Yes, Barcelona has Gaudi.
But Cadaques has Dali.
Pronounced “Cad-ack-ess,” it’s one of the prettiest seaside towns along Spain’s Costa Brava (“rugged coast” or “wild coast”) – and the inspiration for many of the famed surrealist painter’s creations.
And once you see these Cadaques photos, you’re sure to be inspired to visit this corner of Dali country!
For several decades from 1930 on, Salvador Dali lived with his Russian muse Gala in a whimsical white waterfront home they designed and built. Today, it’s a museum – the Salvador Dali House in Cadaques.
We don’t confess to understand Dali’s weird and wonderful artistic creations incorporating lobsters, eggs and mechanical contraptions.
But it’s fun to see the places where artists have lived and the influences that helped shape their work. (In Guanajuato, we enjoyed touring the home where Mexican muralist Diego Rivera was born.)
We visited the Costa Brava region for a little over a week, hanging out on some of the best Costa Brava beaches, hiking, eating yummy Spanish food and visiting quaint towns. For half of that time, we based ourselves in Roses (at the fabulous Hotel Vistabella).
There are three museums in the Costa Brava that showcase the life and work of Dali: Dali Theater and Museum in Figueres, Gala-Dali Castle Museum-House in Pubol and the Salvador Dali Museum in Port Lligat.
Together, they make up what is known as the “Dali Triangle.”
Unfortunately, we only had a day to dabble in Dali country. And we devoted it to visiting Cadaques and the Salvador Dali Museum. Great decision!
Cadaques photos that will make you want to visit
From Roses, we drove the tortuous mountain road leading to Cadaques, parked the car in a lot outside the town and walked in. (The town is made for pedestrians – no cars are allowed inside the inner town.)
Cadaques is absolutely delightful; it’s easy to see why Dali loved living and working there.
Now, without further ado, here are some of our Cadaques images…
We don’t suggest these are the most brilliant photos; by following a few easy travel photography tips, you can probably take far better photos! But we hope you enjoy these anyway :-).
What to see in Cadaques?
Well, check out all the cobbled streets that wind up, down and around art galleries, attractive cafés and small hotels.
Cadaques’ answer to public art
An art gallery owner mentioned that artists have taken to painting the electrical panel covers on the walls of the buildings.
No rough graffiti here – scenes of fishing boats, landscapes and portraits catch the eye.
What’s a cute European town without cute cats?
Plant pots are good places to nap if you’re a furry feline!
The Cadaques harbor
Small fishing boats bob in Cadaques’ harbor.
In summer, boat tours leave from Roses for Cadaques, landing directly on this beach in the middle of the town center.
Salvador Dali’s studio
After exploring the town, we walked from Cadaques to teeny-tiny Port Lligat (about 15 minutes away), which is where the Dali Museum is located. (Visiting the museum is one of the best things to do in Cadaques.)
The sprawling house that Dali and Gala shared is not one building, but actually five fishermen’s houses that were joined together.
In the studio, Dali painted while seated at a giant easel which could be moved up and down.
Here’s a picture of one of the last of Salvador Dali’s paintings – unfinished – waiting for the moustachioed artist to complete it…
The resort-like Dali House Museum gardens and grounds
The beautiful terraced gardens and grounds boast olive groves, sea views, egg-shaped sculptures – and even a swimming pool.
Dali and Gala must have loved whiling away lazy summer afternoons around the pool, sipping on Spanish wines and watching fishing boats come and go…
Where else to visit in Costa Brava?
There are so many more beautiful villages near Barcelona too. Like secret Tivissa. And Tossa de Mar. And Miravet with its 12th century castle.
Guess we’re going to have to plan another trip to the Spanish Catalonia region!
Here’s a good pin to pin to your board :-).
All Cadaques photos: © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase (except 1 and 2)