The mountain village of Deia in Mallorca has often been described as “paradise”, “magical” and “the other Mallorca”. After staying in this hillside town in Western Mallorca this past summer, I can tell you, it’s all true.
Prior to planning our vacation to Mallorca, we knew virtually nothing about the island. We didn’t know if we should head east, west, north or south. After talking to friends, co-workers, and acquaintances, and most importantly a friend who was born and raised on the island, we decided to head west to the mountains.
It’s in the west, we were told, where Mallorca’s wild beauty lies in that captivating landscape of mountains and sea. It’s in the west where the most picturesque of villages dot the range, tied to their hills and valleys, but always with an eye on the Mediterranean. And it’s in the west where the impossibly charming village of Deia lies.
We loved everything about Deia, from its bohemian vibe to its green and blue-shuttered houses to its lemon trees and olive groves scattered about. Deia is located on the west coast in the Tramuntana mountain range, in between the towns of Valldemossa and Soller. The Teix, the second tallest mountain in Mallorca, is the town’s backdrop. Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, roads and paths twist around and up and down, allowing you to drive, walk or hike and take in the dramatic scenery of where mountains and cliffs meet sea.
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It’s no wonder that the beauty of Deia attracted many writers, artists and musicians, becoming an artist colony for years (and still is). Most notably, English novelist and poet Robert Graves first moved to Deia in the 1930’s, later returning after World War II for good, until his death in 1985. Writers and artists followed, and Deia soon had a reputation as an artist retreat. Inevitably, as with most magnetic places, celebrities and Hollywood followed suit, with people like Ava Gardner, Mick Jagger, and Princess Diana visiting and staying in Deia. Richard Branson at one point owned La Residencia, the most luxurious of all the hotels in town.
Things to do in Deia
Deia is tiny, with basically one main street (the MA-10) that passes through, and some smaller, narrow streets that wind you through the hills. Though small, the allure is big. Artsy stores and art galleries line the main street, and some of Mallorca’s best food can be found in the restaurants of Deia, most of them family-owned. The Village Café came highly recommended to us, and indeed it was so good we went twice, feasting upon the eclectic menu of fish, pizza, salads, even a burrito. By all accounts, the Michelin star-rated restaurant Es Raco d’es Teix is phenomenal, though we did not go, and Sa Vinya an experience.
Walk along the windy streets, though, and choose any one of the restaurants – they’re all good and bustling, and you’ll get the warmest of welcomes. We wish we had time for a drink at Café Sa Fonda, a Deia institution. Actually a bar and not a restaurant, it’s famous for its live music and bohemian scene. One of our favorite little spots was the main grocery store/deli in town, Es Forn, which sells fresh pastries, produce and cheeses. This was our go-to for picnics.
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The Robert Graves house, or Ca N’Alluny, is a big draw in Deia. His former house- turned-museum is a nice tribute to his life and work. You can see where Robert Graves was buried as well, by climbing Deia’s main hill, Es Puig, and going to the Esglesia de Sant Joan Baptista and cemetery. Make sure to take in the sweeping views of Deia and the Mediterranean while you are up there.
Another main draw in Deia is its beach, Cala Deia. We loved this little beach. It’s set in a beautiful and almost secret-feeling cove, one you can only access by foot. There is a road that takes you down to the beach, but from the parking lot you have to walk on a path before you reach the cove. Come mid-day it does get crowded, so go early, especially if you want to find a parking spot.
Cala Deia is a shingle style beach, with rocks and pebbles – not your traditional sand beach. What it may lack in sand, however, it makes up for in gorgeous scenery and crystal-clear aquamarine water. Caves can be found built into the rocks and cliffs, where people are hanging out, some jumping into the water only to climb up and do it again. There are two wonderful restaurants, seemingly built into the cove, that are fun to eat and drink at and watch the goings-on of the beach and the majestic scenery. Ca’s Patro March has the freshest of fish, and Can Lluc a great place to chill with a beer. Overall, Cala Deia is just a really cool spot to spend a few hours.
Hiking is also extremely popular in Deia and the surrounding area – the views you are rewarded with make every sweaty, steep hike worth it. The hike to Sa Foradada, a beautiful look-out point, is very popular. For us, in August, it was difficult to do much hiking in the heat with our girls. But should you want to explore the region by way of foot, any hotel can provide you with hiking trails.
