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Discover Cádiz in 5 days
Possibly one of the most special cities in the west whose aim is to fall in love from the first moment you cross one of its bridges, Cádiz, ancient city of Phoenician origin, silver streets that lead to an infinite sea and a southern field that transports the visitor to the Havana boardwalk.
We recommend going out on 9 in the morning on our routes but before leaving we have to gather strength, and what better than having a cup of hot chocolate next to the Mercado de Abastos, in the well-known cafeteria of “The poem” where we can take the exquisite churros from the nearby stall "La Guapa".
To start our journey through Cadiz land and early in the morning, we will take as a starting point the Central Market (1), full of fresh seafood stalls, fruits, vegetables, meat, where you have the possibility to try, possibly, the best greaves in the world and, and if that was not enough, eat some tapas outdoors in your gastronomic corner, which has a wide variety of stalls where we can find culinary proposals of any type and origin, from the most typical of the land to Japanese cuisine, Italian, among others. And not only that, we can also visit specialized beer stalls, infusions, drinks, etc.
We continue our journey towards the Plaza de las Flores (2) o Plaza Topete, historic heart of Cádiz and commercial center, just a few seconds from the Central Supply Market.
In it ends one of the main shopping streets of the city, la calle Colum, full of businesses of all kinds, especially fashion stores.
then, we are heading to the Cathedral Square (3), from which we can contemplate the immense facade of the Cathedral of Cadiz (4) "Santa Cruz on the sea" or "Santa Cruz on the Waters" is also known by the people of Cadiz as the New Cathedral, as opposed to the Old, built in the 16th century on the old Gothic Cathedral ordered to be built by Alfonso X El Sabio. The Gothic Cathedral endured with some reforms carried out in the 15th and 16th centuries until it was burned by the Anglo-Dutch squad commanded by Admiral Howard and the Earl of Essex, who attacked, invaded and looted Cádiz in 1.596 until he abandoned her, already burned, in the middle of July.
The clock tower (5) of the Cathedral of Cádiz is, for sure, one of the most characteristic exterior elements of this first Cadiz temple, from its towers you can see a complete view of the entire city and wonderful views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Next to the Cathedral we can visit the Church of Santa Cruz (6) o Old Cathedral It is the temple with the longest history in the city and the tradition tells that it was built on the site of an old Muslim mosque. It was built at the behest of Alfonso X the Wise and was erected as a cathedral in 1263, Wise King expressing his desire to be buried in it, although it was never fulfilled.
We continue through the area, where we have the possibility to visit the Cathedral museum (7) located in the House of the Court. It displays the ornaments and objects of worship of the Cathedral, as well as paintings and sculptures.
It is time to stop to replenish energy, and nothing better than tapas in Garage bistro & Bar, located just 1 minute from the Cathedral, in the neighborhood of El Pópulo, from where we can observe the rose bow, the old western door nestled in the walls of medieval Cádiz, that connects it to the Plaza de la Catedral.
Considered the oldest in Western Europe, the Pópulo neighborhood (8), whose origin dates back to the 13th century, It is one of those places that transport you to another era with its narrow cobblestone streets with a medieval air, palaces houses and facades of oyster stone that have witnessed the continuous exchange of merchandise with the New World and the visit of Christopher Columbus in 1493 on his second trip to the americas.
The Pópulo encloses in the small area delimited by three arches, each one under a Marian dedication: the Arch of the Rose, with their matacanes; the The arc of Populo (9), located under the chapel of the same name and of which the interior curvature stands out, which is a timid warhead arch; and the Arch of the Whites, where was the chapel of the Virgin, vestiges of Cadiz history, from the Phoenician Cadiz, Roman and also from that rich city that looked at America mesmerized by trade with the West Indies.
We will dedicate our last forces to visit the city council of Cádiz (10) which is located in the Plaza de San Juan de Dios.
