Whether you’re planning a holiday in Cadaques or you’re just fascinated and want to know more about this special corner of the Costa Brava, this Cadaques Guide is for you! A charming fishermen town, lying peacefully on a bay, Cadaques was Dali’s getaway and a muse that fueled his art. But Cadaques’ relationship with art goes much further than that, having attracted many other artists such as Picasso, Miró, Duchamp and Magritte.
Its white houses and cobblestone streets, together with the sounds of the waves in the background, add up to the picturesque image of the town, whose official population is around 2,600 inhabitants but can multiply up to ten times during summer.
How To Get To Cadaques
Let’s look at the main two ways that you can get to Cadaques from Barcelona: either by car or by bus. If you’re coming directly to Cadaques, you can also fly directly to Girona.
From Barcelona to Cadaques by car
Cadaqués is located 170 km northeast of Barcelona. To get there, take the AP-7 highway, then take the exit to Roses via the C-260. Before reaching Roses, take the GI-614 and follow the signs to Cadaques. On Google Maps you’ll find easy and correct directions. Considering the uncomfortable and expensive bus ride, as well as the beauty of the area around Cadaques which is also worth a visit, I strongly suggest you get there by car.
From Barcelona to Cadaques by bus
It’s also possible to go to Cadaques by bus with the bus services from a company called Moventis-Sarfa. Buses run twice per day in the high season and tickets, which cost 24.50 EUR per way, can be purchased online on their website.
Things To Do In Cadaques
One thing is certain: it may be a small village, but you’ll never get bored in Cadaques. From peaceful strolls to long hikes in the mountains, exploring beaches and coves, discovering Dali’s legacy, exploring ancient monasteries, or joining a fun activity or tour, there’s plenty to do here in Cadaques. These are some of the best things to do in Cadaques:
Wander around the Old Town
The first thing you should do when you just arrive to Cadaques is dedicate an entire morning or afternoon to just stroll around the narrow streets of Cadaques’ Old Town. Leave maps and technology at home and just get lost in these old streets lined by white houses, go up and down stairs to fantastic views, and stop here and there to admire the sea or enjoy a fabulous meal at one of the city’s many restaurants and bars.
Visit Saint Mary’s Church
High up in the tangled streets of the Old Town you’ll find Saint Mary’s Church, which stands tall among the lower houses of this tiny village. Apart from the beautiful interior of the church, the views from this high part of Cadaques are beautiful—I could stand here for ages looking at the magic of the sea meeting the little stone lanes and the bright orange roofs.
Saint Mary’s church is a humble and austere church, but its altar, made of golden wood, is full of fascinating and intricate details. The church is normally closed to visits, and it can only be admired from the main entrance.
Discover Dali House-Museum
Located on the Port Lligat Bay, this is where Dalí lived and worked between 1930 and 1982. The structure of the house resembles a labyrinth, and its windows all have different shapes. It is evident that the landscape around it had a huge influence in Dali’s work, and it has been featured in some of his most famous paintings.
Dali House Museum is open to the public every day from 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM in the high season. The entrance fee is 14€.
Learn more at the Dali Theater and Museum in Figueres
Another stop for those interested in learning more about Dalí is his museum, located in his hometown Figueres, 35 km away from Cadaqués. It holds the largest collection of Dalí’s work, as well as his body, which is buried in a crypt under the stage. The museum is open daily from 9 AM to 8 PM in high season, and tickets cost 15€.
Explore Cap de Creus National Park
Cap de Creus is the easternmost point in the Iberian Peninsula and a fascinating natural park, ideal for hiking, swimming, or just driving all the way here to enjoy the views from the lighthouse. This peninsula is made of rocky cliffs and hidden coves, and Cadaques is just one of the villages located in this beautiful territory. Some must-sees in this area are the Cap de Creus lighthouse, Sant Pere de Rodes monastery, Roses, and Cala Jugadora.
Visit Sant Pere de Rodes monastery
Located on top of the Cap de Creus mountains is Sant Pere de Rodes, a centuries-old monastery dating back to the 11th century. If you spot it from a distance, you might even think it’s a castle because its size is huge and it has different towers. Sant Pere de Rodes is one of the most beautiful examples of romanesque Catalan architecture.
The monastery is open to visitors from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM to 5:30 PM. Tickets cost 6€, and it’s absolutely worth that and more!
Hike to Cala Nans lighthouse
This beautiful hike offers the most stunning views of Cadaqués from a distance. Leave the city behind and immerse yourself in nature, while you contemplate the village of Cadaques and the immense blue sea creating the perfect postcard. Hiking all the way from Cadaques’ center to the lighthouse and back takes around 3 hours in total, and not very difficult: the trail is well signaled, but the absence of a rail can make certain parts of the trail a bit dangerous.
