ETR // Stage 50 // Carcassonne - Cadaqués

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  • Carcassonne - Cadaqués
  • Radius 100 km
  • 290 km


  • Corbières Mountains
  • Parc naturel régional des Pyrénées Catalanes
  • Saint-Génis-des-Fontaines
  • Amélie-les-Bains-Palalda
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS

From the mountains to The Mediterranean

With a great morning ride ahead of you, it's time to reluctantly leave Carcassonne and this UNESCO World Heritage Site behind, and ride through the foothills of the Corbières mountain range and Parc naturel régional des Pyrénées Catalanes (Regional Park of the Catalan Pyrenees) over to the Mediterranean and into Catalonia.

You'll pass through towns like Limoux, Quillan, Prades, Amélie-les-Bains-Palalda, Le Boulou, Saint-Génis-des-Fontaines and Argelès-sur-Mer before you hit the Mediterranean coast at Le Racou, where you're well within your rights to park (or drop) the motorcycle, run towards the sea while removing your boots, gloves, jacket, helmet, back protector, and throw yourself into the azure blue waters of the Costa Brava.

After you've cooled off for a while, time to get back on the motorcycle and enjoy a magnificent coastal ride to Cadaqués and Far de Cap de Creus.

© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS

And suddenly, you're in Spain!

This has already been a long ride from Nordkapp to the Spanish border, and even though you think you're already completely full of fantastic memories, impressions and experiences, and think you can't take any more culture, you'r in for a surprise! This spectacular country will stimulate your senses with magnificent scenery, jagged coastlines, great mountain roads, barren deserts, castles, warm weather, deep history, a strong and vibrant local culture, friendly people, sunshine, fun, flames, Flamenco, and many great local dishes and wines… and that's just for starters...

© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS

Salvador Dalí Museum in Figueres

After riding the beautiful coastal road from Port vendres you will eventually land in Figueres, capital of the Alt Empordà and birthplace of Salvador Dalí, and here you should visit the Dalí Museum. Inaugurated in 1974, the Dalí Theatre-Museum rises on the remains of the former Municipal Theatre of Figueres and is considered to be the last great work of Salvador Dalí. The old theatre was burned during the Spanish Civil War and remained in a state of ruin. In 1960, Dalí and the mayor of Figueres decided to rebuild it as a museum dedicated to the towns most famous son. The museum also houses a small selection of works by other artists collected by Dalí, ranging from El Greco and Bougereau to Marcel Duchamp and John de Andrea. You could easily spend a couple of days here, but you could also spend that time in Roses, Cadaqués, or on the road to Cap de Creus.

© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS

Ride out to Cabo de Creus

There are a number of spectacular rides from Figueres to Cap De Creus, and one of them brings you through the Serra de Rodes National Park, past Mirador Sant Pere de Rodes where the Imposing, medieval, Romanesque ruins of the Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes stands on a mountain top at an altitude of 500 metres, with views of the Cap and the Pyrenees. This 11th-century monastery includes structures that date from about 750 AD.

Ride out to Cabo de Creus

If you keep on riding eastwards past Cadaqués you'll find Cap de Creus, perched on a peninsula in the far northeast of Catalonia. Cap de Creus is the easternmost point of Catalonia and therefore of mainland Spain and the Iberian Peninsula. A windbeaten, rocky and dry region with almost no trees, the peninsula is now part of a Natural Park with an area of 190 square kilometres. This exposed and barren region is frequently beaten by awful north winds called "tramontana" (beyond mountains) which has caused many naval disasters in the area. If it is extremely windy the day you are there, it might be an idea not to ride out all the way to the top-right corner of Catalonia. However, if the weather is in your favour, then stop there for a nice lunch at the open-air restaurant, just beneath the lighthouse.

© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS

Visit Salvador Dalí's home in Port Lligat

On the way back westwards, before you reach Cadaqués you'll arrive in the small fishing village of Port Lligat. In 1930, Salvador Dalí set up home in a small fishermans hut in Port Lligat, drawn to it by the landscape, the light and the isolation of the place. On the basis of that initial construction, over the course of forty years he created his own house. As he himself defined it, it was "like a real biological structure. Each new pulse in our life had its own new cell, its room". The resulting form is the current labyrinthine structure which spreads out around in a succession of spaces linked by narrow corridors, slight level changes and blind passageways.

© ETR // European Touring Route AS


  • Dave O'Byrne

  • European Touring Route AS



  • La Costa Brava
  • Figueres
  • Salvador Dalí Museum
  • Serra de Rodes National Park
  • Mirador Sant Pere de Rodes
  • Cap de Creus
  • Dalí's home, Port Lligat
  • Cadaqués
  • Church of St. Mary
  • Hermitage of Sant Sebastià
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS

Back to Cadaqués

Continue a little more west, and you come to Cadaqués - the most well known village in the area, with a sophisticated atmosphere, it was and is the home of artists and writers, musicians and other creative types that are constantly inspired to design, develop, write and produce new and exciting works of whatever artform they have chosen to master.

Cadaqués has a special place in art history. Commanding charcoals, by local artist Eliseu Meifrèn, of the 19th century Cadaqués beleaguered by a winter tramontane, can be seen at the Cadaqués museum. Fren was the first modern artist to live in Cadaqués and gave the town many of his works and a marble top table on which he sketched many of its turn-of-the-century fishermen.

Salvador Dalí often visited Cadaqués in his childhood, and later set down roots at his home in Port Lligat, in the bay next to Cadaqués. A summer holiday here in 1916 spent with the family of Ramon Pichot is seen as especially important to Dalí's artistic career. Other notable artists, including Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Marcel Duchamp, Richard Hamilton, Albert Ràfols-Casamada, Antoni Pitxot, Henri-François Rey, Melina Mercouri and Maurice Boitel also spent time here.

© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS

Smuggler's Cove

Due to Cadaqués's proximity to the French border and its isolation by land, the village had a tradition of running contraband. Even though people speak Spanish here, the village of Cadaqués has its own variant or dialect of the Catalan language. The origin of this can be traced back to when the Catalan ruler Jaume I conquered the Balearic Islands in the Middle Ages, and re-colonized the islands with people from the Empordà region of Catalonia. The Catalan variant of Cadaqués is referred to as "cadaquesenc" and you can hear it in the streets of the small town, especially as you explore it at night, when the wine is flowing and the stories make their way out of the locals and into the visitors.

While you're in Cadaqués you should visit the 17th century Church of St. Mary, and the Hermitage of Sant Sebastià, a large house located high on Pení Mountain behind Cadaqués which is now a private residence and not open to the public, but still worth a visit, all the same.

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