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.)
Cadaques photos that will make you want to visit
We just visited the Costa Brava region for a week, dabbling for a day in Dali country and the Salvador Dali Museum in Cadaques.
From Roses, where we stayed, 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.
Here are some of our Cadaques images. We hope you enjoy them :-).
Cobbled streets 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.
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…
Visiting the Salvador Dali House, Cadaques
Reservations needed for Dali tickets:
Reservations are required to tour the Salvador Dali House in Cadaques. 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 Dali tickets (and reserved spot) are 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.
You’re allowed to take pictures of Salvador Dali’s paintings on display.
See the Salvador Dali House Museum website.
Where else to visit?
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!
Location map for Cadaques
All Cadaques photos are © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase (except second photo by Joaquin Aranoa)
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We’re Janice and George Mucalov, professional award-winning travel writers, sharing tales of luxury travel with a twist of adventure.