This is a guest post by Ash Clark, one of our bloggers on our recent “blog trip” to Cadaques and the Costa Brava.
Seeing as I arrived at night, it wasn’t until the next day that I really got to appreciate the unique location that Cadaqués is set in.
When I woke the next morning, I got to see what it is that has made this sleepy fishing village grow into a popular summer holiday spot.
Walking from my villa through the cobbled lanes that wind around the town’s whitewashed buildings and villas, I had no doubt in my mind that I was on the Mediterranean.
I was lucky enough to spend my first day sailing on a ‘laüt’, a traditional Catalan fishing vessel. While I generally find most sailing experiences rather memorable, this particular one especially stood out as we sailed along the coastline of the Cap de Creus National Park. The unique perspective offered from the decks of our boat really allowed me to appreciate how spectacular the natural landscape is in this part of Spain.
While the coastline that Cadaqués sits on is without a doubt its main draw card, it was the mountains around the town that drew a lot of my attention.
The vast majority of the hillsides around Cadaqués have terrace levels, made from stack-stone retaining walls.
It doesn’t take one long to realise that most of these impressive walls are rather aged and that the incredible amounts of manual labour it would of taken to construct them was originally completed to serve a specific purpose.
The blank terraced hillsides that dominate the area today haven’t always been that way. I soon learned that Cadaqués was once a major producer of wine and olive oil. Unfortunately the wineries and olive farms that once thrived here were completely wiped out after an outbreak of a plant virus that destroyed the plants.
Today, wineries in the region are making a come back, offering some high quality drops of both red and white which, like almost every aspect of Catalan, have their own unique flare to them.
As the local saying goes, “When you come to Cadaqués, you leave your worries behind the mountains.” The natural scenery, food, art and culture on display in this fascinating town really do play true to those words for those who visit.
About the Author: Ash Clark is a travel writer and photographer from Sydney, Australia. With a strong curiosity, he never manages to stay in one place for too long. To keep up to date with his current travels you can follow his personal travel blog at www.themostalive.com and on twitter @themostalive.