I just returned from a wonderful week in Girona, a place that had previously escaped my attentions despite having taken my hols in various part of Spain for the last twenty years. It came about as my beautiful cousin was marrying the man of her dreams in Santa Coloma de Farners – a medieval town gloriously situated North Girona. What started off as a two-day wedding trip ended up being a seven-night full on holiday; the initial plan was to just attend the wedding, but Costa Bravas looked so beaut that the mother and I decided to plant ourselves on the coastline for a little post wedding R & R. And I couldn’t recommend it enough.
We decided on Cadaqués, pronounced Cad-a-quez. An intriguing town with the reminiscence of Santorini. It’s certainly appealing on the eye, but more than that, it feels like there is this artistic backbone threaded through the place. It was the muse for many of Dali’s surreal landscape paintings after all.
And rightly so. Even getting to Cadaqués over the Crewp de Creus Mountain is practically an art form. This humongous and majestic mountain protects Cadaqués from a mass of tourism – well filters it. Late September is classed as “out of season” but we actually found it to be a great balance. It’s not rammed and full of English holiday go-ers, just a few scatters of classy intellects that enjoy chatting about art and taking long promenade strolls. I imagine the amount to be turned up notch during the summertime but still keeping its up-market, free-spirited rep in tac.
To reinforce its relaxed reputation are the restaurants that Cadaqués has to offer. A few suggested places are; Celeste for Italian food, regional specialties at Mut and El Barroco for Lebanese. And a Vegan restaurant – Hippy Brown Sugar.
Also just a few miscellaneous points to casually drop in if you’re in the area; you must make sure you visit Dali’s Casa (booking is essential, do so here). There’s a reason why it’s the highest tourist attraction in Cadaqués . It’s been maintained exactly as when him and his wife, Gala lived there until her death in 1982. The tour round gives an insight into their creative lives. Also if you have a bit of a “thing” for interiors – this one was exemplary. Spacious yet simple sized whitewashed rooms with large bunches of (Gala’s favourite) yellow Sempervivum flowers. *Makes mental note for my future European holiday home*.
Speaking of interiors, the Santa Maria Church is a sight to behold. That’s a seriously impressive alter. The views surrounding the Church during the day are too. We spent an evening listening to a guitar recital, which felt like a very Cadaqués thing to do. If that takes you fancy, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Anyway. All this waffling and I haven’t even gotten to the main thing I wanted to tell you about, which is that; the main adventure lies within exploring the coast. If you have a venturous spirit, then there are tons of coves waiting to be discovered. All of the beaches are off the beaten track and are mainly pebbled. But don’t let the stones put you off, I wouldn’t compromise having a sandy beach over crystal clean waters now, no Siree! We hiked to two beaches and found true harbour heaven.
Cadaqués is one hundred percent worth visiting. It has an understated romantic charm that makes you fall in love with the place. For real though? I’d do a week road trip. Start in Girona go through to Begur, definitely stop in Pals and even across the border to Collioure. Take your sunnies and a comfy pair of shoes and you’ll never be short of activities.