Valldemossa, Majorca

   For a village that is only a 45 minute drive away from Pollença (where we had previously stayed for 2 nights), it honestly felt like we were entering an entirely different country. As soon as we began heading up into the mountains, the landscape began to take shape around us and we were staring wide-eyed out the windows. Our driver pointed to the hundreds of the olive trees we passed by, explaining how they were grown and telling us about the history of Valldemossa as we were trying to keep from getting carsick on the narrow, windy roads. It became clear to us the second we arrived why people would come here to escape the crowds and tourists. For one, it's absolutely STUNNING. The village is perched perfectly high up in the mountains, and from a distance it looks like a painting. I just kept saying out loud, "This place cannot be real!" Secondly, it's incredibly peaceful and quiet. It's like there's some magic relaxation potion in the air. It's no wonder Chopin came here to get away from the noise and stir his creativity (some people believe some of his greatest preludes were written here). While there are definitely other "visitors" once you start strolling through the village, there's nowhere NEAR the number of tourists you would find in other popular Mallorcan towns. Major plus in my book.
   We pulled up to the Valldemossa Hotel and were warmly welcomed. The hotel is gorgeous, surrounded by incredible views of the village and the mountains. It's lush landscape and traditional Spanish interiors make it feel elegant but not too stuffy. Our room had a balcony that gave us the best view we've had to date, especially of the famous monastery (Cartuja de Valldemossa) where Chopin once stayed. The balcony is ideal for sipping your coffee in the morning or a glass of wine at sunset.
   After settling in, we had an amazing lunch on the terrace (I know I keep saying "get the gazpacho", but this time I REALLY mean's AMAZING) and then went for a stroll through the village, which is only a 3-5 minute walk from the hotel. Valldemossa is small, but so worth taking several hours to explore so you can really take your time. It's ancient and charming and full of beautiful architectural details that you don't want to miss, so I recommend dedicating a full day to just absorbing it all. Stop and have gelato or wine and tapas along the way (definitely have a glass outside at Troya restaurant. It has the best view in town), pop into the local shops, and visit the monastery. You can purchase tickets outside when you get there or online, and once inside, there are separate tickets available if you'd like to see Chopin's room where he stayed (that even showcases the piano he played amongst other original drafts and compositions, etc. Amazing!). 
   Our second day in Valldemossa we decided to hop in a cab and drive 20 minutes to Deià, another (smaller but charming) nearby mountain village. We wondered into the "Belmond the Residence" hotel (owned by Richard Branson) which is definitely worth seeing, as it hosts more original paintings by famous Spanish artist Miró than most museums, and overall the hotel is just really beautiful. It's a great place to have lunch on the terrace and enjoy the view. You only need a couple hours to stroll through this little village so if you're in Valldemossa for more than a day and feel like mixing it up, Deià is worth the 20 minute drive.  
   Speaking of driving, this would be my one thing we'd do differently if we did this trip over again: I would rent a car and spend a few more days exploring the area because it really is so stunning, and there are other towns and villages near by (like Soller) that are supposedly really beautiful as well. If you do want to avoid the hassle and just visit Valldemossa for a couple days, you can take a cab or or use a transfer service (we used Balearic Transfer) to take you from Palma Airport (30 min). But by all means, VISIT VALLDEMOSSA. I'll let my photos do the rest of talking. 

Hotel Valldemossa
Ctra Vieja de Valldemossa s / n , 07170 Valldemossa, Mallorca, Spain

Hotel Valldemossa Restaurant (elegant Mediterranean food for lunch or dinner)
*Make a reservation
Troya Restaurant (casual lunch or dinner with a spectacular view)
Mirador de Lladoners 2, Valldemossa, Illes Balears
QuitaPenas (best authentic tapas in the village) 
Make a reservation
Carreró de la Amargura, 1, 07170 Valldemossa, Illes Balears

Belmond La Residencia Hotel (elegant Mediterranean food for lunch or dinner)
*Make a reservation
Son Canals, s / n, 07179 Deyá, Balearic Islands
S'hortet (bohemian cafe with organic food and homemade crepes)
Carrer Es Clot, 20, 07179 Deià, Illes Balears

Explore Valldemossa Village
Visit the Monastery (Cartuja de Valldemossa)

Visit Deià

Maggie Eckford