A Day in Dali Country: Photos of Cadaques, Spain

In CULTURE by Janice and George14 Comments

photos of Cadaques

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.

For several decades from 1930 on, Salvador Dali lived with his Russian muse Gala in a whimsical white waterfront home they built in Port Lligat (a 15-minute walk away).

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.)

photos of Cadaques

Photos of Cadaques

We just visited the Costa Brava for a week, dabbling for a day in Dali country in Cadaques and the Salvador Dali House Museum in Port Lligat. Cadaques is absolutely delightful; it’s easy to see why Dali loved living and working there. Here are some photos of Cadaques. We hope you enjoy them :-).

(Scrambling to catch one of the few trains operating the day the Catalonians went on their independence strike, so we could make our flight out of Spain, added a dash of drama to our Costa Brava stay. But that’s a story for another day…)

Cobbled streets

Cobbled streets wind up, down and around art galleries, attractive cafés and small hotels. The town is made for pedestrians, by the way – no cars are allowed inside the inner town. After driving the tortuous mountain road leading to Cadaques (we came from Roses), we parked the car in a lot outside the town and walked in.

Cadaques street

photos of Cadaques

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.

Cadaques painted electrical panel

What’s a cute European town without cute cats?

Plant pots are good places to nap if you’re a furry feline!

Cadaques cat

photos of Cadaques

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.

Cadaques harbor

Salvador Dali’s studio

In the studio of the sprawling house that Dali and Gala shared (actually five fishermen’s houses joined together), Dali painted while seated at a giant easel which could be moved up and down.

Salvador Dali House Museum

Here’s Dali’s last painting – unfinished – waiting for the moustachioed artist to complete it…

photos of Cadaques

The resort-like Dali House 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…

Dali egg sculpture

Salvador Dali House swimming pool

Salvador Dali House pool

sea views from Dali's garden

Visiting the Salvador Dali House Museum

Reservations are required for visiting the Salvador Dali House Museum in Port Lligat. Small groups of up to eight people are allowed in every 10 minutes for a 50-minute visit. If you don’t show up within 30 minutes of your timed reservation, your spot is resold to visitors on a wait list.

We didn’t have an advance reservation; we would have had to wait several days for the next available reservation. So we simply took our chances. On our late September afternoon visit, we were lucky and only had to wait 40 minutes for two spots to open up for us.

All photos are © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase (except second photo by Joaquin Aranoa)

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photos of Cadaques


    1. Author

      Thanks so much – happy you like our post :-). We’d love to explore more of Spain now… Seville, Madrid, Granada… And we could happily go back and spend more time in the Costa Brava area!

      1. Costa Brava is lovely of course, but you’ll have a most wonderful time in Seville & Madrid. And don’t get me started on Barcelona & Catalonia! In my opinion, the best place in Spain ever, but I fear complications are brewing, so best visit soon, if you can.

    1. Author

      You’d get some exercise going up and down those streets every day :-). But it’s such a pretty place, people who live there probably don’t mind!

  1. Agness of aTukTuk

    Wow! Cadaques seems so charming and magnificent! That museum is astonishing, Janice and George! When’s the best time of the year to explore this area?

    1. Author

      Fall (late September) is a really good time to visit! The sea in the Costa Brava area is still warm enough for swimming and the summer crowds have gone. Spring would be another good time to go, especially if you enjoy walking, as there’s a great “Cami Ronda” seaside coastal path that stretches for miles and miles :-).

  2. Both Cadaques and the Dali House Museum look great to visit. I was at the Dali Theatre-Museum in Figueres,but didn’t make it to Cadaques or Port Lligat. Maybe in a future trip!

    1. Author

      And we so wanted to visit the Theatre-Museum in Figueres, but didn’t have time for that! We could happily go back to the Costa Brava — so much to see and do there…

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