“I found everything I wanted as a writer: sun, sea, mountains, spring water, shady trees.” So wrote Robert Graves, the charismatic poet and novelist, of the sleepy hillside village that he came to call home. The artist relished the “perfect tranquility” of Deià, as have countless creative spirits in his wake.
IT'S NO SMALL WONDER that this unassuming island idyll has inspired artists with its beauty. Winding cobbled streets are fringed by stone houses with pale-green shutters. It’s bathed in soft-sunlight in the morning, and in the misty shadows of the mountains come evening. Former sojourners include Kingsley Amis, Mick Jagger and Gabriel García Márquez. The latter is believed to have penned the novel that won him the Nobel Prize for Literature in a 14th-century home in the village.
Deià has a string of cultural luminaries but that’s not to say the village is resting on its laurels. The air here is charged with a quiet energy. The heart of the village is fringed with art galleries and boutiques that champion regional talent. Foodies are sure to fall for Es Forn, a grocery shop crammed to the rafters with gourmet treats to take home.
Set in a stunningly verdant valley, it’ll come as no surprise that nature is a big draw here too. Mallorca is a hiker’s paradise, boasting switchback trails that rise up and down through olive groves, citrus orchards and prickly pear cactuses. Around each and every turn you’ll find a different but equally breathtaking view of the sea.
And what a sea it is. A 30-minute stroll from the village takes you down to Cala Deià, a horseshoe shaped cove with choppy waves that lap listlessly at a shingle beach. You'll likely have worked up an appetite en route, so relish the chance to refuel at one of the rustic beachside restaurants. We recommend the grilled sardines.
Those who wish to explore further should look to the sun-drenched port of Soller, or to the nearby village of Valldemossa. That being said, we must admit that our favourite way to soak up all the creative energy is over afternoon tea (or perhaps a glass of local red?) on the terrace of Belmond La Residencia. Perfect tranquility, indeed.