Cadaques is a beautiful town in Costa Brava that reminds me of Greece, with white houses and blue windows and doors, a fishermen town that still has this old vibe with wooden shop windows, stone streets and wood boats waiting to be sailed.
Dalí has strong ties to this town and he decided to have his residence very near, in Portlligat where Dalí's studio was, a great opportunity to visit it as well. If you are not convinced about Cadaquès yet, watch the video below it will give you a good taste of how beautiful it is.
What to do in Cadaquès
You have to walk and get lost in Cadaquès old town, stone streets, lovely shops, smell good paellas from the street and all alogn with the sea brize.
If you walk along the sea side, you cannot miss Casa Serinyana from the 20th century, is a blue house located at the seafront, it is the first building I saw and I was amazed.
One of the best ways to visit Cadaquès and learn about its history is to wander around the old town. Cadaquès used to be walled in but nowadays only the bastion of the wall is preserved and it is part of the town hall now.
The pavement is still handmade and slate stones were used, it is very well preserved in El Call street, and the pattern the stones follow absorbes water and prevents people from slipping, two birds in one stone.
The church of Santa Maria can be seen almost from anywhere in Cadaquès, a white church in the middle of this white town, it reminds Greek towns with this mix of blue and white all aorund. The church can only be visited on guided tours or on mass days.
Cadaquès castle is another must see when being in town, what remains nowadays is part of the castle that existed in the middlle ages. You will see the tower and the walls next to it that were the entrance.
I am totally in love with shops in Cadaquès, the clothes are so my style so Roger had to pull me out of shops on our walk around the town. It is not only me who loves it but it seems that also Vogue thinks shopping in Cadaquès is kind of cool.
When talking about Cadaquès I always remember Mariona Cadaquès, an incredible photographer that has said in pictures what catalans know about Costa Brava. She has helped many people know better Catalonia and Costa Brava, with her permission this post will show part of her work, but I couldn't recommend more to follow Mariona Cadaquès on Instagram, it is such an inspiration and you will sure discover new places with her. She is in love with
Begur as much as we are and many of her pictures are from Begur and its surroundings.
Beach hopping in Cadaquès
If this picture of water does not invite you to bathe in Cadaqués, I don't know what will, but let me try to guide you through the town's little bays and where to go to the beach.
Beach hopping in Costa Brava is a great experience and I would recommend it to everyone. If you can do it following the coastal path called camí de Ronda you will see incredible landscape and find little bays on your walk. We showed you the
coastal path in Begur and in
- Cala sa Conca is one of the most known "cala" and it is located in the south part of town.
- Beach Es Poal is in town, located in a urbanized area and full of people in high season.
- Portlligat beach is located right in front Salvador Dalí's house in Portlligat,
Beach de Port Alguer: very little beach in town, and has incredible views.
Beach Gran de Cadaqués, literally named the big beach of Cadaquès, and it is right in the middle of town.
Costa Brava is full of lighthouses, we even had dinner in one of them in Far Nomo in Llafranc. In Cadaqués we can find a lighthouse too, called lighthouse cala Nans and can be found walking the coastal path from sa conca beach to the lighthouse at Far de Cala Nans.
Cadaqués as many Costa brava town's has a "cami de ronda", a costal path following the sea side, the one from Cadaqués town to Cala Nans lighthouse is probably one of the best ones and is only 3km long.
Sa Sabolla beach is on the path to Cala Nans lighthouse, it is a little quiet bay, perfect to find your place with your towel in the high season.
Dalí and other intellectuals in Cadaquès
Dalí was in love with Cadaquèsand living in Portlligat was the key to the beginning of intellectuals coming to town. Picasso, Walt Disney and García Lorca among others came to visit Dalí and the town started to be famous among important names at the time.
Marcel Duchamp for example, started to go during summer and he is known in town since he used to play chess at bar Melitón. Richard Hamilton, who promoted pop art came to Cadaquès often and he had in different ocasions his art being shown in Cadaquès Gallery.
Where to eat in Cadaquès
Cadaquèsis a fishermen's town, so here the star of any menu is with no doubt fish. Due to the rocky coast and the sea storms, Cap de Creus area is rich in fish and seafood and it is appreciated among catalan fish to have an intense taste.
Traditional dishes in the area are sea urchins, rock mussels, seafood paella, sardines and anchovies and European lobster among others. If you have to choose one thing to try before leaving Cadaquès, sea urchins are a must so go for them alone or a paella with them in it, you need to be a fan of sea flavour, since it has an intense salty-fishy taste, I love it!
In Cadaquès there is a very special dessert known all around Catalonia called: taps de Cadaquès. Taps are a kind of cake with the shape of cork stoppers that are made only in La Mallorquina cake shop since the 17th century, and now are included in many restaurant's dessert menu. Taps are normally served with chocolate chips or rum flambé.
Ses Paelles restaurant
Cadaquès is a fishermen's town, so fish is the start in any good restaurant of town. We had lunch at Ses Paelles restaurant and it didn't disappoint us! Their specialty are paelles as their name shows, and we went for a sea urchin paella, if you like this Mediterranean sea flavour, sea urchin paella is something to die for.
Sea urchins have a strong sea flavour, salty and intense, and the paella turns orange because of its color. They have a wide variety of paellas, so there are choices for all tastes. We had as entrées grilled shrimps and fried squid, and they were fresh and very well cooked, we had a tasty lunch.
You can't miss their typical pastry, is a sponge cake made with sugar, butter and sugar glass on top. We ate them at Ses Paelles, and, we went for chocolate chip on top for ours! We ate our taps along with some ratafia liquor, for those who don't know it, as a catalan liquor made with green walnuts, it has a sweet flavour and it is perfect to go with desserts.
Where to stay near Cadaquès
Cadaquès is an expensive town I won't lie to you, and it is no secret that it is a beautiful town so expect to see quite a lot of people around at the same time you visit it, specially at summer time.
We stayed in Roses, although it is a touristy place, is not as known as other parts in Costa Brava and is only 18km far from Cadaqués.
We booked our accommodation through Airbnb, it was an incredible house overlooking the sea in Roses, with garden and terrace, perfect to relax, work a bit an explore the surrounding area. We fell in love with the porche overlooking the sea, we had endles afternoons with a beer in hand and talking, the perfect spot for a relaxing holiday.
How to get to Cadaquès
By air: The nearest airports are Girona (1 hour approx) and Barcelona (2.5 hours approx.). From Girona airport there are two coach companies that take you to Girona bus and train station (Sarfa or Sagalés) and from there you can take a coach or a train to Figueres.
By train: Trains run regularly from Barcelona and Girona to Figueres every day, but trains don't get to Cadaquès, so you will have to take either a taxi or a Sarfa bus from Figueres.
By Bus: Once in Figueres you can take a bus to Cadaqués. Normally there are three buses a day, check out their schedule in Sarfa website. From Barcelona there is a bus trip Barcelona-Cadaquès that takes 3 hours.
If you can travel by car is the best option to have autonomy and visit the surrounding area, Girona is 72 km from Cadaqués and Barcelona is 177km distance.