Drive Majorca – Day 2, Soller, Deia and Valldemossa
In our second instalment of driving itineraries in Majorca, we shine the spotlight on 3 more must-sees…
Day 2 – Soller, Deia & Valldemossa
Having ticked off a whistle-stop tour of Palma the previous day, I decided to leave the capital behind and follow the C711 road north, passing through the pretty little town of Bunyola en route. Instead of taking the express toll tunnel that cuts through the Tramuntana Mountains, I opted for the more picturesque route up and over the rocky summit. And I’m really glad I did. Granted, the hairpin bends were a bit hairy at times, but the views out across the meadows and olive groves were fabulous. Plus, I saved myself a few euros in the process.
Arriving in Soller, I found a tapas bar in the Placa Constitucio – the town’s main square. As I hoovered up a plate of jamon Serrano, my gaze fell on the rose window of Sant Bartomeu. This church was designed by Joan Rubio, one of Antonio Gaudi’s disciples, which explains its Sagrada ‘melting candle’ appearance. From my perch, I also spotted the famous vintage Red Arrow tram trundling through town packed with tourists headed for nearby Port de Soller.
Back in the car, I then headed west, driving along the zigzag-y C710 road to Deia. All terracotta rooftops and cobblestone streets, this coastal town high in the hills is ridiculously pretty. My recommendation? Head up to the church that stands guard over the higgledy-piggledy houses for some wow-factor sea views.
Continuing along the C710, I made a beeline for Valldemossa. Reason being I wanted to visit the Real Cartuja de Jesus de Nazaret. This place started out life in the 14th century when the asthmatic King Sancho built a palace in the mountains to take advantage of the fresh air. It was later given over to monks who remodelled it as a monastery.
Valldemossa’s monastery is perhaps best known as the one-time residence of the composer Chopin. He rented a monk’s cell here in 1838 with his lover, the writer, George Sand. She detailed their escapade in her book A Winter in Majorca and in so doing put Valldemossa firmly on the map. Today the monastery is filled with portraits and manuscripts recounting the couple’s lives.
Leaving Valldemossa behind me, I then switched between first and second gear for what seemed an eternity, navigating the Z-bends of the C710 coastal road all the way down to Andratx. Then it was onto the C719 and the PM1 back to Palma. In retrospect it might have been a better idea to have taken the PM111, which runs direct from Valldemossa to Palma, as the drive I ended up doing was pretty exhausting. That said, the views of the Mediterranean did make it worthwhile.