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Deya, Majorca

Deya is a small coastal village in the northern ridge of the Spanish island of Majorca. It is located about 10 miles north of Valldemossa, and is mainly famous for its literary and musical inhabitants.

Its idilic landscapes of orange and olive groves on steep cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean served as refuge for English and American expatriates after the First World War. English poet, novelist and scholar Robert Graves was one of the first foreigners to settle in the village, where he lived until his death and which was the setting for many of his stories, including the historical novel Hercules my Shipmate. Anais Nin visited the village in the 1920s, and wrote a short story located in the village's beach, and acclaimed Spanish writer Carmen Naranjo recently wrote a short story about that one. The town is also the unnamed setting of Uruguayan novelist Cristina Peri Rossi's "The Ship of Fools" (La nave de los locos), one of the most acclaimed novels of the last 20 years. Nicaraguan poet and novelist Claribel Alegria is also one of the current residents of the town.

In recent decades, the stars of literature have been eclypsed by the stars of rock and roll. Virgin Records mogul Richard Branson has a luxury residence in the town and his label's stars have often visited the village and sometimes jammed at a local bar. Deya was home to several Canterbury scene musicians over the years including Robert Wyatt and Daevid Allen. Mick Jagger, guitarist Mark Knopfler and European music icon Mike Oldfield played there often in the late 1980s.