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The Best Non-pop City in Spain to Travel

Where to go and what to do in Cadiz.


Cadiz is part of the southernmost autonomous region of Spain – Andalusia:

  • flamenco; 
  • bullfights; 
  • siesta; 
  • tomatoes; 
  • surfing; 
  • wine.

Andalusia is the closest of the two regions to the stereotypical picture of relaxed Spain, but, of course, it is not limited to this. Here you can find ancient cities, endless beaches, mountain ecotropics, vineyards, contemporary art, and, in our opinion, the best cheese in the world during a Cadiz free walking tour.

The region is affectionately nicknamed the “European frying pan”: in summer, the temperature can rise to 40 degrees or higher, especially in areas deprived of a refreshing ocean breeze. The most comfortable time for a trip is May-June or September-October.

The history of these lands is rich: the Romans managed to visit and inherit here, then the Arabs ruled for almost 700 years until the dynasty of Spanish kings came to power and converted everyone to Catholicism. The cultural artifacts left by the previous owners were not touched by the polite rulers – that is why so many styles and cultures are mixed in the architecture throughout the region. Villages that look more African than European, huge mosques and classical palaces – all these good things are abundant in Andalusia.

The Magical Island in the Atlantic Ocean

Cadiz is actually an island in the Atlantic Ocean, which is connected to the mainland by one road and a modern three-kilometer bridge. The lazy capital of a small province is already almost three thousand years old – older than Rome, by the way. It was here that Columbus’s ship set sail five centuries ago, and it was here that the first Spanish Constitution was signed.

Once an hour, Cadiz is covered with a carnival. For a week, the city turns into fun chaos: people come from all over Spain to chase a chicken, pizza, or shower cabin in costume. Traditionally, choirs perform on the streets, singing chirigotas – ditties on current topics, often poking fun at the government or the king. And if initially, the holiday had a religious connotation, today it is rather a great reason to organize a vacation or just roll on the street. If you decide to test yourself for carnival tolerance, keep in mind that places in hotels and hostels are sold out long before it begins.

Where to Sunbathe?

You can bask in the sun on any of the numerous city beaches. In the historical part, go to La Caleta – it is cozy and compact there. Behind the gates of Puerta de Tierra is Santa María beach, where young people flock, and the spacious La Victoría stretches along the entire new part of the city – almost five kilometers of perfect sand.

What and Where to Eat?

To our great joy, the entire province is full of grapes and what they become over time, olives, fruits, jamon, and all kinds of seafood. We must give locales their due: they have the superpower to turn any sea creature into food for the gods. Be sure to try Andalusian street food – pescaito frito (“fried fish”). This is the name of any seafood fried in batter and a ton of olive oil. Look for ego, for example, at Freiduria Las Flores.

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