Cadiz (Spain) – the most detailed information about the city with photos. The main sights of Cadiz with descriptions, travel guides and maps.
Cadiz is a city in the south of Spain in the region of Andalusia. It is considered the oldest city in Western Europe and the starting point for the voyages of Christopher Columbus. Cadiz is the pearl of the Costa de la Luz (Coast of the World), offering a wonderful Mediterranean atmosphere, a large number of historical and cultural monuments, endless beaches and beautiful seascapes. The city was founded by the Phoenicians more than three thousand years ago and is still one of the largest ports in Spain. Cadiz is a great starting point for exploring the resorts of the Costa de la Luz and all of southwestern Andalusia.
Panorama of Cadiz
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Geography and climate
Cadiz is located in the southwestern part of Spain. Much of the area is covered with marshes, salt marshes, and sandy beaches. The climate is mild subtropical. The average annual temperature is 18.6 ° C. Summer is hot. Winter is very mild with an average temperature of the coldest month of about +10 degrees.
The beautiful beaches and the mild Mediterranean climate make Cadiz one of the most popular resorts in Spain. Unlike most Spanish resorts, the city’s beaches are not overcrowded with infrastructure and hotels (especially high-rise). In the historic center, the most popular beach in La Caleta Bay is Playa de la Caleta. The beach is marked with a blue flag. There is also a small section of Playa de la Palma in this bay. A little away from the center is Playa de Santa Maria del Mar, which is a long stretch of sandy coastline. Then there is Playa de la Victoria with its elegant promenade. The largest beach in Cádiz is Playa de la Cortadura.
La Caleta Cove
La Caleta Cove is a cove on the west side of the historic center. It is a place of great historical importance since the Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Romans moored their ships in this natural harbor. Today, boats and yachts are moored on the north side of the bay.
Playa de la Victoria is considered one of the best urban beaches in Europe and Spain. It is more than 2 kilometers of sandy coast with a beautiful promenade of Paseo Marítimo.
Cadiz, like the entire Costa de la Luz, is part of the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The water, even in summer, is cooler than the Mediterranean Sea.
- Population – 118 thousand people.
- Area – 13.3 square kilometers.
- Language: Spanish.
- Currency – euros.
- Visa – Schengen.
- Time – Central European UTC +1, in summer +2.
- Tourist Information Center is located at Plaza San Juan de Dios 11.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Cadiz is in April-June and September-October. It’s pretty hot during the summer.
The streets of Cadiz
Cadiz was founded by the Phoenicians in 1100 BC. It is considered the oldest continuously inhabited city in Western Europe. The Phoenicians named the city Gader. After some time the city was conquered by the Romans, under whom it reached prosperity and was one of the largest cities of the Roman Empire. The Romans called the city Gades. They built an amphitheater and aqueducts here.
It is interesting that the Greeks and Byzantines considered Cadiz the extreme western point of the Oikumene.
In the 3rd century AD, during the decline of the Roman Empire, Cadiz was conquered by the Visigoths. In 522 the city was conquered by the Byzantines. A century later the Visigoths regained control of it. In 711 Cadiz was seized by the Arabs. Five and a half centuries later it became part of the Kingdom of Castile.
The ancient streets of Cadiz
After the end of the Reconquista, Cadiz became the gateway to the “New World.” Most expeditions to the Americas started from here. And from the neighboring port Christopher Columbus set sail on his voyages. After the great earthquake of 1755 which destroyed 1/3 of the city, the prosperity of Cadiz came to naught.
Interestingly, during the Napoleonic Wars, the French never took the city.
In 1868, Admiral Topeto’s squadron rebelled here, leading to the abdication of Isabella II. However, two years later Spain returned to monarchy.
How to get there
The nearest airport is Jerez de la Frontera. It is located 35 minutes from Cadiz. From the airport you can get to the city by bus or train. There are several daily flights to Madrid, Barcelona, London and Frankfurt. The larger airport is in Seville.
Cadiz is a major transport hub of Andalusia. So it’s easy to get here by train or bus from Madrid, Barcelona, Seville and other major cities.
Souvenirs and traditional goods can be bought on Calle Pelota, Calle Compañía, Calle San Francisco and Plaza de Candelaria.
In the historic center of Cadiz
The cuisine of Cadiz is famous throughout Andalusia. The gifts of the sea and nature combined with excellent wines will turn your trip into a delightful gastronomic experience. Fish and seafood, game from the highlands, pastries and sweets are a must in Cadiz.
- Meson Cumbres Mayores
- Restaurante Rayuela
- Vaivai Gastrobar
- Taberna El Tio de la Tiza
- Restaurante El Faro
- Chiringuito Francisco Fontanilla
- El Telescopio – La Tabla Restaurante
- Abuela Alfrides.
In the old town of Cadiz, you can find sights from the Antiquity and Medieval Period and enjoy the beautiful Mediterranean landscape while strolling along the promenades north of the Plaza de España.
The picturesque Alameda de Apodaca is a charming promenade with palm trees and ancient street lamps. It is one of the most popular places for evening promenades. In the northwestern part of the city is the largest and most beautiful park of Cadiz, the Genovés.
Catedral Nueva (New Cathedral)
The Catedral Nueva (New Cathedral) is a Baroque cathedral. It was built in the 18th century. The magnificent gilded dome is one of the symbols of Cadiz. It has a diameter of 52 meters and resembles the architecture of the Pantheon dome in Rome. The interior and size of the church are very impressive.
Roman Theatre in Cadiz
El Populo is the oldest district of Cadiz. It was founded in the Roman era. Here are the ruins of an ancient Roman theater from the 1st century B.C.
