Touring Cadaques with Instagramers

boy on wall at Cadaques

Instagram shot: There were loads of people at this lookout point, but for a moment everyone had stepped out of the frame and I got this shot

Earlier this month on a visit to Costa Brava I went on a walk through Cadaqués with a group of British bloggers and Spanish Instagramers. This city is part of Spain and very close to the French border, yet it guards its Catalonian heritage strongly. What it showed was that Cadaqués — a delightful former fishing village in Catalonia and artists’ haunt for Dali and Picasso with a strip of waterfront with a shingle beach, seafood restaurants and cobbled streets — aren’t just picturesque; they’re Insta-inspirational.

I arrived with a group of BritMums bloggers, the guys from Travel Perspective and Jaume Marin from the Costa Brava Tourist Board to meet up with a group of Instagramers for the #InstaCadaqués walk. An Instagram walk is an informal walk where you tour an area, take pictures and share them under a special hashtag. (You can find out more about Instagram walks at BritMums Live, where Instagramers London will be speaking.)

We gathered on a terrace overlooking the Med with what seemed like 300 other Instagramers and the suave mayor of Cadaqués (I can’t imagine this man in the kind of ill-fitting blue suit that’s standard for our politicians).

 

Jenography and mayor of Cadaques

Me and the mayor of Cadaqués, Joan (pronounced Jo-ahn) Figueras

 

Beachfront in Cadaques from Casino Cadaques

Instagram shot: The view from the Casino Cadaqués terrace, where we were standing

After a welcome from Joan and introduction to the entire group (I was in back of the room getting orange juice and missed it. Typical.), we set off with a local guide as well as Instagramer extraordinaire Julio Estrela (@julioestrela on Twitter). Julio passed along some great Instagram tips (more on that in a minute), but it was also inspiring walking around en masse snapping pictures of this gorgeous town.

Along one cobbled lane climbing up the hill, a group on Instagramers huddled around a cat sleeping in a shop window. An eye-catching doorway or vista would draw mini-crowds — a kind of Cadaqués greatest hits. Then there were the surprising pictures snapped here and there and posted with the #InstaCadaqués hash tag that caught you by surprise.

houses in Cadaques

The flag of Catalonia and a house in one of the small pedestrian streets

tomatoes in cadaques

Instagram shot: I discovered these ridged tomatoes down a small pedestrian lane at a grocers where I also got the most delicious cherries

Just around the corner, the street was festooned with these colourful streamers

Just around the corner, the street was festooned with these colourful streamers

Dalícia Cadaqués, a chic wine shop and deli that wouldn’t have been out of place in hippest Brooklyn, passed around tastes of salami and sips of a crisp white wine to Instagramers who ducked inside. We were lucky enough to be there during the Indianos Fair, a festival that celebrates the people who left the village to go to the New World, made their fortunes and returned to build ornate houses. (I wrote about the fair on my blog Jenography.net.) There were stalls selling meats that really embrace nose-to-tail eating, jewelery and bags, shoes, and fresh juice and mojitas. There’s nothing like a mojito to freshen up the taste buds after fried pig’s intestine, and I mean that in all seriousness.

Things I ate in Cadaques

Things I ate. It’s exciting to go somewhere and discover foods you seriously can’t get anywhere else

But you don’t need a festival to have fun. I found visiting a city to simply look for beautiful and interesting things to photograph was a revelation. We weren’t on the hunt for souvenirs, a particular historical landmark or this or that specialty dish — we were just capturing interesting images sweeping and small. In a town this beautiful, it means you find something around every corner.

Later that day we drove over to Port Ligat to visit the Salvador Dalí House-museum, which was an amazing insight into the work of the man himself. I’ll post about that soon.

A statue of Cadaques's favourite son Salvador Dali on the beachfront

A statue of Cadaqués’s favourite son Salvador Dali on the beachfront

Dali grafitti

Dali grafitti

Drink where Dali used to drink

Drink where Dali used to drink

The specifics:

Dalícia Cadaqués, C. Riba Pitxot, 10 / 17488 Cadaqués / Tel: 972 258 811

Visit Cadaqués

My trip to Cadaqués was part of a press trip organised by the Costa Brava tourist board. All the opinions in this piece are my own.

 

 

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About Jennifer Howze

Jennifer Howze is the Creative Director and co-founder of BritMums. She blogs about family travel at Jenography.net, tweets at @JHowze and Instagrams at @JHowze. Previously, she wrote the Alpha Mummy blog at The Times and as a journalist has contributed to The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Wall Street Journal, Travel & Leisure, Budget Travel, CNN.com, Allure, SELF and Premiere, among others. She won The Maggie Award from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America for a health article in Seventeen magazine.

9 Comments

  1. 25 June 2013 / 21:02

    Beautiful photos. We live about an hour from Cadaques and you’ve captured the costa brava beautifully. I’m inspired to go to Cadaques (it’s on the list, there’s just so much to do here.) Your tomatoes are called ‘coeur de boef’ (which is french rather than spanish for ‘bull’s heart). Perhaps as you say it’s because it’s so close to the boarder.

  2. 27 June 2013 / 11:38

    The trip looks gorgeous- when I’m abroad I love to mosey down little side streets with my camera and take shots to remind me of the ambience of a place when I’m back at my desk on a wet Wednesday in October!
    Nice pictures Jen.

    • 27 June 2013 / 13:31

      Thanks, Nadine. I’m now hooked on photo walks.

  3. 04 July 2013 / 14:33

    You took me right there…
    And you make a good point about how seeing a destination through an Instagram lens can be a a revelation.
    I’d go further and say that having done a couple of these events (one instagram and the the other a mixture of twitter and instagram) I am now incapable of seeing a place through the naked eye. Every single doorway I walk through, corner I turn or cobble I walk over is being measured up as to how instagrammable (is that even a word?) it is. It’s driving my kids mad. Especially when I fall over. Which has happened. An embarrassing mother is more cringe making when she trips over a chicken while trying access a lomo filter on Camera 360…

  4. 04 July 2013 / 14:36

    PS: Do you think we could swap Boris for hot Cadaques Mayor?

    • 04 July 2013 / 16:22

      Boris for Joan? I dunno, I kinda like both of them!

  5. 17 July 2013 / 14:49

    It was a lovely way to spend a morning, and I’d definitely recommend these walks.
    But would there be enough room for Boris and his bikes in Cadaques?!

    • 17 July 2013 / 14:50

      Boris bikes would be murder on the cobbled hills!