Spain has everything for tourists, from vibrant cities to picturesque coastline, the country is soaked in history, architecture and natural beauty. It doesn't come as a surprise then that Spain is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Most tourists already plan to visit Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia when they think of the northern part of Spain. These cities fall in the category of the typical Spanish tourist trail. This is also the reason the real essence of Spanish culture gets lost in big crowds and long queues.
Taking a detour from these tourist cities and driving down to Costa Brava was one of the best decisions I made in planning my itinerary. Costa Brava is the coastal region of the Catalonian part of Spain dotted with many beautiful, small fishing villages on the way. I skipped the rest and headed straight to this lesser-known village of Cadaques
How to reach
Cadaques is just a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Barcelona but it is tucked neatly away from the tourists at the tip of Costa Brava.
You cannot get here directly by buses or trains from Barcelona. I decided to rent a self-drive car from the city of Barcelona, which is also the easiest option and owing to the picturesque drive the most enjoyable one as well. However, if you prefer to use public transport, trains run frequently from Barcelona and Girona to Figueres, from where you can take an hour's ride on a public bus for six euros and reach here.
What’s so special
This straight-out-of-a-fairy tale town is called the “pearl of Costa Brava”. It’s been a magnet for painters and artists for a long time. Celebrity painters such as Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali spent their time here for solitude and inspiration.
Most villages on the Mediterranean coast have azure waters and tree-laden cliffs but the geographical isolation of Cadaques sets it apart from the rest. While other villages on the coast have become victims of over development and over-tourism, Cadaques is still untouched and manages to remain authentic.
With cobbled streets, whitewashed walls, blue doors and red roofs, it is like a cross between Santorini and Croatia.
It glows in the sun under the canopies of blooming Bougainvillea. Dotted with little boutique shops and cute neighbourhood cafes on its streets, Cadaques is a world in it itself.
The friendly locals will immediately make you belong there. They take pride in their town and eagerly offer any help they could to tourists.
Where to stay
There are plenty of options to stay in Cadaques but I preferred to stay at The Cadaques Cool Apartment. The place stood up to its name. The patio on its first floor has a view with the best of what the town has to offer.
The place would do well if you have a group of 10 people and you can rent the entire apartment. However, they do have the option to rent individual rooms too. The strategic location of the apartment makes all the tourist attractions easily accessible on foot.
Things to do
Visit the Casa Serinyana or the ‘Blue House’, a modernist house built in the 20th century located at the highest point of the Old Town.
The focal point of the town is the Santa Maria Church. The pure white exteriors of the church is typical to Costa Brava architecture and the building itself is built in Gothic style with a grand iron door bearing symbols of the town and the sea.
Head to the village of Portlligat next door. A short walk away from the town, it is the place Salvador Dalí called his summer home for 50 years. Today it’s converted into a public museum and is a must-see for art lovers.
If you want to complete the Dali Triangle tour you must have at least two more days to visit the villages Pubol and Figueres that are also the part of the Dali Triangle.
The Cap de Creus Natural Park is known for its surreal landscapes. The place is curled around rocky cliffs and hidden coves. It is more than 7 km from Cadaques, so you must take a taxi if you aren't keen on walking.
Enjoy the sunset on a leisurely boat ride from the town’s bay. The boat takes you beyond the bay where tiny islands are perched between the sea. It is a fun place to hang out and do some people watching. Plenty of locals spend a lazy day diving, fishing or just laying in the sun and twiddling thumbs.
Cadaques is the sort of place to which saying adios would not come easy. The sleepy little town should definitely make it to your quintessential Spanish sojourn.
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