Deia – a beautiful Mallorcan village
Deia is one of the most beautiful villages in the whole of Spain. Located at the foot of the Sierra Tramuntana on Mallorca’s western coast, Deia perches confidently on the steep slopes that rise above the Mediterranean Sea. The imposing backdrop of the majestic Puig d’es Teix mountain gives Deia an almost mystical appeal.
Ever since the English Poet and author Robert Graves made the place famous, Deia has acted as a magnet for writers, artists and musicians from around the world.
Even though Deia has a justifiably renowned reputation internationally, the small town still chugs along with a peaceful, extremely laid-back creative vibe.
A little history
The coastal settlement of Deia owes its origins to the original Muslim settlers who called the place ‘Ad-Daya’, meaning ‘village’. Starting in the 10th century, locals began to construct the irrigation systems and agricultural terraces which are still in use today.
After the Christian reconquest in the 13th century, Deia was gifted to the Count of Rossello and became part of the neighbouring town of Valldemossa, before gaining its independence in the 16th century.
The village continued to flourish with agriculture and fishing until the 1970s when the tourism boom began. Today Deia is admired far and wide for its sheer beauty and strong cultural traditions.
Anyone who has an interest in the prehistory of Mallorca will be delighted to visit the Archaeological Museum of Deia located in a renovated mill, one of Deia’s oldest buildings. Founded in 1962 by American archaeologists William and Jacqueline Waldren, on display you’ll find various items discovered in local prehistoric sites.
Despite its rather precipitous location, Deia does have its own little beach, Cala Deia. It’s such a lovely spot too; the pebbled, seaweed-strewn cove providing a wonderful place to swim.
The steep walk down to the beach has perhaps the most take-your-breath-away scenery in the whole of Mallorca. Alternatively you can drive down the narrow winding road where you’ll find a car park just above the beach.
Cala Deia also has a delightful restaurant, Ca’s Patro March, recently made famous in the smash-hit drama series ‘The Night Manager’. Appropriately, seafood is a speciality here and is caught locally by the owner’s son!
There is another beach nearby – Lluc Alcari. However, this can only be reached on foot or by boat.
Such is the beauty of Deia and the surrounding area that it is the perfect place to go hiking. Walking along the rocky coastal pathways, you have a fabulously elevated view of the sea below. The well-marked hiking trails vary from very easy to the more challenging.
The Robert Graves connection
If there is one person who put Deia on the map, it has to be Robert Graves. The poet, writer and classical scholar spent two periods living in Deia – the 1930s and the years after World War II until his death.
The delightful old stone house in which he lived, Ca N’Alluny, is now a fascinating museum dedicated to the man himself. It’s a beautiful place to visit and the tranquil gardens are a real treat.
Robert Graves is buried in Deia’s tiny cemetary, the highest point of the village, with the most wonderful views of the valley and clear blue sea below.
Deia International Music Festival
The town really comes into its own every summer between the months of May and September. Hosting a range of classical concerts, the annual Deia International Music Festival is one of Mallorca’s most popular cultural events.
A great place to eat
Deia may be a small village-like town, but it is also a fabulous place to enjoy a gourmet meal. It even has its own Michelin-starred restaurant – Es Raco d’es Teix. Set in an old stone house, with a delightful shaded terrace providing spectacular views, Mallorcan cuisine is the star attraction here relying mainly on local ingredients. If you fancy a gourmet treat in a rather romantic setting, this is the place to be. Make sure you book in advance.
How to get to Deia
Deia lies on the main coastal highway Ma-10 road. Fairly frequent buses connect with Palma, Soller, Puerto Soller and Valledemossa.
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