A long time favorite of some of the world’s greatest Artists, Cadaqués is a picturesque town in Costa Brava, rendered unique due to its sheltered location, rich history as well as incredible beauty.
Over the centuries, this town has had more interaction from the incoming sailors of the Mediterranean sea than its surrounding location, this is due to the fact that Cadaqués is located in a geographically sheltered area near the Pení Mountain and has a territory that is known for its rocks that beautifully take on a golden shade due to the sun. Etruscan, Greek and Roman populations, all found their way to Cadaqués through history and, thus, the town has a rich history that is full of fascinating myths. From Pirates to Mermaids, you will surely love discovering this fascinating location.
During a tourism boom in the 60's, this charming town found itself more popular than ever and has remained so ever since partly due to being visited by some of the greatest Artists in the world, Salvador Dalí, Eugeni d'Ors, Picasso, Duchamp, Magritte, Joan Mirò, Richard Hamilton are some of the greats spent their time in Cadaqués and deemed it to be the most beautiful village in the world.
It’s no wonder Cadaquès received such high praise and appreciation, it boasts charming little streets, watchtowers, white, charming houses, the gothic Santa Maria Church which dates back to the 16th century and stands beautifully for all to admire as well as the Baluard, its original fortress, along with a port that was a safe harbor to the Greek and Romans of ancient times.
The legendary Barbarossa, a Turkish pirate, threatened Cadaquès regularly during his times, the city still holds walls that were built to protect the town from pillagers such as pirates and corsairs that often stormed in. The villagers are known to have rescued passengers of shipwrecked vessels as well as the relics of two Saints, Sant Abdó and Sant Senén, that were saved during one of the shipwrecks. During the 13th century, James I the Conqueror, King of Aragon, was aided by the Cadaquès fishermen on his mission to reconquer Majorca from the Saracens rules of Valencia. The fishermen were able to intervene due to their experiences with the Moorish as they were by then well trained in handling combat due to the attacks by Turkish, Pirates, Moorish and Corsairs.
As the village developed and the seas became safer, Cadaquès began flourishing by bringing a bigger contribution to the gastronomical market through production of olive oil, vinegar, pasta and, since the fishermen were now free to focus on their craft instead of facing sieges of muggers, the fish market became strongly active. However, during the 20th century, there was an impoverishment that lead to immigrations. Historically, a large number of adventurers born in Cadaquès emigrated to America. “Sol Ixent”, a magazine, was created to allow them to keep in touch with their people, despite being in the US.
In Plaça Passeig, you can admire the statue dedicated to Dalì but the best experience would be visiting the home he lived in. The Salvador Dali House is located in Port Lligat about 15 minutes away from the village and it is now a museum dedicated to this incredible Artist.
Besides its private atmosphere and incredible beauty, Cadaquès also features art galleries, boutique hotels, gift shops as well as charming cafés for you to explore along with waterfront restaurants that make for a perfect dining experience.
There is a reason some of the world's greatest artist fell in love with Cadaquès and the best way to discover why is to visit this Catalan gem during your trip to Barcelona.
Written by Anamaria Maier