Every month we bring to your attention a tiny part of the wonderful West Coast of Mallorca. This month, we turn the spotlight on Cala Deia, the area around the gorgeous cala itself. The first place I ever stayed in Deia was a house down at the Cala Deia area. Even now, 20 years’ later, the cala has a special place in my heart.
It was late April when I first saw the cala. That morning I swam in the crystal- clear ocean, gazed up at the village and the mountain bowl in which it sits and knew I’d never seen anything like it before in my life.
Today, even though I’ve been to Cala Deia countless times, I’m still struck by its beauty. With the caveat that I prefer to go early in the morning or the evening, some time before June and after September. The cala is still lovely in the summer, but it does get very crowded.
In the winter, when enormous waves crash on the rocks, Cala Deia has another kind of wild, dramatic beauty altogether.
I doubt that there’s a beach anywhere in the world with a richer cultural history than Cala Deia. Writer and photographer Fred Grunfeld, who lived in the village for many years, wrote a piece for Connoisseur magazine about the cala called ‘The Thinking Man’s Beach’ which conjures up images of sensitive types gazing out to sea in raptures.
Indeed, the cala was a favourite place for village intellectuals to play chess. I’ve heard stories of legendary matches that resulted in spectacular feuds.
This being Deia, the cala does possess powerful literary and otherwise artistic associations. French writer Anais Nin set an erotic short story here. Painter Mati Klarwein was just one of many painters who attempted to capture the magic of the place. His Anunciation (1961) was famously used for the cover of the great Santana album Abraxas.
Perhaps the Cala Deia area’s strongest literary associations are with writers Robert Graves and Jakov Lind.
Lind was a remarkable Austrian-British writer who is responsible for the strange tower you see when you swim out into the middle of the bay and look up. He lived in Deia for many years and wrote a baffling satire of the village called Travels to the Enu (1982). If you can make head or tail of it, you’re a better man or woman than me.
Graves used to do what his son Tomás described to me as his ‘rock climbing piece, whenever he went down for a swim: 40 minutes from Ca n’Alluny down to the cala, swim and back home! This consisted of crossing the face of the big rock at the far end of the beach, as far as the little salient, from which he would dive into the water. As far as I know, nobody else has ever managed the feat but then Robert learned rock climbing with legendary English mountaineer George Mallory.’
Tomás also very kindly shared a couple of other anecdotes with me. ‘The “Patró”, the grandfather of the cook at Ca’s Patro March, one of the two restaurants down at the cala, now booked up months in advance thanks to the BBC’s The Night Manager series, told me that as a boy he used to see monk seals sunning themselves on the beach. In May 1968, Daevid Allen escaped from the French police – he took part in the riots – and brought his band Gong to Mati Klarwein’s house to play at an all-night party. At dawn, they went down to the cala to skinny dip and were chased by Madame Vidal – Dito’s mother – brandishing her walking stick.’
The cala may not be as unspoilt as it was and perhaps not so wild – then again, who knows – but it’s still mesmerisingly beautiful most of the time.
Today, the cala still plays an important part in village life. For Maria Garde, Charles Marlow’s West Coast Sales Diretor, ‘One of my favourite celebrations of the year is celebrating San Joan at Cala Deia. The whole village heads down to the cala, which is lit up by candles and fairy lights and Los Habaneros band plays beautiful music. It’s traditional to take a midnight swim in the sea.’
From time to time, homes do come up for sale at Cala Deia. We can also offer wonderful properties for rent.
Should you decide to find your home at the Cala Deia area or enjoy a holiday, you’re a very short stroll from the beach and morning coffee at Ca’s Patro March or Can Lluc, the funky chiringuito. But you’re also only about 30 minutes’ walk from the village. No-one would say this is a relaxing saunter but it’s a lovely way to exercise.
Cala Deia is one of the few calas on the West Coast you can access by car so there’s no need to walk up and down to the village unless you really feel the need to do so.
But, when the beach empties and the restaurants close for the night, you have the delicious feeling that you’re tucked away in paradise.
To find out more about homes on offer or for rent, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +34 971 636 427.