Dalí’s Presence in Cadaqués Brought International Fame to this Costa Brava Town:
Situated in the most easterly point in northern Spain and just across the border from France, Cadaqués may have well been just another small sleepy fishing village in the Alt Empordà county. But, this pretty Catalonian coastal town in the Cap de Creus was propelled to international fame through the presence and residency of one of the world’s most famous Surrealist artists – Salvador Dalí. In the 1960’s the young and trendy came to Cadaqués in droves in search of Dalí, causing the town to be dubbed the “St Tropez of Spain”.
Dalí was a frequent visitor to Cadaqués during his childhood days. And, it seems that a summer holiday here in 1916 with the family of Ramon Pichot was a catalyst to Dalí’s artistic career. Ramon Pichot, an artist himself and a good friend of Picasso, was a early mentor to Dalí. Later on, Dalí established a home in Portlligat, a small village on the bay. This is now the much visited Salvador Dalí House-Museum.
But, Salvador Dalí was not the only artist to have been attracted to Cadaqués. Pablo Picasso, Chagall, Joan Joan Miró, Marcel Duchamp, Antoni Pitxot and a host of famous and international artists have also spent time here. So, apart from the presence of Dalí, what else does this small town have that inspires artists to come here.
Cadaqués is set in an area of natural beauty. Its natural landscape comprises a blend of wind-swept steep cliffs plunging into the sea, tranquil coves, lovely beaches and crystal clear blue water. The old town is made up of a charming web of narrow cobbled streets and whitewashed houses with the Baroque Santa Maria Church watching over it.
Although Cadaqués sunny climate, natural harbour and clear water are a big attraction for those seeking water sports and a beach holiday, it is more of an arty town with many museums and art galleries for the art-loving tourist. The Salvador Dalí House-Museum is a huge attraction. The small Museu d’Art (Municipal Art Museum) at Carrer Narcis Monturiol 15 exhibits works of local artists who have maintained close links with Cadaqués as well as some big name artists and the Perrot-Moore Museum has some Dalí artwork as well as a collection of European graphic art. Cadaqués also has an annual International Music Festival which is held in the Church of Santa Maria.
Cadaqués is a good base from which to discover the other towns and villages in the Alt Empordà county. There is a range of hotels and self-catering accommodation to choose from in Cadaqués.
The restaurants in this town allow visitors to sample the rich culinary tradition of Empordà as well as the fresh catches from the sea. The Ampurdán-Costa Brava region also produces its own DOC (Denomination of Origin) wines.