Cadaques: Where I Left My Worries Behind The Mountains.

Cadaques Blog Trip 2013

Cadaques where i left my worries behind the mountains. This is a guest post by Ash Clark, one of our bloggers on our recent “blog trip” to Cadaques and the Costa Brava.

Cap de Creus
Onboard the Sant Isidre

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. Invited on a four day blog trip by Charming Villas Catalonia Cadaques was where we were spending our first two nights.

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.

Cadaques
A typical street of Cadaques

Sailing on the Sant Isidre, Cadaques

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 realize that most of these impressive walls are rather aged and that the incredible amounts of manual labor 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. Celler Martin Faixo grow their wines in the hills of Cadaques 

Cadaques
A little bay along the Cap de Creus

Cadaques where i left my worries behind the mountains

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 themostalive.com and on twitter @themostalive.

Cala Guillola, Cap de Creus

Cala Guillola, Cap de Creus Cadaques

If hidden little coves and bays are your thing then look no further than Cala Guillola, roughly half way between Cadaques and Cap de Creus.

Cala Guillola
Cala Guillola, Cadaques

It can be a little difficult to find (you won’t see any signs pointing you where to go) and a little difficult actually getting there but your efforts will well be worth it.

We chanced upon the cove on a bright and fresh January morning with no other people in sight. Talk about idyllic, the temptation to try out the crystal clear water was very strong but the fact that we were in the middle of winter ensured sanity prevailed.

Cala Guillola
Cala Guillola, close to Cadaques

The area around Cadaques and the Cap de Creus peninsula is dotted with little coves like this. Check out another blog post which lists all of the many coves and bays in the area; The beaches and coves of Cadaques. Or check out the local Visit Cadaques website which has plenty of local information.

Cadaques vacation homes

At Charming Villas Catalonia we offer our clients a selection of the best properties on the rental market in Cadaques. Browse our portfolio of Cadaques vacation rentals and holiday villas for rent in Cadaques.

Locally based we can help our clients plan activities and extra services. Fancy a lunch with fishermen on the pier at Portlligat? Take a Costa Brava hot air balloon trip or sail around the Cap de Creus? We can help plan all these and many more.

Aiguablava beach Begur

The beaches of Begur

One of the prettiest beaches along the whole Costa Brava, Aiguablava beach Begur is a popular beach for holiday makers and locals alike.

The beach of AiguaBlava, Begur
AiguaBlava, Begur

At around 150m in length Aiguablava (Blue Water in Catalan) can become pretty crowded during the peak months of July and August. For this reason it is best to get there early to claim your spot!

Aiguablava beach, Begur
Aiguablava, Begur, Costa Brava

The beach of Aiguablava

One of our favourite beaches, Aiguablava is in our list of favorite beaches on the Costa Brava.

Aiguablava Costa Brava
The empty beach of Aiguablava close to Begur

Not as commercialized as nearby larger beaches such as Tamariu, Aiguablaba does however have a couple of decent restaurants. Toc al Mar is a restaurant located right on the water overlooking Aiguablava. Their specialty dishes are paellas and other rice dishes.

The photographs posted here were taken on a slightly overcast and windy February day.

Aiguablava
Aiguablava, Costa Brava

Aiguablava vacation villas

At Charming Villas Catalonia we have a good selection of luxury Aiguablava holiday villas to choose from. Browse our portfolio of vacation rentals in Aiguablava and Begur.

Locally based we offer a free concierge service to all our customers. We love to help our clients make the most of their time while in the region and take great pleasure in helping arrange all kinds of activities and extra services.

Please contact us – we would be delighted to hear from you.

Banyoles lake and market

The lake of Banyoles

Banyoles, a medium sized town close to Girona is famed for its lake. Scene of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic rowing events the lake serves as the central hub and focus of the town.

A view of Banyoles lake along a jetty
A view of Banyoles lake just after sunrise

With the increased popularity of triathlons, Banyoles is also becoming one of the main locations for triathlon training in Europe. The triathlon world cup is being held here in 2012. The town is also a popular training location for rowing teams from around Europe.

The Banyoles lake and market

However one does not need to be an Olympic rower or triathlete to enjoy the charms of the lake. At around 2 kms long and with a perimeter of just over  7 kms the lake makes for the perfect mid morning or afternoon stroll. It is also possible to hire canoes and bikes.

Banyoles lake
Sunrise over Banyoles lake

If you are planning a day trip to Banyoles a good idea would be to do this on a Wednesday when the weekly market is spread out between “Placa Major” and the large “Placa de Rodes” which is close to the lake. The market mainly consists of fruit and vegetables, cured meats and cheeses with many of the stalls offering local and organic products. The market starts early at around 08.00am and starts closing up around 13.00

Banyoles

Some recommended restaurants in Banyoles include;

Famed for its seafood Gils Banyoles restaurant is a popular lunchtime destination for locals. Located close to the lake.

La Magrana (The Pomegranate) is a small family run restaurant in the old quarter of the town offering a modern twist on traditional Catalan dishes using fresh seasonal produce.

Can Xabanet is another family ran restaurant located just between Placa de Rodes and the lake. Traditional flavorsome dishes in a friendly atmospheric setting.

Charming Villas Catalonia

At Charming villas Catalonia we offer our clients a varied selection of high standard Barcelona vacation rentals. From Barcelona beachfront apartments to large farmhouses close to Barcelona.

Locally based we offer a free concierge service to all of our clients. Our goal is to make sure that our clients make the most out of their time while in Catalonia. We can help plan fun day-trips to the Costa Brava and all kinds of activities and extra services. From tables at the number one restaurant in Spain, El Celler de Can Roca to dining on a pier with fishermen. Let us know how we can help plan the perfect vacation and we will do the rest.