Cádiz is part of the Andalucian Autonomous region. It is located
in the South of Spain on the Atlantic coast. It has a mixed climate partly mediterranean
and partly Atlantic with temperatures not usually rising above 34º in summer.
Winter temperatures are usually quite moderate too with the average yearly temperature
of around 18ºc. It has moderate rainfall and never snows. However it can
often be very windy. Cádiz covers an area of 592kms and has a population
commerce and tourism provide Cádiz with its main sources of income. It's main
ports are Cádiz, San Fernando, Puerto Real, Puerto de Santa María,
Chiclana and Algeciras.
In recent years Cádiz has grown in popularity
as a holiday destination especially among families seeking good weather, wonderful
long sandy beaches and fewer crowds than the nearby and busier Costa del Sol.
As a result the number of hotels, apartments and other services has risen over
the past few years, and the standard is generally very good indeed. Cádiz is also
very popular with surfers, as it is one of the few places in Spain to offer great
weather and high waves. And for visitors who want to explore the province, the
white villages dotting the inland mountains are beautiful.
of the province of Cádiz.
Cádiz is considered to be
the oldest Western city due to its strategic location on the coast dividing Europe
and Africa. It has been occupied several times over its history and there is some
evidence to suggest that Cádiz was a Fenecian settlement around 1000 B.C. and
that it formed part of the Fenecian trade route to the Atlantic. Later on came
the Greeks, the Cartagens and then the Romans. From the 8th century onwards it
was taken over by the Moors. The in the 11th century Alfonso X took control of
the province reconverting it to Christianity. In the 13th century Cádiz gained
importance as the place where Christopher Columbus set sail from on his discovery
voyage to America.
The city wall and its entrances which surround the
old part and many of its ancient monuments were built by Cristóbal de Rojas
in the 17th century. Thanks to him the first plan of the city was drawn up in
1609. In 1713 following the treaty of Utrecht, Spain handed over Gibraltar to
During the 17th and 18th centuries Cádiz grew rapidly due to
its trade with Amercia and the liberalisation of commerce. Sherry made in nearby
Jerez began to be exported all over the world. And it was during the 18th century,
known as the 'golden century' that Cádiz monopolized sea trade. In 1812, during
the French occupation, the Cádiz parliament met and the first Spanish Constitution
was written converting Cádiz into the political centre of Spain.
What to do and see in Cádiz
Walks : Cádiz is a port city with grand avenues, squares and gardens so just
strolling around is a good way to soak up the atmosphere and get a feel of the
Palaces and Castles in Cádiz:
- Puerta Tierra: Part of the city wall with two fortifications (San Roque y el de Santa Elena),
built in the 18th century. The city entrance is in the middle of the wall.
Sebastián castle: This is a building located on the small island off
la Caleta beach. It was built in 1706 as a fort to defend the northern side of
- Santa Catalina Castle: This is a 17th century building
built for defensive purposes to defend the northern side of La Caleta beach. It
is now used as an exhibition centre and concert hall.
- Baluarte de la
Candelaria: This is a fort located in Cádiz bay. Built in 1672.
Tavira: c/Marqués del Real Tesoro, 10. Located in the upper part of
Cádiz's it has a good view of the horizon. It is now an exhibition centre. The
room called the Cámara Oscura is particularly
- Teatro Romano: Cádiz's roman theatre which was only
discovered in 1980. Located in the area known as the Barrio del Pópulo between the old Cathedral and the Arco de los Blancos. It is thought
to have been built in the 1st century B.C. during the time of Julia Ceasar.
de San Roque y Santa Elena: Two forts located on either side of the city entrance
in the city's wall.
- Arco de los Blancos: Located next to the old
Cathedral in the area known as the barrio de Pópulo. This
is the Western entrance to the city built by Alfonso X el Sabio in the 13th century.
and Churches in Cádiz:
- The Cathedral: Construction
of this cathedral started in 1722 and ended in 1838. During construction it had
7 different artchitects something which is reflected in its various styles.
old Cathedral: Located in the area known as the Barrio del Pópulo,
next to the Arco de los Blancos. Used as Cádiz's cathedral until
1838. It was built upon an ancient mosque under the orders of Alfonso X el Sabio.
Destroyed various times over its history, only the vault and entrance remain.
