Scottish Daily Mail

It’ll make your DEIA!

Ma­jorca’s fa­mous boho vil­lage has shed some of its racy rock ’n’ roll im­age — but still buzzes with ir­re­sistible in­trigue

- By JOCASTA SHAKE­SPEARE Recreation · Travel · Richard Branson · Citroën · London · Majorca · The Clash · Kate Moss · Gwyneth Paltrow · Michael Douglas · Michelle Obama · Barack Obama · UNESCO · Palma · United Kingdom · EasyJet · Soller · Paul Simonon · Miramar · Robert Graves

Deeia was a sleepy artist’s colony un­til rock star Kevin ay­ers ar­rived in 1976, with Richard Bran­son’s first wife Kris­ten in the pas­sen­ger seat of ay­ers’ pow­der-blue Citroen, fol­low­ing a wife-swap­ping party in Lon­don.

What be­gan as a sex game, dur­ing which Bran­son and ay­ers’s former wife Cyrille dis­ap­peared to­gether for a one-night stand, turned se­ri­ous when Kris­ten de­cided to run away with the tou­sled, psy­che­delic singer.

Bran­son was not ex­pect­ing to be dumped and he never for­got the hu­mil­i­a­tion. When ay­ers was sub­se­quently ditched by Kris­ten for Ger­man ar­chi­tect axel Ball, Bran­son re­warded the lat­ter by help­ing fund de­vel­op­ment of Deia’s lux­ury Res­i­den­cia Ho­tel.

al­most im­me­di­ately, this lit­tle hip­pie haven of olive farms and fish­er­men’s cot­tages on the north-west coast of Ma­jorca was filled with smart vil­las and ho­tels for vis­it­ing euro­peans and amer­i­cans — and be­came a hub for wild par­ty­ing and scan­dalous be­hav­iour.

Th­ese days, things have calmed down. Jackie Wal­dren, who has lived in Deia for 60 years says ‘it is more fe­male-em­pow­ered now’.

Ther­a­pists of­fer treat­ments from ear can­dling to vi­bra­tion-au­ral heal­ing, and on Sun­day morn­ings, ec­static Dance is a pop­u­lar vil­lage event, with no drugs or al­co­hol.

Only 752 peo­ple live here all year round. Many are chil­dren of the wilder 1970s gen­er­a­tion: those who sur­vived or never left and those who re­turned to work in prop­erty, art, mu­sic, to set up vin­tage bou­tiques, al­ter­na­tive ther­a­pies and eco-tourist projects — any­thing to keep the dream alive.

AAN i love it out of season. it is worth walk­ing up to the church, high on a hill over­look­ing Deia, to see the val­ley spread out be­low: olive groves, gar­dens of palm and bougainvil­lea and the river run­ning through a tan­gle of pur­ple morn­ing glory, down past the clus­ter of ter­ra­cotta-roofed houses.

The poet Robert Graves is buried in the church­yard here. From the church, you can walk to the sea shore, through the vil­lage and down a path­way called The Clot. an­other drive­able road, j ust be­yond the vil­lage bound­ary also leads down to a beach car park.

The Cala, or vil­lage beach, is where to find de­li­cious fresh fish in a res­tau­rant look­ing over the Mediter­ranean. Some may recog­nise it from the 2016 TV se­ries The night Man­ager.

Sim­pler food can be found be­low in a fish­er­man’s cafe built on the peb­bly shore. an old mule track leads me to the port of Soller in about one-and-a-half hours and i took the local bus back, in time for drinks at Sa Fonda, a bar in Deia where mu­si­cians play live and there is a party most nights.

Deia has not en­tirely for­got­ten its rock ’n’ roll past. noel Gal­lagher, Da­mon al­barn, and Paul Si­monon from The Clash spend sum­mers here. alexa Chung, Kate Moss, Gwyneth Pal­trow, Michael Dou­glas and Cather­ine Zeta- Jones are reg­u­lars; and Michelle Obama has vis­ited twice.

Some of the smaller, less ex­pen­sive places to stay are busy most sum­mers: Pen­sion Mi­ra­mar, Hostal Villaverde or Ho­tel des Puig. Deia’s the­atri­cal back­drop is part of its al­lure: high vol­canic moun­tains f orm a horse­shoe around the vil­lage fac­ing the sea. They are the Tra­muntana, a Unesco Her­itage Site.

Sit­ting on the bar ter­race of the Res­i­den­cia Ho­tel, with a Filthy Mar­tini at sun­set, i am as­ton­ished again as the range of moun­tains, with their dis­tant, jagged peaks, flush red and gold.

TRAVEL FACTS

HO­TEL des Puig in Deia from £99 per night ( hotelde­spuig.com). Di­rect flights to Palma from ma­jor UK air­ports. EasyJet from Lon­don, £74 re­turn ( easyjet.com).

 ??  ?? Al­lur­ing: View of Deia, top. In­set, Tom Hid­dle­ston and El­iz­a­beth De­bicki in TV’s The Night Man­ager
Al­lur­ing: View of Deia, top. In­set, Tom Hid­dle­ston and El­iz­a­beth De­bicki in TV’s The Night Man­ager

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