Cap de creus: A perfect day at Cap de Creus

A perfect day at Cap de Creus

© GeofffCap de Creus

Our guide to having an unforgettable day at the end of the world


The Cap de Creus (Creus Cape) is one of the most amazing places on the Costa Brava. A paradise with sea and mountain landscapes that will stun you. And the best part is that even though it can seem as though it’s right at the end of the world, you can get to it with a short car journey. For that reason (and basically because we’re some of the biggest fans ever of the Cap de Creus), we’ve put together this short guide with outings, beaches and restaurants that you should try if you’re heading to the area. As well, of course, as exploring the natural park. 

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Camí Antic from Cadaqués to the Cap de Creus

Let’s start the day with a walk. This is one of the most popular local routes, but it’s definitely worth it because along its 14km you pass many beautiful coves. In fact, if you really want to capture the magic of the Cap de Creus, follow the old path that goes from Cadaqués to the lighthouse. During the first section of the itinerary, you walk along roads, but once you get to Portlligat, it really gets good: the beaches of Sant Lluís and la Guillola, expansive lands featuring abandoned vines and, finally, the famous local lighthouse. For the return journey, some people opt for the road only, while some mix road and path. In total, it’s about four hours of walking, and every minute is really, really worth it. 

Restaurant del Cap de Creus

  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • price 2 of 4

We imagine that you’ll arrive at this restaurant in the lighthouse (or ‘far’) of Cap de Creus tired, and maybe even exhausted. Before you head back, make sure you take advantage of your visit to have a cold glass of vermouth or even just a sparkling water. It’s been 25 years since a British biologist fell in love with this old barracks of the Guàrdia Civil, and he decided to create a restaurant that also has a few bedrooms to rent; over the years, the place has gained a cult status, particularly for its New Year’s Eve parties, and also because in the middle of winter you can head there to experience the gusts of the tramuntana wind. Some say that that premises, which is clearly a boho kind of place, needs some renovations and that in high season, it can take a long time to be served. We don’t think that’s a problem because just to get there and look out over infinity is worth it.

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La Pelosa

  • Restaurants
  • Catalan
  • Alt Empordà

Another option is to dine at La Pelosa. This restaurant-beach bar is found in the cove (‘cala’) of the same name (close to the Natural Park of Cap de Creus and the now-closed El Bulli restaurant), and in next to no time it’s become one of the best on the Girona coast. Traditional home cooking where real love for the ingredients is clear: that’s what you’ll find there. Even though the menu is pretty long, their main specialities are rice dishes and, obviously, fish from the nearby Bay of Roses. Two unmissable options: the rice stew with lobster (you’ll probably want to find out the recipe, but no matter how hard you try, they’re never going to reveal it), and the ‘fideuà’ noodles. If you don’t fancy either of those, whatever fish you order will definitely be delicious.

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© Aj. Cadaqués

Cala Culleró

  • Things to do
  • Walks and tours

After lunch, put on your sun cream and start a tour of the local beaches. The first one we recommend is Cala Culleró. It’s not just any old cove (‘cala’), it’s the setting for stunning beauty and incredible geology, with rocks in the form of animals, sculpted by the saltwater and the tramuntana wind. The most well-known was the inspiration behind one of Salvador Dalí’s most famous works, ‘The Great Masturbator’. If you get tired of admiring the rocks and playing at spotting animal shapes with your kids, you can sunbathe on the small patch of sand (where nudism is acceptable). What makes Cala Culleró really special is swimming in the crystalline waters, letting yourself be stunned by the surroundings and allowing your mind to wander where it will. And, if you like, taking photos to put up (and win plaudits) on Instagram.

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© Toniflap/Shutterstock

Cala Jugadora

  • Things to do
  • Walks and tours
  • Alt Empordà

Both Salvador Dalí and writer Josep Pla talked about our second beach recommendation, but few people have seen it with their own eyes. You get to it from the Cap de Creus lighthouse, descending on foot along a dry riverbed for about half an hour until you reach a lovely spot with the softly rounded contours of broom bushes that is the complete opposite of the harshness you find in some other parts of this wild coast. What you’ll find there is a welcoming sandy stretch that gives on to a section of sea sheltered from the local tramuntana winds, and has water that is completely transparent and calm. In addition it’s home to an extensive range of sealife – bear in mind that this fauna is fiercely protected. It’s truly beautiful and if you decide to sleep overnight there during early summer, feeling the sun on your face at dawn will doubtless be one of the most intense experiences of your life.

