mbCDQ | 15 Feb 2015
The Cap de Creus natural park stretches from Roses in the south to Port de la Selva in the north and Cadaques in the East. It also encompasses a large area of the sea around the shoreline. It is famous for its barren, windswept and rocky landscape. The park takes its name from the cape at Cap de Creus, the most easterly point in the whole of Spain. The cape, and the barren, rocky peninsula to which it belongs, are the most visited parts of the park. Those familiar with the works of Salvador Dali may recognise Cap de Creus from his paintings, as the artist often used the rock and seascapes as backdrops for his surrealist creations.
Cadaques is the closest town and most visitors will start their trips to Cap de Creus from here. By far the most popular trip is a visit to the lighthouse at the edge of the cape.
It's possible to follow the coastal path (Camino de la Ronda) all the way from the centre of Cadaques to the lighthouse at Cap de Creus. However, the more direct route, and the one favoured by the majority of walkers is to walk from Cadaques to Port LLigat by road and then continue on 5 minutes to pick up the coastal path (GR92 - One of the Spanish ‘Grandes Rutas' long distance pathes) above the beaches of S'Alqueria. From this point the walk will last between 1 ¼ and 1 ¾ hours depending on your speed. While you never go beyond 100 metres above sea level, the route is made up of constant ups and downs which can be quite tiring, particularly for those used to sitting at a desk all day. In some places, particularly on the steeper sections, the trail is not in the best of conditions (This is post-crisis Spain, so money is tight!) and it's advisable to wear proper footwear, either dedicated walking boots or a durable pair of sports shoes. Remember to take water, it can get pretty hot and dusty in summer.
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To get to Cap de Creus by car, take the Carretera de Port LLigat from the roundabout at the entrance to Cadaqués and then follow the signs. The road takes you through the top end of the village and then winds 8km through the natural park before terminating at the lighthouse of Cap de Creus, the most easterly point not just of the park but of the whole of Spain.
Be aware that the route is narrow and badly maintained, with many potholes. Successive layers of tarmac have been laid one over the other, so the edges of the road can be some height above the bordering verge. Pay attention when giving more space to oncoming vehicles or pulling over to take photos.
There isn't a huge amount of parking space once you get to the cape.
In the peak summer months of July and August be prepared for a fairly frustrating wait, particularly if you are arriving around lunchtime. Those arriving by motorbike should have more luck, but watch out for tired, hot drivers making stupid manoeuvres.
While it's only 8km from Cadaques to the lighthouse at Cap de Creus it is almost never flat and some of the uphill sections can be pretty hard work. On a hot summer's day the trip can be pretty tiring. That said, if you're reasonably fit it shouldn't take more than 35 minutes and you won't have the problem of where to park once you arrive. If you've hired or borrowed a bike make sure it's low-geared.
An electric bike is a great alternative to a normal bicycle. You'll still have to pedal, but the hills will be some much easier when the electric motor kicks in.
The road can get quite busy in summer, and while the cars are travelling fairly slowly, there isn't much room on the narrow road, so care should be taken.