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Road Trip in Catalonia: from Cadaques to Barcelona

In this article, the story of my road trip to Catalonia of 6 days. What to do and see in Catalonia? Where to sleep? Which restaurants to choose? You will find the itinerary we followed to visit Catalonia and some good advice.

I have travelled to Spain several times and each time I am amazed: each corner is different from the other. 

Visiting Catalonia: travel itinerary

Visit Catalonia, road trip catalog, route catalog

Travel from April 20 to 25, 2015

Day 1:

Cadaqués♥♥♥

We left on a sunny Monday morning and arrived in Cadaqués in the early afternoon.

Where to park the car?

There are several paid car parks at the entrance to the city, we found a free place looking in the small streets outside the center.

We booked the first night in Cadaqués 2 months in advance, as I was a little afraid of having to struggle to find a hotel at a good price.

The hotel address can be accessed below in the article. With an average price higher than the rest of the Costa Brava and it is not without reason, the village was defined by the artist Dali as "the most beautiful village in the world".

Cadaques, Visit Catalonia, road trip catalog, route catalog
View of Cadaqués by Gordito1869 CC-BY-3.0

In April you will find very little tourist and a perfect climate to visit. On the other hand the less courageous (like me) will not be able to swim, the water is at 20 degrees maximum.

I advise you to go as soon as you arrive at the tourist office to get the map of the city (downloadable also thanks to the link below).

What to do in Cadaqués

  • If you look at the map of the village you can find, in light yellow, the streets not to be missed.
Cadaqués plan, Visit Catalonia, road trip catalog, route catalog
Centre de Cadaqués

Stroll through the narrow alleyways, admire the immaculate white stone houses that contrast with the bright colors of doors, windows, flowers and sky. Climb to the highest point of the village to visit the church of Santa Maria and admire its 23-metre-high baroque retable. In the church square you can enjoy a magnificent view of the bay.

Cadaqués, Visiting Catalonia, road trip catalog, route catalog
Cadaqués Lane

Hotel in Cadaqués

Address: Carrer de L'Eesglésia, 6

Price: 60 Euros per room – Wi-Fi – without breakfast

This hotel just steps from the Santa Maria church is fine, an old lady will greet you with a smile and give you all the information you need for a good stay.You are in the heart of the village and you can enjoy a magical atmosphere after dark. You can reduce your fares by ten euros by moving away from the city centre by 15-20 kilometres.

  • Restaurant: Canshelabi
  • Address: Riera T Vicenc, 9
  • Price: 10-15 Euros per meal

If you want to have a simple kitchen at low prices this is the place for you. For 12 euros per person we ate several tapas (2 euros tapas) as well as fish of the day, a homemade dessert and wine.  

  • Bar: Boia
  • Paseo Mariatimo, s/n, Cadaqués

 

We had our breakfast at Bar Boia, this charming place facing the sea is the perfect place for morning coffee: an espresso and two toasts with jam on the beach terrace for 3.60 Euros. FYI: We heard about the compartir restaurant (Michelin star and first position on Tripadvisor) but it was closed during our visit: let us know what you think! 

 

Portlligat ♥♥

The artist Salvador Dali lived and worked in Portlligat until Gala's death in 1982, when he moved to Pubol Castle.

Dali's house was originally a simple fisherman's house but thanks to 40 years of work it becomes the current house. This small port is a 10-minute drive from Cadaqués but you can also get there in a 30-minute walk.

Dali House, PortLligat, Cadaqués, Visiting Catalonia, road trip catalog, route catalog
Dali's house at PortLligat

You imagine that if the great artist decided to establish himself in this corner, it is thanks to the charm and tranquility of the place.

Dali's house is visible from the harbour beach but beware, if you want to visit the interior of the house you have to book.

I'll leave the phone number and email to contact at least 2-3 days before your visit: 0034 972 251 015 – pll@fundaciodali.org.

The price of admission is 11 euros and the schedules change depending on the season, do not hesitate to check on the website www.salvador-dali.org.

We went to the Portlligat without visiting Dali's house as we had not booked and it is still worth a visit and you will see Salvador's house from the outside!

