The views and the tranquillity
Looking out at the white boats gently nestling in this small harbour surrounded by the fabulously blue Mediterranean has got to be one of the most relaxing things I know of. You just can’t feel rushed here and it’s got the feel of a real get-away-from-it-all town. Once you’re here, people tend to stay for several days at least and just soak up the ambience, stroll along the harbour, go for coastal walks and generally hang out.
The light that falls upon large stretches of the Costa Brava is pretty striking but particularly so here in Cadaqués, and it’s not hard to see why artists like Dali, Picasso and Chagall flocked here. Even on a dull day, the intensity of the light casts everything through a luminous ivory glow.
The diving, kayaking and boating
It’s one thing gazing out to sea but sometimes you just need to get out into it don’t you? Cadaqués and the waters around Cap Creus boast some of the best diving areas on the Costa Brava and there are some great (English-speaking) diving schools. Alternatively there’s also kayak and boat hire or organised boat trips.
The Dalí connection
You can’t move far in Cadaqués without stumbling across Dalí’s legacy. There’s a statue of him bang in the middle of the promenade, his favourite bar is a few yards behind and his house (now a museum) at Port Lligat is very close by. The Dalí Museum at Figueres is also an easy day-trip away.
The scenery at Cap Creus
Just north of Cadaques, Cap Creus is a remote promontory where the edge of the Pyrenees meet the coast. The panoramic top-of-the-world type views once you reach the summit are stunning but the journey up to the top of the cliff is equally memorable, gradually scaling a surreally barren lunar landscape. No wonder Dali liked it here. The first time I visited Cap Creus about twenty years ago it made such an impression on me that I had vivid images of its wild, savage cragginess for about a decade afterwards. I’ve been back plenty of times since and it is still just as striking.