Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Similar, but not the same - if you liked Nerja try Cadaques
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Monday 17 June 2013
Q.Last summer we went to Nerja in southern Spain and thoroughly enjoyed both the place and the surrounding area. This year it's just my wife and I. We are tempted to go back to Nerja, but are a little apprehensive about thinking "it's not as good as last year". Could you recommend a similar type of place?
A. It's always taking a risk to return somewhere with intensely positive memories. For me, return visits work well with cities - so long as you stay in a different area, to generate a fresh perspective. In a small location such as Nerja that is not so easy. So instead allow me to recommend another intensely enjoyable Spanish seaside resort.
Cadaques is a whitewashed village wedged haphazardly between the mountains and the Mediterranean on the way to nowhere, except contentment. Salvador Dali called Cadaques home, and the surrealist's former home is the main tourist attraction. The main pleasure, though is wandering beside the shore or up into the hills.
Being enchantingly off-the-beaten-track, it is therefore difficult to reach. The most straightforward route, unusually for Spain, is by train. The 9.17am departure from London St Pancras arrives at Paris Nord at 12.47pm, giving you 80 minutes to cross the French capital to the Gare de Lyon - and hopefully eat a plat du jour at Le Train Bleu, the station's wonderful brasserie. Then board the 2.07pm TGV for the five-and-a-half-hour journey to Figueres, with connections by bus or taxi to Cadaques. Alternatively, fly Ryanair to Girona and travel by train to Figueres.
Finally, for my most recent story on Cadaques, bit.ly/Cadaq is the location you need.
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