Cadiz is a fascinating city where the term travelling deeper is taken to a whole new level. It encourages you to look underground, out to the horizon and be amongst the rooftops. Succumb to the easy…
Each country has its beautiful cities, but in Spain they blend historic appeal, modern vivacity and a distinctly exotic quality like few others. Which can mean that when choosing which city in Spain to visit you’re often forced to cut favourites out of shortlists, such is the depth of the country’s appeal.
Thank goodness, then, for Andalucia. Spain’s southernmost region is packed with some of the country’s most fascinating cities – and here are just a few of our favourites.
Once an earthy Mediterranean port city, Malaga now has it all: culture, history, architecture, shopping, dining, nightlife and sandy Mediterranean beaches. Indeed, this is a place where you can shop, dine, visit museums and lay on the beach all in the same day.
Geographically the city is dominated by the Gibralfaro hill on which stands the Alcazaba, a fortified Moorish palace from the 11th century. A little further up, on the crest of the hill, a 14th-century castle overlooks the city and its bay amidst spectacular panoramic views.
The foot of the Gibralfaro, where a Roman amphitheatre meets the city centre, forms the point at which past and present come together. Cross the street and you enter the old town, a wonderful maze of squares, streets and pedestrian shopping areas lined with elegant buildings. Crowning this area are the cathedral, built in Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles, and the Picasso Museum, home to the works of Malaga’s most famous son.
A little further along is the Carmen Thyssen Museum, along with the Centre Pompidou at the stylish Muelle Uno portside shopping and entertainment area, just two of many fascinating spots in what is fast becoming one of Europe’s cultural gems. Situated between the centre and the port is a stylish boulevard flanked on both sides by a tree-lined promenade. Here stately buildings alternate with the greenery of botanical gardens, an area that gradually gives way to beaches and the ‘La Malagueta’ suburb.
Another jewel in the Andalucian crown is Granada. Settled within a broad, fertile floodplain known as the Vega, this ancient city is above all known for its association with Moorish Spain, of which the legendary Alhambra palace-fortress remains the most tangible legacy. Surrounded by fragrant gardens, the latter encompasses an entire hilltop complex.
Though most views in Granada are characterised by this hilltop sentinel framed by the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada rising up behind it, the Alhambra itself looks out over the Albaicín – a charming maze of streets, squares and houses that still retains much of its medieval feel. Here you find stylish Arab-style baths and spas, Moroccan-inspired tetería tearooms and also houses whose private gardens, courtyards and rooftop terraces recall the days when this was the last Moorish capital of Andalucia.
From the rich ambience of the Albaicín, the city of Granada spreads out into an elegant baroque historic centre full of grand churches, imposing public buildings and beautiful monuments. In many ways a typically lively and impressive southern Spanish city, Granada is also the official birthplace of the tapa. So, expect many an opportunity to enjoy this very social way of dining across the many tapas bars and small restaurants that dot one of Spain’s most visited historic centres. See our full guide to Granada here.
Straddling a curve on the Guadalquivir River, Cordoba is the embodiment of Andalucia’s glorious past. The city owes its prominent role in Spanish history primarily to its strategic location at the entrance to Andalucia. Famous leaders as diverse as Julius Caesar, Abd al-Rahman III and Ferdinand and Isabella fought to control the city at one time or another, so it’s not surprising that Cordoba has been destroyed and rebuilt more times than any other in Andalucia.
Though founded in pre-Roman times, Cordoba is above all famous for its magnificent Grand Mosque, the monumental structure that has become the symbol of the city. Surrounded by the tightly packed houses of the medieval Judería, or Jewish quarter, the mosque is one of the many architectural wonders within this corner of southern Spain, to which can be added later baroque edifices such as the Reyes Alcazares palace and the 14th-century Torre de Calahorra, which stands guard over the ancient river.
Sevilla, as it’s known locally, is the bustling capital of Andalucia, a sprawling old city full of life and sights. The city, and in particular the old quarter on the east bank of the Guadalquivir river, contains some of the finest buildings and monuments anywhere in Spain. They are the legacy of the centuries during which the riches of Central and South America flowed into Spain through the city, which at the time was not only the country’s main port but also one of the richest cities in Europe.
When you visit Seville you’re in the very heart of Andalucía, for it’s here that quintessentially Andalucian traditions such as bullfighting, flamenco music and vivacious street life come together. Bordered by the Guadalquivir river and guarded by the mighty 13th-century Torre de Oro, one of Seville’s most famous monuments and now a maritime museum, El Arenal used to be the bustling port area of the town, a district of munitions stores, artillery headquarters and shipyards. Today the quarter is dominated by the dazzling white bullring, the Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza, where bullfights, or corridas, have been held for the past two centuries.
