Spain
Cadiz

Here you’ll find travel reports about Cadiz. Discover travel destinations in Spain of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

168 travelers at this place:

  • Day5

    Day 5 - Cadiz

    September 14, 2017 in Spain

    Wow! So far, every day has been better than the last. Cadiz is absolutely amazing.

    Today started off great. Tim squeezed us some fresh orange juice to drink after our morning workout. Then we hung our laundry to dry on the rooftop clotheslines and took the bus across town to "New Cadiz", where the beautiful Playa Victoria spans miles down the coast. It is one of the most beautiful beaches either of us have ever seen - a wide beach with soft sand and clear, warm, calm water. There is a stunning backdrop of "Old Cadiz" - stone walls and fortresses lining the coast. We relaxed and read on the beach for hours before grabbing lunch at a seaside cafe (seafood paella with green sauce). We then walked the mile or so back to our Airbnb for a late afternoon siesta.

    After the siesta we finished our bottle of wine, danced a little, and read our books on the rooftop. Then we walked through the streets until we found a nice outdoor restaurant for dinner - delicious tapas of sausage and grilled clams followed cuttlefish...we ordered this knowing it was local to the city but thinking it was a fish and having no idea it was really a giant, purple, grilled squid. It was actually pretty good, but I don't think we'll order it again! Then we wandered several more windy alleys before a couple of beers on a beachside bar to finish the night.

    We love Cadiz!!!
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  • Day639

    On the coast road west of Tarifa we found a large field that was being used as a wild camping site by campervans and some caravans. There were huge puddles on the dirt tracks that dissected the grass, but we took it slow and Martha Motorhome got through ok.

    Choosing a spot a good distance from other vans we let Poppy out to explore by herself. She can't do much exercise now but loves the freedom to roam off lead, as she used to on her daily walks. After an hour or so we were joined in the field by a herd of bulls and a few cows. They were actively moving accross the space, munching the foliage and Vicky went to snap a photo. Stepping out amongst a herd of Spanish bulls wearing a red top wasn't perhaps the brightest idea she had ever had but thankfully they weren't bothered and it was only once she was back inside that she made this connection!

    As the day's intense heat subsided we padded barefoot through the muddy puddles, accross the main road and along the drive leading to the beach. Camper vans were crammed both sides of the dirt track adjacent to the low dunes which we crossed via a rickety wooden boardwalk. Wading through a warm shallow pool we found oursleves on the most amazing beach. Bleached blonde sand extended to Tarifa in the east and the 'great white dune' set into hills in the west, where several kitesurfers were playing in the strong breeze. In contrast to Tarifa's beach, Playa de los Lances had few people on it and we were able to select a spot to lay down our towels and soak in the sun. We paddled together in the clean white surf and Will went for a swim. It was a bittersweet experience for him to be here, because for decades he had known about Tarifa as one of the best places in the world to windsurf. He started windsurfing when he was 30 and it became his life's passion. He reached a good level and taught many others, including his two sons. It was a real wrench to have to finally give it up 3 years ago because of the strain it put on his knees. Despite the pang of regret we couldn't too feel down; it was such a beautiful place and the warmth of the sun soothed us into a relaxed state.

    Come evening time we got a new neighbour; Olly. He had knocked on our door to explain that he was living in his caravan and that the farmer had allocated him a spot in the corner near us, to stay long term- would this be ok with us? He wasn't within 5m of our van so it was really nice he asked; there was a good vibe here and Vicky felt quite at home due to the number of people with dreadlocks! Larks hopped, swifts darted and as the light began to fade, cicadas set up a noisy cacophony of chirping, giving way to the croaking of frogs as darkness fell.

    The following day we headed to the beach again but there were a lot more kitesurfers than the previous day. However it was still easy to find a spot away from the kitesurfing area with nobody too close. We sunbathed, played petanque and Will flew his kite and of course, swam. There were lots of people learning to kitesurf and gradually the brightly coloured canvasses established themselves around us, most hanging lazily in neutral position. It was a pretty sight, the sun glistening silver off the swooshing waves, the surf being added to by the white wake of boards skimming the surface. Nonetheless, we did begin to feel invaded at times, as shadows swooped over and momentarily stole our patch of sunshine or the wind conspired to splatter droplets of salty water over us.

    As white cloud formed in a low band on the Mediterranean side of the straights, obscuring the faded grey silhouette of Africa we packed up and returned to the van for an icecream. We felt glad that the parking in Tarifa had been full, because we'd really enjoyed our couple of days at Playa de los Lances!
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  • Day4

    Day 4 - Cadiz Arrival!

    September 13, 2017 in Spain

    Today might have been the best one yet, despite being a travel day. Checked out of our Madrid Airbnb, had one last pastry from our favorite breakfast spot, and ventured to the train station. Had a lovely train ride south, even catching a great view of the Mezquita in Córdoba.

    Cadiz was one of the cities on this trip that I was most excited about, as I discovered it through my own research without any recommendations from friends and family and was anxious to see what it was all about! So far, it did not disappoint! Cadiz is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe. There are fortresses, stone walls, and several beaches lining the coast. We sipped cervezas while watching the sunset over a fortress from the 16th century (2,500+ years after the city was discovered by the Phoenicians) on the water. The old fishermen's city is also known for its seafood, and that's all we've eaten since our arrival - mussels (unexpectedly cold, but fresh), garlic shrimp, and fresh grilled snapper. Now it's time to enjoy the bottle of red wine left by our Airbnb host on the rooftop of this wonderful apartment! Buenos noches!

