A whitewashed, history-rich city

With 300 days of guaranteed sunshine a year, it’s no wonder Cadiz’s golden coast is known as Costa de la Luz, which translates to ‘Coast of Light’. The region is located on the western side of Spain’s south, an Andalusian paradise bursting with understated charm. Neighbouring regions like Seville and Granada may be better at self-promotion, but it’s precisely Cadiz’s laid-back vibe and relatively isolated location that make it so special.

The city feels and looks a lot like the Spain of old, with cobbled streets, faded pastel facades and sleepy open squares. Wonder around the city and you’ll learn about its tumultuous past; the Mudejar architecture speaks of Muslim heritage even after the Moors were defeated and the cathedral and Churches of Santa Cruz still bear the marks of the British attack on the port. Despite the city’s history, there is nothing unwelcoming about holidays to Cadiz today. Head south and you’ll find an array of vibrant beach resorts perfect for soaking up the sun and enjoying watersports.

Many surfers travel to Costa de la Luz to catch some waves in Cadiz and Tarifa, while the Atlantic Ocean gives Cadiz a rich and distinct marine life – you can even go whale watching. Yet, despite the Atlantic, Cadiz is Mediterranean at heart, a fact best-proved through its cuisine.

All resorts in Cadiz

Three tips for a top trip

Explore by train

Catch a train from Cadiz to explore the surrounding towns and villages. It’s a fast and reliable way to travel in these parts – and cheap.

Visit Playa de la Caleta

This beautiful beach had a starring role in Die Another Day, where Halle Berry famously emerged from the water. Time your stop for sunset.

Join a walking tour

Cadiz is best explored on foot, and walking tours are a great way to cover ground while learning about the monuments that pepper the city.

BEST ATTRACTIONS TO SEE IN CADIZ

Donata National Park

Nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts are spoilt for choice with Cadiz’s wealth of natural parks and reserves. This one is a lynx and migratory bird hotspot.

Castle of Santa Catalina

This epic fortress was built in the 17th century and, along with superb sea views, it showcases local artists’ work in regular exhibitions.

Cadiz old town

Step through the city gates and explore ancient neighbourhoods like La Vina, the old fishing district, and El Popula, the hypnotic gypsy quarter.

YOUR CADIZ QUESTIONS, ANSWERED

Build sandcastles on the area’s beaches, or picnic in the parks and nature reserves. There’s a great waterpark on the outskirts, too.
You’ll find Spanish classics like tapas and paella alongside regional dishes like Cazon en adobo – fresh chunks of fish marinated and fried.
Cadiz is an early spring to late summer holiday destination. With its Mediterranean climate, temperatures peak at 28°C during mid-July before dropping off to 24°C by October. Even the winters are mild, with the average temperature ranging between 17-19°C in October and December. It makes Cadiz a popular spot for travellers searching for winter sun, although you might have to put up with a few light showers during your stay. And you don't need to dip your toe into the water on Cadiz's beaches. The spring and summer sea temperatures are an inviting 17-25°C.
Cadiz is a beach lovers paradise. And with so many sandy stretches along the coast, it's hard to choose the best. But Bolonia Beach is a definite contender. And it's just a 20-minute drive from Tarifa city. This beach is three miles of golden sand, blue sea, and stunning views. There's also a cooling breeze coming off the ocean to balance out the soaring summer temperatures. The mountains and palm trees surrounding Los Alemanes beach create a romantic hideaway for couples. But take provisions as facilities near the beach are limited to a few shops.
Handmade ceramics, super-soft leather and bottles of Andalusian olive oil all make for lovely take-homes.
Cadiz is where you come to unwind and indulge in the holiday vibe. A few days can fly by too quickly, and you might not be ready to return home after a long weekend in this sun-drenched paradise. Around seven days will give you enough time for lazy beach days and a few sightseeing tours. And Cadiz is an excellent base to explore some of the surrounding towns. Quaint Spanish villages like Sanlucar are just an hours drive. Or take a day trip to Santa Maria Port and then set sail on a catamaran along the coast.
Cadiz has a long and exciting history. In fact, it's one of the oldest inhabited places in Western Europe, with archaeological sites dating back over 3,000 years. Ancient history buffs can visit the Roman Theatre. Experts think this limestone structure was built in the first century BC. It's the biggest Roman theatre outside Italy. Cadiz is a typical Andalucian city, and that's no bad thing. So expect a relaxed and welcoming town where life moves at a pace that's perfect for holidaymakers. Then there's the blue skies, long summer days, and Mediterranean cuisine packed with sun-kissed flavours.
Cadiz is about an hour’s drive from Seville. Alternatively, the train takes around 90 minutes. Tickets cost less than €20 per person. You can also buy family tickets to save some money. Seville is well worth a visit. The Andalusian capital is famous for its ornate architecture and gothic church. Visit the city cathedral to see Christopher Columbus's final resting place. Among other notable attractions is the Royal Palace. It featured in the hit series Game of Thrones. The Metropol Parasol offers the best views of the city skyline. Built in 2011, it's the world's largest wooden structure.
The City stands next to the Bay of Cadiz, an arm of the North Atlantic Ocean between Portugal's southernmost point and the Strait of Gibraltar. The sea is nice and warm during the summer, making it ideal for swimming and paddling. All of the beaches in Cadiz are clean and well-maintained. And many have changing facilities, water fountains, and full-time lifeguards. The beaches in central Cadiz get very busy during June and July. You might struggle to find enough room on weekends or scorching days. But a short drive along the coast brings you to the quieter spots.