Just beyond here lies one of the largest historic centres in Europe, an area that encompasses not only elegant shopping promenades but also the more tightly woven streets of an older area. Here you find the Moorish-style baths and teahouses, the stunning cathedral and its famous Giralda tower, the Reales Alcazares palatial complex and a host of quaint tapas bars and restaurants that form the heart of a lively Andalucian social scene.
Though newer, a part of Seville not to be missed is the Parque María Luisa, an architectural wonderland designed for the Ibero American World Trade Exposition of 1929. Today its magnificently creative buildings house embassies, museums, military headquarters and cultural and educational institutions. The grand five-star Hotel Alfonso XIII and crescent-shaped Plaza de España are the most striking features, but in summer the terraces of the old exposition pavilions come alive with street performers and live dance music that goes on until the early morning.
At Cadiz we’ve reached the Andalucian shore again – albeit on the Atlantic this time and the Costa de la Luz. Situated on a peninsula that juts out into the sea, and attached to the mainland by a narrow strip of land, Cadiz is surrounded by water on three sides. The port is in many ways different from other cities in southern Spain, its pastel-coloured houses flanking a yellow tiled cathedral that actually seems more at home in Cuba than in Spain.
The city’s position, dominating the entrance to the Mediterranean, has made it a place of great strategic importance since classical times. In fact, Cadiz is the oldest living city in Europe and a veritable archaeological treasure house. Its museums contain findings ranging from 2,500 year-old Phoenician sarcophagi to Roman statues and Moorish artefacts.
Favoured by its location, the city was long the port of call for ships returning with riches from the Spanish colonies in the Americas. Developing apace with the maritime commerce of Cadiz were the watchtowers that were built onto the flat roofs of merchants’ houses. Such was the competition among them that they employed teams of watchmen to look out for incoming ships. Numbers peaked at a little over 160 towers, 126 of which remain today. The most famous tower, the Torre de Tavira, became the official watchtower of the city in 1778, and today offers visitors a spectacular view of the entire city and its surroundings from its rooftop and its camera obscura.
From here, Cadiz is a sea of flat roofs strongly reminiscent of a North African city that seems to float in the deep blue water like a giant ship. It adds yet another dimension to the myriad sights and experiences offered up by Andalucian cities rich in history, culture, mystery and above all, life.
Array (  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 242219 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2022-09-12 09:36:51 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-09-12 09:36:51 [post_content] => Cadiz is a fascinating city where the term travelling deeper is taken to a whole new level. It encourages you to look underground, out to the horizon and be amongst the rooftops. Succumb to the easy going way of life of the gaditanos – relax, eat well and be inspired by this ancient city.
1. Torre TaviraClimb this eighteenth-century watchtower, learn about the watchtowers of Cadiz (some pictured above) and see Cadiz through its camera obscura at the top. C. Marqués del Real Tesoro, 10, 11001 Cádiz. Torretavira.com
2. Playa La CaletaA day on the beach or hit it at 6pm for cake – street food to beach food. Sellers usually roam the beaches from about 5pm to 6pm. Then grab a drink and watch the sunset over the bay.
3. CathedralTaking over 100 years to complete and with its unique golden dome and silver collection it’s worth a visit. Pl. de la Catedral, s/n, 11005 Cádiz. Catedraldecadiz.com
4. Iglesia de Santa CruzThe original cathedral of Cadiz it was build in its form today in 1602. Pl. Fray Félix, 6, 11005 Cádiz
5. Mercado CentralFresh food and casual eateries make the market the heart of the city. Hit the gastromarket side of the market for tapas. Pl. de la Libertad, S/N, 11005 Cádiz
6. Pause in a PlazaMeander and stop for coffees or something strong in one of the pretty squares. Plaza de las Flores and Plaza de la Candelaria are two favourites.
7. Yacimiento Arqueológico GadirThis archaeological museum with a focus on Phoenician culture helps you travel under the city to ancient Cadiz. Address: C. San Miguel, 15, 11001 Cádiz. Open: Tues - Sat 11.00 - 15.00hrs and 17.00 - 21.00hrs. Sun 11.00 - 15.00hrs. Entrance free.
