the sunny gem of Costa Brava

If you want to give yourself some real relaxing time away from everyday life, Cadaqués might be what you are looking for. This scenic fishing town is situated on a bay in the middle of the Girona's Cap de Creus peninsula, Costa Brava. It boasts of its charming cobblestone streets, elegant corner-cafes, and stunning sea views. The permanent population of Cadaqués is about 3000 people, however, it usually goes up to 30 000 in the high summer season. Here is everything you need to know about one of the most vivid and appealing Spanish resorts.

How to get there?

If you plan to spend your next summer holiday in the sunny Cadaqués, the most convenient way to get there is by flight to Barcelona airport (170 km away) or to Girona (35 km away) - the nearest international airport (170 km away). Then, depends on your budget and arrival time, you’ve got several options for public transport or renting a car from Barcelona. And don’t worry, Spain has a very developed public transport as it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. NOTE: Ask your hotel if they offer a shuttle bus service.

By train

No matter if you land at the Barcelona or Girona airport, you can take a train to Figueres (not Figueres Vilafant) which will cost 16 EUR per person and then get a taxi to Cadaqués. The price of the taxi would be between 45- 50 EUR which is not that bad if it’s split between 3-4 people.

By rent-a-car

It will take up to 2.5 hrs to go from Barcelona to Cadaqués. Due to the long, serpentine mountain road, the 40 km trip by car from Figueres can take up to an hour. The distance between Cadaqués and Roses is 17 km or about 25 minutes of driving. From El Port de la Selva - 13 km, or 15 minutes by car.

What budget do I need to plan?

The daily budget really depends on everyone’s personal preferences and financial situation. Also, keep in mind that Cadaqués is quite pricier during the high season compared to the winter months. I made some raw calculations just to help you plan your holiday in the destination a bit better (if you’re on a budget).

Traveling on a budget (UP TO 80 EUR/per person)

• Dorm bed: 15 – 30 EUR/per night

• Double room in Hostal (cheapo hotel): 45-65 EUR/per night (depends on the location in Cadaqués)

• Lunch menú del día (set menu) or self-catering: 10 -12 EUR

Daily budget between 80 – 170 EUR/per person

• Double room in midrange hotel: 60 – 140 EUR/per night

• Lunch/dinner in midrange restaurant with local food: 20 – 45 EUR

• Rent-a-car: starting from 20 EUR/per person, per day

Where to stay?

The pearl of Costa Brava (as many locals call it), Cadaqués, offers a wide range of accommodation according to everyone’s needs and wants. There are affordable places for backpackers who are traveling on a budget as well as family hotels and quite boutique hotels with stunning sea view that come a bit pricier (but it’s worth it!).

If you travel without little kids, I would recommend Tramuntana Hotel – a romantic small hotel in the heart of the Old town of Cadaqués, run by Carlos and Rosa – a very nice Spanish couple that would love to share more about the culture and the history of the region with you. The prices for a double room vary between 100 – 200 EUR/ per day, depends on the season.

The 2-star Hotel Ubaldo, with its simplicity, panoramic view, and affordable prices, is a good alternative for people traveling on a budget (you may pay u to 80 EUR for a double room).

What is the weather like in Cadaqués?

As you imagine, the weather of Cadaqués is beyond incredible! The picturesque fishing town offers to its visitors countless sunny days.

The average temperature in the period of December - February is about 15°C. During this period, highs of up to 18°C are common during the daytime, falling down to 11°C when the dark falls. The summer is very warm and breezy with an average temperature of 28°C. Don’t forget to pack the sunscreen!

Cadaqués – an incredibly artistic piece of Spain

Back in the past, Cadaqués used to be the artistic capital of Spain which explain in a way the bohemian-chic vibe this town has. To start, there were lots of famous painters and musicians, such as Salvador Dali, Picasso, Henry Matisse, Marcel Duchamp, Marc Chagall, Maurice Boitel and Mick Jagger who spent a significant amount of time in Cadaqués, not just for a beach holiday but also to get some inspiration and some “alone time”. As a matter of fact, every year, there are thousands of tourists that visit Cadaqués just to see the eccentric house-museum of Salvador Dali, which is located in the scenic small nearby village of Portlligat. If you are planning a trip to Portlligat, keep in mind the house of Salvador Dali is closed yearly between 7th of January and 11th of February. Check out the current opening times and the admission fees here.

Cadaqués – tourist attractions

Apart from the house of Salvador Dali, here are some of the most stunning tourist attractions this Girona's gem is offering to its visitors.

The Old town

The best way to discover the rich history of this region of Spain is by taking a walk in the Old town of Cadaqués. The romantic cobbled streets, along with the blue details on the well-preserved white houses and the blooming flowers will make your experience unforgettable. Trust me. Don’t miss the chance to have lunch or dinner in some of the idealistic authentic restaurants offering local dishes.

The Church of Santa Maria (Esglesia de Santa Maria)

This ancient chapel is built in the 16th century in late Gothic style. Due to the fact the church of Santa Maria sits at the highest point of the Old town, it offers the best panoramic view of the Bay of Cadaqués and the Cala Nans lighthouse.

Cap de Creus National Park

Once you get to Cadaqués, spend some time exploring the Cap de Creus National Park (or at least part of it). Its total area is 13,886 hectares (10,813 are on land and 3,073 are at the sea). The park was officially created in 1998 and it is the first national park in Catalonia that covers both land and water. The views it’s offering to the visitors are really scenic and breathtaking. Just be careful and watch your steps as the coast is snippy and ragged, with skyscraping cliffs and remote coves.

Cala Nans lighthouse

Did I say a “lighthouse”? Yes, I did. For every one of you who planned a trip to Cadaqués, I strongly recommend taking a 1-hour walk to Cala Nans lighthouse. Even though there are a couple of tight bluff parts of the hike, the views are beyond stunning. Also, great opportunity for the photographers around sunset times.

Museo de Cadaqués

Situated in the heart of the town, Museo de Cadaqués boast of a Fine Arts collection with more than 1000 pieces of art and another 100 in different gatherings. The museum is open every day of the week, except Monday, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Day trip from/to Cadaqués to/from Girona

In case you are staying in Cadaqués, why don’t you plan a day trip to Girona, which is just 35 km away. The city of Girona is the biggest city in Catalonia and it is a must-visit destination! It hides a wide range of museums and permanent exhibitions – a real temptation for the art lovers. The Onyar river separates the glamorous historical center and the commercial part of Girona. The restaurants around the river offer top-notch local Spanish food and welcoming vibe.

Festivals and celebrations in Cadaqués

The Festival of Cadaqués in February

February is equivalent of carnivals in entire Spain and Cadaqués doesn’t make any difference. There are noisy parades with Comparsa singers, musicians, and dancers in fun colorful costumes passing through the streets. The festival of Cadaqués is ideal for families traveling with little kids because there are various themed workshops and activities organized especially for the youngest visitors.

The Cultural week in April

The 23rd of April in Catalonia is the day of Sant Jordi. Tradition rules that couples and groups of friends exchange gifts of a book and a rose, but Cadaqués differs from the rest of the country and the celebrations are a bit showier and last a whole week in April. During the Cultural week in Cadaqués, there are different exhibitions, workshops, conferences, open-air concerts and many more.

The International Music Festival of Cadaqués

The International Music Festival of Cadaqués is being held every August since 1970. Aiming to create an unforgettable musical experience for everyone, the organizers are usually including performances of all kinds during the festival including flamenco, gospel, soul, pop-rock, jazz, and even classical music. There are usually performances of world-known artists as well as free concerts from local, lesser-known musicians.

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