Talk to me about Cadiz

Old Aug 24th, 2008, 05:33 AM
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Talk to me about Cadiz

I've always wanted to visit Spain, but whenever I start doing the research, I just can't get excited about it. For some reason, Cadiz is calling to me as a beautiful city. Is it? Is it worth a few days? Assuming I'm completely daft and have no interest in Seville or Toledo or Cordoba, how would you plan a trip focussing on Cadiz and the surrounding area? (Also no interest in hi-rise studded beachfronts; I live in Florida.)

How's the food, the Spanish (I love to brush it up when I travel), the architecture? Could I spend a week there quite happily if I plan to do daytrips? Do the cruise ships I've read about docking there ruin the place? Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old Aug 24th, 2008, 09:08 AM
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I have also long wanted to visit Cadiz. I have heard/read that the food is outstanding. I will look forward to responses to your question..
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Old Aug 24th, 2008, 06:13 PM
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Cadiz was one of the cities we visited on our trip to Spain in May, and we really enjoyed our brief two day stay there. As tourists we had a very good first impression of this port city. Since we were there for a conference and had limited free time, I canít help much with city restaurants as we didnít end up eating at any, but I can describe how we spent some of our time, and what we saw while there.

We stayed at the Parador Atlantico, a lovely hotel overlooking the bay. I wouldnít describe it as a glitzy beach resort hotel (the kind you said you may want to avoid) but it was very nice with lots of 4 star amenities, including the best ever buffet breakfast. Rooms were large and most had balconies.

There was a lovely park next to the hotel were we had a very extensive conversation with a park worker who took care of the homing pigeons that called this park home. Curious and intriguing stories!

The boardwalk seemed to run the full length of this part of the city. At one end was a long causeway leading to a fortress which was closed to tourists. However the walk out to it was very pleasant. Back to the boardwalk and further along was another group of fortress-like buildings. One of which (Castillo de Santa Catalina) had a structure which was converted into an expansive art gallery. Inside was displayed an incredible exhibit of Russian paintings from the 1920-1990ís. I believe it was a traveling exhibit and had been previously on display in other cities. (I canít remember where since I discarded the exhibit brochure). We toured the other buildings, then continued along the boardwalk until it ended.

Old town Cadiz seemed like an easy walking town, safe, very compact, almost maze-like, with shops and charming small plazas scattered throughout. In one such plaza we found a great bakery and went back twice. There were a couple of noteworthy cathedrals and museums in this compact section of town as well.

But the best thing about Cadiz was the Torre Tavira, a watchtower attached to an 18th century palace, and which now houses a camera obscura. The person who conducted the camera obscura demonstration was extremely knowledgeable about Cadizí history as a famous port city in Spain. He explained in great detail the differences in and variety of the many towers all over Cadiz as well as covering Cadiz city history. This camera obscura demonstration is a must see for anyone visiting Cadiz, in my opinion.

Iím not sure what else there was to see and not sure what side trips to take, but two days can easily be filled if your interests are similar to what we did. I donít remember seeing a cruise ship in the harbor, though there could have been one there. Hope this helps in your decision to visit.


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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 03:05 AM
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Thank you, kathleen. That helps very much!
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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 03:20 AM
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Beyond Cadiz, there are endless opportunities for daytrips:

- Sanlucar de Barrameda - a famous beach with an even more famous row of seafood restaurants.

- Jerez - a visit of a Sherry winery is a most (although it maybe a little touristy).

- Vejer de la Frontera - a typical "White Town".

- Arcos de la Frontera - ditto, even more spectacular with its natural setting.

- Cabo de Trafalgar - natural beach scenery with an interesting bunch of people (despite its historical significance).

Spanish food is generally good and surprisingly inexpensive. And when it comes to wine and brandy - it gets dirt cheap. And the brandy is excellent (Jerez is close).
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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 03:37 AM
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Kathleen gives you some pretty good info. I would add that Cadiz (just outside the gates of the Port) is a 'hub' for Comes Motorcoach SA and Cadiz is Renfe's 'end of the line' for rail traffic from Sevilla & Jerez de la frontera. You can take a bus Cadiz to Algeciras or Malaga (i.e., Costa del Sol) or up the Costa de la luz (West).

