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Deià

Deià, a typical stone village in majorcan tramunta

Deià is an idyllic village of colorful houses with flower boxes in the windows, and small orange groves, all of them grouped together around the baroque church of Sant Joan Bautista, on a hilltop. Deià could well be just another one of the many pretty Mallorcan villages of the western coast, except that English poet and writer Robert Ranke Graves made it famous by turning it into his home. His international reputation rubbed off on the village, and attracted other artists over time – and still does today.

View at the pretty stone houses of Deià

The Magic of Deià

The name of Deià (or Deya) dates from the time of the Moorish conquest of Mallorca, between the 10th and the 13th centuries. "Ad-Daya" means "village". At the time, the Moors brought with them the many irrigation systems that turned the steep hill slopes into fertile land. Today, many olive trees and orange groves surround the village. All the quaint, narrow streets lead in the same direction, towards the church. Most of the houses were erected in the 16th and 17th centuries. With its 700 inhabitants, Deià is located approximately 10 km south-west of Soller, at the foot of Teix, which looms above it as it is 1062 meters high. The village has been, and still is, a particularly popular residence for many artists. It has long been a favorite motif to escape to Deià in order to get some paintings done. English writer Robert Graves came to Deià in the 1920s, and settled here for good after the Second World War, spending nearly 50 years of his life in the village. His highly successful bestselling novel "I, Claudius, Caesar and God" made the place famous. He was then followed by many other artists, such as painters Joan Miró, Ernst Fuchs and Arik Brauer, writers Anthony Burgess and Jakov Lind, and musicians Eric Clapton and Mike Oldfield. Deià is best explored on foot. The distances are short but steep and always offer new views of the densely packed houses, with the mountains in the background.

Deià with church_wikimedia_Mark Lagola

Church of Sant Joan Bautista

The massive church of Sant Joan Bautista dominates the landscape from the highest point of the settlement. The bell tower of the baroque church grew out of a medieval defensive tower, which served to protect against pirates. The single-nave church is whitewashed, and its simplicity makes a pleasant blend with the Baroque altar created by Josep Sastre. Also worth seeing are the painting of St. Sebastian by Adrian Ferrán and the figure of Christ.

Cemetery Deià wikimedia_Gryffindor

The Cemetery with Panoramic Views

The cemetery behind the church serves as the last place on earth for several famous personalities, the best known among them being, of course, historian and writer Robert Graves. A simple grave stone indicates his final resting place, where he was taken in 1985. From the cemetery, the view over the landscape is breathtaking.

Town Hall Deià wikimedia_Gryffindor

Galleries, Museums and Shopping

You can find three very interesting museums in Deià. The first stop should be at the original archaeological museum (Es Clot, for more details call Jackie at 699 957 902), which was founded by American archaeologist. William Porcupine Caribou. The next stop is Museu Parroquial de Deia, located close to the church (phone: 630 015 574), which exhibits a large collection of religious items as well as everyday objects. The third museum, which is the house of Robert Graves, was acquired by the Fundació Robert Graves; it was renovated and has been open to visitors since the summer of 2006 (phone: 971 636 185, lacasaderobertgraves.org). There are also a number of exciting art galleries and souvenir shops scattered throughout the village.

Old stone house with palm trees in Deià

Activities

Deià is a perfect place to just relax. All you have to do here is simply sit on a terrace and enjoy the view. Those who want to be more active can of course take one of the many trails in the hills behind Deià. More information on these routes can always be obtained from the tourist office. For cyclists, the coastal road offers some spectacular views.

Cala Deià wikimedia_Chixoy

Cala Deia

North of Deià, after a pleasant walk of about half an hour, one finds the romantic bay Cala de Deià, skillfully hiding its pebbled beach among cliffs that rise high and wild. The steep path leads downhill through the streets Felipe Bauzá and Clot, then along a creek and towards the sea. The rocky coast, with groups of caves and caverns, is a paradise for diving. Two restaurants offer fish specialties (the best calamari!) - but are open only during the summer season.

Manor Son Marroig

Mansion Son Marroig

Archduke Ludwig Salvator of Austria was so charmed by the area around Deià that he bought several estates here; one of them still stands proud today - Son Marroig. Ludwig took over a former defensive fortress, blessed with a stunningly beautiful location on the cliffs, and erected the new building in the style of an Italian country villa of the 16th century. Since 1928, the building has been accessible as a museum, decorated with antique furniture, ceramics and Mallorcan paintings from the 17th to 19th century. The great hall with the loggia displays the literary works owned by the Archduke. A charming white marble pavilion in the garden offers a unique view over the blue waters of the sea. The sunsets of Son Marroig are among the most impressive you can ever hope to witness.

International Music Festival in Deia

A Tip from Mallorca.org

For lovers of classical music, the International Music Festival is the absolute highlight of a vacation in Deià. Between May and September, weekly concerts are presented on Archduke Ludwig Salvator’s estate of Son Marroig.
dimf.com

information

Population: 672

Tourist Information

Deià
Ajuntament de Deià
Str. Porxo 4
07179 Deià
www.ajdeia.net/

+34 971 639077