Peralada and Cadaqués are two tourist destinations near the city of Barcelona, ideal for visiting with your group on a day or two-day excursion.
The medieval village of Peralada is famous for its castle and other attractions scattered throughout the old town, while Cadaqués is a small town on the Costa Brava, located within the Cap de Creus Natural Park. Just 35 km separate both destinations, making them perfect for exploring on the same trip by bus or minibus from Barcelona. If your group is small, you can go in one or two cars, but it would be good if the drivers have experience driving on mountain roads.
The medieval village of Peralada, your first stop
The first stop of the day is Peralada, a village located northeast of Figueres and a few kilometers from the Costa Brava. It’s a small and charming place that can be easily explored in half a day or a couple of hours. After strolling through the narrow streets of its historic center, your group can head to Cadaqués, where other interesting sites await to be discovered.
The bus trip to Peralada
The town of Peralada is located 145 km from Barcelona (a little over an hour and a half drive) and is accessible via the AP-7 highway. As there are no direct public transportation services to Peralada, the easiest option is to hire a bus/minibus in Barcelona. This way, your group can enjoy a flexible trip with all the comforts, without being dependent on public transportation schedules.
Is it possible to reach Peralada by public transportation?
There are no direct public transportation services that make this journey. The only possibility to reach Peralada via public transportation is by taking the R11 train from Barcelona to Vilajuiga, and then transferring to bus number 12 to Peralada
Parking your car or bus in Peralada
Peralada has two free parking lots. One of them is Parking Peralada, located next to the roundabout of the C-252 road, right at the entrance to the old town; and the other one is close to the entrance of Peralada Castle, at Carrer de la Constitució, 6
What to see in Peralada?
Our advice is to arrive in Peralada early in the morning to have about 2-3 hours to explore the town at your own pace. Within the village, you can visit sites such as:
• Plaça Gran: It’s the heart of the town, surrounded by Gothic porticoed buildings. From here, a maze of narrow cobbled streets leads off, where you’re sure to make several stops for photographs.
• Peralada Castle: A 9th-century construction that is the main symbol of the village. Currently not open to the public, but its gardens can be explored, from which you’ll also surely take some souvenir photos.
• Claustros de Sant Domènec: These are the remains of an 11th-century Augustinian monastery. They currently form part of the Peralada Municipal Museum, where you can also find all the tourist information about the village.
• Church of Sant Martí: The parish church of Peralada is another symbol of this Catalan town. It was built in neoclassical style in the 18th century, although it is believed that there was previously a small pre-Romanesque temple from the early 9th century on the site.
• Convent del Carmen: A Gothic building that houses the Castle Museum, where a collection of glassware and over 1,000 copies of Don Quixote are exhibited in its library. Next to it is the Jewish Quarter of Peralada, where you can take a walk.
• Medieval walls and gates: They are a reconstruction of the old wall damaged in 1285. Some sections and the Conde and Carme gates remain intact to this day.
Second Stop: Cadaqués
After strolling through the streets of Peralada, your group will return to your bus to continue the journey to the town of Cadaqués, located just 34 km away.
The small town of Cadaqués is located in the northern part of the province of Girona, within the Cap de Creus Natural Park. It is 175 km away from Barcelona and only 40 km from the French border.
Bus trip to Cadaqués
While it’s possible to reach Cadaqués by car or public transportation from Barcelona, Girona, or Figueres, the only available road is the GI-614, which tends to experience several traffic jams, especially during the summer season. To avoid this, we recommend traveling during the low season, that is, autumn or spring.
Additionally, the last 15 km of the road are full of curves, first ascending and then descending towards the coast, making it unsuitable for inexperienced drivers. Therefore, it would be best to rely on a private transportation service, so your only concern is enjoying the ride and admiring the landscape dotted with vineyards.
Saba, Sa Conca, and Portlligat Parkings
In Cadaqués, there are several parking options. One of them (Parking Saba) is located at the entrance of the town and is suitable for all types of vehicles, from cars to buses and caravans. The parking lot is paid from Easter until the end of the summer season, while the rest of the year it is free.
For free parking, it’s best to look for space around the city or in the parking lots at Ros Beach, Sa Conca, and Avenida Salvador Dalí located next to the Cadaqués campground. The best parkings for buses are Parking Saba and the parking lot at Portlligat cove, just a few meters from the Salvador Dalí House Museum.
How to Get to Cadaqués by Public Transportation?
It’s possible to reach Cadaqués using public transportation. Barcelona and Girona, for example, are connected by the AVE trains that go to Figueres. From there, you need to take a bus from the Sarfa Bus company to Cadaqués. The same company operates daily bus services from Barcelona, Girona, or Figueres to Cadaqués.
