Not the Orient of the Far East, but nearer to home, Orient is a tiny hamlet in the Tramantuna Mountains, 25 miles from Palma, Mallorca.
With only a handful of honey coloured stone houses scattered along the cobbled streets nothing much has changed here over the years. The bell still tolls at the tiny church of Saint Jordi and now and again a wedding will take place and everyone turns out to watch. Orient lies in a fertile valley with its own micro climate, surrounded by the majestic Tramantuna Mountains. The area offers miles of footpaths and bike trails from gentle strolls around the village to more strenuous hikes into the mountains. A popular walk is to the town of Soller, a distance of 14 kms and passing through abundant fruit orchards with trees laden with oranges and lemons.
I escaped to this idyllic village to find some sun and relaxation during one of our disappointing British summers. There are regular flights from the UK to Palma and you will probably need to hire a car. You could take the Soller railway from Palma and get off at Bunyola and take a taxi, but a car will give you freedom to explore beyond the mountains.
The Finca Son Palou is a delightful hotel perfectly placed to take in the incredible scenery and immerse yourself in the tranquillity of the area. Originally a fourteenth century manor house, this family run Finca has been renovated to high standards whilst keeping a rustic feel. Set in a private estate that provides the hotel with organically grown produce, there are miles of footpaths and bike trails to explore and an infinity swimming pool with views along the valley. The spacious guest rooms are all individually designed and create a cool and relaxing haven on a hot day and with central heating, cosy and welcoming during the winter months. Stone floors, whitewashed walls and exposed beams combined with tasteful furnishings give a sophisticated simplicity. Bathrooms are large and luxurious, all have bathrobes and Junior Suites have their own whirlpool baths.
Breakfast is a leisurely affair and during the summer months is served on the terrace. Sip freshly squeezed orange juice from locally grown fruit, bite into a freshly baked flaky croissant and relish the strong coffee with just birdsong and the occasional sheep bell as accompaniment. For lunch and dinner the Finca prides itself on providing modern Mediterranean cuisine using locally grown ingredients and on a balmy summer evening dinner can be taken outdoors against a backdrop of mountains that dramatically change colour as the sun goes down.
When you have discovered Orient you will want to come back time and again.
For details of the Soller train visit www.trendesoller.com.