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…
Santander has long been a favourite with the Madrid-set in search of sandy beaches and great gastronomy. Increased air and sea connections mean the city is garnering international attention and it’s easy to see why. Wondering what not to miss when you get here? Here’s our pick of things to do in Santander…
1. See Centro Botin
This brand-new art centre designed by star architect Renzo Piano (who designed the Shard in London, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris with Richard Rogers) has already won its place in the hearts of the Santanderinos. Its clever design not only offers a stage for world-class art and celebrated musicians but it also opens up a dialogue between the city and the bay which shimmers and dazzles just like the building itself. Take the lift to the top where you have brilliant views of the city and the water. Great museum café looking onto the bay which is run by the two-Michelin starred chef Jesus Sanchez of El Cenador de Amos (located across the bay in Villaverde de Pontones.)
Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am-8pm (extended opening until 9pm from June through to September). Parking at Alfonso XIII carpark.
2. Visit the Magdalena Palace
King Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenia (granddaughter of Queen Victoria and Albert) enjoyed the beaches, gardens and views of the bay and is said to have reminded the Queen Consort of her childhood summers on the Isle of Wight. It’s true the palace wouldn’t look out of place on the English coast – although it is the work of two local architects.
Tours of the palace interiors are available year-round in Spanish although access is limited when the International Menendez Pelayo University (UIMP) takes over the building every Summer. The best way to enjoy a tour in English is to hire a private licensed city guide who can reserve a slot with the palace.
Opening times for the Palace vary, so phone 942 203 084 or email for details.
The grounds of the Palace are open from 8am to 10pm at night. Pedestrian access only. Parking just outside the palace grounds. Palaciomagdalena.com
3. Take a Snap of the Raqueros Sculptures
In contrast to the glamour and glitz of the palace and Centro Botin, seek out the wonderfully sculptured figures of the Raqueros beside the Club Maritimo that recall the young boys who used to jump into the water for coins throws by the well-heeled from their boats. These iconic life-like works by local sculptor Jose Cobo act as a reminder of the tough times experienced in Puertochico – the city’s historic fishing port.
Nearest carparking at Castelar Carpark & Alfonso XIII car park.
4. Check out the Beaches
It’s simply not possible to spend time in the city and not experience the famous Sardinero beaches that were first in fashion in the 1850s. Residents dress up in period-costume for a week every year to remember the time when Santander first was in vogue – so if you see boater hats, parasols and demure swimming costumes as you stroll by or swim here, you know what’s going on. If you prefer a different view, a quieter cove or a rural beach, you’ve so much choice. Read about the many Santander Beaches here.
Lots of parking available in the streets near the beaches – although it does get busy in July and August.
5. Experience the Local Gastronomy
If you’ve spent time in the North of Spain before, you’ll know that pintxos are earth-shatteringly good but there’s another way to dine out. When friends and family meet for a white wine or vermouth at weekends, they often order share platters of food called ‘raciones’ which nearly always feature the local rabas (calamari) and you’ll also find lots of mussels, clams, crabs, periwinkles, anchovies, prawns and octopus. Other specials include ‘bonito’ which is a Northern Spanish tuna or a slow-cooked melt in the mouth stew from the region. And yes, you will need a few garden salads, pimientos de Padron or char-grilled vegetables to dilute the protein! Finish up with a local creamy dessert or move on to the coffee and G&T. This is best experienced in the neighbourhoods of Puertchico or Tetuan but anywhere you go, you’ll find these dishes during the middle of the day.
When eating out in the evening, there’s so much choice but we’re always partial to El Riojano Restaurant and Canadio Restaurant which are smart casual (rather than Michelin-star formal) but they execute all the classic Cantabrian dishes with class and style. Both serve tapas and ‘raciones’ at the bar if you’re not able to get a table inside the restaurant.
6. Get Out Onto The Bay
Fresh air beckons and where better than on a boat? If you haven’t brought your own, you can board the tours of the bay departing from the Palacete del Embarcadero (beside Centro Botin) or Gamazo Dock.
During the Summer months you can also hop on the boats going to the Puntal Beach in the middle of the bay where you’ll gain a lovely perspective of the city. For more information Losreginas.com or Santanderbahiatours.com
7. Visit a Museum or Two (or Three)
MUPAC is the name for Santander’s Prehistory Museum – a great space to learn about Cantabria’s amazing caves and its cave art. The subterranean museum space on Calle Bailen is right beside the Mercado del Este marketplace where you can grab a coffee and a snack before or after.