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Hotel Es Moli
Most people who come to Deia are coming for one main reason, and that’s rest and relaxation. There may not be a place more serene and peaceful than this hillside town full of fresh mountain air and sea views. Enter the hotel experience. There are a few hotels in Deia, the two most well-known (and largest) being the 5 star La Residencia and the 4 star Hotel Es Moli. We stayed at Es Moli.
Es Moli is beautifully perched on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean, with views that make you feel like you’re on a movie set. Each morning I would open up our shades and look out onto the sea. Impeccably manicured lawns, lush vegetation, pathways and shaded areas to rest, as well as one of the prettiest hotel pools I’ve experienced to date, made this hotel a true oasis.
Set a little out of town, there is a main walking path you can take into the village, so it’s quite convenient without being right in the center of things. There are tennis courts, ping pong tables, even a giant chess table. The breakfast buffet in the morning is amazing – so much so that we could practically get through the day without eating lunch.
My favorite part of the hotel, however, was its own private cove (cove Muleta) located 15 minutes away. You can take the hotel shuttle or drive yourself. This was what it was all about – spending the day at our own private cove, complete with restaurant, lounge chairs, even snorkeling gear. The lay-out of the cove was quite something – stairs lead you down to one lounging and vantage point after the next. All in all, there’s about 5 or 6 levels to the cove (so it never felt crowded, but still intimate), culminating in the bluest of water at the bottom, where we went swimming and snorkeling. The cove was a very special place, and every guest there knew it.
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I want to note that Es Moli is not a modern hotel, its décor is based on traditional Mallorcan design, and some of the rooms could use some updating. Everything else was so well-done, however, that it didn’t bother us.
We couldn’t have stayed in a more perfect area and would recommend Deia to anyone. If you have small kids it may not be as easy with the hills and rocky beaches, but for us, it was paradise. Deia truly stole my heart!
This place looks amazing! I’ve never heard of it, but thankfully you have, so glad you’ve shared what seems to be somewhat of a hidden gem with all of us!
Thanks Hilary! It was an incredibly beautiful find..
THis looks like such a charming place! I never heard of this village but I will keep this in mind for my next trip to Mallorca. #FarwayFIles
It is such an ideal little village – hope you make it there!
I haven’t been to Mallorca since i was a little girl myself but it’s somewhere I’d love to take my daughter to. I’ve always heard how lovely Deia is and your photos and holiday only go to prove that. #farawayfiles
Thank you – Deia was perfect for us. I know Mallorca can have a bad rap in the U.K. but seems to me it really depends on where you go. We loved Deia and the west coast.
Wow, I want to stay at Es Moli, that cove looks amazing! I love Mallorca, we went there for our first family holiday and it was perfect, but we didn’t make it to Deia. We’ll definitely be going back! #farawayfiles
We thought Mallorca was so beautiful – it was our first time. Just wish we lived a little closer!
You’ve got some amazing landscapes and seascapes on your side of the world too!
Yes we do! 😉
I’ve never been to Mallorca but always wanted to go and Deia sounds – and looks – like the perfect place to stay! Definitely saving your post for future travel planning. 🙂 #farawayfiles
Thanks – I hope you make it there some day!
Deia looks lovely – I don’t mind that it doesn’t have the white sand beaches, I think the rocks and cave-like things look so interesting! #farawayfiles
Exactly! It made it a more unique experience. If we want the long, white sand beaches, in my country we can go to Florida for that.
You already had me intrigued with your IG pix, but now you have me hooked with that private cove! Such a beautiful region! Pinned & stumbled! #FarawayFiles
Thanks Lori! It took our breath away, truly a stunning part of the island!
I’ve seen that hotel in brochures for many years – so good to hear how wonderful it is and wow, that private cove is gorgeous! You’re certainly whetted my appetite for another dose of Mallorca and I’m definitely heading west to Deia.
How funny you’ve seen the brochure. We came across it through booking.com or one of those sites and something I should put in my post – I decided to call to see what their price was over the phone and it was considerably cheaper so booked directly through them. Just fyi!
