Where to Stay in Cadaqués: A Guide to the Most Beautiful Town on the Costa Brava
Cadaqués is a coastal town located in Alt Empordà, in the extreme north of Spain’s Costa Brava, very close to the border with France. This small town is especially known for being the place of residence of artist Salvador Dalí, for its beautiful and well-preserved historic centre and for its incomparable natural landscape framed by the sea and the Cap de Creus natural park. In this post, we will explore the best areas to stay in Cadaqués, Spain.
Why visit Cadaqués
It is practically impossible to talk about Cadaqués without mentioning its most famous resident. Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, known internationally as Salvador Dalí, was one of the most prominent Spanish artists of the 20th century. Born in the nearby Empordà city of Figueres, Dalí settled in Cadaqués from 1930 until the death of his wife Gala in 1982.
Dalí produced most of his most famous works at his home in the Port Lligat town of Cadaques, using Gala and the Portlligat Bay as his main sources of inspiration. Today, the former residence of this Catalan genius is a museum open to the public and one of the most interesting tourist attractions on the Costa Brava. See accommodation in Port Lligat.
In addition to its Salvador Dalí landmarks, Cadaqués is famous for its beautiful old town. Unlike other towns on the Costa Brava, which have embraced the concept of mass tourism since the 1950s, Cadaqués has managed to maintain its Mediterranean fishing village charm practically intact. Its historic centre is a succession of immaculate white houses with red tile roofs. The main attractions in the centre of Cadaqués include the Cadaqués Museum, the Santa María de Cadaqués church, the Dalí Expo, and art nouveau palaces such as the Casa Serinyana. See accommodation in Cadaqués Centre.
For sun-seekers, Cadaqués is home to several beaches, coves and bathing areas. The main beach, located at the foot of the historic centre, is Platja Gran. Other beaches and coves in Cadaqués include Port d’Alguer, Llané Gran, Sortell, Poal, ses Oliveres, S’aranella and the famous Cala de Portlligat.
And if the historical attractions, beaches and museums weren’t enough, Cadaqués is very close to the Cap de Creus Natural Park. This impressive natural area, the first maritime-terrestrial park in the country, is one of the most important biological, geological and landscape areas in Catalonia.
What’s the best time to visit Cadaqués
As a rule of thumb, the high tourist season in Costa Brava takes place during the summer, especially the months of July and August (the main holiday periods in most of Europe). During the summer, accommodation costs, airfare and train tickets are usually more expensive. The months of June and September are considered medium season, the summer holidays have not started, and the prices are somewhat lower. In addition, the beaches and attractions will be much less crowded.
The best time to visit Cadaqués is the end of spring, from mid-May to mid-June. During this time, accommodations do not yet have their high season rates, and temperatures are generally pleasant to go to the beach. If your visit to Cadaqués is only cultural (to visit the Dalí House Museum) and you don’t intend to go to the beach, then the quietest and cheapest month is December.
Getting there and around
To get to Cadaqués by plane, this town is connected through the Aeroport de Girona – Costa Brava (GRO). Located 83 km south of Cadaqués, this low-cost hub offers point-to-point connections to many destinations in Europe. For a greater range of domestic, European and long-haul flights, the Aeropuerto Internacional de Barcelona-El Prat is 186 kilometres away. Additionally, Cadaqués is located near the French airport of Perpignan (94 km).
Cadaqués does not have a train station, but it has excellent bus connections from the Figueres-Vilafant AVE station. Several coach routes also connect it with many destinations in Catalonia (Barcelona and Girona) and southern France (Montpellier and Perpignan). See bus and train schedules, fares & routes.
To move between Cadaqués and other Costa Brava towns, the easiest way is to rent a car. If renting a vehicle is not an option for you, Cadaqués has a limited network of urban buses and taxis and mobile applications such as Uber. Another excellent option to move around Cadaqués is hiring tours and organized activities with transportation.
