Discover Selva, a hidden gem for island explorers

View of Selva

Selva, gateway to the mountains. Credit: AC

Picturesque Selva is the gateway to the Tramuntana mountain range, a Unesco World Heritage site.

Far from the bustle of coastal resorts, this is an administrative hub for the outlying Caimari, Binibona, Moscari and Biniamar villages, all of them steeped in tradition and folklore.

Selva’s picture-postcard stone houses and narrow streets are set in a landscape of millennial olive terraces, almond groves and grazing sheep.

Long-prized by mountain walkers for its proximity to panoramic walking routes in the mountains, the town has also become a hub for cyclists.

Path to Lluc

Selva can boast exclusive boutique hotels and hidden restaurants worthy of a Michelin star, such as the family-run Miceli (a novel twist on traditional dishes made from locally sourced ingredients), newcomer fine-dining at Selvatge, and the village bar, Ca’n Pereió, where farming deals used to be struck with a handshake.

Home to a close-knit community of deep-rooted Mallorcan families and foreign settlers, some of whom have become pillars of the community, Selva is also full of surprises.

The calendar is regularly punctuated by fiestas. And the whole village joins in, with fireworks, a brass band, a bagpipe player or two and traditional dancers.

Local characters include Carles Amengual i Vicens, biologist, herbalist, homeopathist and author, who was behind the founding of the renowned summer herb fair in 1999, in which British resident artist Andrew Pinder is a close collaborator.

The dancing mayor

The Aires de Muntanya dance troupe is one hundred years old and many of the dancers are grandchildren of the founders.

Aires de Muntanya

Dancing Mayor Joan Rotger Seguí is an integral member.

The dancing mayor, Joan Rotger

A more recent tradition is the Bandejats (bandits) festival, which centres around a seventeenth-century mercenary leader from Selva, who famously died in battle on the Coll de sa Batalla near Lluc in 1618.

Bandit fest

The three districts of Selva, which were separate at the time, are pitted against each other in a lively folk festival, the leaders hoisted aloft on wooden horses.

Another more recent tradition is the Frikiday geek fair.

Like so many inland towns in Mallorca, Selva offers picturesque beauty, amenities, exquisite boutique hotels and plenty of sites worth visiting, but the enduring value of the town is the community itself.

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Annie christmas in the Bay of Palma
Written by

Annette Christmas

Annie Christmas loves language and communication. A long-time resident of Mallorca, she enjoys an outdoor life of cycling, horse riding and mountain walking, as well as the wealth of concerts and cultural events on the island. She also plays fiddle in a traditional Mallorcan dance troupe.


    • Emmanuel Katto

      17 April 2024 • 05:59

      Wow! i didn’t know about this. Will plan my trip here soon. Thanks!

      • Marina James

        19 April 2024 • 07:49

        Yes, you should plan soon. Worth visit place @Emmanuel Katto

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