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© Port de la Selva

Cala Cativa

  • Things to do
  • Walks and tours

Between Cala Tamariua and Cala Fornells you’ll find Cala Cativa, a (very) small virgin beach close to Cap de Creus that’s unknown to most people. The best way to get there is via the Camí de Ronda coastal path that goes towards Cala Tamariua or, if you have one, by kayak. If you go accompanied, don’t expect to find space for your towel because it’s unlikely you’ll all fit. Cala Cativa hides an amazing history: the remains of a first-century boat that was transporting 100 amphoras of wine between L’Hospitalet de Llobregat (a neighbouring city of Barcelona) and Narbonne in France.

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© Costa Bravas

Cova de s’Infern

  • Things to do
  • Alt Empordà

The Cova de s’Infern (Cove of Hell!) is, by a long way, one of the most incredible geographical accidents in the Cap del Creus. Visiting it is an amazing experience. It’s basically a rock that, thanks to water erosion, has gradually been shaped into a kind of cove with a natural swimming-pool inside it. Take a dip there and you will practically arrive at nirvana. The name, incidentally, comes from the red colour you can see in the water as the sun is rising. To get to it, you need to walk about 10 minutes from the lighthouse.

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From Sant Pere de Rodes to Sant Salvador de Verdera

Alternatively in the afternoon, you could also take advantage to do a short walk, just some 1.6km. It goes from the monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes to Sant Salvador de Verdera, the highest point in the Cap de Creus. From the monastery, follow a footpath that zig-zags its way up the mountain. About halfway along the path, you have two choices: one route that skirts along the mountain via the crest, and the one that goes to the left towards the castle. It’s the latter that we’ve chosen. The climb is not excessively difficult, but it’s not a total breeze either. In any case, when you get to Sant Salvador de Verdera and you look around you, you’ll understand why it’s worth the effort: the Bay of Roses, the Canigó massif, the Bay of Lleó, the mountain range of Albera… Breathtaking. 


© Boia Nit

Boia Nit

  • Bars and pubs
  • Gastropubs
  • Alt Empordà

Perhaps we’re trendy in some ways, but we can’t think of a better way to finish our tour of Cap de Creus than in this one-time society bar in Cadaqués, where for some years, locals could converse with the likes of Man Ray and Salvador Dalí. Today it’s a gastrobar where they serve signature tapas, and is run by Manel Vehí, the fourth generation to be at the head of this family business. Vehí has trained with some of the best chefs in the world (at restaurants like El Bulli, Jaleo and Criterion) and now he’s one of the most famous barmen on the global stage. You have to try the tapas and any of the cocktails – you’ll be amazed.

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© Cala Jóncols

Xiringuito de Cala Jóncols

  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • Alt Empordà

Not quite ready to call it a day? Then head to the Xiringuito de Cala Jóncols. If there was a world ranking of ‘xiringuitos’ (beach bars), this would certainly be close to the top. And that’s because it’s in front of possibly the most perfect beach hotel ever (without wanting to offend anyone). The hotel is a modest house that hardly stands out among the lunar landscape of Cap de Creus, surrounded by pine and olive trees, cut off from the rest of the world, and without coverage for your mobile. To complete the image of perfection, three generations of one family run the place and if there’s nothing you fancy on the set menu of the day, they will rustle something up for you (of course – there’s a grandma in residence). But let’s focus on the xiringuito: it was inaugurated in 1981, is open between approximately June and September, and is chic without going over the top, groovy without being a hive of modernity. On Fridays and Saturdays in the summer, there are DJs and live music. You have to drive along a track to get there, and you shouldn’t use GPS because you’ll get lost. But it’s all worth it. Really worth it.

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    Cap de Creus Natural Park

    Natural parks, Nature reserve, PEIN (Plan for areas of natural interest), Natural site of national interest, Natura 2000 network, Natura 2000 Network: Special Protection Area (SPA)

    The Cap de Creus Natural Park lies at the easternmost side of the Iberian Peninsula, it is a space of great biological, geological and scenic importance, comprising two very different elements: land and sea.

