Cadiz information

Introduction to the Province of Cadiz
Cadiz province in the south of Spain is part of the autonomous community of Andalucia, Famed for its historic towns and cities, its white villages (pueblos blancos), its surprisingly green interior and its relatively unspoilt stretches of sandy coastline, including the Costa de Luz, it makes a perfect holiday destination.

Cadiz City
The city of Cadiz, the capital of the province, may be the oldest city in Europe, founded by the Phoenicians in 1100 BC. In the 18th Century it was Spain’s main trading post with the Americas and today is an atmospheric, relaxed and cosmopolitan place, best explored on foot.

Soak up the ambience of Cadiz by strolling around its perimeter sea walls and fortifications, taking in the star-shaped Castillo de Santa Catalina, the Balneario de la Palma, the Parque del Genoves with its tropical birds and the Baluarte de la Candelaria on the way. The yellow domed Cathedral of Cadiz is a stunning sight and for the best panoramic views of Cadiz city, climb up the Torre Tavira, the highest of the city’s watchtowers. For museum aficionados, the Museo de Cadiz and the Museo Historico will not disappoint.

Cadiz excels itself at Carnaval (Feb/Mar) time when it hosts a 10-day long bacchanalian fancy-dress party that is even broadcast on Spanish TV.

Around Cadiz City and Beyond
Cadiz province contains such a diversity of places of interest and natural beauty that you will be spoilt for choice when choosing where to visit. After Cadiz city, the next big place on people’s list of towns to visit has got to be Jerez de La Frontera, famous for its sherry bodegas and also its horses. You can book a tour of many of the sherry bodegas and will find information in the tourist office. The Real Escuela Andaluz del Arte Ecuestre (School of Equestrian Art) is where you can see at first hand the grace, skill and strength of the famous white horses being put through their paces..

Another horsy experience can be had at Sanlucar de Barrameda, which every August stages horse races (carreras de caballos) on the beach.

The inland Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos takes you to the typical whitewashed villages for which Cadiz is so well known. Some of the most interesting villages on this route are Grazalema (famed for being the rainiest place in Spain and a fine cheese producer as a result), Arcos de la Frontera and Olvera.

The Costa de la Luz has some of arguably the best sandy beaches in Spain, one of the best being at Zahara. The windy city of Tarifa at the southern end of this costa is a mecca for windsurfers and has a laid back, hippy atmosphere. Whilst for golfers there is the internationally renowned Valderrama Golf Course at Sotogrande. Sotogrande is also the home of polo in Spain.

La Sierra de Grazalema National Park offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, cycling, canyoning and bird watching. Take an umbrella and waterproofs because this is the wettest place in Spain!

The 1700 sq km national park of Los Alcornocales is home to Spain’s largest area of cork oak woodland.

The Gastronomy of Cadiz
The coastal area of Cadiz has a cuisine that draws heavily on the sea and typical dishes include Tortilla de Camerones (prawn omelette), Urta a la Rotena (sea bream stew) sea urchins (Erizos de Mar) and even Ortiguillas (sea anemones). The fresh catch of the day will always be worth trying, often served as Pescaito Frito (fried fish).

Inland the cuisine is of course earthier and you might come across Alcuaciles Rellenos (stuffed artichokes) and Puchero (a meat, chick pea and potato stew). You are also likely to find partridge, hare and rabbit dishes on the menu. The use of sherry and sherry vinegar is widespread in the area’s dishes of course. Piriñaca is a tomato, pepper and onion salad, usually dressed with locally produced olive oil and sherry vinegar.

For dessert try Poleas, cinnamon flavoured pastries, or Tarta al Jerez, an Arabic-influenced pudding of raisins, almonds, spices and honey.

The region produces many fine cheeses, particularly around the Grazelema area. Try Queso Payoyo, made from a blend of sweet sheep’s milk and tart goat’s milk.

Of course the region’s best-known product and export is sherry of which there are many types. Finos are dry and olorosos are sweet. The delicate, unfortified Manzanillas may be a good place to start sampling - they go well with seafood.


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