With its labyrinth of cobble stoned streets and its white chalked houses the village of Cadaqués is seen by many as the “Pearl of the Costa Brava.”
The Costa Brava forms the most northerly stretch of the coast of Catalonia and one of the most beautiful in Spain. Right in the heart of Cap de Creus is Cadaqués, an area set in the unusual natural landscape of the steep hills that cut across the county of Alt Empordà before falling into the sea in the form of cliffs. This lovely village with seagoing routes has excellent beaches and tranquil coves with clear water which, together with an unbeatable tourist infrastructure, attracts anyone looking for a place to enjoy sun and sea. Its natural harbour and the natural quality of its sea offer the best conditions for practising all kinds of sports and aquatic activities, like diving, sailing or windsurfing.
The old town At the head of Cadaqués bay rises the network of narrow cobbled streets and white houses making up the old town. Above the outline of the town, the image of the church of Santa María, a carefully restored church with a white façade, stands out, housing a magnificent Baroque style reredos. Modernist architecture, for its part, has left its distinctive imprint on some of the most notable buildings in the town, like the Casa Serinyena.
Art and the House-Museum of Salvador Dalí
During the first decades of the 20th century, the town became an important European cultural centre, known as a meeting point for artists, intellectuals and free spirits. Many leading artists, like Picasso, Chagall and Klein, found their particular source of inspiration in this beautiful corner of the province of Gerona. However, it was Salvador Dalí who gave Cadaqués international fame. The artistic genius spent long periods here during his childhood as well as establishing his home there. His house-museum, beside Port Lligat bay, to the north of the town, enables you to get to know part of the extensive work of this master of Surrealism.
The fish and seafood of the area is delicious and appreciated for the intense taste. The traditional dishes include seafood paella, scorpion fish with sauce and potatoes, sardines, anchovies, gilt-head breams, dusky groupers, red porgies, sea urchins, lobsters, mussels and many others can be tasted in the different restaurants according to the season.
Allioli, one of the most popular and delicious Catalan sauces made of garlic and olive oil, is sometimes served with grilled food, especially meat.
Anchovies are another important produce which, in Cadaqués, are preserved in salt and pepper for ten months, and served on a slice of bread with tomato and some oil. Good wine, a large ring-shaped bun, Catalan crème brulée, custards and taps (a kind of cake with the shape of cork stoppers) are some other examples of Cadaqués’ cuisine. Generally speaking, it is a simple and balanced cuisine based on the Mediterranean diet, with olive oil as main ingredient. Olive oil has an intense, nearly wild flavour, as it grows in the immensity of Cap de Creus Natural Park.
Cover image by Anthiro 57 via Wikimedia Commons