Casa Museu Dalí

Top choice in Cadaqués

Overlooking a peaceful cove in Port Lligat, a tiny fishing settlement 1km northeast of Cadaqués, this magnificent seaside complex was the residence and sanctuary of Salvador Dalí, who lived here with his wife Gala from 1930 to 1982. The splendid whitewashed structure is a mishmash of cottages and sunny terraces, linked by narrow labyrinthine corridors and containing an assortment of offbeat furnishings. Access is by semi-guided eight-person tour; book well ahead, by phone or online.

The cottage was originally a mere fisher’s hut, but was steadily altered and enlarged by the Dalís. Every corner reveals a new and wondrous folly or objet d'art: a bejewelled taxidermied polar bear, stuffed swans (something of an obsession for Dalí) perched on bookshelves, and the echoing, womb-like Oval Room. The artist's workshop, containing two unfinished original works, is especially interesting. Meanwhile, Dalí's bedroom still has a suspended mirror, positioned to ensure he was the first person to see the sunrise each morning. The dressing room, decorated by Gala, is covered in photos of the couple with high-profile acquaintances including Picasso, Coco Chanel and even Franco. Post-tour, you're free to explore the olive-tree-strewn grounds (dotted with giant white eggs) and pale-aqua pool (with its hot-pink lip-shaped bench) independently.

If the Teatre-Museu Dalí in Figueres is the mask that the showman presented to the world, this is an intimate glimpse of Dalí's actual face.