8. Park GenovesBeside the sea this city park has a playground, fountains and it’s a great place to run off little legs or meander after a long lunch. Parque Genovés, Av. Dr. Gómez Ulla, s/n, 11003 Cádiz
9. Museum of CadizFrom archaeological artifacts to art and puppets, the museum of Cadiz is an interesting way to spend a couple of hours if not only to find out the importance of puppeteering in the city. Address: Pl. de Mina, s/n, 11004 Cádiz. Museosdeandalucia.es
10. Castillo de Santa CatalinaA curious shape castle, originally built in 1598 gives great views and an insight into its military past. C. Campo de las Balas, s/n, 11002 Cádiz. Open during summer, Mon - Sun 11.00 - 20.30hrs.
11. Plaza de San Juan de DiosThe old main square of the city is a great place to start discovering Cadiz.
12. Teatro RomanoThis 1st century B.C. Roman theatre in the centre of the old town is the oldest and second largest on the Iberian Peninsula. Address: C. Mesón, 11, 13, 11005 Cádiz. Summer opening times (1st April - 30th Sept) Mon - Sat 11.00 - 17.00hrs and Sun 10.00 - 17.00hrs. Winter opening times (1st oct - 31st Mar) Mon - Sat 10.00 - 16.30hrs and Sun 10.00 - 14.00hrs. Closed the first Monday of every month. Entrance is free.
13. Puppet Museum (Museo del Titere)A good family option, it's somewhat interactive and home to puppets from all over the world. Puertas de Tierra, Bóvedas de Santa Elena, s/n, 11006 Cádiz. Open Tues - Sun 10.00 - 21.00hrs. Entrance is free.
14. See the Sunset at San Sebastian CastleThis castle and lighthouse is on a small island with a walkway linking it (even at high tide) to the end of the pier at La Caleta beach. It's said that the father of Zeus, Tronos, had his temple on the island. The lighthouse that you can see today has Moorish foundations and that is just the beginning of this little island's history. P.º Fernando Quiñones, s/n, Cádiz
15. Oratory of San Felipe Neri ChurchHome to one of Murillo’s finest works and one of the few Andalucian Baroque architectural examples of elliptical arches. C. San José, 36, 11003 Cádiz
16. Gran Teatro FallaFor an evening surrounded by 18th century grandeur, check out this Neo-Mudejar theatre in the old town. (See its program here). Pl. Fragela, s/n, 11003 Cádiz
17. CUEVA CATACUMBAS DEL BEATERIOThese catacombs are much less morbid than you’d imagine with an incredible story. Access is six metres under the city through a courtyard in a residential building. C. Valverde, n3, 11004 Cádiz. Catacumbasdelbeaterio.com
18. CarnivalCelebrated just before the beginning of Lent this very lively week-long festival sees everyone take to the streets in fancy dress. There’s traditional music in the form of satire singing groups that you can hear around the streets and at the theatre. Usually during February, 40 days before Easter.
19. Walk Around the Old TownTake in the feel of the city by wandering around two distinct areas: El Populo and La Viña, the latter of which is the old fisherman’s area. Don’t miss Plaza Tío de la Tiza and Restaurant El Faro.
20. Casa-Palacio Moreno de MoraA fine example of an Elizabethan-style palace from the 1800s. C. Ancha, 28, 30, 11001 Cádiz. Only open on Wednesdays at 10.00hrs via prior arrangement through this email email@example.com
21. Hospital de MujeresA quick visit of this old hospital and chapel offers a magnificent El Greco painting of St Francis and a rather special central courtyard. C. Hospital de Mujeres, 26, 11001 Cádiz
22. Visit El Puerto DE Santa Maria by BoatCadiz is at the end of a peninsula so there are regular boats going across to the mainland. Take a day trip to El Puerto de Santa Maria – see the sights like the Castle of San Marcos and do some sherry tasting. Port: Av. del Puerto, 2B, 11006 Cádiz Castle of San Marcos, Pl. Alfonso X el Sabio, 3, 11500 El Puerto de Sta María, Cádiz
23. Casa de IberoamericaThis Neoclassic building, once a former prison, is now an event and exhibition space. C. Concepción Arenal, s/n, 11006 Cádiz
Useful InformationHow to get to Cadiz by car From Seville airport 129km 1hr 14min From Malaga airport 225km 2hr 20min From Jerez 34.9km 28min From Gibraltar 118km 1hr 24min From Marbella 177km 1hr 49min Tempted you to discover Cadiz city? Have a look at our selection of villas on the Costa de la Luz. [post_title] => 23 of the Best Things to Do in Cadiz [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => things-to-do-in-cadiz [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-09-13 09:21:25 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-09-13 09:21:25 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://theluxuryvillacollection.com/?p=242219 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 242167 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2022-07-24 15:17:35 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-07-24 15:17:35 [post_content] => The Alhambra: crowning the city of Granada, this stunningly decorative fortress-palace complex is one of Spain's most instantly recognisable sights. But it's also the country's most visited tourist attraction – and as such probably needs little in the way of introduction (and promotion). So let’s concentrate instead on some of the lesser-known wonders that this fabulous city has to offer. Here then is our pick of the top things to see and do in Granada – that aren't the Alhambra...
