One of the jewels of the Mediterranean and a must go when visiting Mallorca (Majorca), Deià (also misspelled as Deya) is located in a valley in the shadow of the Serra de Tramuntana, between Soller and Valldemossa.
Deià has a population of 850 inhabitants and a economy based on agriculture, hand crafts, fine arts and tourism. Located less than one hours driving from Palma's Airport -at roughly 25 kilometres by road- by the Valldemossa way, it is made of small rock mallorcan houses built on the valley and up to the hill. Urban construction is highly controled here in order to preserve its natural charming and protect the landscape environment, not as unfortunately happens in other areas of Mallorca.
The village dates back to the prehistoric era and takes it names from the Arabic word "ad daia" (hamlet), which the Arabic used to name this place during the Islamic occupation of Mallorca in the X-XIII centuries.
The history of Deia begins with some remains of the prehistoric era and continues with the Islamic occupation during the X and XIII Centuries. During this period the Islamics initiated a prosperous agricultural system mainly based on the construction of terraces (areas gained to the mountain which look as big stairs going up and down the mountain) which turned the terrain in to myriad of cultivable fields. Also, the Islamic constructed a sophisticated irrigation system which is still used by the locals.
After that, the Christian conquered the island in the XIII Century and Deia became part of the Valldemossa municipality. Some monasteries were built during this period, such as "Ca l’Abat", "Son Rul·lan" and "Miramar".
On 1526 Deià gained its independence after the building of a church up in the hill which was occupied by a priest sent by the Bishop. This was an important fact on an era where the Catholic church had a very important paper on politics and the inhabitants took profit of this to demand the independence from Valldemossa, which they got.
During the next centuries it remained a relaxed place which basically based its economy on the olive treesn the oil produced and some fishing.
Deia was just a small village lost in the north of a small Mediterranean island, but since Robert Graves discovered its charming in 1946 and made it his home it became an artist meeting point and inspiration place. Now, while it keeps its mallorcan character, it is also the place to luxurious hotels and a millionaires home, but also the perfect spot to spent a relaxed holidays and chill out.
Now Deia is a must visit for those coming to Mallorca (Majorca) and found in every tourist itinerary, the perfect example of the other mallorca, the one which mass tourism hasn't discovered yet.
Event such as the Tertulia Deia Festival artist meeting organized by the Wallpaper* group were use to be celebrated every year here, but they're no longer.
Fortunately enough, there are still many places where to stay in Deià to fit any range of budgets, from hostels like S'Hostel d'Es Puig (from 36 Euro per person) and the Pension Miramar Deia (from 25 Euro) to charming, luxurious and gorgeous places such as La Residencia de Deia. Another good in the middle range is the Es Moli Deia Hotel, next to Cala Muleta and it's cove in the cliffs, available for the exclusive use of the hotel guests (rates starting at roughly 100 Euro per room per night). More hotel information is available at the Deya Hotels guide.
If you are looking to buy or rent a villa or property in Deia Deia Villas and Properties offers a pretty good selection and range of them.
There are many places you should visit, but some must go are the Parish Museum, the Son Marroig Museum (founded by the Archduke Luis Salvador) or the *Monastery of Miramar *, founded upon request of Ramon Llull to the King Jaume II.
Restaurants are all around the area and you have a wide selections of styles where to choose.
Our suggestion is to follows the old trick and go in to those which have many locals waiting: they are usually the best ones with reasonable prices (why there is a lot of people waiting if not?)
For those looking for gourmet restaurants:
Usefull phones and adresses:
Carrer d'es Porxo, s/n.
Phones: +34 971 63 90 77 - +34 971 63 92 33
Fax: +34 971 63 93 88
Open: weekdays, 10-14 h.