Deià is quite possibly Mallorca’s prettiest village, although to make such a statement is controversial when there are so many of them on the island. Still, there is an unmistakable draw to Deià, nestled as it is in the mountains and bordered by the sea.
Like much of Mallorca, it is popular with expats, artists, and writers, including the poet Robert Graves, whose house in the town is now a museum dedicated to him. It is hard not to feel inspired surrounded by the ridges of the Serra de Tramuntana, covered in lemon and orange and olive groves. The sunny streets are a delight to meander along. And no visit to Deià is complete without a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice! We were lucky enough to come across a woman pressing oranges on the spot for orders, the perfect start to our ramble.
The village offers expansive views of the surrounding hillsides, and the open, sunny streets allow you to take it all in. From higher points in Deià, such as the terrace of the church of San Juan Bautista, you can look out to the Mediterranean. And you get the distinct sense that you need to climb down to sea (I did, anyway.) For this, you need to follow signs for the Cala Deià, which take you on a steep, 1.5km hike down the mountain. (You could drive, but you’re better off working up your appetite.) You have the sensation that you are descending into a bowl, the hillsides rising around you as if to cradle its contents. And there, at the bottom of this rocky bowl, is a jewel: a natural, protected harbour surrounded by terraced hillsides and filled with the dazzling turquoise water of the Mediterranean Sea.
What was that about working up an appetite? At the foot of the cliffs, pressed right up against the waterfront, are two restaurants, Ca’s Patro March and Ca’n Lluc. They look like they have grown out of the driftwood and rocks on the beach, built into the stone itself.
Your best bet is to make reservations, but we were lucky enough to find seating at Ca’s Patro March without. (Be sure to have cash on you, as they do not accept card payment.) The ambiance in the open-air restaurant is relaxed, though the staff seems harried at times. If you come to Ca’s Patro March, let it be for the views, which overlook the crystal blue waters of the harbour from a beautiful vantage point. The food itself was fine; Matthew ordered a local fish (listed on the menu as a “trigger fish” but called a “tiger fish” by our waiter), and I had the Iberian ham and melon. Both were lovely, hardly my favourite meal of the trip but being so hungry from the walk down, I didn’t object. The salad which came with the fish was nothing special, and French fries seemed like too basic and uninspired a pairing for it. The restaurant famously featured in the television series The Night Manager, so perhaps they’re resting on their laurels a bit. All the same, eating beachside is a phenomenal experience, and the view is second to none.
The hike back up to the town feels more grueling than the one down, but doing it on a full stomach helps. Bring plenty of water and wear comfortable walking shoes. And once you make it back to the top, cool down at Sa Fonda, the local bar with an attractive outdoor patio shaded by leafy palms. With a glass filled with Rosa Blanca, the local beer, life is good in Deià!