- Nuestra Señora del Rosario and Santo Domingo de Guzmán Church: A
temple built in the 17th century by Antón María Calafate and Bartolomé
Ruíz. It was reformed in 1666 by Luis de Lojo. It was restored in the 20th
century. The marble altar is particularly interesting.
- Nuestra Señora
de los Remedios del Convento de San Francisco Church: Founded by the Franciscan
order in the 16th century.
- San Agustín Church: Founded
by the Augustinos in 1617 - neoclassic style.
- Oratorio de San Felipe Neri
Church: Located in the Plaza San Felipe Neri. 17th century church
which during the French occupation was the place where Cádiz's parliament met.
It is the place where the first Spanish constitution was written in 1812. Its
walls are adorned with plaques commemorating those who took part in drawing up
the constitution. Some of the members of Cádiz's parliament are buried in the
crypt. There is an interesting painting by Murillo.
- Oratorio de la Santa
Cueva Church: c/ del Rosario, E. This is a small chapel in a neoclassic style.
It has 3 paintings by Goya.
- La Palma Church: Located in the
area known as the Barrio de la Viña. Built in the 18th century
in a baroque style.
- San Antonio de Padua Parish Church: Built in the
17th century and remodelled in the 19th century in a baroque style.
- Nuestra Señora de las Angustias, del Caminito Church: A beautiful
chapel, built in 1701, located in the old part of Cádiz on a cliff edge. It offers
some wonderful views.
Museums in Cádiz:
Archeological Museum: Located in the Plaza de Mina in a 19th
century building by Juan Daura
- Real Academia de Bellas Artes Museum: Located in the Plaza de Mina. It houses a collection of Fenecian
and Roman art. it has a sarcophagus and Spanish 17th to 19th century art mainly
by Murillo and Zurbarán.
- The Municipal Museum: c/Santa
Inés/ next to junto San Felipe church. This museum covers the city's local
history very well.
- Cádiz Museum: Located in the Plaza
de Mina built by Juan Daura. The museum has 3 sections: Archeology, Bellas
Artes and Ethnology.
Other interesting Buildings in Cádiz:
- The Town Hall: Located in the Plaza de San Juan de Dios. Built in 1799.
- The Central Market: Located in
the Plaza de las Flores. Built in 1837 in a neoclassic style.
- The Chamber of Commerce: c/ Antonio López/plaza de
Mina. Built in 1801 by José Gabarrón in a neoclassic style. This
was the headquarters for the Bank of Spain before it became the Chamber of Commerce.
- Aramburu House: c/ Veedor, 3. This is a 18th century palace built which was restored
in the later part of the 19th century.
- Cádiz University Rector's
Office: c/Atocha,16. Built at the beginning of the 19th century in a neoclassic
- Palacio de la Diputación: Located in the former Customs
building in the Port. Built in 1765 by the architect Juan Caballero.
de La Palma: c/ Duque de Nájera, 3. This is where the Centre for subaquatic
archeology is based, it is located on La Caleta beach.
- The Provincial
Archives: Located in a 16th century building called Casa de las Cadenas.
and Gardens in Cádiz:
- Parque Genovés: This park
was created in the 19th century when the Paseo del Perejil was expanded. It has
many different species of trees brought over from America.
- Monument dedicated to the Cortes de Cádiz de 1812 (Cadiz Parliament): Located in the Plaza de España. Designed by the architect
Modesto López Otero and the sculptor Aniceto Marinas between 1912 and 1929.
It consists of 2 bronze statues which represent peace and war and a central pillar
where the text of the
constitution is written.
Cádiz: Typical Cádiz products include wine, cold meats, cheese, sherry, olive
oil... The most important food markets are Mercado Central de Abastos, la
Merced and San José. There is also a lot of craftwork
on offer such as ceramics, furniture, blankets and ponchos.
Cádiz Province: It has 1,260 Kms of coast, of which about 200 Kms are beaches.
