Cadaques and Port Lligat are set on the rugged Cap Creus peninsula where the Pyrenees mountains drop to the sea on Spain’s Costa Brava. To its good fortune the very ruggedness of the coast has isolated these small towns and prevented the over development that mars many European coastal areas. These pueblos have retained a pleasant scale and intimacy and kept a connection with their fishing village origins.

You can see why Salvador Dali the surrealist artist and shameless self promoter made his home in Port Lligat,  If you look out the studio window where he worked you might be inspired to be an artist too, or at least chuck it all out and search for a place to stay. The bay shelters the port from the often rough Mediterranean and the lovely little beach has fishing skiffs on the shore, postcard blue waters and white painted beachside houses including Dali’s, which you can’t miss, just look for the egg on the top.

Cadaques has a beautiful bay and a beach that scallops around dozens of sailboats and fishing skiffs. The water in summer is pleasant but watch for anemones as they are plentiful. Good seafood abounds at the numerous restaurants and cafes along the beach. You can hardly go wrong and my favorites are the ones on the north side of town past the bend in the road and set on the beach. Ask for their recommendation. I had a local fish served head, bones and all, which, while a bit of work, was remarkably tasty. An ice cold beer, a great view, an afternoon swim, ah paradise.

Cadaques has a beautiful white church in the center that is the symbol of the town and hosts an International Festival of Music every August. There are numerous art galleries and boutiques worth a look and if you want a hotel in the town book well ahead of time as they tend to be sold out during the summer season. I look forward to getting back to Cadaques one day and picking up a paintbrush. And it’s almost guaranteed anything I paint will be surreal. (You can visit Cadaques with us on our Catalonia tour.)