Visiting Cadaques? Here is what you need to know
Cadaqués is one of the most iconic seaside villages of the Catalan coast, the end of the Costa Brava. Artists such as Salvador Dali fell in love with its charm, a combination of Greek-like whitewashed streets and moon-like rocky landscapes.
But Cadaqués is located almost 3 hours away from Barcelona, so before you plan a day trip there, you must be totally sure it’ll be worth the ride for you. Today we want to share with you our favorite thing about it, to help you decide whether you should invest on such a long day or not. Ready?
These are our favorite things to do in Cadaques:
Dali’s House Museum in Portlligat. When Salvador Dali arrived back to Cadaques one Summer to discover his father, the influent notary of the town of Figueres, had warned all the local hotel owners not to accept his son as a guest under any concept (the artist had just been expelled from his own family due to Dali’s controversial surrealist art and his relationship with a 10-years-older-than-him married and mother-of-one Gala), Dali decided to buy a few fishermen huts in a small bay right outside the village. Those huts would be eventually connected with each other and refurbished to become the couple’s Summer residence, and they are now a House Museum that is visited in very small groups escorted by a museum guide following a strict timing. You won’t see masterpieces there (go to the Theater Museum in Figueres instead for that), but it’ll give you a unique view into the private life of Salvador Dali. Only for big fans, though.
Cap de Creus lighthouse. An iconic image of Cadaqués is this lighthouse located in the most eastern point of the whole Spain. With remote medieval origins, when it was used to watch over the pirates attacks, it is nowadays a structure mostly from the 1800’s with modern additions and modifications, but it keeps its sailors charm. Beside its lighthouse facilities, the building houses now a very popular informal and bohemian restaurant run by a British geologist that fell in love with the rocky landscape of the place a couple of decades ago.
Santa Maria church. The village of Cadaqués és crowned by the white building of the Church of Saint Mary. It’s worth climbing the hill all the way there just to see the views over the bay. But also do have a peek inside the church: you’ll see there one of the best examples of baroque altar pieces in Catalonia (a gilded piece of the 1700’s featuring Our Lady of Hope and Saint Thomas, patron saint of the village) and one of the oldest organs in our region, dating from the late 1600’s. An interesting fact is that its construction was paid through “penes del peix” (fish pains) – that is, the money fishermen would make by working on holidays and nights when they were supposed to be resting instead.
Paratge de Tudela. This unique area with fantastic rock formations and an almost lunar landscape makes part of the Natural Park of Cap de Creus, ever since the Club Mediterranée beach resort went bankrupt in 2004 and their facilities were subsequently dismantled. It was also a favorite place of Salvador Dali, who often walked around and got inspired by its rock formations for some of his paintings. Don’t miss the Cala Culip, in which depths have been found Roman and Greek wrecks.
A walk around its whitewashed streets. Live your car at the paid parking at the entrance of the village (it’ll be too difficult to find a place to park beyond this point) and follow the signs to the Passeig Maritim, the seafront promenade. From there you’ll have a great view over the Bay of Cadaqués and the Es Cucurucuc island on it, often depicted by Salvador Dali. Walk along the water bordering the old town without entering it yet, after passing the old watch tower you’ll get to a second smaller bay with the typical Cadaques arcades – Port Alguer. Climb the narrow and steep stairs from there to enter the old town, and roam freely around its beautiful alleys decorated with pink bougainvilleas. The picturesque Santa Maria street, the General Escofet square whose pavement shows a mosaic of a Wind Star made of pebbles and the Call street, the old street of the Jews, with its arch and a cobblestoned side alley with a mermaid mosaic in the pavement that leads to a restaurant hidden in its dead-end.
And BONUS! Here is where to eat in Cadaques:
Cadaqués restaurants. Cadaqués has a lovely restaurant offer catering all tastes and budgets. High end foodies won’t be disappointed by Compartir (sister restaurant of the gourmet Disfrutar in Barcelona). For traditional seafood go to La Galiota, and for a historical place where Dali often ate, choose Casa Anita. A personal favorite for Catalan food is El Balconet.
So what about you? Head to the comments below and tells us: are you planning to visit Cadaqués in your next trip and why?