Cádiz takes you on a journey through the ages, surrounding you with enchanting beauty…
In this age of travel it is a rare thing to find a top class destination without the hordes of tourists flocking along with you. However, strange enough, there is a city in Spain that has experienced much popularity over the last 3 millennia, but, as of late, has gone almost completely unnoticed by holidaying culture. As a small city sitting on a peninsula enclosed by fortified sea walls and almost completely surrounded by water, Cádiz is fortunately unspoilt by the booming modern tourism industry, except for the handful of traipsing daytime cruise-line visitors you are completely among locals in a quaint but condensedly beautiful exotic Mediterranean vista.
Taking a trip through the city of Cádiz takes you on a journey through the ages, so enchanting and the people so gracious, Cádiz will reveal to you a civilisation forgotten, a place that welcomes you into the safety of its castle walls, and leaves you spellbound and giddy with contentment.
Cádiz is a more exotic and scintillating take on Spain, with heaps of familiar traditions and more: with Matador memorabilia featuring in nearly every cavern, brazen Flamenco always within earshot, mingled in with the sizzling sound and aromas of fresh cooking fish, it is yet the antiquity that is the soul Cádiz . Originally settled by the Phoenicians in 1100 BC it is the longest continuously occupied settlement in Western Europe, settled initially as Gadir the formidable fortified port lived 3000 year history to deliver us the warm, welcoming city we can see today.
Herculean Myth, Museums, Moorish Cathedrals, Castles, Baroque Churches, Theatres, Dominican Convents, and many other municipal monuments and historic landmarks: Cádiz has amples of antiquity and charm for its compact size!
The old, central quarter of Cádiz , ‘old town’, is a vista of sprawling alleys and narrow cobbled streets meandering into town squares: it’s famed picturesque plazas. At each plaza there is an astounding display of architecture to behold, often in the shape of a beautiful neoclassical churches, and other traditional heritage buildings, all of which tell a tale of the city’s history. The Cádiz Museum houses Phoenician and Roman artifacts found locally, and there is an excavated Roman theatre from1 BC which is the second largest hand-hewn amphitheatre in the world. Cádiz is an arena of different cultural styles, the most iconic scene – the golden dome top of the Cathedral Nuevo, a classic Moorish design that shimmers in the Mediterranean heat.
More recent in time, Cádiz was the port of origin for many Spanish voyages of discovery to the Americas, the great fort sea walls of Havana, Cuba and San Juan Puerto Rico carry an essence of Cádiz urban model. were based. Rio De Janeiro of Brazil also twins Cádiz in its equivalent carnival celebrations, the scale of the famed Spring Cádiz Carnival is a epic fiesta of buoyant gaiety, grand, amusing costumes and passionate flamenco music that is a party second only to the great Rio Carnival, Día de los Muertos.
Staying at the Senator Cádiz Spa Hotel was a delight, being in the thick of the old town with the indulgence of rooftop pool which catches the sun at every hour. However, there is a choice of wonderful hot sandy beaches on your very doorstep. There is the popular Playa de la Caleta enclosed by the battlement of two castles, a scene adored for its sunsets. And further south, to the long sprawling beaches where relaxed beach bars reclining into the sand sing out ripples of classic Mediterranean chill out music: the ultimate lounging experience. Every shack serves up excellent tasteful wines and the Andalucian speciality prolific throughout Cádiz – ‘tortillitas de camarones’, tiny whole shrimp packed into a pancake fritter the size of a small saucer – an immensely appetising dish for the eyes and the tastebuds, and the highlight of my Spanish excursion. Yet, with 300 days of sun a year it is no wonder this Atlantic coastline is named Costa De La Luz, coast of light – you’ll have plenty of opportunity to explore and find your favored spot.
Traipsing around exploring Cádiz I was captured by the grace of one building in particular, the Boutique Hotel Convento, a stunning Santa Domingo convent from 1635, and still retaining its most captivating original features: the magnificent arcaded patio and delicate horse shoe arches, complete with a dramatic chequered tile floor, for me it was artwork that has retained a cloistered calm about it that sooths the soul. Although the now converted hotel possesses only a single star rating, upon my next visit I will be certain to indulge my curiosities and stay here.
Best area to dine is Plaza San Juan de Dios with a fantastic selection of spectacular seafood due to the ample available fresh fish. My love of Tapas was at an all time high at my restaurant of choice, Gastro Bar Casa Combes, in a quaint and rustic little building that serves the most original tantalizing tapas dishes. Exquisite and refreshing takes on traditional dishes, brilliant Patatas Bravas and flavours that will reinvigorate your love for the cuisine. Cádiz is a town of many delicacies but my favourite of which has to be the ritual of chocolate y churros o’clock an indulgence like our tea and biscuits that takes place almost ceremoniously every evening at 6pm.
The people of Cádiz are highly hospitable, they are a laid back culture that has little worry for anything except health and happiness. The provinces agricultural traditional for producing sherry makes it the favored drink of the region, it is a modest yet sociable drink which only serves to enhance the peaceful and harmonious temperament of the people. A relatively tiny town that you could hardly get truly lost in feels comfortable and safe, a town that in Greek Myth and Platonic writings has been corroborated with the lost City of Atlantis as it port access, a utopia that we perhaps need not look farther than Cadiz itself to see.
To venture to Cádiz is to witness and experience the lifestyle of quintessential Mediterranean serenity of. In fact Cádiz is a place of rediscovery, a place that envelops you in its secluded paradise and soulful society and washes over as a balmy sigh of ease. The people of Cádiz are in love with life, be captured by their inebriating peacefulness and find your inner-haven.
Fly into Jerez airport from London on a budget of no less the £50 and catch an hour long train to Cádiz or fly into Malaga and double the transfer time, its a small journey for such a gratifying trip.