 

Cape of Crues ♥♥♥

The Massif de Cap de Crues is a unique place of incredible beauty. You can admire rocks with strange shapes (renamed by the inhabitants of the village with animal names), do a multitude of activities (hiking, boating, diving) or do as we do and drive through the park to arrive at the lighthouse and admire the landscape.

Day 2-3

Rosas

Rosas this is a seaside resort that is not worth a visit if you don't have time. We spent a few hours in the city and my boyfriend (Breton at heart) had the courage to swim… for me it's outlawed with less than 28 degrees;-)

After this little swim and a first sunburn we headed to the city center for lunch.

The city centre is nice and you can find some nice little corners.

I tested it for you

  • Restaurant: Calipso
  • Address: Calle Juan Badosa No 24
  • Price: 12 Euros the menu (starter-plate-dessert) – Wifi

Plenty of cooking at low prices, no more, if you stop there priority squid and paella! We left Rosas in the late afternoon for Girona, a city to discover without hesitation! 

 

GERONE (GIRONA) ♥♥♥

Girona is a charming city, often forgotten in favor of the most famous Barcelona. The city is to visit without hesitation: the things to see are many and the atmosphere very pleasant.

 

What to do in Girona

  • Admire the colourful houses with original architecture along the Onyar River
  • Passing the Eiffel Bridge built by Gustave Eiffel just before the mythical Tower of Paris
Eiffel Bridge, Girona, Girona, VisitIng Catalonia, road trip catalog, route catalog
Eiffel Bridge, Girona
Girona, Houses on the Onyar River, Visit Catalonia, road trip catalog, route catalog
Houses on the Onyar River
  • Strolling through the alleys of the Jewish Quarter, one of the best-preserved Jewry in the world
Jewish quarter of Girona, Girona, visit the catalog
Lane of the Jewish quarter of Girona
  • Visit Santa Maria Cathedral and St Felix's Church. Don't forget to kiss the lioness's buttocks near Sant Feliu! It's a Lucky Gate!  
St Mary's Cathedral in Girona, Girona, visit the catalog
St Mary's Cathedral in Girona
St Felix's Church, Gerone, St Mary's Cathedral of Girona, Girona, visit the catalog
St. Felix's Church

 

  • Walk under the trees of La Rambla de la Llibertat, the main street of medieval Girona, to enjoy shops and terraces. Live the city as one of the locals! 
  • Strolling along the ramparts, the long wall that encircles the old town. It's magical at sunset!  

Hotel in Girona

Hotel Condal (book here)

Carrer by Joan Maragall,

10 -34 972 20 44 62

This hotel is in the heart of the city centre and a short walk from the old town! We were greeted by a smiling French-speaking girl who gave us a map of the city as well as all the information needed to enjoy our visit. Price: 46 Euros a night – WIFI – paid parking – reception 24 hours a day – breakfast. not included

Girona Tourism Office

Rbla. de la Llibertat, 1 17004 Girona (El Gironès) Phone: (34) 972 010 001 Email address: turisme@ajgirona.cat Site: www.girona.cat/turisme

 

PALAFRUGELL ♥♥

In the morning we left Girona, towards Palafrugell, a small town known for its coves and the authenticity of the place.

We went to Tamarin, to admire the coves with clear waters.

The day was not good enough to enjoy the beach, so we quickly set off to discover Calella de Palafrugell.

The village is nice but we would have liked a little more life. Indeed, during our visit (Wednesday, April 22, 2015) the village was quite deserted, several restaurants and shops were closed and only a few tourists animated the terraces of the port.

If you like movida, April is still too early to enjoy the potential of the village, it wakes up slowly to prepare for the coming tourist season (two appointments not to be missed in the summer months: the Habaneras Concert and the Cap Roig Festival).

We stayed for a little walk in the village, and after deciding that the open restaurants did not inspire us enough, we left for Pals.   