Cádiz is Spain's most southern province and covers an area of 7,385 kms
with a million inhabitants. The most outstanding features of this province are
its beaches and coastline with clean sparkling water. There are many different
types of beaches from natural untouched coastline to more developed touristic
areas. It has an average temperature of 34ºc in summer with fresher temperatures
What to eat in Cádiz: Cádiz cuisine has clear Fenician,
roman, arab and colonical traits, and differs according to where you are. Delicious
fresh seafood, fish soups and rice dishes on the coast contrast with dishes made
with game, beef, goat, pork, river trout and vegetable-based stews inland. Try
the excellent hams and other pork products and local olive oil on offer in the
mountain villages. Typical dishes from Cádiz include:
- Coastal areas:
Tortitas de Camarones (small thin crispy omlettes with tiny prawns), calamares
en su tinta (squid in its ink), fideos con gambas y almejas (noodles with prawns
and clams), all kinds of shellfish including sea urchin, crab and lobster...
the local vinager and sherry produced in Jerez plays a key role in dishes inland.
Try la perdiz estofada (partridge casserole), revuelto de esparragos trigueros
(scrambled eggs with fresh asparragos), aceitunas aliñadas (marinated olives),
ajo caliente (warm garlic)...
- Mountain villages: caldereta de cordero
(lamb casserole), guiso de rabo de toro (oxtail stew), wild game, esparragos trigueros
Wine is very important to the local economy
in the province of Cádiz and there are important bodegas in Jerez de la Frontera,
El Puerto de Santa María, Sanlúcar de Barrameda y Chiclana de la
Where to eat in Cádiz: These are some of the best
restaurants in Cádiz: El Faro: c/San Felix, 15, (Tel: 956 225 858): excellent
sea food and tapas; La Leyenda, Pº Marítimo, 20 (Tel.: 956
262 185): seafood and creative cuisine; Ventorrillo El Chato, Vïa
Augusta Julia (Ctra.Cádiz a San Fernando) Tel.: 956 250 025: traditional
andalusian cuisine with a modern touch; El Algibe, Plaza Plocia, 25, (Tel.:
956 266 656): good locall dishes; El Balandro, Alameda Apocada, 22, (Tel.:
956 220 992): imaginative dishes using local seafood; Doña Pepa,
General Muñoz Arenillas, 1 (Tel.: 637 215 818): regional cuisine, excellent
Where to stay in Cádiz: Click on Cádiz
hotel guide for a review of the best hotels in Cádiz capital city and
surrounding areas. See also our selection of cheap
hotels in Cádiz for comfortable hotels offering an excellent price: quality
ration and hotels in Jerez for nearby alternatives.
What to see and where to visit in the Province
Sports in Cádiz: Water sports such as sailing, windsurf
and flysurf are popular due to the fact that it is often very windy on the coast.
Also a lot of people enjoy fishing, diving and riding jet-skis. Hunting is also
a popular pastime in this province where there are 60 hunting reserves.
is currently very popular. There are 21 golf courses in the province. In general
all of them are good and some are exceptional such as Sotogrande or Montecastillo
where major tournaments like the Ryder Cup take place (in Jerez de la Frontera).
Here is a selection of the best golf courses in Cádiz (click on name for details):
the mountains you can do sports such as hand gliding, bungee jumping, cycling,
pot holing and horse riding. There are many horse riding schools throughout the
province. In Jerez de la Frontera there is a famous motorbike and car racing circuit.
Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos (white villages route): These white
villages located towards the north of the Province are mountain villages made
up of small white houses. These villages normally have Roman or Moorish archeological
remains. This area has been declared a Biosphere heritage site by UNESCO. There
are 19 white villages, the most interesting being:
- Grazalema: The rainiest place in Spain.
- Arcos de la Frontera: It has
a lovely parador hotel clinging on to the side of the mountain, lots of winding
streets and monuments
- Bornos: Visit Castillo de Fontanar and its
- Espera: Visit the remains
of Roman city Carisa Aurelia , 2 Roman necropolis, the wall and
a mausoleum (2nd- 4th century).
- Algodonales: This one of the entrances
to the Grazalema National Park.
- Villamartín: El
Dolmen de Alberite a megalithic monument dating back 6000 years.
Serrano: Mountain sports: horse riding and hiking.
- Olvera: Declared
a historical and artistic centre.
- El Gastor:
de las Bodegas: Village with houses built in spaces between the stones caused
by river erosion.
- Torre Alhámique: A Nazarite fort fortaleza
nazarí de la que se conserva la muralla
- Grazalema National
Park: You can visit the villages El Bosque, Benaocaz, Villaluenga del
Rosario and Ubrique.
