Deià, the most beautiful and surprising town in Mallorca that has inspired the best artists and intellectuals in the world for more than 100 years

Serrat’s ‘Mediterráneo’ may be in Calella de Palafruger, on the Catalan Costa Brava, but the singer-songwriter’s muse could perfectly have been Deia, the most surprising and beautiful town from Majorca. “On the side of a mountain / higher than the horizon / I want to have a good view,” says the hymn. And there is no better definition for this imposing town nestled in the heart of the Sierra de Tramuntana, with the Mediterranean as the canvas for a unique work that has been inspiring artists and intellectuals from all over the world for more than a hundred years.

Sunset in Deià, the most beautiful town in Mallorca. / majorca tourism

Gertrude Stein She was the first artist to fall in love with Deià and in the 1920s, when mass tourism was not even a distant bad dream, she made it the epicenter of her life. She, a cosmopolitan intellectual in the intellectual elite of the moment, left the big city to enjoy the peace of this lost Mediterranean corner of the Mediterranean. And she recommended it to her British friend and also a writer Robert Graves, which built an imposing house that even today continues to be one of the great tourist attractions in the region. And it is not surprising, judging by the bucolic nature of the enclave: one hundred years before, Frédéric Chopin and George Sand made the nearby Valldemossa (they are only 11 kilometers away) their refuge and they put the area on the radar of the international intelligentsia (from Borges to Rubén Darío).

In the 1980s, the tycoon Richard Brandson became the owner of La Residencia (now belonging to the Belmond group), one of the most impressive hotels in Europe, and the small town (before in a discreet background in relation to its neighbors Valldemossa and Sòller) became the favorite destination of the rich and famous who were looking for beauty and peace in equal parts: Kate Moss, Mike Oldfield, Liam Gallagher, Tim Robins…

What to see and what to do in Deià

The bohemian spirit you breathe in the atmosphere of Deià, and the visitor falls in love with each step of his silhouette carved in stone (that of the houses, that of its steep alleys on a slope) and its imposing enclave with a flavor of sea and mountains. On one side, the Sierra de Tramontana, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, with a thousand and one hiking trails that will leave the walker breathless with its breathtaking views; on the other, the Mediterranean Sea, with its incredible blues and red sunsets (sung by Serrat).

Streets of Deià, in Majorca. / barceló experiences

These views are, without a doubt, the best attraction of Deià, which offers a unique panoramic view from its many walkways and, above all, from Son Marroigone of the most incredible viewpoints in the Mediterranean, owned by Archduke Luis Salvador of Austria (the promoter of tourism on the island), which preserves an intact 16th-century marble tower.

Son Marroig viewpoint, in Deià, Majorca. / barceló experience

Robert Graves’ house, Ca N’alluny, is another of the essential stops on our visit to Deià: a wonderful Majorcan-style stone construction from the 1930s, in an impressive setting, preserved almost intact both in design and furniture, and with a bucolic garden in which olive trees, orange trees, lemon trees and an orchard coexist. The British writer is buried in the local cemetery, a small graveyard next to the church, also very picturesque.

House of Robert Graves in Deià. / robert grave foundation

The Church of San Juan Bautista, with its bell tower defense tower, the viewpoint of the cannons, the archaeological museum or the one dedicated to the North American painter Norman Yanikun are other obligatory stops. AND their beaches, Clear. The crystal-clear waters and seabeds sculpted in stone are the protagonists of the coast of Deià, which has small coves that surprise the traveler and take them to distant (very close) paradises: Cala Llucalcari, Cala Es Canyeret and Cala Deià.

Cala Deia, in Majorca. / The residence

Where to sleep and eat in Deià

La Residencia is, without a doubt, the most famous hotel in Deià and, as we have said before, one of the most impressive in Europe: an oasis of peace surrounded by luxury in an impressive setting and with unique views. In addition, Sa Pedrissa, a deluxe and ‘adult only’ agrotourism, or The Glamping, a luxury sustainable experience surrounded by nature, are also essential.

To eat (very well), in addition to El Olivo (the restaurant at La Residencia), Es Racó d’es Teix, with a Michelin star; Sebastián, in an old restored stable or Ca’s Patro March, specializing in seafood and fish.

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