Welcome to Literary Wanderings! I’ve been wanting to create a blog feature combining books and travel for a while now. I’ve worked in the travel industry for over ten years so travel is constantly at the forefront of my mind, as are books. I think I have finally figured out how to bring books and travel together in what I hope is an original format.
I recently read The Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh and The Vacationers by Emma Straub, both were set in the town of Deia, Mallorca. I think I shared in one of my reviews that it was the Mallorcan setting that drew me to the books. I vacationed there a few times when was I younger and was eager to head back to this beautiful Spanish island, even if it was only in my imagination.
Let’s travel to Deia on the Spanish island of Mallorca…
HOW TO GET THERE
When traveling to Mallorca by plane, you will fly into Palma Airport (PMI), from the U.S. it is necessary to change planes in a larger European city such as Madrid (MAD), Paris (CDG), Frankfurt (FRA), or London (LHR). It will take about an hour to drive to Deia from the airport.
WHERE TO STAY
The characters in both books stayed in villas while in Deia. Even though Deia is not as popular among tourists as other towns and villages in Mallorca there is still a large inventory of villas available to rent. For a week in the summer, you are looking at anywhere between $400-$2,000 per night.
The most well-known hotel in the area is La Residencia, formerly owned by Sir Richard Branson, it is now a member of Orient-Express Hotels and is recognized as a Leading Hotel of the World. Such luxurious accommodations come at a cost though, and for a week in July nightly rates are in the range of $1,000-$4,000!
Deia’s strongest link to the literary world is poet and writer Robert Graves. Graves lived in Deia from 1929 until his death in 1985. His home was transformed into a museum dedicated to his live – Ca N’Alluny Museum.
Agatha Christie was a frequent visitor to Mallorca, particularly to the Port de Pollenca area. Here she stayed at the Hotel Illa d’Or and wrote Problems at Pollensa Bay. Traveling to Pollensa from Deia would take a little over an hour by car, so a day trip would not be out of the question.
LET’S NOT FORGET
As mentioned in The Lemon Grove, there is a tennis academy frequented by Rafa Nadal. The VILAS Tennis Academy is located in Calvia outside of the popular tourist town of Palma Nova. Calvia is about an hour south of Deia.
Deia is one of the many towns and villages in Mallorca in the region of Serra de Tramuntana (a UNESCO World Heritage site). The mountain range extends from the south-west to the north-east forming the backbone of Mallorca. There are walking, hiking and cycling trails throughout the area. The website for the area lists three routes that take you through the mountains. One is a literary route starting in Valldemossa and ending in Pollenca.
You can’t visit Mallorca without spending some time at one of the many beaches. The closest to Deia is a small shingle beach, Cala Deia, visit during the summer and you can enjoy fresh fish at two nearby restaurants.
A vacation wouldn’t be complete without sampling local delicacies. In Mallorca, the foods to try are sobrasada – a raw cured sausage made with ground pork, paprika and other spices – and ensaimada – a pastry which, strangely, is made with pork lard. I think you’ll agree that it looks delicious despite the odd ingredient.