Deià; a magical town in the Sierra de Tramuntana
Weather in Deià
“Town of artists” or “town of painters” are some of the names that Deià has received, a small town located on the northwestern slope of the Sierra de Tramuntana, northwest of Mallorca. Just 30 km from Palma and traveling through spectacular mountain roads, we will arrive in this peaceful and small mountain town.
The word picturesque was invented to define places like this, of such singular beauty in its streets, its surroundings and the landscapes that it enjoys
Centuries of history have shaped this town and its surroundings to make it one of the most beautiful on the island (many say the most, with permission from Valldemossa and Fornalutx). In any case, it is one of the vertices of the essential view of the Valldemossa–Deià–Sóller triangle, in the heart of the World Heritage Site that is the Sierra de Tramuntana.
The simple fact of walking through its narrow streets, between stone houses overlooking the Mediterranean is a joy to behold
If it has rained, the sound of the water in the torrents and the smell of the wet earth will delight our hearing and smell. The clean mountain air will be a caress for our touch, and the enjoyment of the rich local gastronomy, a gift for our taste.
How to get to Deià
From Palma we will take the Ma-1110 towards Valldemossa. Once there we will cross the town and after less than 1 km we will take the detour to the right to continue on the Ma-10, which will take us to Deià.
At the entrance to Deià there are two parking areas, and there are several more in the town. Keep in mind that parking throughout the urban area is regulated and priced.
If we are fans of cycling, and we are in good shape, Deià is a very attractive destination to reach it pedaling
From Palma the route can take us about two hours, but taking into account that there are steep ramps and slopes.
To get to Deià by public transport
- We have line 210, which goes from Palma to Puerto de Sóller and has three stops at different points in Deià
Torrent des Racó
When we get to Deià we will see on our left a wooden walkway that borders the road, allowing us to enjoy magnificent views.
If we are in the rainy season, surely the sound of the torrents crossing the town will accompany us on our walk
Following the footbridge towards the town center, after 250 meters, we will see a stone path on the right, next to an old laundry. Going up the same we will reach a waterfall, and as we continue the ascent we will get better views of Deià. In the opposite direction the stream enters the houses, skirting the stone walls and with stone and wood bridges crossing it.
Start of the road in Google Street View
The parish church of Deià dates, at least, from 1497, when it is documented as an oratory
As of 1511 it has a baptismal font, but until the second half of the 16th century, which was consecrated to Saint John the Baptist, it did not enjoy autonomy to administer the sacraments, depending until then on the parish of Valldemossa. In 1752 it was burned down, being rebuilt throughout the 1760s, which is the church that has survived to this day.
Next to the church of San Juan Bautista stands an old defense tower that was used as a bell tower
Also next to the church we can find a viewpoint, where there are a couple of canyons located, with spectacular views of the Sierra.
Also next to the church is the Parish Museum, which is open on Saturdays. We will be able to admire different works of art and objects of worship donated to the temple throughout the centuries.
Continuing around the church, behind it we will find the small local cemetery
Many of the painters and other artists who took up residence in such a privileged environment are buried in this small enclosure. Among others, the famous writer Robert Graves, one of Deià’s rediscovers in the 1960s.
The Archaeological Museum of Deià was created by the American painter and archaeologist William Waldren together with his wife, the anthropologist Jackie Waldren
William was in Mallorca at the end of the 50s, carrying out different excavations. Specifically, he excavated in the area between Deià and Valldemossa, the sites of Cueva de la Muleta (where the first remains of Myotragus balearicus linked to human activity were found), Son Matge, Son Ferrandell-Oleza and Son Mas.
These deposits date back to the first settlers of Mallorca, probably coming from the Gulf of León during the Chalcolithic Period
The museum is located in an old 17th century mill that was restored by the Waldren couple together with a group of artists and architects, both local and foreign. It is the first modern museum in Mallorca.
Robert Graves House
The poet and novelist, author of, among others, the famous novel Yo, Claudio, settled in Deià in 1946 after having known the town during a previous stay, in 1929
Here he began to receive visits from friends and collaborators in different jobs, making Deià known internationally among the cultural elite. Characters of the stature of Alec Guinness or Ava Gardner were his guests.
International recognition came to him in the 1950s and 1960s, when he made numerous tours to give lectures around the world, in addition to holding a chair of Poetry at Oxford.
Although he was already the best-selling author of the television adaptation of Yo, Claudio in 1976 made him even more famous.
The house in which Robert Graves lived until his death in 1985 preserves the look and spirit that the author gave it
It was acquired by the Robert Graves Foundation, who prepared it for his visit in 2006.
