Cadiz Province: towns and villages, Cadiz
Only 45mins from Cadiz city it is the home to Sherry. In fact Jerez (pronounced hehreth) means Sherry. The Muslims called the town Scheris and that is where we and the Spanish get she words sherry and Jerez from.
You can visit any number of the local bodegas (wine cellars), for example: Tio Pepe, Osborne, Terry's and may more. Though the biggest are Domecq (Calle San Ildefonso 3, phone:956151500) and Gonzalez Byass (c/ Manuel Gonzalez, Phone 956357000).
Of course it is also famous for its white horses! Why not visit the Real Escuela Andaluz del Arte Ecuestre, on Avenida Duque de Abrantes. Open from 11-1 most days.
Jerez has a pretty centre with lots of Plazas(squares) to enjoy a drink. It also has a lot of history to offer such as the Alcázar, which is a 12th century Muslim fortress near Plaza Arenal. It also includes Arabic baths and the Jerez eye (a type of camera from which you can see the city). Of course the Alcazar nothing like the Alhambra in Granada or the Mezquita in Cordoba.
Don't forget to check out the cathedral to if you've got some spare time.
You can visit my Jerez page for a little more info:
Take me to Jerez
Puerto Sherry is actually part of El Puerto de Santa Maria, yet due to it's distinct architecture it has a really different feel to it. It is located next to a marina that joins it to Playa La Puntilla, although it overlooks a small beach of it's own, La Muralla (the wall). This is from where Napoleon bombed Cadiz.
The buildings, as you can see from the photo are very colourful, they are all interestingly shaped too. I will see if I can sneak another photo that demonstrates this on the website.
This area, like Vistahermosa, El Ancla, Las Redes, El Aguila, Fuentebravia and Valdelagrana are the richer and more modern places in El Puerto. Some of the houses in these areas look like dolls houses.
For the best beaches try Puerto Sherry or Las Redes. The worst beach in the area is La Puntilla as it gets all the pollution from the ports at Cadiz and Puerto Real.
Puerto Sherry also has many bars, cafes and Ice-cream parlours. It makes a great place for an afternoon refreshment, looking out over the blue sea.
Arcos is a pretty little white town typical of Andalucia. It is set on top of a large orangey yellow cliff which makes for a breath taking sight. It only has a population of 28,000 (most of whom are elderly).
Though for its white renaissance buildings and cobbled streets it is well worth the visit. You should defiantly go to Plaza del Cabildo which has a mirador (viewpoint) where you can look out over the countryside. You often see Eagles flying around there too which is a great sight if you are a bird fan.
Unfortunately the 11th Century castle (Castillo de los Duques) is not open to the public, though Arcos does contain the usual churches, convents and monasteries to visit.
Arcos is also the home of the famous running of the bulls where bulls are set free in the street and ‘crazy’ people try and run away from them!!!! An interesting idea is it not? If you would like to be one of the daring people who take part, or just go to visit, it is held on the 29th September at the same time as the Feria (see my Feria tip located on my Spain Page).
What can I tell you about this little town. Well I lived there for over three years and worked there for over four years. It is only a small town, though in the summer it gets packed with Spanish holiday makers from Madrid and Sevilla mainly.
El Puerto covers a surprisingly large area including Valdelagrana up to Fuentebravia. It has some wonderful beaches (see separate tip).
You can also visit the local Bodegas (wine cellars) which make up big part of this town and sample some of the local sherry or fino. Try Osborne (956 861600), Terry's (956542413) or Caballero's which is housed in a converted convent. They all offer guided tours.
There is also a really good castle which is a mix of different eras and cultures by Plaza Juan de la Cosa.
The photo shows the Iglesia Mayor (the main church) in Plaza España; it was built by the same person who built the original cathedral in Sevilla (the one that fell down!). The town museum can be found opposite the church. It is very small, but has some interesting pieces.
There are also some nice squares to relax in. Try Plaza Polverista or Plaza Isaac Peral in the centre.
For Family entertainment try Aquasherry a water park located just out of town heading towards Jerez.
Other than that the town doesn't really have anything else that stands out. Walk around the pretty old town and listen to the old Maria's shouting to each other!
Don't go in July or August because finding accommodation will be impossible, the beaches will be crowded and the small town roads will be jammed.
Look out for accommodation, restaurant tips and other info dotted around this page about El Puerto. Also visit my El Puerto web page for more details: Take me to El Puerto de Santa Maria
Vejer is situated in the hills of Cadiz it is called a Pueblo Blanco (White Village) and was built during the period when the moors controlled part of Spain. Therefore it has a North African feel to it. Only 10 or so years
ago the older women still dressed it the traditional black Arabic clothes covering their heads, arms, legs etc.
This village is stunning,wonderful and magical. A Must.
Many people know Ronda or Arcos, but to me Vejer is the best of the while villages.
These lovely white molinos still power part of Vejer, however the more modern windmills are now becoming more popular in the area. So see them while you can because soon they'll be history!
From the hill where these old windmils are you can see the modern alternatives across the way.
This is where Columbus sailed from in 1498 on his third journey to the Caribbean. The Portuguese discoverer Ferdinand Magellan also set sail from here in 1519 in the direction of the Asian spice markets. His
Navigator Juan Sebastian Elcano was the first man to circumnavigate the globe. He returned to Sanlucar in 1522 on the Victoria.