The Maritime Museum complete with aquarium, a 40m long skeleton of the blue whale plus lots of other water creatures and marine body parts in jam-jars too. Great café views and outdoor terrace looking out over the bay.
If you are looking to drive out to a museum in the region, the town of Comillas is just the ticket. It boasts extraordinary architecture featuring one of the few works of Gaudi outside Catalonia. Take a tour of the Capricho de Gaudi in English and visit Sobrellano Palace designed by Joan Martorell plus Camposanto cemetery that is home to a wonderfully carved angel designed by Josep Llimona. The town is like a who’s who of Catalan architecture – and the beach is spectacular also. Continue on to San Vicente de la Barquera for some excellent views of the Picos de Europa and Michelin-star cuisine.
Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10-2pm and 5pm to 7.30pm (opening extended until 8pm on Saturdays, Sundays, bank holidays and every day from May to September). Closed Monday. Park in Pombo Carpark or Alfonso XIII Carpark. Museosdecantabria.es
Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm (opening extended until 7.30pm from May to September). Closed Monday. Public parking in the area. Museosdecantabria.es/Maritimo
El Capricho de Gaudi
Open Monday to Sunday from 10:30am to 5:30pm. Extended opening until 8pm from March to June and in October. From July to September closing time is further extended until 9pm. No parking at the Capricho but ample public parking in the centre of Comillas. Elcaprichodegaudi.com
8. Shop at the City’s Food Market
Located right behind the Town Hall (Casa Consistorial) the market structure itself is a joy – dating back to 1904. You could almost call it a living museum as so many of the stallholders enjoy sharing tales of Santander’s past and present as you purchase your fish, meat, bread, cheeses and fruit. During the school calendar you’ll find local schoolchildren on market tours purchasing ingredients for a meal they prepare inside the museum – with the help of some of the city’s top chefs.
The most dazzling array of fresh fish and seafood is on show (and for sale) in the market’s basement which opens in the mornings from 8am to 2pm. Upstairs you’ll find wonderful cured meats and cheeses plus the butchers, bakers and more – this space opens from 8am-2pm and again from 5pm to 7.30pm.
If you want to make a visit to this municipal market extra special, why not shop with one of the city’s local chefs who can prepare a meal for you with your ingredients? If you’d like to see and participate in the preparation of your meal, great – if you just want to watch as you sip on a glass of wine, that’s perfect too.
Parking for the Food Market at the Plaza de la Esperanza Carpark.
As you can tell, everything about this elegant city oozes ‘quality of life’. It really is Northern Spain at its best with so few international visitors that you’ll feel like you are carving out your very own little slice of Spain.
When To Visit Santander
The last two weeks of July and the first two weeks of August are when the city is truly bustling with holidaymakers. Restaurants and bars are busy and the beaches are too – with the city full to capacity for a week of partying around the 25 July which is known as the Semana Grande. If you prefer to visit the city when it’s less busy, travel in June or September. Because this is Northern Spain, the climate is a lot cooler than in the rest of Spain. Temperatures rarely surpass 30 degrees Celsius (86 in Fahrenheit) in Summer and you may encounter some rain during your time here. Winters are cold with the temperature ranging from 5-12 degrees Celsius in January – that’s 41-54 degrees in Fahrenheit.
Best Neighbourhoods in Santander
Puertochico is the best neighbourhood for eating out – with nearby Tetuan also a good choice for fish restaurants. The best shopping is between Puertochico and the Town Hall where you’ll be tempted by the many local independent stores and the main brands dotted around Calle Hernan Cortes, Juan de Herrera and Isabel II. The beaches run all the way from Gamazo towards the Magdalena Peninsula, along the Sardinero and finish up by the neighbourhood of Mataleñas where you’ll enjoy a scenic cliffside walkway, the Golf Club and Cabo Mayor lighthouse.
Insider Tip for Santander
Because an overwhelming percentage of visitors to Santander are Spanish, you will struggle to find authentic eateries serving meals outside Spanish mealtimes. Sit down to lunch from 2-4pm and dine at night after 8.30pm when the best places are open. Otherwise you’ll be limited for choice. If you are peckish between meals, purchase fresh fruit some a one of the great fruterias, head to one of the many gourmet ice-cream parlours or enjoy fresh churros from the many churro food trucks or churrerias.
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 protected]
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.)