The City of Cadiz it is located in the current location since the sixteenth century. At the end of the 17th century the building was renovated, which was replaced by the current one from 1799.
The primitive Plaza Mayor of the city or Plaza de San Juan de Dios (11), which was also called La Corredera, got ready, as it is frequent in medieval cities, outside the walls and immediately to one of the access doors, in this case the primitive Puerta del Mar, the Arch of Pópulo. Its irregular layout is conditioned by coinciding with one of the mouths of the old arm of the sea, that originally crossed the current island of Cádiz.
To end the day we can go through the Las Flores Restaurant and Seafood Restaurant 1 where generous servings of seafood or fried fish are served on paper or on a tray, in a humble brewery in the historic heart of Cádiz.
From the terrace you can enjoy the great atmosphere that always exists in the area, overlooking the Plaza de las Flores.
- La Viña neighborhood
- La Caleta Beach
- Our Lady of La Palma Spa
- Castillo de San Sebastián
- Roman theatre
- Archaeological site of the Bishop's House
- Castillo de Santa Catalina
- Parque Genovés
- Gran Teatro Falla
- Baluarte de la Candelaria
- Alameda Apodaca
- Walls of San Carlos
- Monument to the constitution of 1812
On our second day through Cádiz we will do one of the most Cadiz routes in the city, starting with the carnival neighborhood of the vineyard, even so, We recommend stopping first at the Abastos market to see the great variety of fish and seafood that we can find in the morning., worth to watch.
To have breakfast before our walk, we have the possibility to do it within the same market, where we will find a varied gastronomic corner.
Willing to continue, we will walk in the direction Pink street towards the famous La Viña neighborhood (1), with a deep sea flavor, It is the nerve center of the Cadiz carnivals, in addition to concentrating the entire essence of the call “Tacita de Plata”, popular nickname of Cádiz.
Once we have traveled every corner of the La Viña neighborhood, we will end up in the La Caleta beach (2), because all its streets lead us to it.
Presided over by the former Our Lady of La Palma spa (3), iconic image of the city of Cádiz, La Caleta is possibly one of the most special beaches on the Cadiz coast, and why not, of the world, because it reflects the pure spirit of Cádiz, with magical sunsets that transmit peace and tranquility, a picturesque picture with little wooden boats in a sea that is lost with a beautiful sunset between the Castle of San Sebastián and the Castle of Santa Catalina.
Now we are heading towards Duque de Nájera avenue, there we find the Castillo de San Sebastián (4), which we can see on our left from the beach of La Caleta and where we can take a long walk enjoying the wonderful views of the sea that its journey offers us.
We continue our journey to Calle Mesón, where we find the Roman theatre (5) that was built around the year 70 a.C. when the Cádiz-born Lucio Cornelio Balbo “el Mayor”, Julio César's personal friend and advisor, he decided with his nephew Balbo "el Menor" to expand the urban perimeter of Gades, building the Neápolis. In this new neighborhood an amphitheater and a theater were built, located the latter in 1980 under the current neighborhood of El Pópulo.
Just 1 minute is the Archaeological site of the Bishop's House (6), it is located in the historic center of the city, between the old cathedral and the new cathedral, and it allows to check the evolution of the city from the 8th century BC to the 18th century of our era.
It is time to stop and this time we recommend visiting, without a doubt, perhaps the best-known tavern in Cádiz, Manteca House, a very picturesque corner with bullfighting decoration, tiles and old-fashioned photographs, an intimate place with exquisite typical tapas from Cádiz where we highlight its greaves, mojama, cheese, aliñá mackerel and all its offer in general, well you won't be disappointed.
Late afternoon, there is no better way than to relax walking along the beach of La Caleta, address to Castillo de Santa Catalina (7), where near its entrance we find a cafeteria with unbeatable views, The Keel, to have a coffee and activate before continuing.
