I must admit that Cadaqués was one of the best surprises on my latest trip to Spain’s Catalonia region. A former fishing village that still keeps a lot of its roots and heritage, yet adapted itself for an inevitable popularity, Cadaqués awoke something I didn’t think I had in myself. During the most part of my trip there, I couldn’t stop wondering: is Cadaqués the most romantic city in Spain? No, ladies and gentlemen, please don’t think I’m the fluffy type. Rather the opposite.
I walked downhill from the hotel into town, and soon was strolling around the narrow streets that lead you to the beach. For a split second, I had a slight disappointment when I saw it was mostly pebbles, rather than sand.
The fact there are several small beaches in and around the town centre, many still used by fishermen’s boats, makes you feel you have your own private space. In winter and early spring this area is hit by the cold and heavy tramontana winds. Some say that this can drive you into madness – perhaps the very cause of Dali’s genius. Who knows?
Apart from a visit to the home he built over a period of 40 years, and boat trips to Cap the Creus, where the Pyrenees meet the sea, there’s not much else to do in Cadaqués, except for strolling around and taking the city in slowly.
Having said that, the city is as photogenic as it can be, in an old fashioned, “happy days”, romantic way. An invitation for romance is annoyingly everywhere.
In the flowers hanging from small balconies, the blue-framed doors and windows contrasting with the white walls, the narrow cobbled streets, the picturesque church that overlooks the small harbour. And the walks by the sea.
Oh, no, please don’t think that for the first time I wished I had my other half enjoy all that with me. Nah, I wouldn’t like to pose with someone else by a wall that could have been decorated by Monet, Van Gogh or Dalí.
Back at my hotel, I enjoyed the views over the city with a glass of red wine, stopping every five minutes to photograph the view. Strangely, I had this very strong feeling I should be sharing that with someone else. And here I am, sharing this experience with you, dear readers!
After all, only someone as crazy as Dali would want to share this with one single person.
But for those who prefer it that way, I have to admit it from the bottom of my tough bachelor heart: indeed, Cadaqués is the most romantic city in Spain!
HOW TO GET TO CADAQUÉS
BY BUS: Buses leave from Barcelona’s El Prat Airport twice a day and the trip takes 2.5 hours. Check out Sarbus website for more details.
BY TRAIN & BUS: There are no direct trains to Cadaqués, but you take the train from Barcelona Sants station to Figueres. The bus station is less than 5 minutes away, and there are several buses daily.
WHERE TO SLEEP IN CADAQUÉS
Carpe Diem Cadaqués is a hotel up in the hills, between the old town and Port Lligat (for Dalí’s house). They offer self catering apartments with kitchenette and all the conveniences of a good, solid hotel. The views are stunning. Service is good and there’s a swimming pool.
And you, have you ever felt particularly romantic on your travels? Where was that?