A city that surprised me the most during my recent Andalusia road trip – Cadiz. While I’ve been to the South of Spain at least 3 times, this city was never even on my radar!
Two days in Cadiz exploring its impressive history and I could state with all certainty that it is one of the most underrated cities in Spain: a visit is absolutely recommended…
While it is true that with neighbors like Alhambra of Granada, Alcazar of Seville and the Bridge of Ronda most people simply don´t have time to consider visiting other cities in Andalusia, it is also true that you often end up enjoying less touristy places the most. Well, Cadiz is the case! Both historic and charming, it is definitely worth a visit.
Unlike many other cities in Andalusia that start turning quite international in these recent years – Cadiz still feels very “Spanish”. Here, aside from the ocean you could get some unique insights into our history: in between tiny cobbled streets of Cadiz you could find traces of different epochs and civilizations – from Phoenicians, Romans, and Moorish, to Columbus (who sailed from Cadiz on his second and forth journeys to America) and the inaction of Spanish Liberal Constitution in 1812. A cornucopia of history, right?
So, once again – Cadiz is definitely one of the most underrated Spanish cities I’ve ever been to. I’ve already said it was never on my travel bucket list and in fact, we decided to visit the city cause it was simply on the way from Andalusia to Algarve. No expectations at all. My initial plan was just to have 2 lazy days somewhere by the ocean before we head any further… But guess what?! I ended up rushing around to see all of these amazing sites just in two short days and it was absolutely worth it.
So what should you see in Cadiz?
1.Gadir Archeological Site
Phoenician settlement Gadir is one of Europe’s oldest inhabited cities. I bet you had no idea about this – neither did I. This 3000-year-old site contains some archaeological remains of Phoenician village (and even some skeletons) with glass-bottomed floors to see the exhibits.
The entrance is free, but the visiting hours are limited: check them here. The site is quite small, but a visit starts with an interesting audio-visual presentation depicting the main historical highlights and is followed by a tour over the excavated ruins. Afterwards, you could wander around using the interactive screens to gain more information: the guide was also there to answer any questions.
2. The Roman Theatre
I feel like the Roman Empire is lately catching up with me no matter where I go, Millenary Olive trees hike and who brought the trees to Spain? – Romans. A city escape to Tarragona – Roman Theatre and Circus. A beach getaway in Cyprus – Roman Mosaics in Kato Paphos. I certainly don´t mind. Actually, it´s impressive how long it´s been since the Roman times and how many of these unique historic sites could still be found across the globe.
3. Parque Genovés
Such a beautiful place to relax in one of the local cafes. Fountains, birds, exotic trees and flowers… A must stop.
A nice walk on the edge of the old city. I could even say – a romantic promenade with ocean views, a refreshing breeze, and colorful sunsets…
5.The Castles ( Santa Catalina and San Sebastian Castles)
Aside from their historic significance and free expositions both Santa Catalina and San Sebastian Castles provide some great views of the city.
6.The Tavira Tower/ Cámara Obscura
The Tavira Tower is famous for its unique tourist attraction – the “Camera Obscura” (it projects a moving, live image of what is happening at that very moment outside the tower and is based on a simple optical principle, already known in the times of Leonardo da Vinci). However, in my case, The Tavira Tower was just a stop for the views – once I got to the site I found out that all the visits to the “Camera Obscura” were booked for the whole day. If visiting Cadiz – plan your visit to The Tavira Tower in advance and book your entrance.
7.Plaza de las Flores and City Center
Cobbled streets, local bars, and shops, tasty tapas … I even got lost a couple of times, but thanks to the age of technologies and Google Maps the issue was quickly solved.
A Roman Catholic church built between 1722 and 1838. Like Tavira Tower, it also offers some great panoramic views of the city.
9.La Caleta Beach
Cadiz is famous for some of the most amazing beaches and sunsets. Make sure not to miss La Caleta Beach.
10. Gran Teatro Falla
Built in 1884, this theater is an impressive example of the Neo-Mudéjar style, which I discovered for myself in Teruel years ago (Read more…)
Have you ever heard of Cadiz?