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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Postcard from Mallorca: Valldemossa & Deia

Mallorca boasts some alluring mountain- top villages and towns that seem to tumble down the hillsides, such as Deia and Valldemossa (pictured). They have charming stone buildings, churches on the main square, and old men lingering at their favorite cafes. Valldemossa has the added attraction of a former Carthusian monastery that's famously known as the place where lovers Chopin and George Sand holed up for a few months, which Sand wrote about in incredible detail in her book "Winter in Majorca". You can visit their suite of 'cells' with gorgeous garden terraces and spectacular valley views. Deia has also been a favourite with writers and artists, and there you can visit the former home of poet Robert Graves, now a museum. It's also a very handsome place with equally stunning vistas from its windows. Surprisingly, the desks where Graves chose to write don't take advantage of them. The towns are undeniably touristy though, so there's no escaping the tacky souvenirs, tour groups and menus in four languages, but they're still enchanting and worth a visit all the same. The best way to avoid the crowds of course is to stay overnight when the tour groups have gone home and the moonlit streets are more tranquil.