As a result of the past few months, many people have for the first time had the chance to breath and re-evaluate their lives. The ability to work from home has for many been a wakeup call that they no longer want to commute to their job in an office let alone live in a city. It has been a little push for people to for the first time since the 1960s look to move back to the countryside. There are numerous advantages to living in the countryside that can boost a person’s physical and mental health.
The benefits of living in the countryside of Mallorca
A life in the countryside offers the chance for a healthier lifestyle. It is a literal breath of fresh air. The air quality in the countryside is much higher than in built up urban areas, the better air will mean better breathing, more energy and a lower risk for individuals suffering from allergies or respiratory illnesses. One drawback that is very apparent when living in a city is the disconnect to nature, it is very difficult to experience the calmness of nature without being reminded of the hustle and bustle of the city through a car horn or someone shouting. Living in the countryside allows for easy access to the wealth of walks and hikes. Any time spent in nature will serve to boost the immune system, reduce any external stresses and serve to improve the mood. Other factors that will contribute to your overall wellness are the facts that it is easy to access locally grown produce. In the countryside there are numerous farms and farm shops from which you can buy fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits. Overall, the positive impact that living in the countryside can have on one’s personal wellbeing and mental health cannot be underestimated. Another very important consideration for people is safety. Living in the countryside is much safer than living in built up rural areas, with there being significantly reduced levels of crime. One final big factor in contributing to convince someone to move out of the city is that living in the countryside is considerably more affordable than city living. Homes are cheaper and generally larger, coupled with lower property taxes and living expenses, a move to the countryside often makes sense for a lot of people.
Reconnecting with nature in Sollér
Due to Sollérs isolated and picturesque location on the north west coast of Mallorca it is a dream destination for many travellers and also for those who are looking to escape the rigours of city life. For those who are looking to reconnect with Nature there are a range of activities that will be sure to satisfy even the keenest of outdoors’s. One of the most beautiful hikes one can do is from Sollér to the Port of Sollér via the paths of Es Rost and Son Sales. The route leads along the Cami des Rost an old horse trail which traverses beautiful citrus orchards and has a number of beautiful vistas across the valley. The gravel path crosses over a small stream and continues upwards leading one along forests of myrtle before passing olive groves. After the crossroads one takes the Cami de Son Castelo, another old horse trail. The trail gradually begins a smooth descent down the mountain flanked on either side by the occasional stream and numerous olive groves. Following a lovely stretch through a forest of pines this route finishes at the promenade of the beach at the Port of Sollér.
The town of Sollér and its surroundings not only offer some of the most beautiful landscape and views that are to be had on the Island but they also offer some of the most breath-taking cycling routes. A popular cycling route is one that sets of in the town and heads out to the Port Valldemossa. You leave the town of Sollér on a climb towards the coast, you’ll get vistas of the sea over rugged cliffs and pass Deia. The route down to Valldemossa is downhill, as you cycle through hairpins and bends you are shaded by the mountain and greeted by a fragrant forest sent before being welcomed by a turquoise sea and little harbour. The subsequent cycle home should not be too challenging and can be easily done as a day trip.
A chance to take nature into your own hands
One thing many people look forward to about buying their house in the countryside is to finally be able to do some gardening and to start growing some of the plants they have always dreamed of growing. The climate of Mallorca and Sollér is positively Mediterranean with mild winters and warm, sunny summers. Due to Sollérs position next to the sea and being flanked by valleys it enjoys a cooler sea breeze than its more in land neighbours. The spring on the island will see the majority of the fruit trees start their fruit production. Orange trees will start to flower, the other citrus trees and olive trees. The lemon trees will be at their peak in the spring as will the Medlar tree which is a very typical Mallorcan tree. The late summer can be characterized by being the month of the Fig. The ripeness of the Fig coincides with the majority of the Islands almonds being harvested and extensively used. October will allow you to start harvesting spinach, cucumber, carrots and egg plants. Even in the depths of the winter in January, chard, cabbage and cauliflowers can be harvested. The mild climate of Sollér and its surroundings will allow you to be self-sustainable for the majority of the year if there is staggered planting of your crops. Not only can you grow your own vegetables but there are a range of shops which sell locally sourced vegetables and fruits grown by local farmers.
What can I grow in Mallorca?
Orange trees are available to be bought through the internet or through a number of local garden centres. One of the most important considerations to make when wanting to grow a tree that produces healthy oranges is that the tree has good drainage and a constant warmth so to plant it in an area of your garden where there isn’t a lot of shade. A lot of gardeners grow citrus trees in pots but due to Sollérs history you should have no reservations about planting the orange tree straight into the ground. Depending on the exact variety of Orange tree that you have they will be ripe at different times of the year. When the fruit is ready to eat it will simply fall to the ground and you can use it to make your fresh orange juice.
Olive trees are similar to Orange trees in that they require warm summer temperatures and as such are perfectly suited to the weather in Sollér. Different types of olive trees produce different types of olives and as a result different flavours of olives. Arbosana is a native Spanish olive tree which has a large crop of small olives. These small olives though have a very high oil content and have a beautiful flavour. Olive trees can tolerate a wide range of soil, the most important thing again is that there is good drainage. Planting a young tree in the Autumn gives it the best chance to grow into a healthy older tree. The tree will start producing olives when it reaches 5 years in age, the growth will always be on the new growth so it is important to prune your olive tree. The steps for making Olive oil are very straightforward. The olives need to be cleaned before the olives are ground into a paste. The paste is then mixed for 20 to 45 minutes as this encourages the small oil droplets in the mix to combine into bigger ones. This paste can be warmed up, or water can be added to increase the yield of oil although this can lead to an overall lower quality olive oil. The longer mixing time will lead to more oil. The oil needs to be separated from this paste. This is done with presses and the final step is that the coil can be filtered if wanted. Some people choose to add additives although this is not typical of homemade olives oils as they are somewhat higher in quality.
One thing that is unavoidable when living in the countryside is that you will pick up and learn skills that you never thought you would need. Living in the countryside is different to living in the countryside. In the city an expert could be at your house within an hour to fix something that has gone wrong or broken. In the countryside it is much more of a case of taking out the Owner’s Manual and a spanner and fixing it for yourself. After a few years of living in the countryside you will have no problems the majority of small problems that may arise, as you have seen it all before, or your friendly neighbour will help you. The sense of community in the countryside is very strong. Your neighbours and the locals in the village or town you are will look after you and be ready to give you advice and who to contact for any situation.