If you look across the famous Guadalquivir estuary river you will see the magnificent and unspoilt Doñana national park. If you would like to visit the park go to Viajes San Juan on Calle San Juan (0034 956 362540). They organise 3.3 hour guided tours. You cannot enter the park alone it is highly protected.
Sanlucar has a small beach and the town is pretty, but the reason most people come here if for the nice seafood restaurants along the water front. Try the langostinos; a speciality of the area. You will find many locals drinking Mazanilla from the local bodegas, but this is a required taste and personally I can't stand it! It is a type of fino the gaditanos take on white wine. If you order it and end up hating it like me, try mixing it with casera (fizzy water) to make the popular drink know as Rebujio. It takes a lot better this way!
Los Caños de Meca is one of the most beautiful beaches on the Costa de la Luz, Cadiz, Andalucia, Spain. It has a very relaxed atmosphere and attracts many young people and hippies. It is Split into a few different beaches one of which is the historical Trafalgar, which is now the site of Kite surfing. Another is the Pirata, which is where most people end up. It also allows dogs on the beach all year round. Beware! As you walk further down the beach you'll end up on the nudist section. Where you'll see more men than women with their pink bits in the sun!
If you are a surfer dude this is the place to come! Tarifa has beautiful unspoilt beaches but what makes it a main attraction for those surfer dudes is that it is constantly buffeted by wind! Whether it is Lavante or Poniente and even if it's perfectly calm in the rest of the province. Windiness of Tarifa is due to its location near the Gibraltar straights (where Atlantic meets Med).
If you are not a surfer this is also a great place to kite surf or simply fly a kite. It is also incredibly beautiful and has some great camp sites right behind the beach! It not necessarily windy enough to keep you off the beaches or from exploring the town. You can also go dolphin or whale spotting too(956 627008)!
A strange piece of info is that Tarifa town has a high suicide rate. Some put this down to the wind driving people crazy!
Anyway it is a pretty little town and good to walk around. Though I recommend forgetting the hotels in town and going for one of the really well equipped campsites beside the beach. You will see them easily from the road. keep a look out for: Rio Jara,Tarifa, Torre de la Peña and Paloma campsites.
Oh, you can see Morocco from Tarifa too!!
A great white town surrounded by the amazing Parque Natural de Sierra de Grazalema (Grazalema Mountain natural park). Situated in North East Cádiz.
You can get there by bus from Cádiz city or Jerez if you don’t have your own transport.
Please find below the phone number of the tourist office in Grazalema town.
The town itself is very pretty and well maintained; you can go and see the Iglesia de la Aurora and Iglesia de la Encarnacion, two 17th century churches in and around Plaza España. There are plenty of nice cafes and artisan shops to keep you occupied as well.
Grazalema is also famous for it's goats cheese!
All in all it's a great place to stay and explore the national park!
Bolonia basically consists of an absolutely unspoilt stunning beach and blue sea and Roman ruins of Baelo Claudia open from 10-8 Tuesday to Saturday during the summer and to 6 in the winter).
You really need a car to get here. There are a few hostels if you fancy staying. Remember camping on the beach is illegal, though if you fancy doing it just don't pitch a tent and sleep under the stars.
This is an absolutely fabulous place to go walking/hiking/trekking/climbing/camping.
The highest mountain is 1654m (Torreon) which makes it the highest in the province (though you may have to get a permit from El Bosque to climb it). It is also one of the greenest parts of Spain which makes the scenery wonderful.
The park actually streaches all the way down to the province of Malaga. Between Grazalema town and Benamahoma in the north of the park you can find Spain's best preserved woodland and see the rare Spanish fir tree!
Another great part of the park is the Garganta Verde (Green Throat) a lush ravine.
Pick up a free guide from Grazalema or El Bosque on the different trails you can do.
Very close to the waterfront, we soon encountered Castillo de San Marcos - one of the city's main tourist attractions. I stopped for a photo as we approached for a closer look (2nd photo) and four of the locals who were sitting there beside the walls gave me a wave when they realized they would be part of the scene.
This relic actually began life as a mosque in the 900s when Spain was under Moorish rule but was converted to a Christian church following the conquest of this part of Spain by King Alfonso X between 1257-1260. Because of its location on the coast of this important bay used by the Spanish fleet, it was later modified in ~1270 to become a fortress as well as a church, leading to it being referred to as a 'castle' What you see today are the result of extensive modern day renovations to the Gothic style main watch-tower and the eight defensive towers around its walls.
I reached up to try the knocker on its main gate (3rd photo) but was not able to get a response from within, so we continued our circular walk back to the ferry terminal because the time for departure was drawing near.
El Bosque is a great place to place yourself if you want to go walking in the nearby countryside or mountains. If you want to explore the nearby Grazelema national park go to the info centre on Avenida de la Diputacion opposite the hotel las Truchas. Or call the number provided below. This is where you also get permits to climb the highest mountain in the park.
There is no real point in going to El Bosque unless you want to explore parkland that surrounds it. There is also hang-gliders and Paragliders take off point in the adjoining Sierra de Albarracin too.
If your not up for anything too energetic try the nice riverside walk between El Bosque and Benamahoma. It is about 5km in total though you don't have to do the whole thing if you don't want to.
Please find accommodation details under the places to stay category.
This is a typical street scene of Vejer. As you can see all the buildings are painted white.
When the sun shines on the buildings they shine and dazzle you. It's incredible how clean and bright they look. The contrast against the brilliant blue sky makes it even more amazing.
Please check out my Vejer de la Frontera page for lots more info:
Take me to Vejer