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Want to find out everything you can about Cadaqués? Discover what to do and visit in one of the loveliest villages on the Costa Brava. Let’s go!

A day in the picturesque village of Cadaqués

Tucked away in the Alt Empordà on the northern coast of the Costa Brava is one of the most charming seaside villages in the region. Some say its unique and authentic character makes it one of the most beautiful villages in the world.

Over time, Cadaqués has become a major tourist attraction, thanks to its Mediterranean essence, the magical surroundings, and the close ties it shares with the prime example of the surrealist movement, Salvador Dalí.

“This privileged place is where the real and the sublime nearly touch. My mystical paradise begins in the plains of the Empordà and comes to meaning in the Gulf of Cadaqués. This country is my permanent inspiration”

– Salvador Dalí –

The town of Cadaqués preserves many of its past traditions, thanks to the great esteem and authenticity of its people. Some of these traditions still persist in the town of Cadaqués: the relationship with fishing and the sea, the saltiness of the dialect, the church of Sta. Maria el Doll, among many others.

What to do in Cadaqués?

The first thing you must do is take a wander round the many cobbled streets of this lovely fishing village of white houses, blue doors and flowers on the balconies that adorn the façades in a thousand colours. There is no rush. You really must take in every detail to understand the beauty of the town, which has long been, and continues to be, a great draw for famous artists and celebrities from around the world.

Once you’ve fallen in love with its essence, it’s time to start discovering some of the highlights of this fishing village:

📌 The Church of Santa Maria del Doll

In the heart of the town of Cadaqués stands the imposing church of Santa Maria del Doll. This elegant temple with the white façade was built in the 13th century and rebuilt in the Gothic style in the 16th century, after withstanding the various pirate attacks on the town.

This icon of Cadaqués is noted for the history that precedes it, but also for its intriguing interior, painted white, and spectacular Baroque altarpiece.  On the other hand, its bell tower provides a magnificent view of the village overlooking the sea.


📌 Salvador Dalí House-Museum in Portlligat

Salvador Dalí, genius, artist and greatest exponent of surrealism, decided to settle in a fishermen’s hut in Portlligat, near Cadaqués. There he lived and created much of his work, motivated and inspired by the wonderful environment and landscapes around him.

We recommend you pay a visit to the fishermen’s shack where he lived and was inspired to paint some of his best-known works. Thanks to the Salvador Dalí Gala Foundation, you will have the chance to breathe in the same tranquillity and enjoy the same views that Dalí once shared with his beloved Gala. What’s more, you will also be able to discover a little of his private life, some of his creations and the most bizarre objects that decorated his home.

Let yourself be awed by the Dalinian universe and its extravagant objects, such as the enormous stuffed polar bear that welcomes you to the entrance of the shack. A must-visit for sure!

Dalí Cadaqués

📌 Cap de Creus Natural Park

Close to Cadaqués is one of the most sought-after spots on the Costa Brava, the Cap de Creus Natural Park. It can be accessed on foot along the Camins de Ronda at the village gates, or along a winding, switch-backed road, by car or motorbike, which will take you to the lighthouse, where you can park. The steepness, aridity and rocky features along the way reveals a strange landscape worthy of contemplation.

One of the most visited points in this area is the Cap de Creus Lighthouse, which indicates to vessels that the mainland is fast approaching. Today, the lighthouse operates automatically, but the ground floor is home to a fantastic restaurant that serves a healthy portion of seafood or freshly caught fish.

The area also features the Plain of Tudela, a place containing unique geology and a history of landscape recovery worth discovering. If you are travelling as a family and want to visit this area, you can spend hours of fun seeking out the animal shapes captured in some of the stones. 

Want to visit Cap de Creus? We should let you in on another characteristic feature of this area, the tramuntana. Before making an excursion in the Cap de Creus Natural Park, you should take a look at the weather forecast, because when the tramuntana blows, the wind can reach gusts of over 150 km/h.

Camping en el Cap de Creus

Beaches and coves

The proximity of Cadaqués to the Cap de Creus Natural Park is undoubtedly a blessing for inhabitants and visitors alike to this remote spot of the Mediterranean. Here are some of the most beautiful unspoiled beaches on the Costa Brava. The rich landscape and the characteristic tramuntana have left their mark on the area’s rocks and vegetation.

The most important beaches here are Platja Gran de Cadaqués and Platja del Ros, ideal for families and those looking for a little beach time nearby and with a view of the village of Cadaqués. As for coves, there are countless dotting the Cap de Creus Natural Park, and some of the best include: Cala Sa Conca, Cala S’Alqueria, Cala Portaló and Cala Jugadora.

It is important not to leave your snorkel gear at home, because apart from enjoying the great beauty of the landscape on the surface, the sea reveals an underwater universe, where you can come across many species of plants, fish and shellfish.

Playa en Cadaqués

Food & Restaurants in Cadaqués

Like any other fishing village on the Costa Brava, you can enjoy a wide variety of dishes whose main ingredients are fish and seafood. Typical dishes of the area are sea urchins (also called Garotes), fish stew, rock mussels and different species of lobster.

On the other hand, in the town of Cadaqués, you will find some typical desserts which are very special for their shape. They are the Taps de Cadaqués, a gingerbread that has become famous for its pleasantly sweet taste in the shape of a champagne cork. 

Finally, we cannot forget the wine, as another of the great products that predominate in the area. In Cadaqués you will find some of the most spectacular landscapes of the Costa Brava wine world, such as the vineyards of Celler Martí Faixó, which enjoy a sea view. Under the classification of DO Empordà, here are some of the region’s most renowned wines, essential to pairing with Mediterranean cuisine.

A little history of Cadaqués

Finally, let’s take a look back at the origins of Cadaqués. The origins date back thousands of years, to when the Iberians were the main inhabitants of these lands.

Although it might seem unlikely given the geographical isolation resulting from the region’s terrain, numerous civilisations have passed through Cadaqués over the course of history. Sardinians, Etruscans, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans once traded in the port of Cadaqués and found shelter here when seas were rough. However, not all visits were friendly. There was a time when Cadaqués was looted and burned by some of the most fearsome pirates, such as the famous Redbeard, who at one time claimed ownership of the Mediterranean Sea.

The bond with the sea has always been a characteristic of the inhabitants of Cadaqués, as it has always been the town’s main source of trade and industry. However, in the late nineteenth century, its beauty began to draw many an artist to this oasis of inspiration, who opted to stay long periods in this tiny corner of the Mediterranean.

One of the most famous artists who fell in love with Cadaqués was Salvador Dalí, the versatile Spanish painter, sculptor, engraver, set designer and writer, considered one of the greatest representatives of the surrealist movement, who decided to settle in a small fishermen’s shack in the town of Portlligat. Here, near the town of Cadaqués, he spent much of his life and it is where he was inspired to paint a large body of his work.

Campsites and accommodation in Cadaqués

As you may have noticed, Cadaqués is a town that must be visited at least once in your life. It is one of the most famous names on the Costa Brava, and a place that offers a unique environment, such as the Cap de Creus Natural Park and its beautiful coves. 

In the village you will find many accommodation options; but if you are looking to enjoy nature in comfort with all kinds of services, we recommend you book a plot or bungalow in one of the nearby campsites in the area, such as: Campsite Cadaqués, Cala Montjoi Resort & Bungalow, Campsite Port de la Selva, Port de la Vall Camping and Caravanning.

Once you visit Cadaqués, you will discover why artists like Dalí fell in love with this place.

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