Parc Natural Cap de Creus

Parc Natural Cap de Creus

Spain’s most easterly point – Salvador Dali’s surrealist inspiration

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Parc Natural Cap de Creus was designated as a nature reserve in 1998. It is the largest uninhabited area in the Spanish Mediterranean and Spain’s only Reserve which includes both land and sea.

capcreus1The reserve extends from Port de la Selva to Roses and most of the land surrounding Canyelles Petites. The land area is 25,000 acres with a further 7,500 acres of sea. Commercial fishing is prohibited, but there is a small amount of traditional net fishing. Small bays, many of which are inaccessible by car, break the rocky coastline. Much of the fauna and flora are rare or unique, and the area is a haven for walkers and bird-watchers.

The sea is clear due to lack of pollution, and as very few streams discharge into the sea, it is undisturbed by clouded water. This makes Cap Creus a haven for Scuba Divers.

Some boat operators run excursions from Roses seafront to Cadaques, and they are an excellent way of viewing the Cap de Creus. The coastline greatly influenced Salvador Dali in his surrealist works.capcreus3

To sample the Natural Park by car either take the Cala Montjoi Road (signposted from Roses Port) – this is unmetalled from the famous El Bulli Restaurant (now closed) onwards, but passable by car, or take the Cadaques Road when leaving Roses for Figueres. this second route goes high over the Park with stunning views back to Roses and forwards to Port de la Selva and Cadaques.

places-cacpreus-6As the road nears the lighthouse at the easterly point, the views become an almost moonscape, with rock formations eroded and distorted by centuries of wind.

At the lighthouse, there is a small museum and a bar with an outside area which is sheltered from the prevailing wind. 200 meters behind the lighthouse is a restaurant. Visit this on a Sunday for lunch (but don’t expect it to be open before 2:00 – this is real Catalunya!). It is an amazing experience, with local families and some wonderful characters. Don’t expect to complete your meal in less than three hours – but time will soon pass, observing and perhaps getting involved with your fellow diners. This is another ‘must’ for a stay in the Northern Costa Brava!

Recently, several species of rare wildflowers were discovered on the eastern hillside of Canyelles Petites, above Calle Velazquez. The Natural Parc was then extended to protect these flowers (and to prevent further development of the hillside – Wonderful News!

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