The orange fair of the Sóller Valley: an important event in the Tramuntana region.
Discover the reasons why oranges are so important in the Sóller Valley.
When visiting Sóller and its surroundings, it is essential to appreciate the beauty of the numerous orange trees that fill the valley and the streets of the town. Sóller's citrus fruits have been the driving force behind the valley's economy throughout history and have fascinated artists and travelers from all eras. The geographical location of the Sóller Valley, with its particular climate, the fertility of the soil, the Mediterranean sun, and the water from its streams, are crucial factors for the good development of citrus fruits. As a tribute to this fruit that has played a prominent role in local history, culture, and trade, the Fira de Sa Taronja (Orange Fair and Days) has been celebrated since 2007 for two weeks in Sóller, Port de Sóller, and Fornalutx. This fair revalues the importance of the orange and the beautiful valley where it is grown, matures, and thrives.
For centuries, the history of this region has been intimately related to that of its orange trees. It was the Arabs who introduced these fruits to Europe in the 10th century, from India through the Silk Road. The port of Sóller, the only natural refuge on the north coast of Mallorca, has been a key point in the region's economy. Thanks to its communication channel with the outside world, Sóller became a very open town to the world. In 1772, the construction of the port began to export the famous oranges from the region, which contributed to its fame and economic development in the 1830s. The inhabitants of Sóller emigrated to America and the south of France to open new markets for their citrus fruits, which soon achieved international recognition.
The ups and downs of citrus production in Sóller
In 1865, a plague devastated much of the orange trees, leading to a strong emigration of local inhabitants to France, Belgium, Switzerland, and the peninsula. However, the descendants of the Sollerics returned years later to restore the region's splendor. At the beginning of the 20th century, citrus production recovered. In 1905, King Alfonso XIII granted Sóller the title of "city," and in 1912, the Palma-Sóller train was inaugurated, putting an end to its geographical and natural isolation. Despite its past success, citrus production has significantly decreased in the early 21st century due to high maintenance costs, leading to the importation of citrus fruits from other areas. However, the Sóller community has maintained its fight to be the valley of oranges and has celebrated the Orange Fair since 2007 to reclaim the importance of local orange production and promote the quality of its products.
From April 21 to May 7 of this year 2023, Sóller is celebrating its famous Fira de la Taronja, with the fair taking place on April 29 and 30. During this event, a variety of activities are carried out, and local restaurants present innovative dishes that combine tradition and originality, with orange as the main ingredient. In our Can Blau Restaurant at the Gran Hotel Sóller, we are delighted to be part of these days and offer a delicious lunch menu created by our Chef Rafel Torrens and his team, which captures Mediterranean flavors with orange as the protagonist in each dish. We encourage you to visit us and try our dishes! If you are in Port de Sóller, we also recommend trying the orange menu at the Airecel Restaurant at the Aimia Hotel, prepared by Chef Mateo Lobillo and his team.