What to see in Cadaqués?
Cadaqués holds onto its coastal village charm, boasting narrow winding streets, quaint white stone houses adorned with vibrant flowers peeking from their windows. It’s a perfect destination for leisurely strolls, much like the renowned surrealist painter Salvador Dalí enjoyed, who famously dubbed it ‘the world’s most beautiful village.
Explore these must-see spots while wandering through Cadaqués:
• Historic heart: once encircled by protective walls shielding against pirate raids, remnants of which include a gateway into the ancient quarter, where narrow lanes wind upwards.
• Santa María Parish Church: perched atop Cadaqués, it doubles as a panoramic lookout. Encircling it are whitewashed dwellings boasting distinctive triangular chimneys and Arabesque tiled rooftops, once abodes of seafarers. The labyrinthine alleys leading to the church trace back to the medieval era, housing a vibrant Jewish enclave.
• Coastal Promenade: nestled in the lower precincts of Cadaqués, this coastal thoroughfare beckons exploration. Lined with seaside cafes and terrace bars, it also showcases architectural gems like Casa Blaua.
More about Salvador Dalí in Portlligat
As an additional part of your journey, your group can hop back on the bus to visit the neighboring town of Portlligat, where the surrealist genius lived with his wife.
The Dalinian Triangle
The Salvador Dalí House is open to the public and, along with the Figueres Theatre-Museum and Púbol Castle, forms the Dalinian Triangle. The museum house is preserved exactly as it was during the painter’s time, and the visit allows you to explore its various rooms, including Dalí’s studio.
How many days for Peralada and Cadaqués? Alternative plans
This group road trip to Peralada and Cadaqués is perfect for a weekend. While both destinations are small, with two days you can better enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of both places and explore other nearby attractions. Our advice is to spend the night in Cadaqués, where you will find a greater variety of accommodations.
Cap de Creus natural park
If you have the time, we recommend visiting the Cap de Creus Natural Park and take your group for a hike.
Getting to Cap de Creus Lighthouse
This wild and rugged corner of the Costa Brava is perfect to visit on a bus or minibus trip with a driver, as the roads are winding and very scenic, so it’s worth paying attention to the landscape rather than driving.
An important clarification is that buses are prohibited from circulating in Cap de Creus from June 24th to September 15th. For the rest of the year, you must request authorization from the Local Police. Discuss this with your bus rental company, they will know how to manage it, or if not, they will know where to drop you off so you can continue with the shuttle minibuses that enter the Cap de Creus Natural Park and depart from the Corral de Morell parking lot in Cadaqués.
Parking near the lighthouse
The road ends at the Cap de Creus lighthouse, where there is free parking. It’s worth mentioning that it’s best to arrive early in the morning, as it fills up quickly. Additionally, the place is best enjoyed at sunrise when the first rays of sunlight illuminate the landscape.
Better use your own transport
Getting to the Cap de Creus lighthouse by public transportation is not the most advisable, as the train from Barcelona only goes as far as Llançà and Vilajuïga. From there, you would need to find another means of transportation such as a taxi or hitchhiking.
Beaches and coves
If you’re making this group trip during the summer season, you can also enjoy the beaches of Cadaqués or the coves of the Cap de Creus Natural Park. In the latter case, the ones closest to the lighthouse are Cala Fredosa, Bona, Culip, Jugadora, Racó des Solà, Racó des Barrilers, Racó de ses Ielles, and Racó de sa Conillera. Of all the beaches in Cadaqués, one of the most recommended is Sa Conca.
Where to eat with your group in Cadaqués?
Sampling Cadaqués’ cuisine is another essential aspect of your group trip. Its gastronomy offers a world of flavors to discover, with many ingredients typical of Mediterranean cuisine. Lobsters, sea urchins, and rice dishes are key ingredients in succulent stews and other preparations.
One of the best restaurants, is Estafa Cadaqués which not only serves delicious seafood dishes but also delights diners with views of the Bay of Cadaqués. It is located at Riba Pitxot 18 and is open every day of the week from 1 pm to 4 pm and from 8 pm to 11 pm.
Another great place to eat in Cadaqués is Restaurante Compartir, located at Riera Sant Vicenç s/n. The establishment is recommended in the Michelin Guide of Spain for its dishes full of flavors and textures. Don’t forget to make a reservation in advance if you’re visiting during peak season.
Excited to explore Peralada and Cadaqués?
This two-day group outing to Peralada and Cadaqués from Barcelona will be ideal for discovering two very touristy sites in the Catalan community and the Costa Brava. It’s an ideal trip for nature lovers, medieval architecture enthusiasts, photography enthusiasts, and foodies. Both destinations will allow you to enjoy the scenic richness of northern Spain!