Whether you’ve had your fill of Gaudí in Barcelona or are simply looking for a break from the bustling city life, a day trip to peaceful Cadaqués, a small coastal town in Costa Brava, might just be the thing for you. Explore the stunning beaches and coves, take a stroll down one of the town’s breathtaking walking trails, and absorb the rich history and culture this place has to offer. Take a step back from city life madness for a day, soak up some sun, and enjoy this Mediterranean paradise.
9:00 am: Start the day at Es Fornet Bakery
This popular bakery is not a spot you will want to miss on your day trip to Cadaqués. Try the town’s local delicacy the burilles, a thinly sliced aniseed flavored biscuit. Sprinkled with nuts and sugar, these treats will be sure to give you the energy you need for your action packed day. Don’t be put off by the line, it moves quickly and it’s worth the wait!
10:00 am: Wander around the Old Town
Take a stroll through the winding, cobbled streets of this old medieval town. Similar to Barcelona’s medieval city of Barcino, Cadaqués Old Town was once walled in, only to expand with time. Walk down El Call Street, where, if you look down at your feet, you’ll notice the rastell — the unique, handmade, slate stone pavement used in the Middle Ages. Fun fact— these stones were specially designed and arranged to absorb excess water in the streets and prevent people from slipping.
Be sure to check out the church of Santa Maria de Cadaqués, built between the 16th and 17th centuries, which, located at the highest point of the town, has a magnificent view over the bay and the Cucurucuc and Cala Nans lighthouse.
11:30 am: Visit the Salvador Dalí Museum House
Once a small fisherman’s cabin rented by the renowned Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dalí, this house in Portlligat eventually became Dalí’s permanent residence and studio. Dalí, an eccentric and extravagant man, expanded the home, buying up neighboring fishermen’s cottages to create an elaborate and embellished seafront home where he could enjoy the beautiful landscape, light and isolation he so adored in Cadaqués. The painter and his artistic muse, who also happened to be his business partner and wife, Gala, lived in this lavish home until 1982. It was here that he created his famous The Persistence of Memory.
As this is a popular spot for tourists, it is crucial for you to buy your tickets in advance to ensure that you have the opportunity to experience this infamous painter’s beloved seaside villa.
12:30 pm: Lunch at La Sirena
Being a coastal town, it will not come as a surprise to you that the town’s specialty is seafood. Try one Cadaqués’ traditional dishes—seafood paella, anchovies, scorpion fish with sauce and potatoes, sea urchins, rock mussels… the list goes on. Their freshness is verified in the seasonality of the dishes, as depending on what time of year you venture to this seaside town, your menu might look quite different.
Sit outside at La Sirena, on Carrer des Call, and try some of these delicious sea-salty dishes. Unsure of what to order? Ask the friendly wait staff, they will be happy to recommend to you their favorite dish. The ambience, the food and the service all make La Sirena the top lunch spot in Cadaqués.
2:00 pm: Time to hit the coves… head to Cala Sa Sabolla
Now that you’re full to the brim of scrumptious seafood, its time to walk along the beautiful rocky beaches, splash around in the transparent water and explore the magnificent coves. Along the bay of Cadaqués and the nature reserve of Cap de Creus lie some of the most beautiful natural gems, just waiting to be explored.
Cala Sa Sabolla, located right by the Lighthouse of Cala Nans, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful spots in this town. It takes a bit of a hike to get here, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring along some water. Don’t be deterred by this though, soon enough you’ll realize just how worth the trek this spot is. Dive into the crystal clear, azure-blue tinted water, watch the fish swim under your feet and soak up the peaceful silence of nature.
4:00 pm: Grab a snack at Embolic
Tired from your hike? Stop at Embolic at Carrer Miquel Rosset 5, for a healthy snack and a refreshing drink. Try one of their fruity smoothies, a hummus board complete with bread and carrots for dipping, a light salad, or some tasty chicken skewers.
5:00 pm: Check out the Cadaqués Museum
Learn more about the culture of this magnificent place by browsing the Cadaqués museum, a museum dedicated to the artists and stylistic themes that have been essential to making this town the cultural hotspot it is today. View works from Salavador Dalí, Bravo Arranz, Richard Hamilton and other influential artists who were shared a deep love for the beautiful and inspirational town of Cadaqués.
6:30 pm: Architectural tour
In such a historically and culturally rich town, you can bet there are a wide variety of different architectural styles dispersed throughout. Modernist buildings, many of which are inspired by Cuban architecture, line the seafront, creating a stunning contrast with the bright blue tones of the Mediterranean waters below.
Be sure to head to the Casa Serinyana (Sa Casa Blaua), a stunningly intricate blue modernist house located on the seaside. Notice the minute details around the windows and the oddly shaped orange roofs, signature of the modernist style. Also stop by the Rahola house, the Torre del Colom and the Casino de la Amistat — all iconic buildings of the town.
8:30 pm: Dinner at El Barroco
End your day with dinner at El Barroco, at Carrer des Pla d’en Retalla 2, a Mediterranean restaurant that is a work of art in itself. Enjoy the festive atmosphere — it fits right in this quirky town with its vines of green leaves, bright red and purple flowers and deep blue accents.
With dishes always made fresh to order, you can taste the love this place puts into their cuisine. You must weave through the winding streets of Cadaqués to find this gem, but once you do you’ll be as happy as a clam!
How do I get from Barcelona to Cadaqués?
It’s relatively easy and inexpensive to get to Cadaqués by train and bus from Barcelona. Trains run regularly from Barcelona to Figueres, and once you’ve reached Figueres, you can either taxi or bus to the town. For train information check the Renfe website, and for bus information, the Sarfa website.
Sandra Roig is Marketing Director at AB Apartment Barcelona.
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