Cadaqués is a super picturesque small town in the Costa Brava region north of Barcelona. If you’re doing a day trip there from Barcelona to Cadaqués you can also visit some truly unique places nearby. I did a bit of a Salvador Dali-inspired day trip. Dali was a very eccentric, Spanish, surrealist artist, who lived in the 20th century in the area of Cadaqués. You probably know his most famous work “The Persistence of Memory” (the melting clocks painting).
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In general, I prefer doing day trips with public transportation but sometimes it’s just not possible (or sometimes too much of a hassle). Since I don’t like renting cars, I decided to do a guided day tour. This way, I got to see a few different places in the Costa Brava region without the inconvenience of having to drive myself or catch a lot of different buses.
On the Way: Figueres
Figueres is a small town close to the Costa Brava region and a great stop on the way to Cadaqués. You can stroll down the Figueres’ version of la Rambla. In the whole city, you notice pieces of art which point to the city’s most famous person: the surrealist artist Salvador Dali, who was born and died in Figueres. Chances are, the Dali museum is your only stop in this town.
The main thing to see in Figueres is the museum called Teatre-Museo Dali, where the eccentric artist lived the last few years of his life and where he is buried. This museum is truly something. I think it’s the most unique museum I’ve ever been to.
The museum, which used to be a theatre, is already very eccentric from the outside (don’t miss having a look at it from all angles outside). The inside, however, is what makes it truly special. As soon as you enter the museum and step into the inner courtyard, you know you’re not in an ordinary museum. It has so many different elements to it and things to see. The most fascinating painting is the one in the big hall. If you stand in front of it, it looks like a painting of a woman in front of a window. If you stand further back or take a picture, it looks like a pixelated picture of Abraham Lincoln.
Cadaqués is the typical picturesque small town in Costa Brava. It reminded me instantly of Greece. There are almost only white houses and next to the beach they all have blue doors and window frames. You get a beautiful view of the ocean and can go for a stroll along the coast. Don’t miss out on going through the small alleys, though. Many houses are overgrown with plants and are super pretty!
In summer, it’s supposed to get really crowded. I went in mid-October and it seemed like a perfect time of the year to visit. It’s still warm and there aren’t that many people.
Salvador Dali House In Port Lligat
There’s a small tourist bus going to Port Lligat from Cadaqués. The only reason tourists go to Port Lligat is the house where Dali lived. If you go there without a tour, don’t forget to book your ticket beforehand, since they only let a limited amount of people inside the house.
The house still looks exactly the same as when he moved out. Dali (again, a very eccentric person) also had a very unique house with a great view of the ocean. When you’re greeted by a stuffed polar bear, you clearly notice that Dali was not very vegan-friendly. This is confirmed later when you see his canary cage. He even kept crickets in tiny cages so he could fall asleep to their chirping.
Included in the visit to the house is a visit to the garden. The highlight here is the phallus-shaped pool area. Unfortunately, I was unable to take any pictures since my phone died. I had a power bank in my backpack, but I had to leave that in a locker outside the museum. So make sure you have enough battery left when you enter the house! 😉
Is a Day Trip from Barcelona to Cadaqués Worth It?
The day trip from Barcelona to Cadaqués might not be the easiest, but it might be worth it just for this beautiful scenery. If you decide to take a tour there, I would recommend bringing your own lunch, so you have more time in Cadaqués to walk around. Besides, the vegan options aren’t that great anyway.
I also really enjoyed the Dali stops on the tour since they were such unique experiences. Before I went on the tour the only Dali painting I knew was “The Persistence of Memory”. It was very interesting to learn a bit more about this unique artist, who didn’t have the easiest upbringing. So, if you’re already in the area, you should definitely consider going to the Dali museum in Figueres as long as you are at least a little bit interested in art.
If you’re only looking for a chill beach day with some nice views, I don’t think going all the way from Barcelona to Cadaqués is worth it. A day trip to Sitges with a scenic coastal walk to Vilanova might be better suited for you.
Is Cadaqués too far away for you? Maybe a day trip to Montserrat is more up your alley.