Paratge de Tudela, or the Dalinian Quadrangle
The Paratge of Tudela is a nature reserve located to the north of the peninsula of Cap de Creus and delimited by the coves of cala d’Agulles and cala Culip. It is a spot of unparalleled beauty given by the atypical nature of his geology, with disturbing rocky shapes that provoke the imagination of the walker: animals, objects and faces come one after another depending on our perspective angle and visual perception. The vegetal cover is not very dense, it consists in Mediterranean scrubs adapted to the hostile conditions of strong tramuntana (the north wind) and salinity, which limit their growth. However we should not underestimate it since it is a protected area from the point of view of biological richness that also houses unique species of the area.
In order to get to Paratge de Tudela you might go first to Cadaqués and, from there, take the road that goes to the Cap de Creus lighthouse. At the Paratge de Tudela there is a paved path that goes all over the place from the car park until the cove of cala Culip, which has wrecked ships from the Ancient Greece and Rome in its seafloor. It is a 2.8 km round trip where there are lots of coves of crystalline water. From the path we can observe the Cap de Creus lighthouse on the top of a promontory, where we can pop into later when we finish the tour in order to have a meal and contemplate from a different line of sight the rocky and wild scenery of the Cap de Creus.
Tudela was frequented by the artist Salvador Dalí, the greatest exponent of Surrealism, who got inspiration in its rocks to paint some of his most remarkable works, as The great masturbator. Nowadays, like in a museum, these rocky formations are signalised from the path using oxidised iron plaques that allow the walker to identify them from the distance. It is an interesting spot to add to the popular Dalinian Triangle, a route that starts at the Castle of Púbol, goes through the Dalí Museum in Figueres and finalises at Dalí’s house in Portlligat; if we add an extra vertex –why not?– we will arrive to Paratge de Tudela, so we get the “Dalinian Quadrangle”. There are guided tours during the summer season.
Etymologically Tudela is a nickname that refers to the merits of a site, either landscape, geological or fishing qualities. From the 60’s until the beginning of the 21st century the Paratge de Tudela was occupied by the cubic bungalows of the Club Mediterrannée private holiday village. When the Cap de Creus was declared Natural Park in 1998, the Club Med was closed, expropriated and eventually dismantled stone by stone. The restoration project finalised in 2011, a task that was internationally recognised and that helped to do justice to the magnificence of the landscape, which should has remained as Dalí first met it.
It is a mythological place that has been made for gods rather than for men
and it needs to continue as it is.
Salvador Dalí, 1960