I am calling it here and now; Cádiz in Spain will be the next Hot Spot Travel Destination. I probably shouldn’t tell people this and ruin what is one of the most delightfully appealing and underrated Spanish cities, but… trust me; we have loved our travels to Valencia, Madrid, and Barcelona, not to mention another hidden gem that we recently discovered – the city of Cartagena, which you can read about here. Spain is amazing.
Where is this wonderful place of Cádiz?
Located on the Costa de la Luz, in the southwest of Spain, the city is surrounded by the sea in the Andalusia region. Costa de la Luz means the Coast of the Light. At this point in time, Cádiz in Spain is not nearly as popular as Costa Brava, Costa Blanca, and Costa del Sol …but it will be.
Top things to do in Cádiz
Why Cadiz is fabulous
This city has it all in our opinion. It looks good, it feels good, and it has everything that a person could want. Great architecture, great history, great food, great wine, great people, great weather, great beaches .. and have I said great enough? Look, there was something about Cádiz in Spain that made me want to stay there… for a long time. If you get the opportunity, here are some places to stay for the perfect getaway.
About Cadiz in Spain
Cádiz is generally considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in Europe, founded as Gadir by the Phoenicians in about 1100 BC. It is definitely the oldest city on the Iberian Peninsula. The Andalusian city of Cádiz has an ancient centre, which is almost entirely surrounded by water, and lovely sandy beaches.
There is a labyrinth of picturesque and immaculately maintained cobblestoned lanes, Arabic influences, open plazas, churches that will stun you with their opulence, taverns, and open air dining. Listen as the people perform their local alegrías, the famous flamenco songs of the region, and enjoy the impromptu flamenco dances that just happen.
Watch as the local people, the gaditanos, the people from Cádiz, pack up their beach chairs and head to the very popular beaches of Playa La Caleta, Playa Los Corrales and La Playita de las Mujeres and the perenially popular, Playa de la Victoria. With 300 days of sun a year, why wouldn’t you?
Further impressions of Cadiz
The town feels rich. Pop your head into the Churches, and you will be literally blown away by the opulence. Look at some of the high-end shops in Calle Ancha and Calle Columela, which sit next to cozy and cheap taverns. It all co-exists so well. Look at a real estate agency window, and start calculating how you could easily buy an apartment in the city, and make a motzah (lots) when the tourism boom hits Cádiz …because it will.
Best Things to Do in Cádiz (Spain)
We walked along the stone wall which in effect is the promenade deck that meanders out into the bay towards Castillo de San Sebastián. You can’t not be in awe of the ocean, and the stunning street lamps made in nearby Seville, that line the ancient sea wall. What is equally impressive are the lusher than lush gardens that line this promenade, with foliage and flowers that beggar description.
Cádiz: The best things to do
Arrive at the giant ficus trees behind the sea wall at Alameda Apodaca, and wander through the Parque Genoves, the Botanic Gardens. From there we went to Castillo de Santa Catalina, the old castle from the 13th century, which has displays of the history of the city, as well as stunning views. Torre Tavira is the tallest of the old watch towers, and again gives great views of the very attractive Cádiz.
We didn’t visit The Museo de Cádiz, but we could have. Beyond the Puerta de Tierra, the stone gateway guarding the entrance to the fortress, it is practically a car-free city. With a diameter of about two kilometres, the Old Town is easy to wander.
Eating and Drinking in Cadiz
We were very keen to get to the Plaza De Abastos, and to sit and people watch while eating churro and hot chocolate. Mercado Central de Abastos is the lively, and recently revamped Mercado Central de Abastos, which was built in 1837 and is the oldest covered market in Spain. A flea market was on that day, as we gorged ourselves. The Plaza de Espana has a monument dedicated to the 1812 signing of the constitution. Plaza San Juan de Dios was renovated for the 200th anniversary of the 1812 constitution. This delightful plaza is dominated by the grand neoclassical municipal building, erected around 1800.
Plaza de Topete is a triangular plaza full of flowers and known to many as the Plaza de las Flores, or the Square of the Flowers. And then there are Plaza del Mina and Plaza San Antonio, so you will find as you wander, these lively little places all over Cadiz.
Visit the Cádiz equivalent of a fish and chip shop, called freidurías. These establishments specialize in pieces of fried seafood, made with a chickpea and wheat flour batter. Drink cold Cruzcampo beer and manzanilla sherry, because you are in Cádiz and you should. Have a paella, because you are in Spain, and you should. Read about our paella experiences in Valencia, Spain.
Cádiz in Spain will be the next Hot Spot Travel Destination .. I am calling it.