Oh my goodness, Corey! I’ve always dreamed of going to Deia but now I want to be there right now. This literally looks like my perfect place to visit even down to the hotel with its own private cove. It really looks amazing and not too busy considering you were there right in the peak holiday season. #farawayfiles
Clare, I just know you would love Deia and the western coast. The coves and rock formations along with the hills and lush vegetation were so incredibly beautiful. And yes, even in high season it was fine. I hope you make it there some day!
I didn’t know that there was an artist community on Mallorca, or that it was so culturally interesting. Friends who have been there have only told me about the beaches but that alone wouldn’t be enough to tempt me. I think you have changed my mind about it quite a lot. #Farawayfiles
Oh thank you! We wanted interesting landscape and the artist colony bit was enticing. If we want flat, white sand beaches we go to Florida!
Did you get to enjoy those fabulous lounge chairs in that little cove? I hope so! This place looks out of this world! #farawayfiles
Oh you bet I did. There was one day when I was a bit tired of snorkeling, so everyone else was in the water for a few hours and I lounged and read. It was heaven ;).
Deia looks absolutely gorgeous, especially that secluded beach!! #FarawayFiles
The beaches may be rocky, but we thought it made for interesting landscape!
It looks like the PERFECT place for a holiday, in my book. Beautiful nature, a relaxing hotel, what could be better!
Exactly! It checked all the boxes for us.
I’m already looking forward to our trip to Soller next year (booked as a result of your last post!) – I’ll have to make sure we pop over to Deia too.
So happy I was able to help! You will LOVE the area!!
Deia sounds like the perfect spot for a holiday #FarawayFiles
It was one of the most relaxing places I’ve been to. Perfect vacation spot.
I’ve never been too keen on Mallorca, but I hear it’s better than its reputation, and this looks nice!
I think it depends on where you go. We didn’t want to go to the towns with the nightclubs – we wanted beautiful nature. I’ve heard it can have a bad rap in the U.K. but where we went was paradise!
Probably. Not just the UK. Norway as well 🙂 But it has kind of changed in recent years, so I am more up for it now than previously.
I can see why Deia stole your heart. It looks amazing, we have been thinking about a trip to Mallorca for some time. My husband has a big birthday next year, I’m wondering if this little gem could be the perfect place to take him to celebrate! #FarawayFiles
Ah it could be! There’s nothing about it we didn’t like – if you don’t mind not having long, sandy beaches then I highly recommend going.
Deia looks like a perfect little paradise. Mallorca doesnt have the best reputation in the UK – due to some British tourists I might add! – but it looks like there are many gorgeous places to discover. I love the lush green landscapes against the blue blue seas #FarawayFiles
Me too re: the colors. I know it can have a bad rap being tourist trap and party central, but the area we went to was so serene and peaceful. Think it just depends on where you go!
I know this sounds cliche but Mallorca sounds like paradise to me! A perfect destination that has it all – beach, clear waters, mountains, hiking trails, great accommodation (with some privacy) . Love your pics! #FarawayFiles
That’s how I see it Kat! Mallorca isn’t so cliche around where I live in the states. If we were closer perhaps it would be..but if you really love a place who cares. So many places are “cliche” now.
I live in Mallorca and when I have friends coming to visit the island, I take them to Deià because I know they will love it. I think you forgot to list Sa Foradada, it is an amazing viewpoint.
On the other hand I work for a Mallorca runaway app, it is a free guide app to discover Mallorca. I recommend you to download it: http://mallorcarunaway.com/en/
I will check it out – thanks 😉
Wow… It looks stunning! I much prefer a small cove beach to a wide sandy one full of loungers. I’m heading to Mallorca in the summer so will definitely be visiting Deia 🙂
Oh fun! Have the best time!
So gorgeous! We went on many family holidays to Mallorca when I was a kid butI don’t remember much aside from the hotel! Looks like I really need to return!
Oh yes – the island is a lot of fun to explore. Though I get the wanting to just chill at the hotel as well 😉
Deia looks amazing. I have never heard of this place before.. but it sounds so interesting. I would love to visit Deia..specially for Cala Deia beach. Thanks for sharing
It’s a very special part of the island – I hope you make it there some day! Thanks for the comment.