The city of Cadiz, with over three thousand years of history, is the oldest in Western Europe. Phonecians, Romans, Muslims and Christians have all left their mark, once a stronghold, imposing walls, castles and fortifications still line parts of the seafront. The city houses many preserved historic buildings; museums, towers, arches, churches, flamenco clubs, theatre, markets, historic houses, monuments, plazas, clubs and an impressive Cathedral. Cadiz is technically an island and its coastal location as part of Spain’s Costa de la Luz, means that Cruise liners enter the port and visitors can enjoy a city that benefits from watersports, the freshest scrumptious seafood, golden beaches and stunning costal views. Cadiz is a melting pot of culture and industry, a surprising mix where you find squeezed together late night taverns, a passionate Flamenco scene, a fishing industry, surfers drawn to the Atlantic waves, office workers, friendly witty locals and tourists. It makes for quite a mix.
There are numerous cafes in Cadiz open for breakfast, for a taste of opulence why not try Café Royalty. Whilst wandering through Cadiz’s narrow streets look out for memorial plaques above doors for singers, dancers. One of Cadiz’s ex- residents was the great flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia.
Cadiz Cathedral is in the district of Populo in the Old City, the narrow streets suddenly open up to the Plaza de la Cathedral lined with restaurants, ice cream stalls and outdoor seating areas. Climb the steps to marvel at the Cathedral’s impressive massive façade and front door. Adults pay €5, 10-6pm Mon-Sat, 1:30-6pm Sun. Also included in the price is entrance to a near-by treasure museum, the Cathedral bell tower (Torre de Poniente) and an audio guide. Unusually the interior of the Cathedral is made entirely of marble. We enjoyed the Cathedral Crypt for the most incredible echoing acoustics and the bell tower for amazing 360° views of Cadiz.
Wander around the typical Andalucian narrow streets of the old town and make your way towards the far end of Cadiz to find a little beach called Playa de la Caleta. At either end of the beach are forts, San Sebastian can be entered by following the 400m long spit out to sea the other fort, Santa Catalina is star shaped and houses art galleries and a tiny chapel that you can wander around free of charge; a great place for the boys to run around and explore. We had been looking forward to a plate of Cadiz mixed fried fish (surtido de pescado), Playa de la Caleta made for a great backdrop as we tucked in to our tasty lunch at an awesome beach-side restaurant.
From Playa de la Caleta, the Campo del Sur pathway makes for a pleasant stroll along the high battered sea wall back towards the Cathedral, who’s domed roof shimmers like a beacon in the sunlight. Continue past the Cathedral along the seafront and you will arrive at Playa de la Victoria, a huge city beach of golden sand and great waves.
Cadiz is a stunningly beautiful city, the older part is so historic and small enough for even the smallest legs to easily walk around, (from the Plaza de la Constitution across to the Playa de la Caleta beach is approximately 2kms).
Cadiz, a city ideal for wandering the narrow streets or simply beach loafing, perfect for immersing yourself in a city brimming with Analucian culture.