The most relaxing and exclusive place from which to enjoy a little-known corner of Spain...
THE SEASONS AT CARRER JONQUET:
This is the time of flowering in the garden terraces of our house, on the banks and in the fields around us, in town, and throughout the wild park of Cap de Creus. The glories of pale blue rosemary, cream and pink cistus, dark pink thyme, and the amethyst ears of French lavender are everywhere.
All of this is framed by olive trees blowing silver- green in the breeze, the domes of umbrella pines and the spires of cypress.
Birds, in their Spring migration from Africa, arrive to nest and breed. Swallows come, with their peach coloured breats and charcoal tails, to check out the house and find a nesting site, finally building an intricate edifice in the corner of our porch.We can sit on the terrace observing with delight or walk in the park to spot different species resting or moving north.
This is a time for walking, smelling the wild flowers and the scents of orange blossom. It is the time for kayaking and seeing the dolphins and seals just offshore, or the eagles on the wind.
In this season, and throughout the year, the light in Cadaques has a special quality that is often remarked on. It changes through the day, and according to the weather and the seasons, but always has a silvery brightness, most intense and sparkling in Spring and Summer, more golden in Autumn, more grey and blue in Winter. The variety and brilliance of this light attracted Dali and Picasso and still is beloved of painters and writers, walkers and meditators.
Summer is the time of heat, cooled by breezes, or by swimming in the pool or in the sea, in one of the lovely little coves a few minutes walk from the house. One of these, S'Alqueria Gran, is reached by a simple path, the other is a hidden pleasure arrived at by walking down through the terraces of olives and pines to a rocky cove with warm shallow waters.
Thsoe who love scuba diving can dive with any of the several diving schools in the town. Boat lovers can take trips on large or small boats to look at the shoreline of Cap de Creus, or choose to go kayaking and canoing. In the first week of September there is a renowned festival of sailing boats called the " Trobada de Barques de Vela Llatina" , where the boats with their huge sails fill the great bay of Cadaques.
Eating in the cafes of Cadaques, or in the restaurant at the lighthouse out at Cap de Creus is great at any time of year, but perhaps more special in SUmmer, under awnings in the sun or in the warm nights, to feast on pan-fried dorada with slices of rosemary flavoured potatoes, or fresh-grilled sardines, or slices of bread with tomatoes and anchovies. There is a good variety of restaurants, cafes and bars, from cheap and cheerful to exquisite Catalan cuisine, vai Moroccan cooking, pizzas and tapas.
Museum visiting is part of holidays here, whether going to the Dali house-museum at Port Lligat or the town's own museum in an old theatre, or driving back over the mountain road with its' spectacular views to see the extraordinary Dali meseum in Figueres or the Graeco-Roman ruins at Empuries on the coast towards Girona. In July and August there is an international music festival here and in September, the Fest Major d'Estiu brings dances, football and concerts to the area. Shopping is good too, patrticularly for stylish clothes and shoes, for bright local pottery, and explorations of the medieval part of the town with its tiny shops full of quilts, photographs and regional food.
Quietness and peace descend on Cadaques which has pulsed with people and liveliness through the Summer. S'Alqueria, the park in which our house stands is always peaceful because it is outside the town in an area of few houses;yet an added air of solitude and reflectiveness arrives with the cooler weather in mid-September. It is still warm enough to swim or kayak till mid to late October and cool enough to take stretching walks out to the lighthouse at Cap de Creus, over the hils to Port de la Selva, or through Cadaques and beyond, to the lighthouse, Cala Nans, on the far side of Cadaques bay.These walks give the walker the most spectacular views of sea, rocks and sky, of boats out to sea and more glorious flights of birds readying for their Autumn migration to Africa.
Taking a day's drive to the foothills of the Pyrenees is beautiful this time of the year, as is a visit to Girona's Old Town, with ancient walls and streets so beautifully restored and filled with fascinating shops, restaurants and mueums- Girona is a gem! La Bisbal d'Emporda, a village near Girona, is worth visiting for thsoe who love antiques as it is chock-full of both.
This season, from November to February, is sometimes quiet, cold and still, sometimes silver-gold and blue in the Winter sunlight and under the often cloudless skies. At other times the wild north wind,the "Tramontana" blows and the seas turn lapis lazuli with sparkling white frill waves, or dark grey-green under stormy clouds.
Winter here is a time for wild walking, well covered-up, or for snuggling by the fire in the warmth of the house ( which has an underfloor heating system) and listening to music or reading. In the house it is cosy and comfortable to write, to cook, to sew, to reflect and dream or to hang out and chat, to watch films in the media room or gaze into the flames. This is a time of retreating into comfort and quiet, whilst still looking out at the endless play of light and wind on water.
It is a time for celebrating New Year out at the Cap de Creus lighthouse, on the eastermost point of Spain, where Cadaquesians and others gather before the first sun to hit the land on January 1, to drink hot chocolate and dance the "sardanas", the national dance of the Catalans.
Cadaques and the surrounding area
Carrer Jonquet, 26 is one hour's drive from the French border and from Girona, and less than two hours from Barcelona. Skiing is in the Catalonian Pyrenees, two and an half hours away at Masella, La Molina and Nuria. The area is rich in Roman history; the Marshes of the Aiguamolls de l'Emporda are a bird sanctuary and the Cap de Creus Natural Park is on the migratory route between Africa and Northern Europe. At the Cap de Creus lighthouse (15 minutes drive from the house) is a bar and restaurant with spectacular views of both the Pyrenees and Catalonian coast. There is also a wonderful walk from the house through the National Park to the lighthouse and restaurant. Dali's Museum at Figueras and his house on the edge of Cadaques are pilgrimage sites for art lovers from around the world. Water sports, yachting and scuba diving are all available in Cadaques itself, while golf, rock climbing, fishing and cycling are all within easy access. It is a short and easy trip to Cadaques. Flights are an hour and a half from London and Carrer Jonquet, 26 is just over an hour from Perpignan and Girona airports and is under an hour from Figueras and Llanca railway stations. From November 2007, the fast train from London to Barcelona will take only six hours.
1st May - 28th June 2013 2500 euros
29th June - 30th August 3950 euros
1st September - 21st December 2500 euros
22nd December - 4th January 3000 euros
The house is normally rented Saturday to Saturday. If not previously booked, the house is available for off peak lets, such as weekend breaks, on a daily rate of 390 euros.
Interactive Map of Cadaques with street finder:
View availability for the house at our page on HolidayRentals.co.uk:
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For more information or to reserve your break at Carrer Jonquet, 26, please contact Isobel Cosgrove on