A weekend in the city of Cadiz



I will now tell you about my trip to Cádiz, in the first person, about the days I took on holiday to see this fabulous city.


The trip began on Friday morning, departing from Malaga. The route we followed to go there was through Algeciras. We drove from Malaga along the coastal highway to Algeciras (using the tollbooth which has dropped quite a bit in price). Before arriving in Algeciras, we took a detour and got on the motorway to Jerez. After another hour on the road, we arrive in the vicinity of Jerez where we take the detour to Cadiz. We arrive in about 3 hours.


We stay at the hotel Tryp la Caleta which belongs to the Meliá group. I recommend this hotel because at the moment it has an offer for which you can spend two people a full weekend (two nights) for 100 € plus VAT and it includes the buffet breakfast. Besides, it is a 4 stars hotel with all the advantages that it entails and it is in the first line of the beach and, although it is not swimming season, the views were unbeatable. You can make the reservation through booking. It is also worth mentioning that it is surrounded by many restaurants, tapas bars and Irish beer gardens where you can have dinner or chat a while with a drink in front of you.


To visit the city of Cadiz, Jerez de la Frontera and its surrounding villages, we recommend renting a car with a driver, as they know the most emblematic places perfectly and it is more comfortable not to have to drive.



FRIDAY

Cadiz Town Hall
 

We got off at the Plaza de España, next to the Diputación de Cádiz building, and from that moment on we started to walk around the city centre. The first afternoon we were in the commercial part of the centre, taking a walk through the streets of La Carne, Columela, del Rosario, de la Compañía, Plaza de las Flores, Plaza de la Catedral, Calle Pelota, Plaza de San Juan de Dios (Cadiz City Hall) and, further on, Calle Novena and Plaza de San Antonio y Mina.

All this on the first Friday afternoon, taking a quiet walk, enjoying the bustle of the centre, the shops and the night-time illumination of the different monuments and buildings of the city. In the end we decided to go for a walk in the centre until we found a very peculiar inn that caught our attention. I don't remember its name but it is right in the centre of Calle de la Manzana (almost parallel to Calle del General Luque). The place is small and there are almost no tables to sit at. You have to sit at the bar, ask for a good caña "servesita" and some tapas. They are very good. I recommend the sirloin in Castilian style and the sirloin in sauce. The garlic mushrooms are also very tasty. And all the tapas are served with French fries. As for the bar, it is very peculiar and you have to be there to see it. After dinner, we returned to the hotel by bus (line 1) and had a few drinks in one of the nearby Irish bars.


SATURDAY

The next day, after enjoying a good buffet breakfast, we set off again for the city centre, but to see it now in the daytime, in the sunshine and in more detail. On this occasion we did not take the bus but enjoyed a walk to the centre along the sand of the beach. The views are incredible and you cannot resist the temptation to take thousands of photos.



First we went for a while along the beach, then along the promenade. We took some photos from a spiral staircase that goes down to the beach and continued on. We passed a lollipop similar to the one in Madrid that belongs to a Telefonica building and we got closer and closer to the city centre.


On the walls of the promenade there are many cats that are well fed by the local residents and on the right, once past the walls of the centre of Cadiz, there are some sports and cultural areas (the old city prison). When we reach the height of the Cathedral, we leave the promenade to go into the streets of the centre.


Cadiz Cathedral

To enter to see the Cathedral you have to pay 6 euros (unless there is a mass) and to climb the tower on the right you also have to pay. I guess the views from the tower must be spectacular (we don't get to climb).


We leave the Plaza de la Catedral to continue along Calle de La Compañía to the Plaza de las Flores. This is a triangular square with the post office building (recently restored) at one end. During the day it is full of people and flower stands. You cannot visit Cádiz without passing through this square. Afterwards we continue walking to the adjacent square where the city's food market is located. Around the market there are numerous street stalls with all kinds of things, from sea urchins that you can eat right there to pocket radios ("with batteries and a built-in singer" said the vendor).


After doing some shopping at the stalls, we continue walking along Calle del Hospital de Mujeres and Calle de la Rosa to the Caleta beach where there are beautiful views of the Santa Catalina castle on the right and the Malecón and the San Sebastián castle on the left. On the same beach there is an old spa that now belongs to the Ministry of Culture. The beach is full of fishing boats, seagulls and people walking or sunbathing. On the right there is a "chiringuito" where you can have a good beer while enjoying the view and you cannot resist the temptation to take thousands of photos of everything around you.


It was lunchtime and we were hungry. To satisfy our hunger we went to the La Viña neighbourhood which is typical of fishermen and where there are many bars where you can eat fresh fish from the city. I recommend the Calle Virgen de la Palma. This street has a special flavour with which we can still see the Cadiz of many years ago. The street is full of orange trees on the sides and benches to sit on. The end of the street is topped by the church of San Lorenzo and the floor is made of old paving stones. On both sides of this street there are numerous restaurants where you can eat all kinds of fish. We decided on the restaurant La Dorada. I do not regret the choice. We ate quite well. In my case, I ordered a dorada with poorly cooked potatoes accompanied by several beers and a good mixed salad. Very good but a tip, ask for the well-done sea bream. For dessert, a couple of good black coffees to raise the spirits.


