You know when you get back from a great trip and everyone wants to hear about it, but the thought of summing up a weeks’ worth of experiences in a couple sentences is completely overwhelming? That’s pretty much how I feel about my trip last week to Deià, a fairy-tale village on the northwest coast of Mallorca. Since my friends and family got the incredibly summed-up version (ie “it was amazing”), I’m still itching to share our full itinerary with my favorite restaurants and unforgettable experiences on the island. My 3-day tour of Mallorca is limited to the mountainous north side of the island since that’s where I spent the most time, but I’m tapping a couple of friends to share their Palma picks soon, for those of you who might be planning a more extensive Mallorca trip. Read on for my 3 day itinerary in Mallorca, along with some travel tips you need to know to make it smooth sailing.
Our adventure begins at the Belmond La Residencia, my home base for the trip and one of my favorite places I’ve ever stayed. An artist’s haven set between the mountains and the sea, it’s the dreamiest combination of pure luxury and earthy olive groves.
Wake up late (since you’re likely still on US time and 10am feels like 3am), throw back a café con leché, and lace up your sneakers. The best way to see this part of Mallorca is with a lot of walking, and thanks to the incredibly hilly terrain, you’re about to get a major workout.
Rent a Vespa through the hotel (or any local company), and if it happens to be Saturday, head through the winding hills to Sóller for the weekly market in its charming village square. Here you can find gorgeous produce, handmade goods like embroidered blouses and pottery, and perfect edible souvenirs like sea salt and local honey. Since this part of the island is covered in olive groves, the local olives and olive oil is incredible.
Hop back on your bike, and go where the wind takes you. This is one of the most scenic drives on earth, with postcard-perfect villages and olive groves punctuated by endless views of azure sea. There are only 3 taxis in the entire village of Deià, so make the most of this day with your Vespa when you’re in the drivers’ seat and can really explore.
When you’re feeling hungry, head down a heart stoppingly narrow and winding dirt road to Cala Deià, quite possibly one of the most picturesque beaches ever. It’s rocky and rustic, but what it lacks in luxury it more than makes up for in charm. Join the queue for lunch at Ca’s Patro Marche (or I highly recommend making an advance reservation) and get ready for one of the most memorable lunches ever at the spot also knows as The Night Manager restaurant. Fellow fans of the BBC drama will know exactly what I’m talking about. Order a bottle of rosé and the fresh catch of the day, then spend the rest of the afternoon people-watching and swimming down below at Cala Deiá.
If you feel like a sunset cocktail, head up the road to Valldemossa, a tiny cliffside village that is so perfect it almost looks fake. We stumbled upon the aptly-named Hotel Valldemossa, a luxurious boutique hotel nestled into the mountains and brimming with bougainvillea and jasmine, and it was a magical spot to toast our first day in Mallorca.
When it’s time for dinner (which in Spain, means no earlier than 9pm), zip your bike up the road to Ca’s Xorc, a historic Spanish finca that’s been converted into a beautiful rustic boutique hotel surrounded by magical gardens and lemon groves. Dinner here is on the sophisticated side, so settle into your table overlooking the mountains and savor innovative flavor combos like the tomato, cherry, avocado and burrata salad; or the roasted eggplant with miso and honey dressing. Every bite is delicious, and you really can’t get more romantic than this spot.
You can’t fully appreciate this part of the island without seeing some of it by boat. There are tons of charter companies and you can go the speed boat or sailing route. If you’ve got skills, drive your own; we opted for a captain that took us to a magical beach near Palma where a few other boats had docked for the day. Spend a few hours diving into the deep blue waters then swimming to shore and laying in the sun. Repeat until you get hungry, then head to Beach Club Gran Folies for a taste of one of Mallorca’s oldest beach clubs. The food is hit or miss, but you’re here for the people watching and beach swims anyway.
For dinner, head back to the center of Deiá to feast on beautiful Asian food at Nama. Everything from the pad thai to the coconut curry to the ceviche is fresh, colorful, and bursting with surprising flavors. The adjoining Nama Bar was designed by Matthew Williamson, who lives in Deiá for most of the year.
Wander through the village to S’Hortet, a spot that looks plucked out of Venice Beach but with a charming garden and road to the beach that makes it totally Mallorca. Fuel up on local, organic goodness, because you’re about to take one of the toughest hikes of your life. They’ve got cold-pressed juices and smoothies, delicious turmeric lattés, and probably the only place in Deiá you can satisfy your avocado toast cravings.
Now, about that hike. The thing about one of my favorite lunch spots on the island is that it’s only accessible by boat, or by an hour-long hike that’s challenging on the way down — next-level sweat-inducing on the way up (especially if it’s 4pm in the blazing sun after downing 2 glasses of rosé. Not that I’d have experience there.) However, if you’re feeling fit and up to the challenge, hiking down to Sa Foradada is an indescribably stunning walk, and the experience waiting for you at the end is more than worth the effort.
Sa Foradada is a truly hidden gem and one of those moments you’ll remember years after the trip. To get there on foot, park your car or have a taxi drop you just off the main road at Son Marroig house, then look for the wooden sign that says Bar Sa Foradada Rte. Climb (yes, climb) over the gate and head down the mountain.
After the workout and views of the sea, you’ll be rewarded with Paella cooked over a wood fire in the open kitchen. We ordered the classic mixed seafood version with local prawns, clams, and fish.
For a fitting ending to the perfect three days in Mallorca, head back to La Residencia and go straight to the spa, where all your soreness from that hike can be massaged and melted away. Take a dip in the dreamiest indoor pool overlooking the village, and allow yourself to relax and savor the feeling of nowhere else you need to be.
After a shower, head to the terrace bar with live music (it might be a Spanish guitarist one night and jazz pianist the next) – order a glass of cava and revel in the fact that tonight, you are living your best life. Mosey into the Mediterranean restaurant, El Olivo, at La Residencia for flickering candlelight, the most amazing grilled prawns of my life, and unobstructed mountain views. Don’t be too sad that your 3 days are over, ’cause if you’re like me: you’ll be back SOON.