Cádiz is an ancient port city in southwest Spain, built on a strip of land surrounded by the sea in the Andalusia region.
The narrow streets of the old town below are lined by tall Moorish-style houses with flower-decked balconies mixed in amongst some small shops and tapas bars. Cadiz dates back to the 12th century BC so is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the western world but sultry Seville has long since outgrown its neighbour.
You cruise right into the heart of historic Cadiz and immediately across the busy Avenida del Puerto from the Spanish port is the main square and shopping area. From there, it is easy to find your own way around this compact city.
Cadiz is absolutely gorgeous, it is like a small peninsular with sea on both sides. Not only is it walkable, but once you get beyond the tourist office, it’s a relatively shady and cool walk through narrow lanes, with plenty of places to stop off for tapas or a drink.
The ships dock almost in the city, so no need for a shuttle bus.
The hop on/off tourist bus stops outside the port gates, it is really good and shows you many of the main sites.
To get to the newer part of the city you can either walk along the paseo maritimo, lovely beaches and beach cafe bars (chiringuitos), or take. Number 1 bus from next to the port and which goes into the main shopping area.
Look out for colour coded maps for walks around the town. Turn left out of the port, walk past the HOHO busses and carry on until you see the tourist office (hexagonal?) on your right, they are helpful and have various maps/leaflets including one for walking tours (follow the painted routes on the pavements), The historic route is very good.
There is a nice park close to the front to wander round with lots to see and do. Turn right as you leave the port and follow the front. Visit the enormous Cathedral which has a circular vault below it. The acoustics in the vault create some very unusual sounds. There is or used to be a Camera Obscura which is worth a visit.
Shopping is varied in Cadiz, with everything from designer clothes to unique Spanish handicrafts available. Columela and Ancha streets are perhaps the best places to start your souvenir shopping while the old town’s Sunday flea market is ideal for collectors of unusual items. The old Town area has some semi pedestrianized shopping streets, and an interesting market building with a fascinating sea food section.
La Giralda (the bell-tower next to its Gothic cathedral), is in Sevilles historic Jewish quarter which also has the whitewashed houses and exquisitely coloured bougainvillea that everyone associates with this lovely city.
There are plenty of beaches in and around Cadiz. La Cortadura Beach; this is the longest beach in Cadiz and a short walk from the harbour. There is also La Victoria Beach, La Caleta Beach and Santa María del Mar Beach. There is a lovely walk from where you dock, along the side of the sea and round to two different beach areas, one is very rocky and the other more sandy.
Try the ‘Trail of 2 Cities’ excursion, comprising a guided coach tour around Cadiz, followed by a walk around the parts inaccessible to motor vehicles of any size. Then onto Jerez de la Frontera, where the guide will show you some of the more important sites of Jerez before leaving you for an hour’s ‘free time’
Jerez, famous for its sherry, flamenco dancers and horses is 30km from Cadiz. Rather than spend a fortune on a ship excursion, you could take the train from the port estacion, trains are €8 return to the centre of Jerez, it takes about 40 mins . and the journey is most interesting. In Jerez a short walk gets you to the cathedral/alcazar area where €15 gets you a hop on hop off tour and free entry to the tour of the Gonzales Byass bodega. Trains are every half hour ish but the station s are good for working out times etc
There is an excursion to see the Andalusian horses at Jerez followed by a visit to a see sherry making & of course the tasting. Cruisers who have done this excursion say it is worth it.
Seville: ‘Seville’ is about a 90 minute transfer with interesting scenery and this allows you about 4 hours to explore this beautiful city.
By Peter Dagnall
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