Cadaques: What to see and do on your holidays

If you're thinking about visiting Cadaques, expect to find a picturesque coastal town permeated with a sophisticated yet bohemian ambience which flows down every narrow street and around every corner. Be enchanted by its charm and discover the best art by Dali, the magical beaches of Cabo de Creus and the vibrant cultural life of Cadaques that never sleeps.
 
 
Cadaques is home to the famous Casa-Museo de Salvador Dali (House-Museum) and so much more. Read on to discover the best places, plans and events that you just can’t miss if you want to have the true Cadaques experience. 
 

Discover the Old Town of Cadaques

Cadaques is a beautiful seaside town with a fascinating history that’s still visible in its urban architecture. Its Old Town is a labyrinth of cobbled streets, bright white buildings and blue details, full of shops, restaurants and craft workshops where the hours spent exploring will fly by.
 
 
The street "Es Call" is known for it’s particular beauty, for hundreds of years it was home to the Jewish community and thanks to its architecture and well-preserved details, it’s a true journey into the past. If you can, it’s also worth seeing what sits at the highest point of the town - the church of Santa Maria - a 16th century chapel which has the best panoramic view of the whole bay of Cadaques.
 
 
From all the architecture in Cadaques, it’s the modernist buildings that border the promenade which stand out the most. The majority of them belonged to the Cadaquenses who made their fortune in America, they were inspired by the Cuban designs they found there and implemented these designs when building their homes here. To explore this beautiful town and enjoy its charm during your holidays, reserve your holiday home in Cadaques and discover all it has to offer.
 
 
The town has a vibrant nightlife and the streets in the centre have numerous bars and pubs where you can go for a drink and a dance, without it ever becoming too busy or noisy. Enjoy the rhythm of the Mediterranean - relaxed but full of new experiences.

Rising Sun Festival, January 1st

Want to start the new year in a magical way? On January 1st, people from all over the world gather around the Cabo de Creus lighthouse to welcome in the first sunrise of the year.
 
 
The Cabo de Creus is the most eastern point of Spain, making it the first place bathed by the sun on the Iberian peninsula. "A quien madruga, Dios le ayuda" is a Spanish expression which has the same meaning as “The early bird catches the worm” and with the Rising Sun Festival or “Sol Ixent” in Catalan, we have the perfect reason for it. When the sun is visible on the horizon the traditional Sardana dances begin and hot chocolate is handed out to the guests.
 
 
If you fancy something a little more interesting than a sunrise, check out our guide to the most unusual festivals in Spain and discover the strangest celebrations in the country.

Explore the Cabo de Creus

The Cabo de Creus is a source of pride for locals and Catalans alike. Its rocks and crevices hide all kinds of natural paradises, the only thing to do here is sit and enjoy the calm and tranquillity of the surroundings.
 
 
The coves of the Cabo de Creus are the best on the entire Costa Brava and invite us to cool off in their crystal clear waters. Strong erosion by the sea over the years has carved the rock formations around the coves into curious shapes, there’s one that looks like a lion, one like a camel and one like a dragon.
 
 
Around the Cabo de Creus you will find numerous hiking trails, which you can do on foot or by bike, making stops along the way to refresh yourself on the beaches. Take some time to enjoy the sunset from one of the viewpoints that you pass, it’s a magical sight!

The Festival of St. Sebastian, January 20th

This event is one of the most ingrained and traditional customs of Cadaques. On 20th January, the inhabitants of the town ascend to the Ermita de San Sebastian or Hermitage of San Sebastian which sits at 400 metres above sea level, an uphill climb of about two hours. The hermitage is only open one day a year especially for this event. During the day a mass is held inside and the traditional Sardana dances take place afterwards followed by an outdoor lunch. Non-locals are welcomed to join in the celebrations, so if you are in the area, do not miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the heart and soul of Cadaques.