    The cape of Creus peninsula is located in the eastern most part of the Iberian peninsula, halfway between the district towns of Cadaqués, Port de la Selva, Selva de Mar, Llançà, Vilajuïga, Pau, Palau-saverdera and Roses. This is where the Cap de Creus Natural Park, the first maritime-terrestrial park in the country, can be found. It was created thanks to a law in 1998, which protects the cape of Creus peninsula (some 11,000 hectares) and its marine environment (some 3,000 hectares).

    They are areas of exceptional biological, geological and scenic quality, which required protection with a special care regime. The geological configuration, unique in the world, and the rich vegetation, in which Mediterranean and continental elements coexist, have led to numerous strange species, some endemic. The area also has a high potential for faunal recovery.

    The park has two differentiated protected areas: land and maritime. In the land area there are three natural areas of national interest: from Cap Gros to Cap de Creus, to the north, which includes a nature reserve, that of Cap de Creus, with the Maça Major and s’Encalladora islands; Falconera point on the Norfeu cape, to the south (the latter also a nature reserve), and the Rodes mountain range. All the islands, small and large, in the marine environment of Cap de Creus are also Natural Sites of National Interest.

    The area of the protected marine area ranges between 1.3 and 0.2 miles out to sea, with three partial nature reserves: the Farallons, the Creus cape (between the island of Culleró and Jugadora cove) and the Norfeu cape. The north of the s’Encalladora island is a marine nature reserve. The waters are clean and pure, and the wealth of underwater life is exceptional, with species such as corals (a significant source of income in other times) and seaweed meadows.

    In addition to the unquestionable biological and geological value of the area, is the exceptional scenic beauty that it offers: wild, varied and colourful. Abrupt cliffs, dark rocks furrowed by the wind and salt, islands and secluded coves. There are a number of places that are exposed to the fury of the tramontana winds and others that are shielded from this dry and wild wind, where the views are simply unrepeatable, as appreciated by celebrities such as Josep Pla or Salvador Dalí.

    The architectural heritage of the Creus cape is first rate. The most notable example is the Sant Pere de Rodes monastery, today the park offices.

    The park information centre, in the monastery, has information about the different routes and activities that are organised.

    Virtual tour:

    – Cala Jugadora
    – Cala Tulip
    – Pas de Claveguera
    – La Vall de Santa Creu – el Port de la Selva
    – Pau – La Creu Blanca

    Cap de Creus, Spain

    Cap de Creus, the peninsula and the cape bear this name at the same time – the easternmost point of Spain. In 1998, these territories were declared a national reserve, the province received a powerful impetus for the development of tourism in the region.

    Despite the fact that the Costa Brava is the most popular beach tourist destination in Spain among Russians, few people have the slightest idea about this place, preferring to lie down on the beach. Cap de Creus definitely deserves attention, so I recommend diluting your vacation with a visit to the reserve.

    Actual question – What to see here? The entire peninsula, especially its coastline, has an atypical landscape for the Costa Brava. Under the influence of a strong north wind, called Tramuntana, an amazing unearthly relief was formed here for thousands of years. There are absolutely no trees on the rocky terrain, weathered rocks take on bizarre shapes and color shades. The impregnable bays of the Mediterranean Sea with turquoise water complete the picture. Lovers of beautiful scenery and nature should definitely visit and appreciate Cap de Creus.


    Geographically, the cape is located in the northeast of Spain in the autonomous community of Catalonia. The nearest major city with an international airport is Girona, the nearest tourist town of the Costa Brava is Cadaqués.

    Cape Rap de Creus cannot boast of such worldwide fame and global popularity as, for example, neighboring Cabo da Roca in Portugal. It is visited mainly by the Spaniards, therefore, the availability of the reserve by public transport is limited.


    It is not possible to reach Cap de Creus directly by bus or train. If you are traveling without a car, then first you should get to Cadaqués. How to do this from Barcelona, ​​Girona and other cities is written in a separate article. This city will be the starting point in the upcoming route to the easternmost point of Spain.

    In Cadaqués, the hiking route to Cap de Creus starts, 7 km long. I will tell you about it in detail later.