Ruta de pueblos
Romanos (Roman villages route): You can take two routes, one in the interior
and one on the coast. Some of the villages also form part of the white villages
- Roman route on the coast: Cádiz, San Fernando,
Chiclana, Conil, Veger, Barbate, Zahara de los Atunes, Tarifa and Algeciras.
- Roman route in the interior: Medina Sidonia,
Paterna de Rivera, Arcos de la Frontera, Espera, Bornos, Villamanrique, Prado
de Rey, El Bosque and Ubrique
Jerez de la Frontera: This
city is recommended for its charm, elegance and historical monuments. It has Palaeolithic
origins and other cultures such as the Fenecians, Romans and especially the Moors
have also left their mark on the city. Located in the middle of countryside, 28
kms from Cádiz, there are many things which make this an attractive place to visit:
the old part which was declared a historical artistic centre, the famous riding
school, the motorbike and car racing circuit and wine cellars.
interest along the coast of Cádiz
- Sanlúcar de Barrameda: 18th century botanic gardens designed José Celestino Muti. Located
on the Guadalquivir estuary at the entrance to the Doñana national park
(considered to be the most important nature reserve in Spain).
- Chipiona: Village popular with summer tourists with 4 beaches and good facilities.
- Rota: Two excellent beaches: Punta Candor and la Almadraba
- Puerto de
Santa María: Located in Cádiz bay. A lot of historical sites: San Marcos
castle (10th century), Prioral Mayor church (15th century) and a bullring. The
best beaches are: La Puntilla, Valdelagrana, Fuentebravía, Puerto Sherry
and la Caleta Real. Busy in the summer, good bars and restaurants.
Real: Fishing and industrial city
- San Fernando: Known as "La
Isla", salt marshes and sea.
- Chiclana de la Frontera: Salt
marshes, pine forests and 9 kms of beaches. La Barrosa, located in the tourist
resort of Novo Sancti Petri, is one of the best beaches in the province. Sancti
Petri: tourist resort with lots of hotels, chalets, apartments, restaurants
and sports facilities: golf, horse riding, sailing, water skiing, diving...
de la Frontera: Fishing village with 14 kms of beaches. Good nightlife.
de la Frontera: Medieval village with some Moorish remains located on top
of a hill. Nearby beaches are:Trafalgar and El Palmar.
- Barbate: Santiago
castle. Touristic fishing village with beaches: Carmen, Yerbabuena and Caños
- Zahara de los Atunes: Touristic fishing village.
- Tarifa: Good for water sports: windsurfing, sailing... beaches:Bolonia, Los Lances,
Punta Palomas, La Plata, Valdevaqueros and Torre de la Peña.
Roque-La Linea-Sotogrande: Beaches: Torreguadiaro, San Roque, Guadalnilón
(virgin beach with sand dunes), El Cabrero (virgin beach with sand dunes), Torrecarboneras
- Sotogrande: Exclusive beach belonging to the Sotogrande
complex. Good for water sports. Polo championships. It also has one of the best
golf courses in the province (Valderrama).
in Cádiz: There are 5 National Parks in Cádiz province covering 200,000 hectares
of forests, wetlands, beaches and salt marshes.
- Doñana National Park: Avda. de Bajo de Guía en Sanlúcar de Barrameda,
Tel: 956 36 07 15 - 3,400 hectares. Considered to be the most important nature
reserve in Spain.
- La Bahía de Cádiz National Park: Callejón Cohegen, 13, San Fernando, Tel: 956 88 24 11 - 10,000 hectares
of dunes, canyons, cliffs. Beaches: Abarcs Sanlúcar de Barrameda and Trebujena.
- La Breña and Marismas de Barbate National Park: Tel: 956
59 00 71 - with its 4,737 hectares this park covers an area from Barbate to Vejer.
You can go cycling, hiking and bird watching here.
- La Sierra de Grazalema National Park:36,000 hectares. You can do lots of mountain sports here
such as hiking, horse riding, cycling and pot holing as well as activities like
- Los Alcornocales National Park: 170, 205 hectares
(161,000 are in Cádiz). This is the largest area in Europe with cork oak trees.
You can do lots of sports here such as hiking, abseiling, canoeing, cycling and
more. The mountains here are rich in flora and fauna you can also find some caves
with cave paintings dating back to the neolithic period.