We continue our route through the Genovese park (8) or botanical garden, it is the widest green area in the old town. It remained on the margin of the urban expansion experienced by the city throughout the 18th century, for being subjected to military servitude. At that time it was already used as a place of recreation and was known as Paseo del Perejil, because of its sparse and poor vegetation.
From this point, we will deviate 3 minutes of our route to go to the temple of the Cadiz carnival, the Gran Teatro Falla (9), that each February gives us the songs of the groups that compete in it.
We return to Genovés Park and walk to the Baluarte de la Candelaria (10), built on a protruding angle of the terrain in 1672, whose strategic location, between San Felipe and the fortifications near Caleta, was a great improvement for the protection of the western front.
Continuing our tour we will see the Alameda Apodaca (11), this ride, reserved for storms, it is arranged on the walls next to the bay and is, since the 17th century, one of the most frequented places in the city. Throughout history it has undergone several reforms, but the one that shaped its current appearance was made in 1926.
Cadiz had to be defended at all costs. Napoleon, Nelson, Francis Drake ... I do not know how many took Cádiz in their heads, as a starting point to get your hands on the entire peninsula, why, centuries ago, Cádiz was one of the most important cities in Spain.
Between bulwarks, lookout towers, and else, Cádiz parapet after his Walls of San Carlos (12). Today you can see them very close to the Plaza de España, there where the famous rises monument to the Constitution of 1812 (13), la Pepa. The walls stare seaward, and they rose in the late eighteenth century, thanks to the military engineer Antonio Hurtado.
Our day ends here but to make our trip even more perfect, at dusk we can go to dinner at the Restaurante Balandro, it is without a doubt, one of the best and best known in the city, where the seafood dishes made with fresh fruits from the bay of Cadiz stand out, traditional recipes rooted in the Mediterranean diet and tasty and tender meats made with a wide range of possibilities, To the client's taste.
Our third day will be very cultural but we will also have time to go shopping in the most popular and central streets of the capital..
As usual, we recommend starting over 9 in the morning, and our starting point will again be the central market of Abastos, and we will end up in Campo del Sur where we can take a quiet stroll enlivened by the noise of the waves and accompanied by unbeatable views.
First of all we must take a little energy with a good breakfast, and again we suggest having a delicious hot chocolate from “The poem” along with the exquisite churros de "La Guapa".
Our first objective will be Torre Tavira (1), a tower of the 134 viewpoints towers of Cádiz, where we can enjoy the camera obscura, which produces an image on a horizontal curved white screen, by way of table, located in the center of a totally darkened room, painted black.
The projected image is in color, very bright and reflects what is taking place, outside the tower, at that very moment (real and moving images).
Just 1 minute walking we find the Gadir ARCHEOSITE® (2), it is one of the oldest Phoenician settlements in the West. Already in the first quarter of the first millennium BC the first scoring arrivals by the Phoenicians of Tire took place, founding a stable colony on a date that even the discoveries found under the Puppet Theater were difficult to pin down.
A 3 minutes from the Gadir Archaeological Site we will arrive at Museum of the Cortes of Cadiz (3) that was born as a benchmark of the initiatives carried out in the city to commemorate the First Centenary of the Constitution of 1812, the first in the history of Spain.
Now we are heading towards the Plaza San Antonio (4), a place with a lot of atmosphere and bars to sit on its terraces and relax with the views they offer.
Plaza San Antonio forms a large quadrangular space and is one of the nerve centers of the city. It was originally called Campo de la Jara, because the well of the same name, which for a time supplied the city with drinking water, was in its vicinity. From the middle of the 17th century the square took its current name when the hermitage dedicated to San Antonio was erected in it.
We continue strolling among the magical alleys of Cádiz towards Plaza Mina, another emblematic corner of the city, where is the Cadiz Museum (5).
The origin of the Museum begins with the Confiscation of Mendizábal in 1835 and with the deposit in the city's Academy of Fine Arts of a series of paintings from various exclaustrated convents. Among these works was the Zurbarán series from the Cartuja de Jerez de la Frontera. While, around the Academy of Fine Arts, throughout the 19th century, A nucleus of works from the flourishing school of painting in Cádiz was gathering., with the final echoes of neoclassicism, the romanticism, costumbrismo and the history picture.
From Plaza Mina we head towards the Oratorio de la Santa Cueva (6), which is about 4 minutes walk.
Next to the parish of Rosario is the Oratory of the Holy Cave., who belonged to the Congregation of the Spiritual Retreat, emerged in Cádiz towards 1730. Among its members were the most prominent figures of the Cádiz society of the 18th century. One of them, the Marquis de Valde-Íñigo used a large part of the family fortune, from trade with Mexico, in the construction of the current oratory.
At this point we can make a stop to eat at the Restaurant Royalty coffee, the only great historical romantic coffee preserved in Andalusia and possibly in all of Spain. His rich paintings by renowned artists such as Felipe Abarzuza, its exquisite artisan carpentry and original plasters covered in fine gold leaf, next to the furniture of the first decades of the 20th century, does not leave the visitor indifferent.
We can take the opportunity to spend noon to walk through the commercial area of the Plaza del Palillero, there we will find various fashion and beauty stores, as well as bars and all kinds of shops.
If we prefer, we can continue our route, Way to Canalejas walk (7), with a surface 8.510 m2 of green area and the Plaza de las Tortugas with 1.060 m2, they constitute a fragmented green area between the Palace of the Provincial Government and the Plaza de San Juan de Dios, bounded on the east by Avenida del Puerto and the commercial port of the City and on the west by Avenida 4 from December to 1977, old Ramón de Carranza Avenue.
From the Canalejas walk we see the Maritime Port of Cádiz where we have catamarans that cross the Bay of Cádiz connecting the municipalities of Rota, Cádiz and El Puerto de Santa María; and where many cruise ships dock, Freighters and Occasional Historic and Warships.
We walk some 8 minutes direction Puertas de Tierra, a privileged place and symbol of the city of Cádiz, where respecting the appearance and distribution of the original construction, is the The Puppet Museum (8); a space whose main objective is to exhibit, document and preserve the memory of the activity of the puppeteers, companies, Spanish craftsmen and creators as well as the rest of the world.
Our last stop and just 3 minutes walking, It will be the Casa de Iberoamerica (9), former Royal Prison, It is a Cultural Center that currently hosts many events and samples of all kinds, and among which those related to Latin America stand out. Among his permanent exhibitions are the sculptures of the Dutch artist based in Venezuela, Cornelis Zittman, and the collection of works of art by José Félix Llopis.
There are those who say that Cádiz is Havana but with more art and salt shaker, and is that both have each other as twin sisters who look at each other with the Atlantic reflection in between with a very similar architectural aesthetic, almost cultural and emotional.
For this reason it is forbidden to leave Cádiz without first strolling along the Malecon Gaditano., the Campo del Sur, that we can find it next to the Iberoamerican House.
In Andalusia there are many white villages, originally limed in the s. XIX to block the sun and to disinfect, not a very romantic origin, but the white towns of the province of Cádiz, and more specifically those remaining to the northeast, they have earned the official title of blancos white towns ’.
During two centuries, between the Christian conquests of Seville in 1248 and the end of the Muslim emirate in Granada, in 1492, these fortified towns they lived on horseback on the ever-changing frontier between Christians and Muslims.
The 19 white villages of Cádiz are: Arcos de la Frontera, Bornos, Wait, Villamartín, Algodonales, The Gastor, Olvera, Torre-Alháquime, Setenil de las Bodegas, Acalá del Valle, King's meadow, The forest, Ubrique, Benaocaz, Villaluenga del Rosario, Grazalema, Benamahoma, Zahara de la Sierra and Algar.
How can we do it?
The White Villages Route is connected with Cádiz via the M-903 bus line, that unites the capital with Arcos de la Frontera, and through the service provided by bus companies "The yellow ones" and the Comes Transport Company. However if what you want is to visit several towns, the fastest way to get there is by car or organized excursion.
We will focus on the most essential ones so that you give us time to see them in peace, even so we can deviate a little to visit them all or spread them over several days.
If we start from Cádiz, we recommend leaving as early as possible, ideally it would be around 7.30 or 8 in the morning to be able to have breakfast in Setenil de las Bodegas (1), our first destination, since it will take 1 hour and 50 minutes to arrive.
In addition to having a beautiful location, in the canyon of Trejo river, Setenil de las Bodegas has a singular difference with the rest of the populations of this famous route and it is that a good part of their homes have been "built" under a rock ledge that make it one of the most original and most beautiful towns in Spain.
It is a very small town and it is enough mid morning to see it but it is worth spending a little more time to enjoy it even more if it is a good day..
We continue our route direction Grazalema (2), a 46 minutes drive from Setenil de las Bodegas, It is a charming and small town so it is enough to visit it in a couple of hours or 3.
It is a beautiful town considered by many to be one of the most beautiful towns in Andalusia. It is a small municipality located in the heart of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park which has the highest rainfall index in Spain.
From Grazalema we can deviate some 20 minutes to reach a very small but charming town, Benamahoma (3), a charming town that will surprise us with its surroundings and above all with the beautiful natural route that connects Benamahoma and El Bosque, always accompanied by the noise of the Majaceite river.
We can do the Majaceite trail route but this will take us several hours, and if we are going to do our tour in one day, we must continue.
We recommend visiting Zahara de la Sierra if we go well on time, We will be amazed by its views with a large reservoir in the background and crowned by its castle of Nasrid origin.
Our next stop, The Forest (4), in the Sierra de Albarracín, next to the Majaceite river and surrounded by valleys, the former stately retirement home of the Dukes of Arcos de la Frontera appears to us, with its white streets dotted with fountains and flowers.
If we are going to stop for a snack, we recommend visiting the restaurant "The goblin", with exquisite dishes typical of the Cádiz mountains and desserts to lick your fingers.
Of course we cannot leave the Sierra of Cádiz without taking some Iberian cold cuts or cheeses, the best I've tried without a doubt.
By last, we will visit Arcos de la Frontera (5), considered one of the most beautiful towns in Spain for its strategic location on top of a hill called "La Peña". He was always in the crosshairs of all the civilizations that passed through Cádiz. Phoenicians, Romans, Visigoths…
But it was the Muslims who, after conquering it in the 8th century, they made it the kingdom of Taifa and endowed it with the essence of what it continues to be today.
Lake Arcos is located a few kilometers from the town and offers the possibility of doing different water sports.. The tail of this reservoir is declared a Natural Site.
And with this our day ends, although we have a long but nice way back to the capital of Cádiz.
We still have many places to see in Cádiz and today I propose two options, the first for wine lovers, and the second, for lovers of the sea. I want to emphasize that the advisable thing is to do the route of the sea in the months of May to September; that of wine the rest of the year. In the warm months there will be much more influx on the sea route. The wine one stays all year.
We recommend leaving early and doing the morning in Jerez, have lunch in Sanlúcar de Barrameda and watch the sunset in Puerto de Santa María.
We will start our wine route in Jerez de la Frontera (1), city where sherry, Horse, and art are protagonists.
Known for the Horse Fair, its Easter, flamenco and its art, Jerez de la Frontera, where Phoenicians settled, Romans, Muslims and Christians leaving behind a city with a surprising artistic and cultural heritage. Any time of the year is good to walk through its streets and squares, to discover its white houses in the shade of the orange trees, palacios, iglesias, its art and its famous wineries.
The most recommended places to visit in Jerez are:
- historic center.