Where to stay in Cadaqués
The best area to stay in Cadaqués is the town centre. This charming area is home to the most varied gastronomic, leisure and accommodation offer in the town. The centre of Cadaqués is also close to the main beaches and is the best-connected area in town. See accommodation in Cadaqués Poble.
As it couldn’t be otherwise, the fishing town of Port Lligat is another excellent option when choosing the best location in Cadaqués. See accommodation in Port Lligat.
Keep reading to find out more about the best areas to stay in Cadaqués, Spain.
The Best Areas to Stay in Cadaqués, Costa Brava, Spain
1. Recommended area: Cadaqués Poble (Cadaqués Town Centre)
The town of Cadaqués is located in the centre of the namesake bay.
This historic area stands out for its typical old fishing village atmosphere with its whitewashed houses and tile roofs.
The main beach in Cadaqués, Platja Gran, is a pebble beach with a relaxed atmosphere, panoramic views and a bar. The streets near Platja Gran have a large number of restaurants, typical shops and small charming cafes.
At the top of the hill overlooking the bay is the church of Santa María de Cadaqués, the town’s parish church. With origins dating back to the 13th century, the church has been rebuilt and refurbished to its current configuration dating from the 17th century.
Nearby, the Cadaqués Museum offers temporary exhibitions, and the Dalí Expo shows a different perspective on the work of the Catalan genius through literature and multimedia exhibitions.
In the centre of Cadaqués, you can also find examples of noble houses from different periods, including the art nouveau Casa de Don Octavio Serinyana and the modern Casa Staempfli.
The nearby Platja Port d’Alguer, not unlike Platja Gran, offers a scenic location and a small bathing area on its pebble beach.
To the north of the Historic Centre lies the Estació d’Autobusos de Cadaqués. From here, you can catch different services to Barcelona, the airport, France and Figueres. The express buses to the AVE Figueres-Vilafant and Girona stations also depart from here.
Unlike the rest of the Costa Brava, Cadaqués has not had any large-scale tourist developments. Therefore, the accommodation found in the centre of Cadaqués usually consists of small family-run properties, boutique hotels and B&Bs.
Why is this a recommended area to stay in Cadaqués:
- Best area for tourists
- Charming old town
- Well-connected by public transport
- Calle Es Call
Accommodation in this area
This elegant hotel enjoys a privileged location in the charming fishing village of Cadaqués, the home of Salvador Dalí, on the beautiful Costa Brava.
L’Hostalet de Cadaques
L’Hostalet de Cadaqués is located in the centre of Cadaqués and is an ideal starting point for exploring this charming town, as well as the surrounding landscape of the Costa Brava.
Hotel Playa Sol
This hotel in Cadaqués is well located to enjoy a relaxing stay, in the sun, on the Costa Brava. Facilities include an outdoor swimming pool and an olive garden.
2. Port Lligat
Port Lligat is a small coastal enclave located some 15 minutes east of the centre of Cadaqués.
The small town of Port Lligat is especially famous for being home to the Salvador Dalí House Museum.
This tourist attraction, residence to the Catalan artist for over 50 years, is located in a collection of old fishermen’s houses by the bay.
The house museum is open for tourist visits (by reservation only). You can book a guided tour here.
In addition to the house of Salvador Dalí, Port Lligat is an attractive place to visit thanks to its scenic beauty, coves, beaches and its calm atmosphere.
To the northeast of the House of Dali lies Cap de Creus. This natural park, the easternmost point of the Iberian Peninsula, is fascinating for its beautiful views, unique nature and numerous hiking trails.
The easiest way to get to Port Lligat from Cadaqués is by car. That said, it is possible to walk between Cadaqués and Port Lligat in approximately 20 minutes.
Port Lligat is an area with boutique accommodation. Its scenic location and Dalí’s house make it one of the best areas to stay in Cadaqués.
Why is this a recommended area to stay in Cadaqués:
- Lovely landscapes
- Port Lligat Cove
- Casa Museo Salvador Dalí
Read in other languages