I also recommend you take a walk around the La Viña neighbourhood. It is beautiful. All the streets are decorated with flower pots on the walls and the neighbourhood still has many details of the fisherman's quarter that it has always been.


After lunch, we decided to walk along the Malecón to the San Sebastián Castle. It is a highly recommended walk because the views of the Caleta beach on the left and the rest of Cadiz and the Victoria beach on the right are unbeatable. Thousands of photos too. When the tide is low, you can see many rocks covered with green algae through which you can walk and see some molluscs. At the end of the boardwalk there is a staircase by which you can go down to the beach and you can surround the castle jumping from stone to stone (be careful here as they are very slippery). The only drawback is that the castle is closed for works because they are going to build an auditorium that looks like the one in Sydney.


La Caleta Beach (Cadiz)

After the Malecón, we walked again along the Caleta beach and went towards the Parque Genovés passing in front of the Parador Nacional de Turismo of the city. The park is magnificent, there are swings, large, leafy and exotic trees, an aviary with ducks and some other birds and a walk where all the trees are pruned in various ways. It's worth taking a walk in this park and swinging for a while.


After the park we went along González Tablas street and Hércules street to Falla square where the great Falla Theatre is located, famous for the carnivals of the city. In fact, by this weekend the whole of Cadiz was already lit up for the festivities that are about to begin. We took some photos next to the theatre and continued our walk along Calle Benjumeda and Calle Zaragoza to the Plaza de San Antonio where there is a beautiful church and we continued walking along Calle Ancha where we took a break and had a good mid-afternoon coffee.


After having the coffee it could be perfectly around six o'clock in the afternoon so we decided to visit the commercial centre of the city and go into some shops to see if we could find something we liked. We were again on Calle Ancha, Plaza de los Palilleros, Calle de la Carne and Plaza de San Francisco. When we arrived at this square we decided it was time to rest so we went to an Irish Pub in that same square to relax with some good beers and a good conversation.


It was time for dinner and, to finish the day, we went to the restaurant "El Fogón de Mariana" which is located in Antulo Street, very close to the City Hall. We ate in luxury. Here we ordered a good plate of grilled meat seasoned with a good salad and Rioja wine. Then we went to sleep at the hotel.

SUNDAY

The next day we did not stay in the capital city of Cadiz but went to Sanlucar de Barrameda (like going from Cadiz to Sanlucar) for a boat tour of the mouth of the Guadalquivir and the Doñana marshes. This is a boat of the Tourism Council that makes a guided tour through several areas of the National Park. I highly recommend it and do not leave Cadiz without taking this tour whatever the time of year.


In order to take a place on the boat (called San Fernando), you must book some time in advance at the Nature Interpretation Centre "Bajo de Guía" (tlf 956363813). The ticket on the boat costs around 15.50 euros per person and the trip takes about three hours. The boat leaves at 10:00 in the morning so you should be there by 9:30 so you have to get up a little early that day but it's worth it.



During the trip (I advise you to bring binoculars) you will see lots of sea birds and animals drinking on the banks of the Guadalquivir. There are two stops, one in the village of La Plancha where you can see the huts where the local people used to live, the charcoal burners and many animals grazing from a viewpoint well inside the park (we saw wild boar and fallow deer). The second stop is at the Salinas where they will explain to you the system of lagoons in the park from which the salt is obtained and you will see many sea birds up close in one of the lagoons.


At around 1pm we returned to Sanlucar, quickly saw the maritime museum located in the old Ice Factory (opposite the pier) and went for lunch. In Sanlucar we had been recommended the restaurant La Choza where you can eat good, abundant and cheap meat. It is very peculiar because it has very long tables where everyone sits and the dishes are very large. I couldn't explain how to get there, but if you ask at the Ice Factory reception desk, they will explain it to you because the restaurant is very well known in Sanlucar and it fills up very quickly, so go there in good time or you won't find room.
Jerez de la Frontera


After lunch and a good black coffee, we finished our trip and took the car to go to Malaga. Our itinerary was going to be Sanlucar-Jerez-Algeciras-Malaga but I give you a tip: be very careful with the roads because it is very easy to get lost. I don't know if it was because of the rain or because there was a lot of construction work but in Jerez we got lost several times. Finally we arrived in Malaga around 8pm without any problems. You know, the easiest and most comfortable way is to hire a private driver to take you everywhere.


And this is all about the trip, I hope it will help you not to do it exactly the same (everyone travels as they want) but to listen to some of the advice I have given you :)

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