When deciding where to travel to this summer I wanted to go to two totally different regions, Spain and Italy. Why did we choose Cadiz, Spain? I wanted to travel somewhere that I never had heard of, be spontaneous, and two people in the same week mentioned the port city of Cadiz, Spain. I knew it was a risk to plan this for my husband and four children, but I was willing to try, and I’m happy we did.
After doing some research before traveling to Cadiz, what I liked most about the adorable port city is that is it is very close to other amazing cities such as Sevilla, Malaga, Rhonda, Gibraltar, and Morocco, all only an hour away. I also loved that there weren’t a lot of americans and the language spoken was mostly Spanish.
Did you know that Cadiz is considered to be the oldest inhabited city in Europe? It was founded in 1100 by the Phoenicians. When Christopher Columbus set sail to the New World, on one of his voyages, he sailed from Cadiz. It has more than 100 watch towers and became the most important port of Spain. Needless to say, the fish is divine.
Where to stay in Cadiz?
On this trip, we decided to rent an apartment instead of a hotel. I find it more intimate to stay in a home together as a family rather than a hotel. Plus a hotel for a family of 6 can get very expensive. I found an adorable apartment in the heart of the old city of Cadiz from VRBO. This place was $300/night and it was beautiful. There are many great boutique hotels as well.
What to do in Cadiz?
There are plenty of fun and exciting things to do in this beautiful, quaint city of Cadiz. Here are some of our favorites.
- La Caleta Beach- This beach is a favorite by the locals. We were close enough to walk from our apartment. Not only is it gorgeous, but it has some history. The Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and Romans all moored their ships in this natural harbor in ancient times. There are umbrellas and lounge chairs available for rent.
2. Castle of San Sebastian- Every morning before our kids would awake, my husband and I would go for a walk. We loved walking to this 18th-century fortress that was used as a prison or for quarantines.
3. Genoves Park- On one of our daily, morning walks, we randomly came across this fun, whimsical botanical garden.
4. Mercado central-Since we love to eat, we will always hit the local food markets. This market in Cadiz is a must.
At the market, you will see piles of crabs, oysters, lobsters, shrimps, tuna, eels, cuttlefish, and more. You can also buy freshly cooked shrimps and oysters along with booths of tapas and beers.
5. Flamenco show- I love anything to do with dancing, and I’ve always wanted to see a live Flamenco show. I found this particular one at a small restaurant bar called La Cava. You can make reservations online at https://www.flamencolacava.com/en/contact-and-booking/. The show was a little long but very authentic and enjoyable. I recommend it.
6. The Food- We never travel anywhere without engulfing ourselves into the food scene. Cuisine in Spain is fantastic. Being that we were staying in a port town, the fresh fish was endless. Cadiz is known for its fried fish cuisine or pescaito frito, which wasn’t our favorite, but we did manage to find other delicious fresh fish restaurants. We also enjoyed many tapas restaurants and enjoyed lots of Jamon!
One of the reasons why I selected to go to Cadiz is because it is centrally located and close to other exciting cities. However, since we traveled in July, it was sweltering, and we were advised not to go inland, or we would be miserable.
I wasn’t going to leave Cadiz without visiting Morocco. I found a great company that specializes in day trips called Toma and Coe https://tomaandcoe.com; they were fantastic. The company arranged for a guide to pick us up from our apartment in Cadiz and take us to the ferry to Morroco.
Once in Morocco, the guide brought us to our Morrocan guide, Majid, who was fantastic. Majid drove us all around Tangier, and we walked all around the marketplace, which was our favorite. After our day in Tangiers, we were then escorted back on the ferry by our guide and taken back safely to Cadiz. Morocco was definitely a highlight of this vacation