This whitewashed coastal gem looks more Andaluz than Catalan. Seen from the sea, dominated by its central church, it gleams like a reverse silhouette against a backdrop of dark slate-y terraced slopes dotted with silver-green olive trees. The town is filled with home-y cafes, art galleries and chic eating spots and its waterfront zigzags beside a series of tiny pebble beaches.

It stands at the southern side of the wild Cape Creus headland and access is by a single steep winding road that quickly becomes congested in summer. Nearby is the Port Lligat Casa-Museo of Salvador Dali overlooking a narrow turquoise watered inlet whose contours are etched precisely in the Tramuntana-clear air. It's easy to spot the influence this scenery had on so many of Dali's paintings.

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