Casa-Museo de Salvador Dali (House-Museum of Salvador Dali)

From the first moment that we step foot in the Casa-Museo de Salvador Dali we are plunged into Dali’s universe of imagination and fantasy. Dali believed his home was a living being, which evolved at the same rate as his life was changing. Over forty years, Dali expanded and remodelled the building, adding rooms and surreal elements that made his home one of his many masterpieces.
 
 
His paintings and sculptures are displayed throughout all the rooms - the workshop, the garden, the library or the rooms where he lived and worked. A visit here is a must, it’s an escape from reality and a trip into the fascinating world of Salvador Dali.
 
The Casa-Museo de Salvador Dali is located in the small fishing village of Portlligat. It looks out over the sea, olive fields, vineyards and cliffs and these spectacular surroundings are really worth being enjoyed at your own pace. Therefore, we recommend that you reserve a day of your holiday to discover the area.

Cadaques Museum

Another compulsory cultural stop is the Cadaques Museum, it’s a museum with works of all kinds but all the pieces share the same subject matter: the people, culture and history of Cadaques. These works have all been inspired by the town of Cadaques and are in differents ways, trying to capture the soul and beauty of the coastal town. Highlights include the Salvador Dali exhibition - the great artist of the region - and it also features works by Richard Hamilton, Arranz Bravo, Antoni Pitxot and other various temporary exhibitions.
 
 
Cadaques is one of the most charming towns on the Costa Brava and if you are looking for more unmissable and magical places to visit, we recommend this article about the most enchanting and unforgettable towns, cities and regions in Spain

Carnivals in Cadaques

February is synonymous with carnivals in Spain and Cadaques is no different. Parades pass through the town, filling the streets with people in bright costumes, colourful floats of all types and groups of Comparsa singers, musicians and dancers. We especially recommend this event if you are travelling as a family with children because there are special workshops and activities organised especially for the little ones. 
 

Cultural Week of April

The 23rd April in Catalonia is the day of Sant Jordi. Tradition dictates that lovers and groups of friends give gifts of a book and a rose, but in Cadaques the celebrations are a little more extravagant and last a whole week. The Cultural Week of Cadaques has literary competitions and prizes, conferences, exhibitions and all kinds of events which are open to the public.

Cadaques West Indies Fair

During the first weekend of June, Cadaques plays host to a fair called “An American in Cadaques!” and it celebrates the West Indies culture and Cadaques’ connection with Cuba during the 20th century. The seafront is filled with handicraft stalls, fair-goers dress in period clothing and the streets are filled with music from numerous musical performances and street theatre. 

The International Music Festival of Cadaques

Since 1970, Cadaques has held its International Music Festival. Each year, the sounds of music fill the town for a few days during August. There are performances of all types during the festival including flamenco, gospel, soul, pop-rock, jazz and even classical music. With such variety, all musical tastes should be catered for.

There are often visiting international performers as well as free concerts from lesser known artists, this programme culminates to create a fantastic musical experience for everyone.  

Festivities in Cadaques

In September, coinciding with the national day of Catalonia, the biggest summer festival of Cadaques is held and includes a mix of traditional and cultural activities. Among them is the original “dolls” competition, which is actually nothing to do with dolls, but instead an “egg and spoon” style race where competitors balance a green ceramic pot on their heads and race to the finish line. There’s also the “Marnatón” a swimming race that covers the distance between the Cabo de Creus and Cadaques, after which competitors and spectators are treated to a live music performance in the town square. 

 
In December, the biggest winter celebration takes place in honour of the patron saint of Cadaques: La Virgen de la Esperanza. The celebration includes traditional Sardana dances, sports competitions, children's activities and popular games for all ages. 
 
The culture and beauty of Cadaques, its beautiful bay and its unique, traditional celebrations are more than enough reason to spend a few days of your holiday in the area. Book a holiday home on the Costa Brava and get ready to enjoy a few days in paradise.
 
 
As you can see, any time of year is good to visit Cadaques. This village of beautiful white houses and breathtaking natural landscapes is home to endless surprises and hidden treasures. Come to Cadaques this summer if you want a unique holiday like you’ve never had before.

Apartment in Roses

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Studio in Empuriabrava

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