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Was it the unique light and landscape of Cadaqués which inspired the magical visions of Salvador Dalí, or was it Dalí's visions which awoke an interest in the rest of us for Cadaqués? Whichever the order, it's true that Dalí loved this place and that his love brought a luminous crowd into the place he used to summer in as a child. The concrete boxes of other Costa Brava resorts have never dared rear their heads here, and some of the best places to stay in Cadaqués are the same places where Dalí's notable visitors stayed.
Even those of us with barely an iota of artistic drive may feel the muse within awoken by the beautiful way the wind here whips up the sea, which shimmers in the special light, against the rocky land and whitewashed labyrinth of narrow streets rolling down to the harbour. There's a magic, and unique colour, to this landscape which even throngs of summer holidaymakers can't quiet.
Cadaqués has some pretty beaches, with more pebbles than sand, but the bright blue of the water makes up for it for most people. However the main pleasure of Cadaqués is wandering the shore, up into the hills, or in amongst the alleyways of the town and watching the light change everything around you.
Cadaqués' sense of being apart from the rest of the Costa Brava is geographical, it's separated from the interior by the dramatic cape of Creus, the most easterly point on the Spanish mainland, and a photogenic cliff line if ever there was one. The wind here, called the Tramuntana, actually shaped the look of this coastline with its persistence - and it's said around the village that it can drive people insane.
Even if you're not drawn here by Dalí's art, it's still worth trying to sees the Cadaqués Dalí saw. To help you do that visit his house in Port Lligat, now a museum, the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres - which is where he was born and the Gala Dalí Castle Museum at Pubol, where Dalí's beloved wife Gala was laid to rest and where Dalí lived after her death. Dalí isn't the only artist to have been inspired by this region, Miro, Picasso and Niebla were also fans, and their works, along with others with a local bent, can be seen at the Cadaqués Museu de Arte.
- The Hotel Playa Sol is a light, airy and lovely seaside hotel right on the bay. As well as unfussy but comfortable rooms this hotel also has apartments and suites, and it's a really comfortable and relaxed place for families and groups.
Still undecided? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Cadaqués, or contact, one of our friendly gurus for advice. Alternatively check out all our recommendations on the Costa Brava.
Best Hotels in Cadaques
L'Horta d'en Rahola 4 rooms from $124Cadaques (Cadaqués)
This family run hotel, located on the Cap de Creus Peninsula and just 400 metres from the Costa Brava coast. Most rooms have seating areas inside and out and are decorated in a modern style with nautical palettes of blue and white. There is a pleasant garden and a restaurant serving local cuisine.Sights nearby - Port Lligat (the Home Museum of Dali), The Dali Theatre-Museum in Figueres and Pabol Castle make up the Dali triangle.Cooking classes - Take home some of the local cuisine by learning a few dishes in the hotel's kitchen.Local markets - The historic town of Cadaques has several markets selling local produce and foods.Restrictions on children - Children above the age of 16 are welcome.
Hotel Playa Sol 49 rooms from $125Cadaques
A lovely seaside hotel in the bay of Cadaques. Smart nautical rooms and apartments with lots of natural light, white washed walls and private balconies. Good restaurant, stunning views, excellent value. An ideal beach holiday for families, friends, and couples.Views - Views both over the Med and the villageGroups - Apartments sleep 4 persons.FamiliesBeach Life
Hotel Mas Lazuli 16 rooms from $217Cadaques (Pau)
Originally an 11th century convent, now a country house hotel with elegant outdoor pool and tropical garden. Bedrooms are cool and contemporary with open plan bathroom and private sitting room. All enjoy glorious views of either olive groves or the Bay of Rosas. A romantic spot close to the coast.Kayaking - Available nearby - can be organised through hotelGreat walks - Serra de Rodes forest areaSights nearby - Dalí Museum in FigueresSwimming Pool - Indoor/outdoorRecommended by - Tablet, I Escape