Palafrugell, visit the catalog
Calella de Palafrugell
Palafrugell Calella Beach, visit the catalog
Palafrugell Calella Beach
Calella de Palafrugell, catalog, visit the catalog
The Small Port – Palafrugell Calella

 

Pals ♥

The medieval city of Pals stands a few kilometers from the Mediterranean, in the heart of the Costa Brava. This charming old town is built on a mound and surrounded by the ancient walls of the castle. You can walk through the small streets and admire its Gothic buildings.

Pals, catalog
Pals
Pals

 

Tossa de Mar ♥♥♥

After a few hours spent in the pretty town of Pals we left for Tossa de Mar.

This town is a little wonder. You will remain enchanted by its fortress built on the mound by the sea.

After your visit to the fortress, let yourself be tempted by a moment of relaxation on the terrace of the Vila bar a few steps from the castle. 

You will enjoy a beautiful view of the sea in a friendly setting.

Hotel in Tossa de Mar

Hotel Turissa (to book click here)

This hotel is a 5 minute walk from the historic centre, including breakfast. Wi-Fi is paid (1 Euro/1 Hour)

We paid 29 Euros a night with breakfast. After checking on booking, the rates have increased to 50 Euros per room, try to call them before booking to confirm the price.  

Address: Avenida del Pelegr, 27

Tel: '34 972 34 02 11'

Restaurant in Tossa de Mar

Can Pini: 15 – 25 Euros

Restaurant in the old town that offers a 14 Euro package with fresh and gourmet products. Address: Carrer del Portal, 12, 17320 Tossa de Mar, Phone: 34 972 34 02 97

Tossa de mar, Catalonia, visit the catalog
Old Town – Tossa de Mar
Tossa de mar, Catalonia, visit the catalog
Sea View – Tossa de Mar

Barcelona ♥♥♥

Barcelona would well deserve an article apart but here I will summarize the 5 things to do that we tested during our 3 day stay in the city.  

1) Visit the Park of Goell

This park of original architecture was built between 1900 and 1914 by Antoni Gaudi. Part of the Park is paid (7 Euros) and another part is free. It's up to you!

Barcelona, Guell Park, catalog
Barcelona – Guell Park

2) Walking on the Rambla

It is a great lane, with a pedestrian part that from the centre of Barcelona takes you to the sea. You'll find bars, restaurants, shops, museums, street artists and a lot of people!

Not to be missed if you are not afraid of the crowds the Boqueria market (closed on Sunday): you can find all the products of the region and a special atmosphere.

3) Visit the Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia is the cathedral designed by the architect Gaudi and still not completed. It will amaze you! To avoid the long queue at the entrance you can buy your tickets on the internet or at Caixa banks. I highly recommend this option. 

It is because of the fact that we did not provide this option that we were not able to visit the Sagrada Familia. 😉

You have to allow 15 Euros for a visit without a guide and 19-50 euros with.

If you can/don't want to spend this amount here is a video that shows the cathedral inside. It's always a win…

 

Here is another video that shows the cathedral completed in

2026

4) Visit the Gothic Quarter

This lively area of Barcelona will seduce you. In this labyrinth of small streets, you can visit historic buildings, have a drink on the terrace, eat tapas and go shopping.

5) Visit Casa Batllo and Casa Mila

These two buildings are the work of Gaudi's genius.

Casa Mila Barcelona, Barcelona, visit the catalog
Casa Mila Barcelona by ChristianSchd CC-BY-SA

Where to park your car in Barcelona?

We parked for free next to the Vall D'Hebron hospital!  

Besal ♥♥

The last stop on our tour was the small historic town of Besal.

In Besal, you can admire the village with its medieval buildings.

Notable is the Benedictine abbey founded in 977 and the fortified bridge erected in the 12th century on the River Fluvià.

Restaurant in Besalu

Restaurant La Botega

Small restaurant in the heart of the village. Thanks to the 11 Euro formula you can enjoy the typical products and taste the aperitif made from white wine: Le Vermuth

Besalu Bridge, visit Catalonia, Besalu
Besalu Bridge – Catalonia

My travelogue in Catalonia is over! In conclusion visiting Catalonia was a pleasure, April is the ideal month to escape the crowds but this does not allow to enjoy the crystal clear waters of the coast. Maybe for a next time… 

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