Arcos de los Blancos
El Populo is an area of narrow cobblestone streets and impressive palaces. The medieval gates of Arcos de los Bancos, the ancient entrance to Cadiz, are preserved here. The gate was built by King Alfonso X in the 13th century. On Via Rosario is the church de Santa Cueva, which displays Goya’s masterpieces.
Casa del Almirante
Casa del Almirante is one of the most interesting palaces of El Popolo. It is a 17th century building with a spectacular gateway and a beautiful Italian marble facade. The main square of the historic center is the Plaza de San Juan de Dios. The atmospheric city squares of Topete and San Martin are also worth a visit.
The Tavira watchtower was built in the late 18th century and is the highest point of the historic center (45 m). At the top there is a terrace with a beautiful view of Cadiz. To get to the top you have to climb 170 steps.
It is interesting that there used to be 129 watchtowers in Cadiz.
Chapel of San Felipe
The Chapel of San Felipe is a small religious structure north of the Torre del Vigia. The chapel was built in the 17th century.
Puerta de Tierra
The Puerta de Tierra is a 16th-century fortress for the defense of the city’s southern border.
San Sebastian Castle
San Sebastian Castle is an 18th-century fortress located on the northwestern edge of the city. It was used as a prison for most of its history.
Every year in Cadiz in February and March there is a carnival, which is one of the largest festivals of its kind in Europe. More than 100 groups participate in the carnival and more than 100,000 people attend the festival.
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The 16 best sights of Cadiz – descriptions and photos
One of the one hundred and sixty watchtowers of medieval Cadiz, the Tower of Tavira still seems to keep a watchful eye on the tranquility of the city today. From its upper gallery, hovering 45 meters above Cádiz, it gives a good view of the bay and the approaches to the city from the land.
The Cathedral of Cadiz can be seen from afar, not only because of the two tall bell towers but also because of the unusual yellow-mustard color of its dome. The main church of Cadiz and the center of the entire diocese, the cathedral is interesting because of its variegated but harmonious blend of several architectural styles.
Cádiz Old Town
The colorful and authentic quarters of the old town, each with its own face, atmosphere and specific spirit, are the soul and heart of Cadiz, one of the oldest cities in the Mediterranean, continuously inhabited throughout its history.
Grand Theater de Falla
A beautiful example of the intricate Andalusian Mudejar style, in which Spanish and Arabic motifs are fused, the Gran Teatro Manuel de Falla of Cadiz is interesting not only for its remarkable appearance but also for its excellent performances.
San Sebastian Castle
The medieval castle of San Sebastian is nestled on a small island right in front of Cádiz’s main beach, La Caleta. The fortress is a silent witness to the rich history of the city, a tidbit for all the Mediterranean powers.
Museum of Cadiz
The best museum in the province is what the tourist guidebooks say about the Museum of Cadiz. Despite some similarities with Soviet museums in terms of lack of multimedia and other newfangled “features”, the Cadiz Museum offers tourists a fascinating walk.
The Roman Theater of Cadiz
You don’t have to rustle through guidebooks and listen to the guide to see how Cadiz is one of the oldest cities in Europe, which has a history of more than 3000 years.
The civilization appeared here in the second millennium BC with the arrival of the famous Phoenicians, “explorers” of the Mediterranean. Century after century, and Cadiz has not ceased to be of interest to peoples and cultures: Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs. and finally, the Spaniards – all of them have contributed to the portrait of the city. And the abundance of attractions in Cadiz only confirms this: on the yellow dome of the Cathedral, today, as in the old days, check their courses sailors, Roman theater, it seems only yesterday invited the audience to the tragedy of Sophocles, and the charming area of the old city bear traces of the Renaissance, Baroque, neo-classical and many other styles.
Tavira Tower is interesting not only because of its medieval appearance, but also because of the “advanced technology” of the Middle Ages – the camera obscura, the prototype of the modern camera.
The calling card of Cadiz is its majestic Cathedral, which is worth a visit at least because of its sixteen beautiful chapels with splendid collections of medieval church utensils. Fans of classical guitar will be able to pay tribute to composer de Falla, and fans of panoramic views can enjoy one from the cathedral’s northern bell tower.
The number one museum collection – and not only in Cádiz, but in all of Andalusia – is the excellent Museum of Cádiz, whose rooms cover both the history of the city and the art of the province. The gems of its collection are two perfectly preserved Phoenician sarcophagi and frescoes by Francisco de Zurbarán, as well as several paintings by Rubens, de Ribera and Miró.
The Roman theater is one of the city’s most amazing sights. Not only was it discovered completely by accident in 1980 during a renovation of the basement of an apartment building, but it also turned out that the theater was the largest in all of Roman Spain and one of the largest in the entire empire.
The Spirit of Cadiz
Nothing conveys the atmosphere of the city better than its historical center, where its unique character has been incubated for centuries. Hurry to experience the unique spirit of Cadiz in the streets of the old city. There are four traditional neighbourhoods, each with its own flair. The narrow streets of the de la Viña quarter, for example, are “dedicated” to the fishery of Cadiz residents – the best seafood is sold here. The Santa Maria quarter features colorful flamenco performances which attract visitors from all over the province.
The San Sebastian Castle is unmissable, located on an island right in front of the city’s main beach, La Caleta. In addition to the panoramic views of the bay from the fortress walls, you can see one of the two oldest electrified lighthouses in the country and just relax on the coast.
The Puerta de Tierra Tower once guarded the entrance to Cadiz from the mainland; today it is one of the few surviving watch and defense towers, of which there once were 160. Its “counterpart”, the Tavira Tower, is interesting not only for its medieval appearance but also for its “advanced technology” according to the Middle Ages: the camera obscura, the prototype of the modern camera.