I usually stay across the Bay in el Puerto de Santa Maria and ride the Ferry to the Port of Cadiz.

I'm not much on food. I dine quite happily on the Menu del dia; but for breakfast, I love Churros con chocolate; and you should be able to find a Churreria nearby in Cadiz.

In several visits over the past 10 years, I've never seen one of those huge cruise ships in the Port of Cadiz

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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 05:28 AM
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Our NCL cruise stopped in Cadiz for the day. We walked the old town, saw the beautiful cathedral and took the open top bus.We really liked the place and thought one could go back some time for a more in depth visit.
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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 05:54 AM
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Cadiz is a bit off the beaten track geographically - it doesnt fit well as part of a tour. This keeps the tourist numbers down and the Gaditanos very laid-back. It really has a very different feel from other cities in southern Spain. The old town is a delight to wander round - although its easy to get lost, holding to one direction for a few mins will always take you to the seafront as its on a peninsula.
This situation means you usually have a breeze even on the hottest days.
The small beach at the old city is less clean than the big oine at the Victoria Playa about a mile away.
The small towns and villages to the South (Costa de Luz) have similarly escaped tourist depradation due to the beaches being windy - a paradise for windsurfers.
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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 08:22 AM
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What a wealth of information! Perfect as I start to plan a trip...
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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 09:41 AM
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Cadiz has great food. The big hit is fresh fish. The sole is caught in the bay of Cadiz daily.

Take a small boat across the bay to Puerto de Santa Maria. It's 3,000 years old, like Cadiz. It's a functional fishing port too.

Part of Cadiz was submerged a few thousand years back. The beach just adjacent to the Parador Atlantico. I think this area is called La Caletta but this might be spell wrong.

In Cadiz you will hear about the Gadatasnas (sp?). These are the people from Cadiz. The word will be used for the type of cooking in Cadiz region.

Again, the food is great.

Blackduff
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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 11:50 AM
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blackduff, aside from the food, how'd you like Cadiz?
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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 12:33 PM
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Cibrone
I do like Cadiz a lot. I lived in the region for six years, in Puerto de Santa Maria. I had an office in Cadiz there too. So, maybe I'm prejudiced.

There's a lot of things to visit but Cadiz really isn't the center of cultur in Spain. Sevilla is a bit better though. I worked in Sevilla too for three years.

The history of Cadiz is pretty interesting. Most cultures have passed in Cadiz. The phonecians were there as well as the vikings. The Brits passed there and fought in Trafalgar nearby.

The best restaurant in Cadiz is El Faro although they have a similar version in Puerto.

Life is late during the evening. Life is good and instead I forgot, the food is great.

Blackduff
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Old Aug 31st, 2008, 09:59 AM
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So Cimbrone, have you decided Cadiz?

I am also waiting for Cathym to respond I think she loves Cadiz.

I am trying to put something together for Oct 09 and Cadiz is an option ...

More Cadiz comments would be appreciated. If you were staying in Cadiz versus Puerto de Santa Maria how do they compare?
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Old Aug 31st, 2008, 10:46 AM
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I'd love to go to Cadiz. But this wouldn't be until next summer. Paris and the Loire Valley, Costa Rica and Nicaragua, and New England are also calling to me...so many destinations, so little money! Let's just say Cadiz is high on my list...
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Old Aug 31st, 2008, 11:37 AM
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Rota has a very nice beach too. It is about 1/2 hour drive from Cadiz
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Old Aug 31st, 2008, 12:49 PM
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I enjoyed Cadiz very much. It's very easy to navigate. The locals are very helpful. Very friendly people. Hope they never get jaded. Puerto to Santa Maria's claim to fame is that Christopher C sailed from there on his second voyage to the Americas.
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Old Aug 31st, 2008, 12:54 PM
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When I visited ( more than twenty years ago) the place seemed to be on its knees . Glad to hear it has changed for the better.
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