On our first proper day behind the wheel of the Porsche 718 Boxster GTS – I say proper because the previous day was spent covering 550 kms on the motorway from the South of France to Costa Brava, and in my opinion the best part of a road trip doesn’t begin before you exit the motorway – we decided to journey to the coast and the Cap de Creus peninsula for a lovely lunch on the beach. I had driven to the Cap de Creus lighthouse on a previous road trip, so this time we picked the white-washed village of Cadaqués as our destination, a famous picture postcard location and arguably one of the most beautiful coastal towns in the region.
What I love about Spain are the open landscapes with olive groves stretching to the far distance, and the wide sweeping roads that are covered with tarmac most countries could only dream of – some of them with absolutely fabulous views as you can see from the photos. It is truly one of the best countries in Europe for road tripping, and I love the fact that you can wake up on the French Riviera in the morning and be in Spain in time for a lovely evening meal.
On this day our drive from the Hotel Peralada Wine Spa & Golf began on open country roads with views over olive groves on plateaus of red grass (weeds or wild flower?) – it was quite a spectacular sight. As we arrived closer to the sea we were crossing green hills covered with what seemed to be perfectly landscaped rows of bushes and trees – it is hard to know if man had any involvement, or if nature can create something so stunning without any help, but judging from the way everything looked like it was planted in perfect harmony I would assume that someone local must make sure it looks that amazing. The Porsche 718 Boxster GTS is a great car for these type of roads – it’s fast and nimble, and being able to have the roof down just means you can enjoy a panoramic view of the gorgeousness around you. I do find with the Boxster that whilst it is enjoyable to know you have the performance to pull away quickly in traffic and overtake easily – and when you get to the mountain passes it feels in its element – most of the time it actually is more about the open-air driving experience rather than the spirited driving. It is very capable but equally important is the fact that it’s relaxing to spend time in.
As we were enjoying the smooth curves of the winding road that was leading us to the coast we first saw a glimpse of the deep blue sea behind a corner, and soon after the rooftops of beautiful white buildings appeared in the distance. As we drove through the quiet town to the beachfront it was easy to understand what all the hype is about – Cadaqués looked pretty unspoilt, it was traditional, and if it wasn’t for the modern traffic signs that look completely out of place here you could almost think you’ve travelled back in time. There was a period when about a third of the village inhabitants emigrated to Cuba, only to return to Cadaqués when they had made a lot of money abroad, allowing them to build fantastic ornate houses in Cadaqués – and the architecture is absolutely charming.
This white town has been visited by legends such as Pablo Picasso, and Walt Disney- Salvador Dalí made the neighbouring village Port Lligat his home. It seems like a very popular summer destination for those who want to escape the hectic city life of Barcelona, but in late March it was just what I pictured it would be: a sleepy fishing village where time appears to stand still. As we relaxed in the sunshine in Boia Bit bar on the beach, with the waves lapping at our feet and plates full of tasty local tapas in front of us, it was one of those moments when you wish you would have a little more time to take all that beauty in… the Catalans and Spaniards rarely seem to be in a rush, and perhaps we all have something to learn from them. Note to self – be more Spanish…