After the French Wars in the beginning of the 19th century, the spanish people gathered and declared the first constitution in our nation.
Cadiz was a main center of the Liberal party on those days, and here was declared the first constitution we had in Spain, in 1812. It was declared in the "San Felipe Neri" church, that can be visited in the center. There is a monument in the Plaza de España to celebrate it...
There are several tourist info points in Cadiz, but I think the main one is in the "Canalejas Gardens", just in front of the harbour, in the closest corner of the San Juan de Dios Square (where the Town Hall is).
To get there from the train station, pass the big fountain and turn left after the tall building on your left.
Here you will find schedules, leaflets, info about wine cellars, beaches....
My Favourite thing about Cadiz is the coastline. It's largely unspoilt unlike that of the Costa del Sol. On the Costa de la Luz you can find beaches that are backed by nothing but trees or a small white town. On the whole the beaches are very clean too and are well maintained in the summer.
There are also different beaches for everyone from nudists to those who like water sports, or just lying in the sun.
Fondest memory: I have so many fond memories I cannot distinguish just one. Though playing ball with my dog on the beach really stands out. In Cadiz and El Puerto dogs aren't allowed on the beach in the summer, but on more relaxed hippy beaches like Los Caños dogs are welcome all year round. Though Lady dogs beware. Boy dogs are usually ALL male (if you get what I mean) and aren't usually tied up on the beach (or on the street for that matter).
Favorite thing: I really didn’t know where to put this information so I put it here! Chameleons are a fairly common site here in the province of Cádiz although they are an endangered species. They are so tame and gentle is amazing. After befriending the little guy in the photo with me I placed him back in his natural habitat (up a tree) which is what you should do if you find one wondering about where they shouldn’t be. Please don’t be tempted to keep it as a pet. They need to breed to keep the species alive in Spain so it’s better if you let it go wild. You can however pick them up if you are gentle with them because they are pacifists and will not hurt you in any way. They don’t seem to get scared either. They are very slow and intelligent.
At that stage of our Spain trip, we had been in the country for eight nights when we awoke in Seville on our final day there and were due to head south toward Cadiz for our next stop. By the time we walked to our breakfast spot, packed up, checked out and then retrieved our rental car from the public parking garage, it was past 11 AM when we set off for the drive south across the rolling countryside of this river valley (as shown on the map).
We had no problems leaving Seville and were soon cruising along on the AP4 superhighway. However, since we had booked accommodations in El Puerto de Santa Maria, across the bay from Cadiz, we veered off about half-way along onto the smaller A 471 highway at Las Catezas de St. Juan so we would not have to deal with traffic in the large city of Jerez de la Frontera. It was about 3 PM when we finally rolled into our Hotel Dunas Puerto, with Cadiz visible across the water.
Fondest memory: We left the Cadiz area the following afternoon, brushing past the other side of Jerez as we took the inland route over the mountains on the A381 superhighway. This was quite a scenic drive as the landscape became more rugged and windmill farms were popping up everywhere. It was too bad that we did not have time to stop to admire this part of Spain but, as we came within view of the Mediterranean Sea near Algeciras, I remarked what a fantastic looking rock island that was that I could see just off the coast. Suddenly, I realized that it had to be the Rock of Gibraltar! However, we did not stop and eventually reached our next overnight stop in Estepona by about 5 PM. Actually, we were so impressed with the peaks and Atlantic coastline in this part of Spain that, a few days later, Sue and I back-tracked part-way up this coast while overnighting in Tarifa and Vejer de la Frontera.
Favorite thing: From the air Cádiz city looks really quite strange, doesn't it? It looks like a flat, built up almost an island type thing! It looks nothing like what it does from the ground. The old centre is great because none of the buildings are tall. I love the fact that whenever you get lost you will soon come upon the sea.
This is Wilbur just after taking a bath. I found flying about in the wild in Cádiz. This is actually quite common now. Many parrots have escaped and started living wild. Unfortunately they are causing ecological problems.
These type of birds originate from south America and are VERY noisy creatures. They sound exotic though I'm not sure it's pleasant. It's more deafening!
In Cadiz you can sometimes see bigger parrots in Plaza Mina living in the wild. Try feeding the birds and see what happens.....
Cadiz became a bustling seaport under the Romans but then fell into decline until the 16th century when the 'New World' of America was discovered and ships sailed their trade from here. So much so that Sir Francis Drake attacked Cadiz when he wanted to control the trade to the Americas and he did hold of Napoleans army here.
The photo is of a Danish ship that was in the port for some kind of fair. It would have been busy with all these kinds of sailing ships at one time, however although this was an old ship with sails, hidden in the masts you could see their radar equipment!
Did you know that some of the James Bond Film 'Die another day' starring Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry was actually filmed here in Cadiz on Caleta Beach/Castillo de San Sebastian.
Also the English poet and writer Lord Byron (1788-1824) lived here for a while. He even wrote a poem about Cadiz titled 'Girls from Cadiz' in 1809.
It is also from here that Christopher Columbus saled on his second voyage to the 'New World'.
Many of the buildings have towers, the purpose of which were to afford good views of the ships coming into port. The houses were the homes to the merchants and traders who lived in Cadiz during the busier centuries when it was a great trading port. Many of the merchants had these towers incorporated into their homes so they could watch for the return of their ships.
The small buildings at the tops of the towers are called Garitas, due to their similarity to sentry boxes used by the military. They were there to cover the top of the stairways.
You can only really appreciate the towers from a high vantage point, so I suggest you view them from Torre Tavira or the Cathedral tower.
Favorite thing: For a small city Cadiz has quite a few parks and gardens. One we visited was Parque Genovés. After a few hours of walking the city it was a great spot to sit and take a coffee and the small outdoor cafe in the gardens. It was a popular spot. The park has some interesting sculpted trees, conifers trimmed into spirals as well as many rare examples of trees from around the globe, many labelled with names and origin. There was an area dedicated to Cactii, and a pond with ducks.
Favorite thing: Cadiz has four giant Fig trees two located at park Alameda Apodaca and two just behind Playa de la Caleta, they are said to be of great antiquity, but of the actual age I´m not sure. It´s worth stopping off to view them, their scale really is impressive.
If you walk around the old town's narrow streets, you will notice many old houses have big wooden gates and nice cool patios.
Don't be shy, go in, seek... and even talk to locals, they will be glad to let you take pics of their patios!
Centro de Recepción de Turistas
Avenida Canalejas, s/n
- Tel.: (+34) 956 24 10 01 or 956 24 10 58
- Internet (some websites)
www.guiadelocio.com (leisure in Spanish)
www.guiadecadiz.com (leisure in diferent languafes)
- E mail: email@example.com
Favorite thing: Cadiz throughout history has owed its existence to its sheltered port. In its hayday in the 17th century, it handled much of the trade from Spains colonies in the Americas. Today it is still a busy port, handling freight from around the world and other areas such as the Canary Isles.