Cadaques – A diamond on Costa Brava, Spain

Deciding on it the day before, we drove to Cadaques to spend a couple of days here in July. I had heard good things about the city, but I was stunned by the beauty that met us after driving the steep and curvy road to get to this little town.

The lovely white houses climbing the hills almost made it look like we were on one of the Greek islands. Bright blue and green painting on doors and window frames enhanced this impression. But the town is Spanish. All the way. Offering lovely Tapas, chilled Cerveza on every corner, and Jambon of various quality.

Cadaques is a hippi-style town with a very laidback atmosphere. The skirts are long, the hats frizzed, and the sweet smell of weed is never far away. But this is still a great destination for families and kids.

The beaches have small stones instead of sand, which isn´t necessarily a bad thing. It makes the water clear and I don´t mind not having sand all over.

We had trouble finding a place to stay here. Everything that we found online looked weathered and not very cozy at all. We ended up staying at Hotel Rocamar, but the only positive thing I have to say about this place is that its location was good. Situated at the far east side of the bay, the view was spectacular, but I would never recommend this hotel to anyone. We were told that the hotel was sold and was going to be totally transformed, so perhaps by next summer it will be good. We were also told by some locals that the best hotel was Sol Ixent, but looking at the website photos, it doesn´t look like much either. For my next stay (cause I will be back) I will check out the rooms rented out by the El Bulli chef restaurant, Compartir, or other apartments for rent. This is obviously not the town for design hotels and luxury.

I do have restaurants and bars to recommend. Like always, the most central place in town, down by the river, has the biggest crowd of tourist, the worst service and the highest prices, but it is not as bad as many other places. Some of the best bars and restaurants are even located right on the beachfront. One of these is Talla. The view is breathtaking, the chairs are comfy, and the olives were so good that our seven-year old started liking them. The combination of the perfect olives, an ice-cold Stella and an ocean view, is a winner every time. Those are the moments worth fighting for!

Another great bar situated in the old-town is called Lua. This is a treasured place where locals hang out after a hard days work. The staff is friendly and the prices are kind. The ambience is peaceful and you just don´t want to finish your drink.

We had been recommended to stop by Café de la Habana to taste their fifteen year old rum, but since it was a bar opening at nine thirty at night, they didn´t permit children under sixteen, and we unfortunately didn´t get to try it. So the best Mojito we had in Cadaques were at Maitanqui. Maitanqui is a very sleek and stylish bar and restaurant situated in one of the back alleys not too far from the main square and Casino.

The two best restaurants we went to, which I absolutely would recommend, are Es Cau and Compartir. The first one is very down to earth with great prices, and the second more stylish and pricy. 

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