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Ibiza and the Balearic Islands Travel Guide


Deià is perhaps best known as the adopted home of the English poet and writer Robert Graves, who lived here off and on from 1929 until his death in 1985. The village is still a favorite haunt of writers and artists, including Graves's son Tomás, author of Pa amb Oli (Bread and Olive Oil), a guide to Mallorcan cooking, and British painter David Templeton. Ava Gardner lived here for a time; so,

briefly, did Picasso. The setting is unbeatable—all around Deià rise the steep cliffs of the Sierra de Tramuntana. There's live jazz on summer evenings, and on warm afternoons literati gather at the beach bar in the rocky cove at Cala de Deià, 2 km (1 mile) downhill from the village. Walk up the narrow street to the village church; the small cemetery behind it affords views of mountains terraced with olive trees and of the coves below. It's a fitting spot for Graves's final resting place, in a quiet corner.

About 4 km (2½ miles) west of Deià is Son Marroig, one of the estates of Austrian archduke Luis Salvador (1847–1915), who arrived in Mallorca as a young man and fell in love with the place. The archduke acquired huge tracts of land along the northwest coast, where he built miradores at the most spectacular points but otherwise left the pristine beauty of the land intact. If you're driving, the best way to reach Son Marroig is the twisty MA10.

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