    BY CAR

    If you have a rented car at your disposal, then all the problems with logistics disappear by themselves. In this case, you can easily and, most importantly, quickly get to Cadaques, and then decide whether to leave the car in the parking lot in the city and follow the hiking route along the coast to Cap de Creus, or drive straight to the observation deck, from where the most beautiful picture opens. .


    directly from the cape.

    The best way to appreciate the scale and features of this place is from aerial photography. View of the lighthouse and the territory of Cap de Creus from different points:

    About the livability and accessibility of visiting: there are absolutely no questions about here, the territory is perfectly prepared for the visit of a large number of tourists. There is a restaurant, free toilets. Two parking lots: one below, the other above, right next to the lighthouse.

    Mediterranean views . They are incredible. A stunning contrast between the blue and turquoise hues of the water and the bizarre rock formations of Cap de Creus.

    Unlike the viewpoint at Cape Cabo da Roca in Portugal, there is a lot of space here. You can safely step aside and take hundreds of beautiful photos without jostling with other tourists.

    Area around Cap de Creus. We were pleasantly surprised by the surroundings near the cape. From the lighthouse you can go absolutely in all directions. There are almost no insurmountable cliffs or thickets. If desired, in some places you can go down to the water.

    And finally, a few more aerial shots of Cap de Creus and its environs.

    How much time should be allocated directly to the observation deck and its surroundings? Ambiguous question. At a minimum, you need to spend at least an hour. This will be enough to walk around and take pictures of Cap de Creus without haste. As a maximum, you can spend half a day here if you wish. Wander around the rocky landscape for a couple of hours, go down to the water, have lunch in a restaurant with a great view of the sea.


    I definitely prefer to go on hiking routes in nature reserves, not limited to the main viewing platforms. It requires much more time and effort, but, as a rule, along the way, you will definitely meet quiet and secluded places of incredible beauty. So it was when we visited Cabo da Roca.

    When visiting Cap de Creus, we left the car in Cadaqués and walked a 7 km route along the coast (14 km in both directions)

    The map is shown below:

    As you can see from the map, hiking is not circular. We go there one way, we return the same way. There are no large elevation changes, dangerous areas either. The route to the first end (from Cadaqués to Cap de Creus) takes 2.5 – 3 hours, this is the time with photo stops. It is quite realistic to go back in 2 hours.

    Now I’ll go through the key interesting points that come across on the way.

    We pass Cadaqués, Port Ligat and exit onto a dirt path. The marked route starts here. The road rushes through thickets and olive groves. The surrounding areas are private property.

    The site is the easiest, sometimes even boring. The road goes far from the sea.

    After an hour, private properties cease to catch the eye, the path gradually gains height and a pretty picture begins to emerge.

    I remember a place located about half way to Cap de Creus. It is very easy to determine it, this is the highest point above sea level during hiking (not counting the cape itself). Actually, the panorama from here is appropriate.

    The second half of the route is more interesting, visually more impressive.

    Only a couple of hours later, already near Cap de Creus, the trail goes straight to the sea for the first time, a small cove with a sandy shore.

    This is the only place where you can swim during the entire 3 hour hike. To be honest, the beach looks beautiful only from above. In fact, small and a lot of grass. In general, the entire coast near the cape is not swimmable. The beaches of Cadaques, so generally a swamp. It is worth going here for the beautiful views and panoramas.

    Summarizing my impressions about the route from Cadaques to Cap de Creus, I will say that the sensations are ambivalent. The first part of the journey is not impressive, truly beautiful views begin to open only after 1. 5 hours of travel. Another downside is that you have to walk the same path back and forth.

    Personally, I enjoy hiking, but I love this kind of activity. I recommend choosing this path to Cap de Creus if you really like hiking, which involves decent cardio.

    We did this route at the beginning of May and even then, at +20 it was quite difficult. There is absolutely no shade on the terrain, tiny trees and bushes occasionally come across. Therefore, I think it’s not worth poking here in the summer at +35.


    With all responsibility and understanding I recommend visiting Cap de Creus. This is an amazing natural reserve of Catalonia, it is a pity that our tourists who come for a beach holiday in the Costa Brava visit it so little.

    If you are not a fan of hiking, it is best to go directly to the Cap de Creus lookout. In the summer months, it is also better for hikers to refrain from the route we have passed.

