The coastal mountain town of Cadaqués, Spain, is quiet and remote. The area served as inspiration for the vivid dreamscapes of Spanish artist and leader of the Surrealist movement Salvador Dalí. The house where Dalí and his wife once lived overlooks the Mediterranean, and is now open to the public as the Portlligat Museum-House. Each summer, the beaches of Cadaqués fill with locals looking to escape the hot and crowded streets of Barcelona, but this town on the Costa Brava has managed to preserve its authentic Mediterranean feel in spite of the seasonal tourist surge. Visitors eat paella for lunch, and wine accompanies every meal. Cadaqués evokes pure magic from sunrise to sunset.
Winding roads led to our Airbnb, located high in the hills. Sun filled the apartment, and our terrace provided a view of the whole city.
Cadaqués came alive on the beach. We visited in autumn instead of during the prime of summer, but still, the sun kept it warm enough to bare everything.
My girlfriend and traveling partner. She was as charmed by Cadaqués as she was by Spanish wines.
Compared to the crowded beaches of Barcelona, the shoreline in Cadaqués was more peaceful, with decidedly fewer tourists.
The façade of a waterfront hotel with beachfront access and a gelato shop around the corner.
A view of Cadaqués and the surrounding hills. The chapel stands tall, watching over the small town.
Soaking children with bubble machines throughout town squares is a popular pastime in Catalonia… Who knew?
The water of Cadaqués is cool at first touch, but warms as you stay in. Plus, the best views of the town are from the water, once you've gone far enough out into the placid sea.
The side streets are a maze. In my run up to the Airbnb, I got the best kind of lost and discovered roses climbing toward the sunlight.
Salvador Dalí worked for much of his career in this mountain beach town. When his wife died, he left this house immediately, abandoning two unfinished paintings.
The great fig tree in Dalí’s courtyard. The house has several stories, and there's an olive grove on the property.
Salvador Dalí’s bed. His wife slept in an identical bed to the right of this one. He positioned a mirror on the opposite wall so they could watch the sunrise each morning.
Spiked foliage peeks out from atop Dalí's villa, which was built like a fortress.
The view from Dalí’s courtyard. The marina was quiet on this day as a boat took off for a sunset cruise.
The terra cotta roof tiles featured on Dalí’s house are typical of the region.