamlet nationally awarded for being the most beautiful town in all of Spain.
And all of this does not even begin to scratch the surface of the hiking, biking, and ocean and adventure sports that the valley provides. Plus, it all unfolds in the quintessential laidback Mallorcan style that could not fain pretension if it tried.
By car: Once you get on the Ma-11, Sóller is a straight shot from Palma and takes only 35 minutes to arrive. Port de Sóller is just another 5-10 minutes up the Ma-11. Parking is available for free along some roads and in paid lots but can be a struggle during weekends and holidays.
By bus: The TIB bus 204 begins running at 6:00 am and leaves practically every half hour from Estación Intermodal de Palma to Sóller and returns from Sóller to Palma practically every half hour until 23:35. Bus tickets can be bought online or by simply scanning your bank or credit card on board. A one-way trip costs 2.70€. If you choose to pay cash directly to the driver, the one-way fee is 4.50€. The trip takes 50 minutes one-way.Photo 121760539 / Soller © Dmitrii Sakharov | Dreamstime.com
Tren de Sóller: To get the full historical experience, take a ride on the old wooden, open-air train. A roundtrip ride from Palma to Sóller costs 25€. The train runs about 6 times a day from Palma to Sóller and back, starting at 10:10 am and running until 7:40 pm.
Tram de Sóller: While the train from Palma only gets you to the town of Sóller, the tram will get you from the town of Sóller to Port de Sóller. The short 15-minute tram ride from Sóller to Port de Sóller leaves every hour from 8am to 9pm at peak season and costs 8€ one way.
Tren de Sóller + Tram de Sóller: A combined train and tram ticket from Palma to Port de Sóller and back to Palma costs 32€. Only combined train and tram tickets can be bought online. All other purchases must be made at the stations.