Cadiz is one of the most uniquely located port cities you’ll come across in the Mediterranean. It is perched on a narrow slice of land jutting out into a bay and is surrounded by the ocean in the southwestern Spain. It was once the launching point of ships sailing to the New World, including the famous Columbus trips to discover the Americas. The port city has mainly 18th and 19th century constructions.
It has quite a number of interesting monuments and museums, but it is the people who make it really special. They are independent and open, but warm and cultured.
They make most of life and indulge in riotous celebrations such as their famous spring carnival.
A Little Bit of History
Cadiz has a long and fascinating history – by some accounts it might be the oldest city in Europe.
View of Cadiz in Andalusia, Spain
There are sources that point out the place called Gadir, which was the trading base of the Phoenicians during 1100 B.C.
The city came to light after Columbus sailed from here to the Americas, on his second and fourth voyages.
Sir Francis Drake of England raided the harbor in 1587 and this caused a delay in the development of the Spanish Armada. The Anglo-Dutch attackers burnt the whole city in 1596.
The 18th century was the golden age of city when it enjoyed 75% of Spanish trade with the Americas.
It became the richest and the most cosmopolitan city of Spain, and it was here that the liberal middle class of Spain was born.
Jerez de la Frontera near Cadiz
From 1810-1812 it was under the French rule and it was during this time the liberal constitution, which proclaimed the sovereignty of the people, was adopted.
In the 19th century Cadiz declined due to the loss of the American colonies, but it recovered quickly.
The city’s Carnival is well known throughout the world and carnival-related activities are constantly going on throughout the whole year.
The city becomes a colorful open-air theater for the entire two weeks of the Carnival.
Some of the famous people from this unique place are Manuel de Falla, George Meade, Nina Pastori, Javier Ruibal, Jose Celestino Mutis, Paco de Lucia, Cameron de la Isla, and others.
Where is Cadiz?
- 406.9 miles/ 655 km from Madrid, Spain
- 78.9 miles/ 127 km from Seville, Spain
- 123.6 miles/ 199 km from Marbella, Spain
- 184.5 miles/ 297 km from Granada, Spain
- 198.8 miles/ 320 km from Faro, Portugal
- 85.7 miles/ 138 km from Gibraltar, UK
- 29.2 miles/ 47 km from Jerez Airport, Spain
- 85.1 miles/ 137 km from Gibraltar international Airport, UK
- 200.7 miles/ 323 km from Faro Airport, Portugal
The closest airport to Cadiz is Jerez Airport, in Jerez De La Frontera, Spain, which is 31 km from the city center, or Gibraltar Airport, 95 km away.
Things to See
- Museo de Cadiz
- Plaza de Mina
- Roman Theater
- Plaza de Topete
- Torre Tavira
- Oratorio de San Felipe Neri
- Oratory of La Santa Cueva
- Hospital de Mujeres
- Barrios – various quarters of Cadiz
- Playa de la Victoria
- Playa de la Caleta
- La Playa de Santa Maria del Mar
- Torregorda, El Chato and Cortadura are some of the other beaches of Cadiz
- Coastal Walk
- Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
- Walking Tour with Flamenco Show and Andalusian Lunch
Cadiz has a Moorish appearance, its narrow cobbled streets open onto small squares and the whole place has a dilapidated air. You can walk around the headlands in an hour and you get some sweeping views of the bay as you pass through the lovely parks.
The city is easy going and not at all threatening, even at night.
We wish you a fantastic Mediterranean cruise!