March 6, 2012 - Posted by Erin in Food and wine, Spain, Travel, Travels in Europe, Travels in Spain

I departed Girona feeling like I’d left a piece of my heart behind, but it was time to move on to our next destination: Cadaqués. The journey wouldn’t be easy, though, requiring a twisty turny drive up and over the mountains to the secluded fishermen villages at their base.

Cadaques shoreline

Stomachs all topsy-turvy, we arrived in Cadaqués, its cluster of villages, and our ludicrously glamorous villa (no joke – details in a future post!). The area is indeed so remote that until only about a century ago – when the curvy highway was constructed – people living there were virtually isolated from the rest of the region. As our tour guide would later tell me, her grandfather knew Cuba (by boat, of course), long before he ever knew Figueres – a city just over 20 miles way. This also apparently explains why the area maintains a rather distinctly strong Catalán accent. Just a few little nuggets of odd goodness hinting at Cadaqués’s charming peculiarity.

An egg and a view from Dali's house

And peculiarity is an understatement, because nearby Portlligat claims bragging rights as Salvador Dalí’s home from 1930 until he passed away in 1989. Only made available to the public in 1997, his house serves as the ultimate peek into the artist’s imagination. A Mr. T-style taxidermied polar bear, a slew of mannequins, and eggs, lots of eggs. I decided that I really liked this fellow Dalí. He was quirky, but measured, goofy, but pulled-together…and dude, he had a pretty sweet pad.

bear in dali's house

Manquins in Dali's house

With our minds caught somewhere between reality and surreality, we took a little drive up to the cliffs of Cap de Creus. Perched above the Mediterranean Sea, we sat at a cafe to sip on cappuccinos and nosh on the region’s champagne-cork-shaped pastry, called taps dolços, before heading back for a tour of the city.

Taps dolços

Tour guide in tow, we traversed the alleys of Cadaqués, oohing over the white buildings with blue doors, and ahhing over the zigs and zags of the slate-cobbled streets. Another fun Cadaqués fact: nearly an estimated third of its population emigrated to Cuba in the early 20th century. The successful ones that returned then erected dazzling homes, which to this day still stand out among the rest (pause and imagine a fancy house, as I don’t happen to have a decent picture – oops!)

cadaques street

The next morning, I rose early for a run, to somehow mentally justify the feast the night before (yes, there was another feast, and you’ll still have to wait to hear about it!). After weaving through olive orchards, around a cemetery and over the hill into Cadaqués, I finally realized my captivation with the rising sun was impeding any effort to actually burn calories (plus, let’s be honest, running kind of sucks).

So I returned to the pebbly shoreline of Portlligat, where I plopped down on the cement embankment, dangling my sneakers just above the calm shallow water. With Dalí’s house just feet behind me, I turned off my music and listened to the sound of the sunrise. Water lapping, a breeze rustling through Dalí’s olive trees, my thoughts fading off somewhere in the distance. Sigh…my heart skipped a beat….I totally had a crush on Cadaqués.

Dali house at sunrise

Too bad one more rendezvous awaited. The next day, it was off to Besalú.

Disclosure: I traveled through Catalonia as a guest of Charming Villas Catalonia. Rest assured that I’m keeping it real – all opinions are entirely my own.

[travelist location=”Cadaques, Spain” type=”img” url=”http://www.latortugaviajera.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/dusk.jpg”]

6 Responses to “Crushing on Cadaqués”

  1. Holly Says:

    I love the craftily-pebbled Cadaqués street!

  2. EurotripTips Says:

    Cadaqués was very good indeed. I loved the beautiful setting, the quirky Dali house, but mostly, the taps. I would consider traveling down that winding road again just to get a taste of these!

  3. jade Says:

    I think I left my heart in Cadaques! Being close to the ocean and that insane villa were great- but I loved how we were able to spend a little time just wandering around. And of course, those desserts. I was in foodie heaven with those soft little cakes!

  4. miruna Says:

    Beautiful!
    Thanks for sharing your delightful posts.
    I miss Spain so much!

  5. New Life In Spain Says:

    Hello! I just came across your blog today and what is the first post wishing me welcome? Cadaqueeeees! Ahhh! I LOVE Cadaques. Went there not so long ago (and posted about it too) So beautiful! And Port Lligat too. Great posts and great pictures from your trip to Catalunya!

  6. Patrick Waller Says:

    Nice hearing about the area…I went to Cadaues in the summer about 4 years ago and it was unbelievably crowded.Definitely worth going out of season. What I liked most was the Dali Museum…fabulous.
    Great photos by the way!

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