Overview

Introduction

Cadiz is located at the southernmost point of Europe and its coast is bathed by Atlantic and Mediterranean waters.  Founded in 1100 BC, this is the most ancient city in the western world. This is a fascinating area and surprisingly one which is yet to be discovered by tourism.

The Phoenicians were the first nation to establish a trading network through Cadiz and the city was known for its fishing and salting industries.  In 205 BC, Cadiz became a part of the Roman Empire and an important trading post for wheat, olive oil, wine and a fish paste much loved by the Romans called “Garum”.  Baelo Claudia, a very well preserved Roman City, nestles amongst sand dunes about 75km from Cadiz.  

From 711 AD until the late 15th century, the whole region was under the rule of the Arabs which led to the unique mixture of Christian and Arab architecture and especially the towers and fortresses which abound all along the coast.  Between Tarifa and Cadiz there are over 30 fortresses and castles on the seafront or in the hills behind. However it is the Arab influence in its urban layout which makes Cadiz, with its labyrinthine streets, so exciting to explore.

The golden age for the city began with the discovery of America in the early 1500s.  However, with the resultant immense wealth came the pirates from Turkey, England and Portugal so requiring extensive fortifications all along the coastline and in Cadiz itself.  The fortress of the city of Cadiz and the defensive bastions are prime examples of the monumental defence systems.

The Atlantic coastline of the Costa de la Luz runs for 200km from Tarifa to Chipiona north of Cadiz.  This is very much a pristine coastline with a large number of idyllic coves and long stretches of sand between cliffs.  This is not an area much frequented by mass tourism.  Additionally, there are about 20 protected natural spaces including six national parks in the province with habitats for animal and plant species.

Andalusian cuisine is tasty and varied. It combines a wealth of produce from the sea and game from the hills.  The wines too are excellent and the Moorish heritage guarantees excellent pastries.  This region is the centre of the Andalusian leather industry and famous saddlery products whilst Medina Sidonia, Bornos and Vejer are well known for their cane furniture.

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Activities in Cadiz

CADIZ

A visit to the Supply Market or Square (Mercado de Abastos) is a must. You are sure to discover a corner replete with daily life, where the people of Cadiz ‘Gaditanos’ chat with traders while they do their daily shopping.

Try the traditional breakfast ‘Churros and Hot chocolate’. Visit La Marina Cafeteria, located in a corner of the square with the flower merchants, or buy hot sugary churros from one of the stalls next to the market. You can purchase a mug of traditional thick hot chocolate from any bar, where you can sit and enjoy the churros you just bought.

You can stroll through the historic centre and lose yourself in the one of many narrow, cobble stoned streets or visit the Dark Room at the Tavira Tower, the Western Tower (Torre de Poniente) in the Cathedral of Cadiz.

There are great views over the city from Plaza de San Juan de Dios. Take a stroll along the Playa de la Caleta (Little Cove Beach), where the boats rest under the attentive gaze of the Castles of Santa Catalina (on the right) and San Sebastián (in the background), where films have been shot including Tomorrow Never Dies (James Bond). Next stop is the Castle of San Sebastián. To get there, cross the Puente Canal (next to the Playa de la Caleta) on foot which is a lovely walk. From the other castle, Santa Catalina, you can see one of the most beautiful sunsets you have ever seen.

Roam along the Campo del Sur, which many people claim is very similar to the Malecon in Havana. And if you still have energy and time, you can reach the Playa de la Victoria on foot, and from there to the Playa de Cortadura, which borders Cadiz along the coastline and is a pleasant stroll.


  • Private Guided tour Cadiz: £130 per group (1-30 people) Mon-Fri
  • Cadiz self-guided tour (audio guide and map provided): £16 per person
  • Sightseeing bus: £20 per adult and £10 per child (60 minutes guided walking tour included)

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It took over 100 years for the Cathedral of Cadiz to be completed and I would agree that all good things come to those who wait! Here you have a grand building with a mix of styles, due to the length of time it took to build it, such as baroque and neoclassical.

Yasmin Zaidi
Yasmin Zaidi
Best time to go
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC
Time Difference

GMT + 1 hour

Currency

Euro

Language

Spanish

Average flight times

2 hours 20 minutes

  • Average temperature

    Average rainfall

Note: Map is for guidance purposes only.

Talk to our Cadiz expert

Yasmin Zaidi
Yasmin Zaidi

It took over 100 years for the Cathedral of Cadiz to be completed and I would agree that all good things come to those who wait! Here you have a grand building with a mix of styles, due to the length of time it took to build it, such as baroque and neoclassical.

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