The small picturesque town of Cadaqués (Spain) is located in the north-eastern part of the country, on the Cap de Creus peninsula – where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Perinean Mountains. Cadaques, comfortably set on the Costa Brava, is 170 km from Barcelona and 80 km from Girona. But to the border separating Spain and France, from Cadaques is only 20 km.
Due to its geographical location, Cadaques remained isolated from the whole world almost to the end of the 19th century. That is why the small population of this city (just over 2,000 people) still speaks a Catalan dialect that is not even clear to many of the indigenous people of Spain.
At the beginning of the 20th century, wealthy and noble families from neighboring Barcelona, Figueres and Girona began to come to Cadaques to relax on the sea coast. Soon, Cadaques gained fame as the “Spanish Saint-Tropez”, where a rich and bohemian audience gathered for the summer.
Interesting fact! Famous artists Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso lived and inspired here for a long time. Garcia Lorca, Marcel Duchamp, the Duke of Windsor, Walt Disney, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mick Jagger also rested here.
Now Cadaqués has lost its fame as an elite resort, but nevertheless it is a functioning Mediterranean resort with good beaches and is always popular with tourists.
In addition, Cadaqués remains a pretty town with a rich history and bohemian-artistic reputation. Of course, there are attractions in Cadaqués – perhaps there are fewer of them than in other cities in Spain, but this does not make them less interesting.
House Museum of Salvador Dali
In Port Lligat Bay, there is a landmark for Cadaques that is part of the Dali Triangle in Spain: this is the house in which Salvador Dali lived in 1930-1982. Two other objects of the “triangle” are the theater-museum in Figueres and the castle in Pubol.
Dali’s house in Cadaques is as extraordinary and mysterious as its brilliant owner. You can recognize this house right away, and even from afar: 2 rather creepy-looking metal heads sticking out above the building, one of which is split. A huge stuffed bear with necklaces around his neck and a lamp in a wicker lampshade in the front paw is right at the entrance to the rear. In the rooms and in the yard there are a lot of stuffed animals and birds – the artist had a strange affection for them. There are many different creations of the brilliant surrealist, among them there are absolutely amazing pictures: if you look at them from one angle, you see one image, if you change the angle – it’s completely different. There are so many exhibits that they can be considered endlessly, but the tour is built so that in each room you can stay no more than 2-3 minutes.
The Dali Museum in Cadaqués has a compact patio and garden, which also has many interesting sights. In the courtyard, where flower pots are spread everywhere, there are gazebos, a summer dining room and a small pool. Among the olive and pomegranate trees, quite unexpectedly, various exhibits in the style of an art house are opened. For example, the installation “Christ from the garbage”, which Salvador built from the rubbish carried ashore by the sea waves. The snow-white dovecote looks more aesthetically pleasing, on the roof of which a huge egg is placed. Here you can see the broken wooden boat from which cypress grows – the artist captured this landscape on one of his canvases.
Interesting fact! There is no museum feeling in this museum; the atmosphere of a residential building reigns here. But this house causes different impressions in people: many have a state of euphoria, and some have dizziness and a headache.
Address of the Salvador Dali House Museum: Calle Port Ligat s / n, 17488, Cadaqués, Spain.
Schedule of this attraction:
|Date and month||Working hours||Last house entrance||Last entrance to the garden|
|January 1-6||from 10:00 to 18:00||17:10||16:30|
|From January 7 to February 10||closed||closed||closed|
|From February 11 to June 14||from 10:30 to 18:00||17:10||16:30|
|From June 15 to September 15||from 9:30 to 21:00||20:10||19:30|
|From September 16 to the end of December||from 10:30 to 18:88||17:10||16:30|
The day off at the museum is Monday. Although there are exceptions when this attraction works on Mondays. Therefore, before visiting, the work schedule should always be clarified on the official website: https://www.salvador-dali.org/en/museums/house-salvador-dali-in-portlligat/.
Tickets must be booked in advance on the website or by phone, and collected at the box office before visiting. Ticket price:
|Inspection of the house and garden||Walk in the garden|
|Full ticket||12 €||6 €|
|A ticket for students under 16 years of age and pensioners over 65||8 €||5 €|
The museum is small, tourists run in groups of a maximum of 10 people – otherwise just do not miss each other. A guide is required to accompany the group around the house; excursions are only in Spanish, French and English. A walk in the garden – without a guide, independent.
Advice! Absolutely all bags of any size should be taken immediately to the left-luggage office, otherwise they will not be allowed into the house!
What else to see in Cadaqués
There are other attractions in this small town that deserve attention.
In the center of the promenade, near the city beach, a statue of Salvador Dali is installed – it will not be difficult to find it. The statue, made in person’s natural growth, looks very realistic! It seems that the famous artist just went for a walk by the sea and stopped, turning towards the city.
This is not to say that the monument to Salvador Dali is an outstanding attraction from an artistic point of view. However, he is very appropriate in Cadaqués, a city where the master of surrealism spent most of his life.
By the way, the Dali monument is never alone: locals often sit on the pedestal, and tourists who come to see Spain and Cadaqués to take a photo against the background of the statue are lined up.
St. Mary’s Church is located on a hill, in the highest place of the town. The panoramic terrace offers wonderful views of the city and Cadaques Bay. An unusual road leads up to the church – it is made of stones that were installed vertically.
Esglesia de Santa Maria is also a historical attraction, because it was built in the 16th century. Perhaps the most interesting thing that attracts attention inside the building is the magnificent baroque altar, recognized as the most beautiful in Catalonia. For 1 €, you can ask to turn on the illumination of the altar – a bewitching sight, especially in the dark.