    You should devote 2-3 hours to the cape, wander along the coast, eat in a restaurant. It is better to come in the morning, when there are few tourists and not too hot. After lunch, be sure to drop by Cadaqués, a very beautiful and colorful town. It will turn out a great busy day that will diversify a beach holiday in Tossa de Mar, Lloret de Mar and other areas of the Costa Brava.

    Cap de Creus | About Spain from a guide

    Cap de Creus is a magical place. Beautiful, wild, unbridled. Its geography and landscapes are unique. This is my favorite part of Catalonia.

    Whenever possible, I come to the Cap de Creus. This is a great place for nature lovers and for everyone who appreciates art. Cap de Creus has been a source of inspiration for many artists.

    Ready to experience the magic of Cap de Creus?


    Cap de Creus Natural Park

    Cap de Creus is located in the easternmost part of the Iberian Peninsula. This is not just a place where the sun rises first of all on the Rhenian Peninsula. This is a mysterious, magical point where the Rhenian Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea meet.

    The mysterious black rocks of Cap de Creus and incredible isolation complete the image of the end of the world, which was actively used in cinema.

    Cap de Creus Natural Park is located here, the first land and sea park in Spain.

    It is the largest uninhabited area in the Spanish Mediterranean.

    Protected by a natural park and marine reserve, Cap de Creus is a secluded cove in the middle of the busy Costa Brava.

    The Natural Park of Cap de Creus is one of the natural wonders of the Costa Brava. Here you can find plants with strange names. For example, Nun’s pillow, sea cloves, limoniums, or immortelle . With these yellow immortelle Gala decorated her house in Portlligat with Salvador Dali.

    The seabed of the cape is very diverse. A wide range of marine ecosystems can be found here. For example, rocky bottom, seagrass meadows, coral reefs.

    You will definitely fall in love with its hidden bays, wild indented coastline, unique fauna, flora, unique landscape.

    The influence of the north wind has led to the appearance of characteristic forms of erosion and has transformed the landscape in a special way.

    This is exactly the place where “ the Pyrenees descend into the sea in a grandiose geological frenzy to die in it.”

    Cap de Creus is a very unusual enclosed area created by wind and sea. This is one of the most picturesque corners of the country.

    Over the centuries, wind, rain and salty sea water have created this unique landscape. This landscape resembles alien landscapes.

    When the tramontana blows

    North wind…tramontana, he is the lord here.

    In order to survive in these parts, people had to learn how to live with the energy of this legendary wind.

    Gabriel Garcia Márquez describes the phenomenon of this wind amazingly in the story “Tramontana”.

    “A ruthless and stubborn wind from the mainland, which, according to local residents and some hard-won writers, carries the seeds of madness.”

    According to Salvador Dali, this wind is responsible for his “complete madness”.

    The influence of the north wind led to the appearance of bizarre forms of erosion and changed the landscape in a very special way.

    Water and wind gave the rocks fabulous shapes resembling the silhouette of a camel, eagle, lion…

    Dali, like many Catalans, experienced fear and admiration and admiration for this wind.

    Tramontana is the “sculptor” who has sculpted the landscapes of Cap de Creus for thousands of years. These bizarrely shaped stones inspired Salvador Dali tirelessly.

    « This is a mythological place created for the gods, not for people, and it should remain as it is «

    Cap de Creus and Salvador Dali where Dali worked and which served as a source of inspiration for many of his works.

    Cap de Creus is a surreal world that consists of sky, water and rocks.

    Tiny lost coves reinforce this idea of ​​silence, solitude and mystery.

    Ian Gibson in his book “The Mad Life of Salvador Dali” defined Cap de Creus as “a huge natural theater of optical illusions” . In this incredible landscape, he saw the source of the artist’s obsession with visual effects. Dali himself said that his “subconscious landscape” was reminiscent of the “fantastic and multifaceted rocks of Cap de Creus”.

    For example, the famous Cavaliera Rock inspired Salvador Dali to create the painting “The Great Masturbator”.

    From childhood, Dali spent his summers in Cadaqués. He would later buy his house in Portlligat. He constantly visited Cap de Creus. In fact, he could draw the rocks of this “divine place” from memory.

    Cap de Creus

    This is a steep and rocky promontory with a height of 672 m, which rises above the Mediterranean Sea.