Discovering Costa Brava: Cadaques
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Hola! What’s up everyone?
This is actually the first blog article I’m writing while in a train – let’s drink to that!
I’ve often fancied the idea of getting stuff done and making the most out of the boring hours wasted with transportation but so far I never really did it because a) I’ve either had the luck of crammed seats with no place for a laptop, b) I was way too tired to work or c) reading a book or a blog appeared to be way more entertaining. So now, I’m on a 3-hours train journey to Valencia, with the luxury of a comfy, spacious seat and a conveniently foldable table that simply invites you to take out your laptop and start working. This is what I’m talking about! Do you work while traveling from point a to b? Let me know in a comment, cause I’m curious how you manage it!
Now, that being said, let me share with you my most recent discovery in Costa Brava: the white town of Cadaqués, situated by the Mediterranean Sea, pretty close to the French border. You probably already heard about it because it’s quite popular (it’s especially known as “Dali’s town”) and, as a result, often mentioned on travel websites, blogs, tours and Instagram.
To be completely honest with you, I was seriously thinking to completely skip this place, as I’m lately trying to avoid places that are overly promoted (and many times oversold as well) and stuffed with tourists and instead try to discover something less known, but beautiful nonetheless. However, when I asked you guys on Instagram for recommendations of what to see in Costa Brava, Cadaqués was right there in your top favourites, along with Tossa de Mar. So I thought: this place might be over-promoted, but there must be something good about it.
So I went to Cadaqués.
Guys, the photos you see of this picturesque fishermen village don’t really do it justice! Nothing compares to walking yourself the cobblestoned streets winding up and down the hills, surrounded by the white washed houses with colourful wooden doors and window shutters and, from time to time, views towards the sea! The steps and the walls are adorned with greenery, flower pots here and there on the steps and rich bougainvilleas loaded with flowers frame most of the streets into a capture as if painted by a talented artist.
If you’re here just to aimlessly get lost on the streets and not for all the art venues this tiny place offers, it takes quite a short time to walk all its streets and the initial excitement might soon wear off but that’s by no means a reason to call it quits.
It’s time for a walk by the sea!
First, we went South of the village and stumbled open a few secluded beaches, pathways winding through pine trees (with their fresh smell filling the air), amazing rock formations hanging over the glittering sea in the midday sunlight and offering lovely views of Cadaqués and its crowded harbour area. We eventually ran into a few private villa entries so decided to return and go North.
This might have been my favourite part of this trip! After leaving the village behind you and passing by a couple of lively chiringuitos on a tiny beach, there’s a raw pathway that goes right by the sea, up the rocky coastline, now and then descending into tiny, almost secluded beaches. As far as I learnt, it is part of Camí de Ronda, a trekking path that goes by the coast Costa Brava all the way from Blanes up to France.
Guys, the sea here has deep blue and turquoise hues and it is so clean, crystal clear and calm that you can see from up the edge of the coastline the marine life, the rock formations underwater, the plants, maybe even some fish if you’re lucky and, occasionally, a jellyfish nonchalantly roaming around.
I wish we had the time to continue further on this path! We walked for around 20 or 30 minutes and stopped for a while on one of the tiny beaches, when a bunch of clouds suddenly darkened the sky, we could hear thunders in the distance and a lightning ushered us back into the village. We arrived at the bus station just when the rain started pouring (weather app still showing us no rain) and remained stuck there waiting about an hour for the bus back home.
A thing I didn’t expect was that most of the people seemed to be French, either tourists or locals. This is justified by being so close to the border with France, but still it made me quickly lose the feeling of being in a Spanish village. Not that this took any of the village’s beauty away, not at all!
I’ll tell you a little secret. Everyone seemed to be flocking in the main area of the village, especially on the streets leading to the church. Looking at the map, you’ll notice the village has two main street cores: one to the left (the one with the church) of Dali’s Statue and one to the right. Well, go to the right one and you’ll discover a labyrinth of calm streets, sea views from the highest points and locals’ gardens with bougainvilleas and lemon trees. It’ll probably be just you and your camera there (and a local’s loud TV – what’s with the Spanish people and their TV played at maximum volume?!).
Was Cadaqués over-crowded with tourists? Yes. We also arrived there during a swimming event, so that probably added quite a bit to the general crowd. Was it expensive? Pretty much, yes.
Did I enjoy it? YES! Cadaqués really is one of these precious locations, that no wonder became so popular. The road to it is spectacular itself, winding through a hill region flaunting with olive trees and vineyards (reminded me a bit of Cinque Terre in Italy) here and there, the gulf hugged by rocks and the white houses slowly unraveling itself at your feet.
The village itself is a feast for the eyes, as I already mentioned it on my instagram, and I’d say it’s worth at least a short pit stop to admire the beautiful streets yourself.
How to get to Cadaqués from Barcelona
By car is the easiest way, however we took the train early morning at around 7 from Barcelona (Passeig de Gracia station, but check beforehand to be sure the train does actually stop in the station you pick) to Figueres, where we spent about an hour (that was great for fuelling up with coffee) before we boarded the bus to Cadaqués. Very important to consider is the bus’ schedule – there are only a handful of buses running between Figueres and Cadaqués every day, so make sure you check those out and pick a train that fits with their schedule. Always leave some spare time in case one of them might be late!
For the bus the tickets must be bought from the station in Figueres/ Cadaqués.
Price: 12 euro train (the price depends on the train you choose) + 5,5 euro bus (one way).
There is also a bus that takes you directly from Barcelona to Cadaqués (and back) for about 24 euro.
Aaaand if you’re in for some historic background of this village, here you’ll find more info!
All the important and technical stuff being said, it’s time to enjoy the photos! 😉