The Cap de Creus peninsula in northeastern Catalonia is a rocky, mountainous region of wind-swept slopes covered by thick gorse; quaint coastal villages; and crystal-clear coves. The mountains extend from the snow-capped peaks of the Pyrenees to the turquoise coast of the Mediterranean sea and are now part of the Cap de Creus national park. The rugged natural beauty of the Cap de Creus peninsula was a major source of inspiration for one of the greatest artists of our time, Salvador Dalí, who lived in nearby Port Lligat. It’s not hard to see why Dalí chose this place: the wind, the sea and the mountains collude to create elements that seem incredibly surreal – Dalí himself was endlessly intrigued by the ethereal light that reflected off the cove of Port Lligat. Despite tourism developments along the Costa Brava coast, the Cap de Creus peninsula remains till this day a region of untouched beauty.
Things to do and see in Cap de Creus
Cap de Creus is the perfect place for a few days of tranquil bliss. However, there are many sights and activities around the peninsula to keep you occupied for a longer period. The charming fishing village of Cadaqués, with its whitewashed houses and gorgeous harbour, is famed as being a favourite haunt for artists and writers, and is absolutely worth a visit.
Further up the coast is the small hamlet of Port Lligat, where Salvador Dalí built his home. I highly recommend a visit to the Casa Dalí for unique insights into the life of this famous artist. While you’re there, go on an authentic boat trip in the Gala (the same boat Dalí and his wife used) with a local fisherman as your guide.
Another famous attraction in the area is the romanesque abbey of Sant Pere de Rodes near the town of Port de la Selva.
Mas Perafita: a tranquil retreat in Cap de Creus
High up in the coastal hills of Cap de Creus, near the picturesque coastal village of Cadaqués, is the gorgeous Mas Perafita winery and B&B. Surrounded by fields of vines and inviting lawns, and with stunning views of the Cap de Creus mountains, Mas Perafita is the perfect place to relax in tranquil surroundings. It’s also a great base from which to explore the Cap de Creus peninsula. Cadaqués and Port Lligat are literally down the road whilst the Sant Pere de Rodes abbey is a mere 15-minute drive away.
The winery and B&B are located in a beautifully restored building that is part of a 15th century monastery. The upper floor houses four spacious rooms whilst the winery and dining areas are on the ground floor. There’s not a lot to do aside from sitting on the manicured lawns and taking in the magnificent view, or letting the wind cradle you to sleep in one of the hammocks, or sitting in the comfortable lounge chairs with a good book and a glass of Martín Faixó wine.
Wine tourism at Celler Martín Faixó
Run by the Martín Faixó family, the winery produces a variety of white and rose wines. My favourite is the fruity and aromatic Picapoll (a blend of Picapoll blanc and Moscatel d’Alexandria) that’s just perfect for a warm summer day. As a consequence of the geology of the Cap de Creus peninsula, the roots of the Martín Faixó vines extend deep into the earth and absorb the rich mineral content. The result are wines that are crisp, with unmistakable earthy flavours and a lingering fruity bouquet. The family actively encourages wine tourism in the area and organises a variety of wine-related activities such as wine-tastings. Guests are also invited to learn more about the grape varieties and are able to participate during the grape-harvesting season.
The Martín Faixó family also run a restaurant, Can Rafa, in Cadaqués, a ten minute drive away. The restaurant serves a delightful array of local specialties – ask for the sublime bacalao carpaccio or the pickled anchovies – accompanied by their prize-winning wines.
If you’re travelling through or holidaying in the Costa Brava region in the northeast of Catalonia, I recommend spending at least a few days in Cap de Creus. Its rugged natural beauty, picturesque villages and cultural and culinary highlights will keep you captivated throughout your visit!