Visit Cadaques Museum
Cadaques’ most famous museum is, of course, Dali’s House, but the village also has its own museum dedicated to different artists and periods—including also Salvador Dalí. Throughout the year the museum offers different exhibitions to honor Dalí, as well as, occasionally, other artists.
Go on a boat tour
A boat tour is a great way to admire the beautiful coastline around Cadaques and Cap de Creus. Most boat tours normally leave from Roses, and some of the available itineraries include sailing around Cap de Creus National Park, Cap Norfeu, a stop in Port de la Selva, and visits to caves in the area. Click here to book your perfect boat trip in Cadaques!
Beaches In Cadaques
Visiting Cadaques means diving into the culture, art, history, and cuisine that this region has to offer, but also enjoying some time at the sea. While the city’s beach is not the best example of a beautiful sandy beach, there are different beaches you can visit in the area if you know where to go. There are some of the most popular beaches in Cadaques:
Platja Gran is Cadaques’ city beach, and its name literally means “big beach”. It’s made of dark pebbles, which makes the water not look exactly crystalline, so for many people it’s not the ideal “holiday in Costa Brava” beach.
In my opinion, Cadaques’ city beach is perfect for long walks by the sea and enjoying a drink at some of the seafront bars, but for a real beach day you’ll need to go somewhere else.
Cala Sa Sabolla
Cala Sa Sabolla, along the hiking trail between Cadaques and Cala Nans lighthouse, is a totally different story. The water here is framed by bright rocky hills and patches of green grass, making it look turquoise and inviting—especially when you’re hiking under the hot sun!
Cala Sa Sabolla can’t be accessed by car, and it also doesn’t have any stairs to go down into the cove. Exactly because of that, this is one of the least crowded beaches in Cadaques!
Cala Portaló is one of the most beautiful coves in Costa Brava, tucked between the cliffs of Cap de Creus. This beautiful cove is quite secluded and surrounded by nature, and it makes the perfect place to spend a relaxing day on the beach. If you’re looking for a sandy beach to escape the pebbles and rocks of other local beaches, Cala Portaló is a great option!
Cala Jugadora is a gem when it comes to the best beaches in Cadaques and Cap de Creus. This small cove looks like it’s straight out of a painting by Dalí, surrounded by rocky cliffs which act as the perfect barrier against strong winds and waves. Because of this, Cala Jugadora is the perfect beach for a relaxed swim and stunning views of the beautiful natural park surrounding it.
Restaurants In Cadaques
When it comes to food, Cadaques has a lot to offer and restaurants, especially during high season, are plenty and for all budgets. The most typical food in Cadaques is, of course, fresh fish and seafood. These are some of the best restaurants in Cadaques:
Compartir has become a must when it comes to good cuisine in Cadaques. At this rustic house, where you can also book an apartment, you’ll find superb dishes that you can compartir or “share”. At Compartir you’ll find both traditional and modern dishes.
Price range: €€€€ / €€€€€
Located on Cadaques’ main square, across the beachwalk, at La Gritta you’ll find a little bit of everything: from fish and traditional dishes to pizzas, offering also daily menus for a set price. The restaurant has a spacious internal area, as well as a wide, open-air terrace.
Price range: €€€ / €€€€€
Es Fornet Bakery / Take-Away / Sushi
At El Fornet you won’t only find freshly baked goods, including caked and typical sweets, but also take-away dishes and sushi, prepared on the spot, right next to the bakery. I honestly love the sushi from Es Fornet, and we always make sure to have a picnic or hotel dinner with delicious sushi and good wine from Es Fornet. At the sushi store they actually have a pretty good wine selection!
Price range: €-€€ / €€€€€
Located in an old oil mill, at El Barroco you can enjoy delicious Lebanese food in a beautiful internal garden that’s packed with plants. The atmosphere is definitely cozy and laid-back, and it has a lot of character. After enjoying their delicious food, you can indulge in a cup of traditional tea and Middle Eastern pastries.
Price range: €€ / €€€€€
The location of this restaurant, with its open-air terrace right next to the sea and overlooking the boats with the village’s pretty white houses in the background, couldn’t be any better. Talla serves traditional local food, tapas, seafood, and rice dishes. This restaurant is perfect for a lunch break when walking around the winding streets of Cadaques’ Old Town.
Price range: €€€ / €€€€€
Hotels In Cadaques
Right in Portlligat, next to Dali’s house, this hotel boasts a modern yet cozy design. Relax in the hotel’s small spa and its pool, or enjoy the sea view from your room. Book your room now: click here.
I love its big pool surrounded by gardens and olive trees, the views and the sense of peace. Sounds like you should be there? Click here to book.
A combination of design and tradition, this boutique hotel is an oasis of peace. Swim in the outdoor pool amidst a flower-filled garden, while you enjoy the charm and the amazing breakfast made with local products. See it for yourself: click here and book your stay.
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The post Cadaques Guide: Tips For A Perfect Holiday In Cadaques, Spain appeared first on The Barcelona Diaries.