Cadiz is the most Southern Andalusian province. Because of its idyllic location, the province attracts visitors from its own nation as well as people from all over the globe. People travel here just to try the exquisite red tuna. People come here for the elongated, soft, white beaches found int he Costa de la Luz. Undoubtedly, they want to party and dance at the famous Carnival and the Feria de Jerez. Cadiz is the place to be for for a lifestyle full of joy and freedom. In this guide you can find all the information you need to know about the ins and outs of Cadiz province.
Is Cadiz a good place to live?
To live in Cadiz means to surround yourself with the real, robust, Southern Andalusian culture. The Spanish they speak here almost does not sound like Spanish anymore. Some say that Gaditano, the accent from Cadiz, is closer to a dialect than an accent. This is because they inhale their s’s, they shorten words, they have incredibly fun sayings, and on top of everything they also speak incredibly fast! What a challenge you might think. Worry not. The people in Cadiz are some of the kindest, warmest and most welcoming people we have ever met. People in Cadiz are so full of life. Their eyes shine, their mouths smile and their hearts beat to the rhythm of music.
Another reason why Cadiz is a good place to live is that this province is surrounded by 3 others. Huelva, Seville and Malaga. Day trips can be made to neighbour cities to further explore Andalusia. The closest airports are in Jerez de la Frontera, Gibraltar and Sevilla.
Cadiz is a province where the purpose is to maximise relaxation and enjoyment, to live the ultimate life. This is reflected in the festivities and in the gastronomy. Furthermore, Gaditanos, the peoples living in Cadiz, are known for making a true and meaningful connection with those surrounding them. Not only do they do this with people, but also with their horses. The passion for horses is unmissable. It therefore, comes to no surprise that there are stunning equestrian properties in Cadiz.
What is famous about gastronomy in Cadiz?
Regarding the gastronomy, if there is one dish that is eaten in all the restaurants, it will most definitely come from the ocean. The fresh morning catch is served on your plate for lunch time! Could it get any better than this? Any fresher? A personal recommendation would be to try the red tuna, a delicious treat.
The traditional way to fish tuna is called ‘almadraba’. A tradition people have practised for over 2000 years. Almadraba consists in allowing the tuna to cross the Strait of Gibraltar. When they reach the coast, a line of small fisher boats awaits with nets to close the tuna fish in. The men will only raise the nets when a decent amount of tuna is in there. Then the struggle between the powerful tuna and men starts.
It is said the best tuna is served in El Campero, a restaurant located in Barbate. You definitely want to give them a visit! Moreover, located in Puerto de Santa María you will encounter Aponiente, a 19th-century tide mill reformed into 3-star Michelin restaurant. A place to taste the sea in all its glory.
Moreover, there are plenty of wineries that catch the eye of those who visit. A very famous one is Tio Pepe, located in Jerez de la Frontera. They produce delicious sherry which will take you back to the 19th century, the era when they first started producing the wine. A similar wine, less known abroad, and lighter, is the Manzanilla, with many bodegas in Sanlucar de Barrameda. The Vinos de Jerez is definitely worthwhile to try out, from the light Manzanilla to the sweet and dark Pedro Ximenez.
What to do in Cadiz?
The province of Cadiz is where Flamenco was born. The singing, the music and the dancing evolved over the years into what is now internationally recognized as the Spanish Flamenco. Two very important people who formed part of this evolution were Paco de Lucía and Camarón de la Isla. They were a great guitarist and a flamenco singer.
It is evident that many flamenco shows are given throughout the year to entertain the locals and those who come to visit Cadiz. It could not have been otherwise since Cadiz forms the origin of Flamenco. The most famous flamenco dance from Cadiz is “Los Tanguillos de Cádiz”.
The coast of Cadiz is something that cannot be missed. The extended, white, soft-sanded beaches are characteristic of the Costa de la Luz. In Bolonia, the challenging dunes can be climbed and in Tarifa, the wind is perfect for surfing, kiting and everything in between. Let’s not forget Playa los Lances, where a relaxing day at the beach can be enjoyed. It is also on the coast, where charming villages such as Conil and Zahara de los Atunes lay. These are undoubtedly worth visiting!
We’re not done with the coast just yet. The beaches are incredible, but in Cadiz you will find the closest spot between two continents! Tarifa is the most southern part of Spain, and is merely separated from Morocco by 14 km of Mediterranean Sea. This makes sailing up and down the coast, or crossing the sea a beautiful experience. In the Strait of Gibraltar you can even go dolphin and whale watching! Since the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea here, many species can be found.
What is the weather and climate like in Cadiz?
The climate in Cadiz is still Mediterranean, meaning temperatures are high in summer and temperate during the winter months. However, due to its location next to the Atlantic Ocean, precipitation rates are high during the winter. In the Sierra de Grazalema, most rain falls from the whole of Spain, being 2200mm/year.
The mountains make a perfect summer retreat since temperatures are perfect in the summer months. Additionally, inland, mesmerizing cortijos and impressive equestrian estates have been built in the Andalusian style. These country properties in the province of Cadiz make perfect homes for those who would like to live outside the city yet still experience the living style in Cadiz.
What festivities do they have in Cadiz?
The two most important festivities that take place in Cadiz are undoubtedly the Carnival and the ferias, specifically the Feria de Jerez. The Carnival in Cadiz is most definitely the biggest one in Spain. It is internationally recognised as a very important carnival after the one celebrated in Rio de Janeiro. Throughout the year, people prepare costumes and practice their show in order to shine in the two weeks of celebration.
Ferias are celebrated everywhere in Andalusia and all have their charm. However, the Feria of Jerez, also known as the Feria de Caballo -Horse Fair, is declared a celebration of international interest. For a week, men, women and children dress in flamenco suits and dresses, and ride their horses around the fair, giving spectacular shows. You’ll be surprised how gracefully the horses can move and dance! The whole day and night the famous sherry, vino fino, is served abundantly! The night doesn’t end until their feet hurt from dancing, which is usually in the early morning!
Danielle Ernstsen | 13th December 2022