Sa Pedrissa Tower
This defense tower located to the north of Deià, very close to Cala Deià, was built at the end of the 16th century and completed in 1614 as part of the defensive system of the Mallorcan coast.
It was paid for by the inhabitants of the town and was built on the grounds of the Sa Pedrissa possessió, in Punta de Deià, from where it could monitor and warn of incursions by Turkish and Berber corsairs that ravaged the Mediterranean coasts.
Although in an apparent good state of conservation, in recent years it has suffered an accelerated deterioration that has led to the fall of stones from its highest part, so it will be necessary to approach it with caution.
It is located on a private estate, but passage is allowed
From Cala Deià the route is just over 3 km, while from Deià it is a little longer, 6.5 km.
Possessió de Son Marroig
At 3.5 Kg from Deià in the direction of Valldemossa is the Son Marroig estate, which was owned by Archduke Luis Salvador
He reformed the house, carried out conservation work on the defense tower and ordered the construction of a neoclassical Carrara marble temple.
From here you can enjoy privileged views of Sa Foradada, and on clear days you can even see the Dragonera
Currently it is used mainly as a cafeteria and restaurant and for the celebration of weddings. Every year it hosts the Deià International Music Festival.
5 good restaurants
Deià has an abundant and varied gastronomic offer, especially considering that it is a small town. In this short review we will highlight some of the best restaurants whose specialties we can taste.
Es racó d’es Teix (Michelin star)
The gastronomic tour of Deià has to start, without a doubt, with this restaurant run by Josef Sauerschell and his wife, Leonor Payeras
After training and gaining experience in the kitchens of some of the best restaurants in Europe, Josef settled in Deià in 1985 as head chef at La Residencia. There he met his wife, Leonor, who would eventually be a maître d ‘in the same restaurant.
After achieving a Michelin star, in 1999 the couple decided to start their own business, and that’s how Es Racó des Teix was born
In 2002 their effort and the quality of their products and cuisine were recognized with a Michelin star. We can choose between two tasting menus and they also have a menu, which we can taste while enjoying incredible views.
Book table in Es racó d’es Teix
This restaurant is located in an old stable more than two centuries old, restored preserving the original architectural elements
The decoration is rustic and cozy, generating a warm atmosphere where you can enjoy its delicacies. Chef Sebastián trained in restaurants in Germany and Italy, and also in El Olivo, in the Deià Residence, before opening his own restaurant in 1994 with his wife, Patricia.
We can enjoy a menu that is not very extensive but varied to satisfy all palates. Their lobster ravioli stand out above all.
This restaurant dedicated to market cuisine is located in a privileged location among olive groves from where we can enjoy magnificent views
It has on its menu dishes of grilled meat and fish from the market, all of them accompanied by fresh seasonal vegetables, as well as other options. The desserts and ice creams are all homemade, how could it be otherwise. Attentive service rounds off a magnificent dining experience.
More than a restaurant, in the case of s’Hortet we would speak of a cafeteria with a very particular approach. Located in a place with luxurious views, the place has a spacious, simple and cozy living room, and has a garden and a play area so that the little ones can enjoy their stay like the grown-ups
Regarding food, they bet on a vegetarian, light and healthy summer kitchen. Based on simple dishes made from fresh ingredients and mostly of local origin, we can make our breakfast, lunch or dinner. All this accompanied by varied teas and natural juices. We can also enjoy homemade pastries and artisan ice creams made in Sóller.
Nama (Asian fusion)
In a place frequented by visitors from all over the world, you cannot miss a touch of international cuisine
In fact, there are several, but with a choice we are left with Nama, an Asian restaurant with a varied menu where local ingredients with typical Thai, Chinese or Korean elaboration are fused. The restaurant has a terrace with spectacular views, an interior lounge, a second floor for adults only, and several private spaces.
Shopping in Deià
Whether we are passing through or staying in Deià, we may need to do some shopping. Deià is a well-stocked town. Maybe something expensive, but not so much if we count the time necessary to go to Palma, for example. Here we have a selection of grocery, fashion, decoration or sports equipment establishments.
This is the typical village store where we can find practically everything. For those who are staying in the surroundings, they will have everything they need here
Especially food, we can find fresh local products. If we are just passing through, we can buy gifts or delicious sweets and other pastry products here. They also have sandwiches and pizza so it’s a good stopping place for bikers and hikers.
Ceramics by Joanna
This store is at the same time an art gallery. Joanna Kuhne, its owner, is an American from Chicago with a degree in Fine Arts and a specialty in ceramics.
Almost 40 years ago she discovered Mallorca, settling in Deià. She ran a cafe for which she created ceramic pieces that people began to buy.
