Hair Raising Roads in Cadaqués

27/06/18

We decided to head to the nearby town of Cadaqués for a day trip. Perched on Catalonia’s most easterly outcrop, Gary has been here on previous travels and described how quaint and pretty it was. After reading that Salvador Dali spent family holidays here during his youth I was sold.

Located just 11 miles east of Roses, I was envisaging a short 20min hop around the bay in Harvey. Little did I know that Cadaqués is actually on the other side of an extremely rocky and steep mountain drive over the Cap de Creus National Park. As Gary started the ascent we had the road to ourselves, smiles on our faces with our music blaring out and the sun streaming through the windows. However, it wasn’t long before the once wide road became much narrower and considerably more windy. The tunes were muted to provide extra concentration and my hands clenched the arm rest as we zig zagged our way up the mountain, negotiating cars, lorries and other motorhomes coming down.

The views across the bay were stunning and stretched as far as the eye could see. Unfortunately Gary couldn’t take his focus away from the road to enjoy them and I was scared shitless of the sheer drop just inches from our path. We did pull over a couple of times to let the traffic mounting up behind us pass through.

Gary was in his element, enthusiastically describing the thrill a road like this delivers when on a motorbike – an experience he had on this very route two years previous.

I was much more excited to see the end of the road in sight and relieved to not breathe in as we passed every other driver (as if this would magically make us slimmer!)

Whilst the journey was somewhat terrifying, Cadaqués was well worth it.

A gorgeous whitewashed seaside village with beachfront cafes, meandering lanes and an easy going atmosphere.

We make it a rule to dip our toes in the sea wherever we visit and Cadaqués beach, though pebbly, was still very handsome and the water was incredibly clear.

We had a quick coffee overlooking the sun worshippers strewn out across the beach before going for a stroll.

Cadaqués is just 20 or so miles south of the French border and its influence is clear. We overheard many conversations in French and the architecture is reminiscent of the small towns we visited in our first week. There is a gorgeous, tree-lined square flanked by traditional townhouses with wooden shutters and wrought iron flourishes.

The whole village is adorned with the most wonderful pink bougainvillea and every few steps we’d stop to admire yet another picture perfect bed of colourful plants.

We hugged the coast as we wandered around the bay, popping into art galleries and boutiques along the way. The blistering sun tingled on our skin and the scent of pine wafted through the air.

We discovered a lovely restaurant tucked away in a bay and shared tapas and sangria. The Iberico ham croquettes and langoustine tails were particularly delicious.

Cadaqués is impossibly pretty and offers a quieter and seemingly more authentic experience in comparison to Roses which is a little commercial.

I loved watching little boats coming into port, locals chatting passionately in the street and shops selling home-grown produce.

The return drive was mercifully uneventful and we got back in time to catch the Brazil vs Serbia match in the World Cup. A great day trip indeed.

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