Unfortunately, getting inside is not so easy, because most of the time the church of Santa Maria is closed to the public. But with luck, admission is free.
Attractions Address: Calle Eliseu Meifren, Cadaqués, Spain.
What’s around: Cap de Creus National Park
The peninsula of Cap de Creus, part of the Verdera mountain range, and the resort towns of La Selva de Mar, El Port de la Selva, Llansa and Cadaqués – all this is a tourist attraction in Spain, known under the general name “Cap National Park de Creus. ” The park is huge in scale (almost 14,000 hectares), but usually they mean the cape Cap de Creus. From Cadaques to the cape is 7-8 km, you can get there by car, the road goes to the lighthouse of the same name.
Advice! When going to the Cap de Creus, you need to wear a jacket – to protect from the strongest wind of a tramontana, hats – to protect from the scorching sun, sneakers with a reliable sole – so that it is convenient to walk along rocky trails and climb stone ledges. And also: with small children it is better to refrain from this trip.
The lighthouse has a museum telling about the National Park and a tourist information center. In the information center, tourists are given a free path map of the park. Although the layout in the diagram is not very good, it will help to understand at least roughly where the most interesting places are and in which direction to move.
Interesting fact! Lighthouse Creus is also a tourist attraction. In 1971, he served as the filming of the film “Dangerous Light at the Edge of the Earth” based on the novel by Jules Verne.
The main and most picturesque sights of the Cap de Creus park are stone formations, amazing in their form. With their appearance, complexity and unusualness, they excite the imagination: you can see the most diverse animals in them, both existing in reality and mythical. Having climbed not some rocky ledges, you can admire the natural views, from which it is literally breathtaking.
Tourist trains in Cadaqués
From April to October, tourist trains Es trenet de Cadaquez run in the resort. There are 2 routes:
- Acquaintance with city attractions: next to the Old Town, along the central city square, through Port Ligat to the Salvador Dali House-Museum.
- Acquaintance with natural sights: past cape Cap de Creus and the eponymous lighthouse.
You can find out the flight schedule, the place of departure of trains and the cost of the tour on the official website http://www.estrenetdecadaques.cat/.
Beaches of Cadaqués
Since Cadaqués is a Mediterranean resort in Spain, one cannot but tell about its beaches, which are part of the tourist coast of the Costa Brava.
The coastline here has a complex shape, as if it is cut into many small segments. Therefore, local beaches are small and picturesque.
Playa Grande is Cadaques’ main beach, accessed only through the promenade. The coastal strip reaches a length of 200 m, a width of 20 m, the coating is pebbly and sand.
This is the best of the local beaches in terms of infrastructure, it is equipped with everything necessary for relaxation: changing rooms, showers, toilet, rental sun loungers.
There are many bars, cafes and restaurants near Playa Grande, most of them are the most popular in Cadaqués.
There is a sailing center, there is a rental of kayaks. From here you can go on a boat cruise along the Costa Brava.
This beach is very crowded, especially in season. It is very popular among families with children, which is explained by a smooth entry into the water and a shallow depth off the coast.
It is the closest beach to the Old Town and an extremely modest in size. In the summer, the inhabitants of the town keep their boats here, which is why the space becomes even smaller, and this affects the cleanliness. But if after a trip to the sights there is a desire to swim in the sea as soon as possible – this place is quite suitable. The shore is also pebbly and sandy, the descent into the water is convenient.
These beaches, located one after another – the main alternative to the city. Playa de Llane Gran, which means “large”, is 130 meters long and 12 meters wide. Playa de Llane Petit, which means “small”, is indeed much smaller than its neighbor.
Both beach strips and the bottom near the shore are covered with flat pebbles. Entry into the water is smooth, but the depth is increasing faster than on the city beach. But the water here is always perfectly clear and clean.
Of the amenities: locker rooms, showers, nearby parking for cars.
On Liana Gran, you can only go through the promenade, and already through it you can go on Liana Petit. From Llanet-Petit you can get to the island of Es Surtel – there is a neat bridge. On the island, completely covered by unusually curved pine trees, there are no beaches, but you can dive from low cliffs.
How to get to Cadaques from Barcelona
To get to Cadaqués, first you need to fly to Spain – the nearest airport is in Barcelona. You can go directly to the resort from the Catalan capital by train or bus.
The most convenient, simple and inexpensive way to get to Cadaqués is by bus.
There are direct flights from Estacio de Nord Station (North Station), located near Arc de Triomf Metro Station. Sarfa buses depart at 8:00, 10:15, 12:15, 16:00 and 21:00. Travel time 2 hours 45 minutes. A ticket costs 25 €, you can buy it at the box office or online at the Estacio de Nord website: https://www.barcelonanord.cat/inici/.
The same buses pick up passengers at the airport, from both terminals. It takes 3 hours 30 minutes to get to Cadaqués. Tickets cost 27 €.
There are no direct flights from Barcelona to Cadaqués, by train you can only get to Figueres, and from there you need to get by bus.
It is most convenient to catch a train to Figueres at Barcelona Sants Central Station. Electric trains run at intervals of 30 minutes, from 6:00 to 21:55. Travel time 1 hour 40 minutes. Ticket price 16 €, and not for all flights tickets are sold online – for some only at the box office.
Next to the railway station in Figueres, there is a bus station, from there bus No. 12 leaves for Cadaqués (Spain). Departure takes place every 3 hours, the trip lasts 50 minutes. Tickets cost 4,5 €.
Drive to sunny Cadaqués by car: