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City Guide Cadiz Spain

The City of Cadiz - Cadiz City

It is said that Cadiz was once part of the fabled kingdom of Tharsis, a land rich in gold and silver, mentioned in the scriptures and the writings of Greek historians. What we do know is that Cadiz is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Western Europe. Three thousand years ago, Phoenician merchants established a trading colony on what was then an island (since joined to the mainland by a sandy isthmus).

There is a textured, crusty quality to Cadiz. It has to do with the fact that the city is almost entirely surrounded by water, limiting its expansion, so that much of its layout has an unchanging character. Wherever you are in Cadiz, the sea is never far away. There is a special clarity to the air, and an ever-present scent of sea-salt to remind you that the city’s fate and fortunes have always been linked to the sea. It also has the effect of whetting one’s appetite in anticipation of some of the seafood dishes that Cadiz chefs are so proficient at preparing, and that are to be eaten accompanied by a good sherry from neighbouring Jerez.

Jerez - Jerez de la Frontera: Jerez de la Frontera in Cadiz is the birthplace of Sherry wine!

Jerez de la Fronteran the province Cadiz is one of the Andalusian cities with the most pure traditional Spanish character. The very best time to visit Jerez de la Frontera  is in the spring when it's time for the "Feria", The local Spring Festival: Traditional clothes, beautiful Spanish horses, flamenco music and dancing, and of course fine Spanish sherry wines and traditional Spanish food are the highlights of the festival. Jerez is the sherry wines hometown. To visit the sherry producers wine cellars or bodegas is almost a must when one is in place. It is best to book a visit in advance. Most of the “Bodegas” will not let you visit the wine cellars on your own.

Read more about Jerez de la Frontera: Click HERE >>

El Puerto de Santa Maria and Sanlucar de Barrameda are also famous for fabulous fresh seafood. Daily fresh prawns are served in almost all bars. The fresh prawns are unbeatable together with the local cool sherry wine when it's time for "tapas".

Sanlucar de Barrameda

The name Sanlúcar de Barrameda comes from an ancient temple named Lucero after the goddess Venus, who was worshipped by the Tartessans. Sanlúcar was a key port in the voyages of discovery to America. It was from here that the ill-starred Magellan sailed to circumnavigate the world, a voyage that was eventually completed by Juan Sebastian Elcano.

In the upper part of the town one can see palace-like convents, vast bodegas and lordly mansions. Particularly fine is the church of Santa María de la O, which has a Churrigueresque altarpiece and Mudejar doorways.

Sanlúcar is set on a slope with streets running from the once important castle of Santiago (now a ruin) down to the beautiful district of Bajo de Guía on the banks of the river Guadalquivir. Sanlucar is well known for its many fine fish restaurants. The river Guadalquivir was once the regular means of travel from Sanlúcar to Seville. Today, however, only merchant ships and luxury yachts sail upriver from Sanlucar to Seville, most people prefer to make the journey much faster by road.

Read more about Sanlucar de Barrameda: Click HERE >>

El Puerto de Santa Maria

Situated at the mouth of the river Guadalete, El Puerto de Santa María is a popular beach resort. It is thronged especially at weekends as thousands of people come to sit at tables out on the pavement and enjoy seafood. Most popular are sole, squid and a prodigious variety of shellfish – washed down, of course, with local fino sherry.

El Puerto de Santa Maria is a seafaring town and was also one of the home ports for the voyages of discovery to America. Worth visiting are the Vistahermosa residential complex, the Puerto Sherry marina complex and the Casino Bahía de Cadiz. Outstanding monuments are the castle of San Marcos (a 13th-century structure where Mozarabic remains are still preserved), the castle of Doña Blanca, the High Priory church, the Monastery of La Victoria and the Capuchin convent.

El Puerto de Santa Maria has some of the best-known beaches in the province of Cadiz: La Puntilla, Valdelagrana, Fuentebravía and Vistahermosa.

