Deia on Mallorca

Directly on the edges of the Tramuntana mountains near the northwest coast of Mallorca lies Deià. This fascinating little town with its towering, original stone cottages is 400 metres above sea level on the 1064-metre-high Puig de Teix. The idyllic landscape around the mountain village is characterised by holm oaks, olive trees, rushing torrents and the little-visited coastline that surrounds it. Deià has just under 700 inhabitants, bordering the municipalities of Sóller, Valldemossa and Bunyola.

The town is divided into three zones, the upper one, located on the hill, the middle one, which runs parallel to the Valldemossa-Sóller road, and the lower one, called es clot, which is the nucleus of the town. The name Deià is said to derive from Arabic and means “field” or “village”. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the inhabitants built numerous watchtowers to protect the town from pirate raids. After being notorious for smuggling at the beginning of the 19th century, the town now thrives on the luxury tourism that has developed here in recent decades.

At the beginning of the last century, however, Deià made a name for itself as the home of numerous artists, among them Pablo Picasso, actor Peter Ustinov, writer Robert von Ranke-Graves and, more recently, Pierce Brosnan. Thus, Deià is still regarded as Mallorca’s artists’ village. Strolling through the alleys winding up the hill with their small boutiques, galleries and shops, you can explore the village and discover the atmosphere that may have inspired the artists who lived here. Walking is not only the best way to explore the village, it also takes a short time. Incidentally, more than a third of the inhabitants are newcomers, which is why English is now spoken for the most part in Deià.



An absolute highlight is the pebble cove Cala de Deià with its natural stone caves used as boat moorings. Terraces rise up around the semicircular pebble beach lined with pine trees, which flows into a small stream. Surrounded by these impressions, you can take a break in one of the small restaurants nearby or continue exploring the area on the long-distance footpath that passes through Deià.

For a swim, however, it is better to go to Platja de Llucalcari, which means “village by the forest”. Here you will find an ideal bathing bay with a pebble beach surrounded by rugged rocks. There is also a small freshwater spring here, which tourists sometimes use for mud baths. The north-east coast of Deià, on the other hand, offers a huge rock grotto open to the sea, Sa Cova Fosca, located near Port de Sóller.


There are plenty of cultural activities in Deià: in addition to the Archaeological Museum, a visit to Son Marroig, the estate of the Austrian Archduke Ludwig Salvator, located about three kilometres west of Deià, is worthwhile. Photographs, paintings, porcelain and the exotic objects and souvenirs he himself collected on numerous journeys, as well as the large, carefully cultivated garden, provide information about the architecture of bygone times and the way of life of the landed gentry of the time. There is also a museum offering an insight into the works and life of the author Robert von Ranke-Graves, who settled here in the 1930s.

For those interested in music, a visit to the Festival de Deià, which takes place annually in July and August, is a must. Also worth seeing are the parish church and the town’s cemetery, which are located in the upper part of Deià, the puig. In the main tourist season from March to October, you should try to find accommodation early, as Deià has become a popular tourist destination not only for day trippers.