- The Alcazar of Jerez
- Jerez Cathedral
- Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art of Jerez
- San Miguel and San Dionisio Church
- Botanical Zoo
- Charterhouse of Jerez
- Plaza del Arenal and Long Street
- Tabancos gastronomic route
If you really want to eat well and enjoy a unique atmosphere. Tapas in Sanlúcar de Barrameda (2) and try their Manzanilla is the best option, and nothing better than Plaza Cabildo or Bajo de Guía, the fishing district flooded with restaurants where you can try the famous prawns, shrimp tortillas, fish and seafood stews.
Beyond strolling through its streets and living its great atmosphere in summer, El Puerto de Santa María (3) It has attractions that are based on its history as an important port for trade with America, and in the gastronomy what can you enjoy.
On the dock near the center, we found the catamaran that connects the port with Cádiz in just 30 minutes.
Where we will visit:
- San Marcos castle
- Basilica of Our Lady of Miracles.
- Foundation Rafael Alberti
- Osborne Winery / Bodegas Caballero / Bodegas Gutiérrez Colosia
If our passion is the sea, Fishing, maritime gastronomy and the active environment, especially in summer time, this is our route.
On the shores of the Atlantic, on the coast of Cádiz, you can find a town full of charm and magic, not only for its views, but also for its culinary culture and its inhabitants, Conil (1).
And in addition to visiting La Fontanilla beach, La Cala del Aceite and coves de Roche, you cannot leave without trying the almadraba bluefin tuna is the king of all the dishes in the area, exquisite and high quality. This fish caught by hand on the coast of Cádiz is a delicacy that they know how to prepare in Conil like nowhere else.
We continue our journey, although we have the possibility of seeing the beaches of El Palmar and Caños de Meca before reaching Barbate (2), our next point on the map, where together with Conil, Zahara de los atunes and Tarifa, make up the famous Almadraba bluefin tuna route, whose name is one of the techniques for catching tuna used in Spain taking advantage of the Atlantic-Mediterranean tuna migration that has been used since pre-Roman times. It consists of installing a maze of nets in the passage of the tuna, which is normally located near the coast. This event takes place in the month of May. A term we should know is snoring, is made by the so-called snorer, a person who knows perfectly both the cutting technique and the anatomy of the fish, in this way to make perfect cuts and not spoil the product.
We continue with heart attack beaches and magical sunsets, and without a doubt, Zahara (3) is another indispensable stop. It is a small and charming town with a tuna tradition, very quiet and with kilometers of almost deserted beaches, crystal clear waters and white sand.
We resume our journey direction Tarifa (4) without before making some essential stops, and it is that Cádiz has millions of exciting corners. On the way to Tarifa we find the famous Los Alemanes beach with a spectacular cove that is a must-see due to its charm and beauty. We can also see the Cañuelo beach or the military beach.
We must take into account, that these almost deserted beaches do not have beach services and due to their location, tend to be difficult to access.
A little further on we will have the beach of Bolonia, spectacular and a must see, with well-known dunes and an environment full of vegetation that transforms it into a film print.
We finally reached Tarifa, we are in the southernmost point of Europe, the closest to the African continent and known to all as the surf capital. And it is that this privileged location can boast even prehistoric remains, Phoenician vestiges and, Of course, Romans.
Without taking too long, we will return our trip, because our last visit is back to Cádiz, Vejer de la Frontera (5), to some 40 minutes from Tarifa, close to Conil.
It is a town of extreme beauty, small but with a very special touch and magical alleys, possibly the muse of numerous writers and that celebrates a well-known party where the center of the picturesque town is filled with candles and a beautiful image of the night is lit with hundreds and hundreds of candles enlivened with classical music.
Our long and unique day ends, with some 45 minutes journey back to Cádiz and from Nomads, We hope you come back with a big smile and we have helped you visit every corner of our wonderful and surprising Cádiz.