After transferring the café, she opened his ceramic shop in 1997. Since then, in addition to selling her creations to visitors to Deià, she has created pieces for practically all the hotels, restaurants and cafes in Deià.
Here we can find everything from clothing and footwear to costume jewelery and accessories, as well as numerous decorative objects
The simple visit to the store is quite an experience, and thanks to the advice and kindness of the staff we are sure to find what we need.
Groceries C’an Bernat
Another grocery store that has been serving the inhabitants of Deià and its visitors for more than a century
Here we can find fresh products, especially fruit from local farms and oil made in the town.
For cycling fans, this establishment will be a must stop. If we plan to travel the Sierra de Tramuntana by bicycle, a good option is to get to Deià and rent it here. In addition, they organize outings and advise on the best routes
They have a clothing and accessories store for fans of this sport. They also have at our disposal clothing and footwear for hiking and other outdoor activities.
But they also have another surprise for us: they sell typical Majorcan pastry products made by the same family’s patisserie. So we can enjoy ensaimadas, cocarrois, traditional cocas and various cakes. A good option to regain strength after a day of pedaling.
If we are looking for accommodation in Deià we are in luck because we will have at our disposal a varied offer: from a hostel for hikers to the maximum luxury of a five-star hotel, passing through agrotourism, hostels and hotels of various categories. There are also a good number of vacation rentals: town houses, country estates, luxury villas … for all tastes and budgets.
Hotel Belmond La Residencia *****
The luxury accommodation par excellence in Deià is La Residencia. Watchtowers and stately homes dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries are located on its grounds.
The Cistercian order acquired one of these houses in 1744 to settle in Deià, creating an irrigation system for nearby crops. After the confiscation of 1820 and after several vicissitudes, the property passed into private hands, which kept olive cultivation and oil production as a source of income, until in the middle of the 20th century it ceased to be profitable. It was acquired by businessman Axel Ball who turned it into the hotel we know today in 1984. Since then and until today it has been considered one of the best hotels in Mallorca.
The hotel has all the luxuries and comforts that can be expected: indoor and outdoor swimming pool, spa, restaurants, gym, tennis court … It has been a resting point for celebrities such as Diana of Wales, and here Caroline Corr celebrated her wedding, member of The Corrs.
Hotel d’es Puig ***
With less luxury but with an exquisite and impeccable personalized attention, the Hotel Des Puig welcomes us, a boutique hotel located in the very center of Deià
From the hotel we can enjoy the magnificent views of the Sierra de Tramuntana. It has an indoor and outdoor pool, gym and bar-cafeteria. Thinking of cyclists, it has facilities designed to store bicycles and equipment, in addition to advising on the routes that can be done from here.
Sa Pedrissa farmhouse ***
If we prefer a more rustic setting, a good option will be the Sa Pedrissa farmhouse. Like other hotels in the area, this one is also part of an old 17th century manor house
Completely renovated, it combines the comforts of modernity with the typical rustic style of Mallorca and a maximum respect for the natural environment in which it is located.
Seeking maximum tranquility for its customers, it is an establishment with the label of “adults only”, admitting guests from 12 years. Located 2.5 km from the town, from here you can enjoy one of the best views of the area. Its gardens and surroundings are designed to provide maximum relaxation to its guests.
We can also delight ourselves in its Es Pi restaurant with chef’s specialties made with local products. It also has a swimming pool and various rest areas where you can relax in a paradisiacal environment.
If our budget is limited we do not have to give up staying in Deià. The Miramar pension, a family establishment with almost 70 years of history, is located in a 19th century agricultural estate renovated as accommodation
Its simple and neat rooms but with wonderful views will be a good resting place for modest travelers. It has a dining room and terraces where we can taste traditional homemade food. Located in the upper part of the town, five minutes from the center, we will be presented with a quiet environment and a pleasant family treatment.
Can Boi Hostel
If our travel style is backpacking, we also have a hostel in Deià, Can Boi
Deià is part of the GR221 route that runs through the Sierra de Tramuntana from Sant Elm to Pollença. This hostel offers us simple accommodation, showers and the possibility of having a good breakfast. With its typical guests in mind, it has facilities for storing bicycles and sports equipment.
In the heart of the Sierra de Tramuntana, Deià is the point of origin and passage of a multitude of hiking routes. Here we will only expose some of the most typical ones.
- Painters’ path: Deià to Llucalcari
- Deià – Son Marroig – Sa Foradada
- Ascent to Puig des Teix from Deià
- 3rd stage of the GR 221 route Pedra en Sec route: Deià – Sóller
- Ascent to the Puig de sa Galera