Tarifa - Cadiz

One of the highlights in the province of Cadiz is without no doubt at all TARIFA: The surfers paradise on earth. Never mind if you love windsurf or kite surf, Tarifa is the place to go! Tarifa is always windy, even so windy that it can be hard to stand but surfers never get enough and the stunning surroundings and untouched environment are really unique. 

You can see Africa from many locations on the Costa del Sol when the weather is clear, but nothing, absolutely nothing can be compared to see the African coast from the wild beaches of Tarifa. It is a unique and almost magical view. When you see the African Coast on the other side of the strait so very clear from Tarifa it gives you the feeling that you could almost reach out your hand and touch the African continent.

Africa: Only 17 kilometers water and waves away from Europe. So very far and exotic and yet so close. The closer the Straits of Gibraltar you are, the stronger the feeling is when you suddenly see the North African Coast clearly in the distance: Africa is so incredibly close to Spain and Europe, but still so exotic and different!

Ferry from Tarifa and Algeciras to Tangier North Africa:

Ferries to Tangier in Morocco, crossing the Strait of Gibraltar leaves daily from Tarifa and Algeciras. If you are lucky you can see whales, sharks and dolphins when crossing the strait. Africa is really very close to Spain, at the shortest point it is only 17 kilometers of water between Spain and the north of Africa. That is from Tarifa. When the weather is clear you can see the North African coast from Algeciras and Tarifa so close that it its hard to believe that it is real!

Keep in mind that you absolutely must bring your passport in order to take a ferry or a boat to Tangier in Morocco, north Africa!

Many travel agencies offers day tours to Tangier and organized tours that usually includes visits to the Spanish colony Ceuta and also to Tetuan and Tangier in Morocco.

Cadiz: The Coast in the South of Spain: Previously, only some few locations like the European surfers paradise Tarifa has been well-known holiday places in Cadiz and Huelva, but then often only among those who worship wind, waves and surf, and among those who are prepared to camp in tents or to live in caravans. Luxury tourism has earlier been almost non-existent on the Costa de la Luz, with some few exceptions. In Tarifa, most visitors and tourists chose camping. Although the hotels now are more common along the beautiful coast in Cadiz and Huelva the campsites are still very popular and of course much cheaper than the hotels. The Spaniards discovered the Spanish Atlantic coast very much earlier than the international tourism. Many Spanish families and young people go for holidays along the beaches in Cadiz and Huelva, all the way from Costa del Sol to the the border with Algarve in Portugal.

Costa de la Luz means "Cost of the Light" in Spanish and the name does not mislead at all: The light is very special along the coast. Europe's southern coastline in Spain is unspoiled and wild. Long stretches of the coast are protected areas and natural parks where no construction is allowed, fortunately! Hopefully, the unique nature of the area will be preserved in its original state in the future. An example of the importance of the area's unique climate and nature is the natural park of Doñana where the flora and fauna are kept in completely untouched conditions and visits are limited and controlled. In the National Park Doñana you still find for example wild Iberian lynx, native protected chameleons, vultures, eagles and falcons, among the many unique species of animals that lives in the nature that only exists in the southernmost territory of Spain. The rich bird life in the area is like a miracle as winter approaches in the northern part of Europe. Millions of migratory birds are heading for warmer climates and all arrive to the south of Spain. Some of them to stay until spring, and some of the to rest before they continue their migration to Africa.

Sports in Cadiz are common in all possible variations: Horse Riding, surfing, kite surfing, scuba diving, deep-water fishing, cycling, golf, and anything else you can imagine.

Talking about golf , the area is really up to date: Golf Courses in Cadiz. For example Valderrama and Sancti Petri and many other holiday resorts are among the best in Europe. Many golfers are looking to the new golf resort Costa Ballena.

Golf Guide Spain: Click HERE >>

The interesting tours in and around Cadiz are almost endless:

Seville, Cadiz (Gadix, Cadis), Gibraltar, Portugal, Algarve, Huelva, Granada and many beautiful villages and small Spanish towns. For example. Barbate, Conil, Chiclana, Sanlucar de Barrameda, Caños de Meca, Bolonia, Costa Ballena, El Rocio, El Puerto de Santa Maria and Jerez de la Frontera.



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