One Day in Cadaques, Spain: Itinerary To Transform & Travel with Pandora Explores
Guest Post by Pandora with Pandora Explores
My Experiences in Cadaques
I remember the first time I laid eyes on the glittering Catalan town of Cadaques. As my eyes adjusted, I wondered if I was looking at a mirage. I was coming from Girona on a road-trip and had heard that Cadaques was the most beautiful town on the Costa Brava. I couldn’t resist making a stop there, and I’m glad I did.
Originally planning to spend a few hours exploring the little town, I ended up spending the next two days there, extending my trip well past what I’d originally planned. Cadaques was worth it. I wanted to take my time, exploring as many cafes and restaurants tucked away into the winding streets as I could. I wanted to walk along the beaches, to learn about the town’s historic love affairs with renowned artists. I did all this, and more.
Fun Facts about Cadaques
One of the reasons I love Cadaques so much is because of its artistic history. I’ve always loved learning about art history - it’s like stepping inside the mind of the most creative people who’ve ever lived, learning how and why they created what they did. Cadaques holds all of this knowledge in its proverbial hand.
Many artists stayed in or were inspired by Cadaques, among them, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Marcel Duchamp, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the most famous was undoubtedly Salvador Dali.
As a child, Dali visited Cadaques with his family. He loved the town so much, he eventually designed a house there. He lived in this house with his wife, Gala, until her death, after which he was so grief-stricken that he couldn’t bear to stay and moved to Pubol Castle. Dali’s influence can be seen throughout the city.
Visitors can see the house where he lived with Gala, as well as a sculpture he made, The boat and the Cyprus, on the beach in front of the house. You’ll notice, too, that many of the sculptures you find in Cadaques appear to be Dali’s creations; in fact, while most were inspired by Dali, they were actually made by artists who came after him.
One Day in Cadaques, Spain
Now that you know a bit about the town, here is what I recommend for the perfect day in Cadaques, Spain.
Breakfast Like a Local
First, you can get your day started like a true Spaniard: sitting at a terrace with a cafe con leche and a pastry. Cafe Gispert is an unassuming little spot but the house blend is excellent, the staff are kind and if you’re hungry, they have everything from pastries to waffles to crepes. The location is central, right on the Plaza de Passeig, the main plaza next to the beach, so you can’t miss it.
Stroll Through the Town
After coffee, you’ll be ready for a walk. Luckily, walking through Cadaques is a dream in itself - and super easy, as the town is quite small and condensed. Starting at Plaza de Passeig, wander through the streets until you get to your next stop, the Salvador Dali House Museum.
The fastest route only takes fifteen minutes, but take your time exploring the little streets and maybe even getting a bit lost. Nothing to worry about - you’ll make your way to Dali’s house eventually.
Take a Look Inside Dali’s Mind (and Home)
Here is where the real adventure begins: a look into the mind of one of the most famous and troubled artists of all time. Tickets can be purchased online and range from 8-14 euros. During the tour, be sure to really absorb the man’s mastery.
When I toured the Dali house, it made me think about the idea that artists must be troubled creatures in order to truly create - I like to think this isn’t true, that any happy person can still make great art. But a look at the wonders of Dali will certainly leave you deep in thought.
Get a Delicious and Healthy Lunch at Sa Cadaquesenca
From Dali’s house, walk back into town and stop at Sa Cadaquesenca. This gem features delicious, inexpensive Mediterranean food, such as salads, tapas, meat, and fresh fish dishes. The space is adorable, and they have a lovely outdoor terrace where you can sit and enjoy fresh, healthy food with an ocean breeze.
Relax on the Beach
After lunch, you can head down to the small beach for some relaxation in the sun. There is a small Chiringuito there with fresh tapas and fruit juices if you’re feeling like a snack. Lying on the beach is such a peaceful experience you might even be able to take a nap - I did!
Hike to the Far de Cala Nans
Once you’ve had a rest, and the sun has gone down a bit, it’ll be the perfect time to hike to the Lighthouse at Cala Nens. The hike isn’t too strenuous, and takes less than an hour. You won’t want to miss the view as you walk along the coast, eventually reaching the regal lighthouse and the stunning cove where it resides.
Experience Gorgeous Views at Es Baluard and Freshest Seafood
Once you return from your hike and have a bit of a rest, head over back to the bay to Es Baluard, where you can enjoy some of the freshest seafood on the Costa Brava. Here they serve Mediterranean and Catalan specialties like monkfish, prawns, beef entrecot, and of course, seafood paella.
They also feature market specialties based on whatever the fishermen have caught that day! The flavors and atmosphere combine to make a dinner at Es Baluard a truly special experience.
Reasons to Stay for More than a Day in Cadaques, Spain
Cap de Creus
The hiking trails along Cap de Creus are stunning, and you really need more than a day to experience the full scale. If you’re not into hiking, you can simply visit the Cap de Creus lighthouse, about a 20 minute’s drive away. There is even a lovely restaurant there where you can enjoy a lunch with excellent views!
The crystal clear and ever-calm Mediterranean waters provide a great base for an array of water sports! You can opt for more easy, relaxing experience such as renting a paddleboard or catamaran, or you can opt to be adventurous with jet-skiing, kayaking, and even windsailing!
Cadaques is full of galleries and museums, which are in turn full of incredible art from local and international artists. Dali and his friends have really left a mark on the town, so you’ll know you’re seeing entire generations of artists inspired by the best.