1. The AlbayzinFor centuries, Moorish and Christian traditions coexisted harmoniously in Granada, and the Albayzin neighbourhood is a beautiful and atmospheric relic of this enlightened past. The Alhambra and the Albayzin look across at one another, with each view being just as magnificent as the other. Meander through the narrow cobbled streets, pause in squares to admire the view or stop for a tapas and a cool drink.
Why visit:Revel in the Moorish and Andalucian style that can be discovered around every narrow corner or small square. Take in the view and drink champagne overlooking the Alhambra Palace – El Huerto de Juan Ranas has a great terrace. (Calle Atarazana Vieja, 6.)
Tapas stops:Taberna El Beso. Moroccan food in the surroundings of a beautiful little palace. The owner also has a small collection of antiques and objets from Morocco for sale. (Cuesta de San Gregorio, s/n, 18010 Granada.) Higher in the Albayzin is Casa de los Mascarones. It's a little rough and ready, but offers great tapas with a very local Albayzin feel. (Calle Pagés, 20, 18010 Granada.) Bar Kiki and Cafe Gabriel are two other favourites – see our guide to restaurants in Granada if you're looking for further recommendations.
2. Palacio Dar al-HorraDeep in the Albayzin, this mini palace often gets overlooked. Once the home of Aixa, mother of Boabdil, the last Moorish king of Granada, it has magnificent views of the Albayzin and only takes a short time to visit. The best way to visit Palacio Dar al-Horra is to buy a ticket to the Andalucian Monuments: Tickets.alhambra-patronato.es. This includes Palacio Dar al-Horra, Corral del Carbón, Bañuelo and Casa Morisca (Calle Horno de Oro). You can also buy tickets at the entrance of Palacio Dar al-Horra – it closes between 14.30-17-00hrs. (Callejón de las Monjas Albayzin, s/n, 18008 Granada.)
3. Cathedral & Capilla RealIf you've got more than a passing interest in Spanish history a visit to the Capilla Real, where the Catholic Kings Isabel and Ferdinand are buried, is a must. The first Renaissance church in Spain, the mighty Granada Cathedral also forms part of the sample complex and can be visited alongside the Royal Chapel. (Calle Mariana Pineda, 21, 18009 Granada.)
Tapas stop:To the rear of the Cathedral is the fresh food market, San Agustín. Here La Picatería is a great bet for a spot of tapas. (Plaza de San Agustín, S/N, 18001 Granada.)
4. Plaza Bib RamblaGranada doesn’t have a plaza mayor (a main square) per se, but Plaza Bib Rambla more than ably fills the role. As the first square of Granada, Plaza Bib Rambla has survived a long and varied history… from markets, jousting, bull fighting, religious processions and even executions, this square has seen it all. Now there are flower stalls, restaurants and street entertainers. Much more civilised.
Tapas Stop:La Telefonica, just off the square. (Calle Arco de las Orejas, 1, 18001 Granada.)
5. Go ShoppingA memento or two from your travels is always a must. But what should you buy in Granada?
- Spices & tea: Not to be missed are the Moroccan-style tea shops and souvenir shops along Caldereria Nueva, close to Calle Elvira. In the lower part of the Albayzin, it’s a great place to buy some tea, spices or North African cakes.
- Ceramics: Granada (and Andalucia) has a long history of decorative ceramics, dating all the way back to the 15th century. You’ll notice decorative tiles throughout the city. The blue and green pomegranate design ('granada' means 'pomegranate' in Spanish) on vases and plates are a traditional decoration and make for a lovely gift. Ceramics are still produced in the city today at Fajalauza. (Calle Fajalauza 2, Albayzin Alto.)
- Leather: 5V Valverde is a speciality shop from yesteryear dealing in handmade leather shoes, boots and bags. Exquisite quality, one of the best cordwainers in southern Spain. (Calle Reyes Católicos, 32, 18009 Granada.)
- Jewellery: A great option for giftables is Platonica (Platonicajoyeria.com). Locally designed and made jewellery, some influenced by Nasrid culture. (Carrera del Darro, 8, 18010 Granada.)