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Deia is an idyllic village of green-shuttered, ochre-coloured houses in the shadow of the Teix mountain on the west coast of Mallorca.
The name of Deia (or Deya) comes from the time of the Moorish conquest of Mallorca, back in the 10th-13th centuries. They were the ones who created the terraced irrigation systems that allowed the steep hillsides to be cultivated. Olive trees flourished up to an altitude of 600 metres, and today cover much of the hillsides above the town.
Deia has famously attracted artists, musicians and those in search of a bohemian lifestyle since the 19th century. The Archduke Luis Salvador of Austria was so captivated by the area that he purchased several estates - Miramar, Son Marroig - which host annual festivals & concerts and are open to the public. Robert Graves was a famous resident, and his house Ca N'Alluny has been turned into a museum for the public to visit.
Climb the Carrer es Puig, passing ceramic Stations of the Cross, to reach the parish church (c. 1497) and the small cemetery where Graves is buried.
Today, Deia is still very much an artists town and there are a number of art galleries and gift shops scattered throughout the village.
Most people come to Deia for relaxation. Sitting on terraces and enjoying the views is pretty much what it is about. Of course, if you do want to be a touch more active, then you can choose one of hiking trails in the hills above Deia. The coastal road is popular with cyclists - the twisting ups & downs provide thigh-busting workouts!
From Deia you can scramble down to Cala Deia, a small shingle beach set in an attractive cove.There are two restaurants here, with fresh fish as their speciality - they are only open during the summer season.
The most famous hotel in Deia is the five star La Residencia. Formerly owned by Richard Branson, it is now part of the Orient Express collection and provides luxurious accommodation and facilities on the outskirts of town.
The other big hotel on the other side of town is Es Moli which provides 87 bedrooms decorated in a traditionally Mallorcan style.
For something more boutique in style, you might want to try Sa Pedrissa which sits on a headland overlooking Deia and has amazing views out to sea.
In the centre of the village are a couple of small hotels. Try Hotel des Puig with its simple rooms and lovely swimming pool. Hostal Villa Verde has pretty rooms and terraces at reasonable prices. Pension Miramar provides basic accommodation in a 19th century farmhouse.
Deia is home to some top-notch restaurants, catering for the wealthy patrons that the village tends to attract. Michelin starred Es Raco D'es Teix has a marvellous setting above the village and offers modern yet classic Mediterranean cuisine. El Olivio in Hotel La Residencia is a swanky affair and serves up a superb gastronomic experience. For exquisite local Mallorcan cuisine, try Sebastian for elegant dining in characterful surroundings.
For more relaxed dining, head to pizzeria Es Punt or Italian Trattoria where you can enjoy amazing views from a large terrace. If you want to try some Asian food don't miss restaurant Nama. There are other restaurants you could visit such as tapas bar El Barrigon Xelini or restaurant Sa Vinya which offer rustic local cuisine.
Not exactly a restaurant, but Sa Fonda is the place to head to for a pre/post dinner drink or two. Entirely un-airbrushed, it is the locals drinking hole - don't be surprised to find visiting musicians start up a jamming session.