The distance between the capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, Barcelona, and the seaside town of Cadaqués, located on the region’s Costa Brava, is 85 miles (136 km). The easiest and quickest way to make the trip is by car (2 hours and 15 minutes), either renting one yourself or hiring a private car service.
While trains do not run directly to Cadaqués, an alternative option is to take the train to Figueres (1-2 hours) and take a taxi (45 minutes) or bus (1 hour) from there. Buses going directly from Barcelona to Cadaqués are the most affordable option, but they run only twice daily and will take 2 hours and 45 minutes.
For a luxurious, albeit expensive, travel experience to remember, consider chartering a luxury sailing or motor yacht. Many companies offer private day trips along the Costa Brava from Barcelona, with flexible itineraries and different price points based off of the type of boat.
For an overview of the best ways to spend your time in and around both Barcelona and the Costa Brava, check out kimkim’s 8 Day Itinerary.
By Rental Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 2 hour 15 minutes, more with stops
Having a car gives you the freedom to explore the route between Barcelona and Cadaqués, and perhaps take a few side trips along the Catalonian coast. Rental car companies abound in Barcelona, with Alamo, Enterprise, and Avis being the highest rated. Remember that non-EU driver’s license holders must obtain an International Driver’s Permit in order to drive in Spain.
The most direct route takes you along the AP-7 highway, not directly along the coast for the majority of the trip. This trip takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes, with many convenient options to stop at along the way like Girona. This city offers a fusion of ancient cultures including Roman, Greek, Moorish, Medieval, and Gothic. Wander the walled Old Quarter and visit sites like the Gothic Cathedral and the Roman remains of the Força Vella Fortress. Other cities that you will pass along the AP-7 route include Figueres, home to the Dalí Theatre-Museum, and Roses, an important fishing port close to your final destination.
Read more about unique places to see in the Catalonia region in the third option in 7 Days in Spain: 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas.
If you prefer not to drive, hiring a private transfer online is easy. Companies abound for car services from shared shuttles to private luxury vehicles, with prices just as variable.
Duration: 2 hours
While there is no direct train from Barcelona to Cadaqués, there is a convenient and quick option to take a quick train to Figueres and take a taxi or bus from there to Cadaqués. This is an ideal option if you prefer not to have your own car, but want to save a significant chunk of money on your car hire. It’s most recommended to those who want to visit Figueres along the way.
Renfe runs regular high speed trains, called AVE or AVN, from Barcelona-Sants Station to Figueres Vilifant (note that Figueres Station is different from Figueres Vilifant). The high speed trains take 1 hour, and depart about once an hour from 7 a.m. to 9:40pm. Figueres Vilifiant Station is located 23 miles from Cadaqués, or about 45 minutes by taxi. Taxis are available at the station, or easily booked online in advance for peace of mind. This option will cost about a third of the price of taking a private car the whole distance.
Renfe also runs regular trains from Barcelona-Sants Station to the Figueres Station stop, though these trains are closer to 2 hours in duration. The perks of choosing this route, is that from the Figueres Station stop, there are regional buses that will go directly to Cadaqués. Overall, this will be far cheaper than taking the high speed train and a taxi.
Duration: 2 hours 45 minutes
The most affordable option is to take the bus directly from Aeroport BCN, the bus stop at Barcelona’s airport, or Barcelona Estacio del Nord to Cadaqués Estacio, only an 8 minute walk to Plaça del Passeig. The bus company Moventis runs two SARFA buses daily at 12 p.m. and 8:45 p.m., though schedules can vary by season and day.
If you opt for the bus, keep in mind that the road is steep and windy, so pack an anti-nausea pill or choose seats closer to the front.
By Private Boat Charter
Duration: Variable, minimum 2-3 hours
Both Barcelona and Cadaqués are coastal cities which means that the sea is another option for a more memorable travel experience. With many options for private boat charters, from fully crewed yachts to catamarans to small motorboats, there are endless decisions for getting from Barcelona to Cadaqués on the water.
Most companies offer full-day charters, noting that the trip from Barcelona to the Costa Brava normally takes 2-3 hours depending on weather conditions. Also note that Cadaqués is on the northern part of the Costa Brava, so will likely be at the longer end of that spectrum. Pre-planned sailing day or half-day trips have the added advantage of a knowledgeable crew and a stream-lined tour of the coast that will hit sites like Port Lligat or Cap de Creus National Park.