    Beach tomorrow!!
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  • Day638

    Guadarranque

    March 26 in Spain

    It had been a full day in Gibraltar so we found a car park not far away in Guadarranque to stay the night. The spot had its good bits and its not so good bits. On the down side it was in an area of heavy industry with an oil refinery nearby. There was a constant background noise of machinery and it smelled. On the plus side it looked out over low dunes to a fine sandy beach with views of Gibraltar and Africa. Will went for a swim in a clean warm sea and made use of the beach shower. Vicky enjoyed photographing the interesting mix of the natural and man made as the sun rose the following morning.Read more

  • Day633

    A walk to Lagarin

    March 21 in Spain

    Although cold, today was forecast to be sunny and dry- perfect for a walk! Will had looked on Maps.Me and found a footpath to a peak called Lagarin at 1066m. The four of us wrapped up warmly and set off with a picnic lunch.

    The first section took us along quiet roads towards El Gastor village but after a few kilometres a wide track turned uphill. As much as we had enjoyed the last couple of days in Seville and Ronda, it felt freeing to be away from buildings and crowds, up on the slopes with the valleys spread out far beneath us.

    A short detour took us to the Dolmen del Gigante (Tomb of the Giant); a megalithic stone burial chamber made up of large slabs arranged to create a short tunnel. Continuing on, the path became more narrow, stoney and steep, feeling increasingly remote. We chose a spot close to the Lagarin summit for lunch. The view of the Zahara-El Gastor reservoir was amazing and we were captivated by the Griffin Vultures soaring over the saddle point not far away. They would begin by circling below, then rapidly spiral upwards, reaching the level we were at and continuing to ascend, seemingly effortlessly, their huge wingspan stretched out fully and making the most of the thermals, just tweaking a feather here or there to angle their flight. The sky was clear blue and the sun caught their undersides, highlighting rich browns tinged with red.

    We returned via woodland paths, glad of the shade provided by the abundant Holly Oaks. Back at El Balcon de Lijar Will took the plunge- literally - into the cold waters of the outdoor swimming pool, with the promise of a nice hot shower afterwards. Vicky chose to forego the chill and instead indulged in a hot soak in the villa's bath, with a lavender and rose bath melt Cath had made for her. Thanks Cath! One thing about vanlife is that it makes you super appreciative of abundant supplies of hot water and a nice big tub!
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  • Day14

    Arcos de la Frontera

    July 11 in Spain

    Sam and I packed our bags and left our Airbnb in Seville to pick up our car from the Seville Airport. We caught the EA Airport bus and reported to the Enterprise Car Hire booth. We were allocated a Citroen which had only done 42 km - it was a brand new car.

    We drove to Arcos de la Frontera, our first stop for the day. This town is one of many white hilltop towns in Andalusia. This area was the frontier for many years in the war to expel the Muslims from Spain. The towns were fortified on hilltops and the characteristic white stucco finish on the buildings makes them shine white in the sunlight.

    Arcos is situated on a cliff above the river that formed the natural frontier. Sam and I climbed to the top of the town and overlooked the terrain for miles. It was a beautiful location and vista. We tried to get into the castle at the very top of the town, but it was closed for no apparent reason. We were able to get spectacular views from right near the big church nearby.

    There was a man and woman who had set up a very unusual and captivating exhibition at the top of the cliff. They had about fifteen birds of prey (in Spanish, raptors) including owls, kestrels, hawks, eagles and falcons. They were very majestic. People could wear a leather glove and hold them for a donation. We paid five euros and Same had a hold of an eagle and a kestrel. I held a huge Spanish owl. The owners of these birds have 90 in their aviary. They have two Mexican eagles they have trained to fly away and return to the glove. This takes a lot of training from when the birds are just chicks. Being so close to these majestic creatures was very special.
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  • Day634

    Visiting El Gastor

    March 22 in Spain

    The village of El Gastor is the closest settlement to the villa and we'd read in the house information that there was a Thursday morning market. For the second day running the weather was dry and sunny so we set off on foot. Having driven through this Pueblo Blanco, we knew it was pleasing to the eye, but under a bright blue sky its features were even more striking, particularly one gently winding road whose whitewashed walls were decorated with colourful plantpots hanging at head height all the way up the hill.

    Several locals were out and about with bags or wicker baskets of shopping but there was no sign of the market and we began to doubt it was running. However, persistence paid off and over the other side of town we spied a few white canopies shading stalls. It was a smallish market with a range of goods; car boot paraphernalia, socks, underwear and fashion clothing, fruit, veg and several tables with rolls of cloth. Poppy needed new covers for her bed so Will enjoyed asking the seller for a metre of yellow material for Vicky to sew.

    Wandering round to one of the plazas we sat ourselves down at an outdoor table and had a drink. El Gastor wasn't over busy, there was just a quiet hum of activity and as we sat, we got the feeling that the residents were proud of their town and happy to have us there, appreciating it too. It was still early so we made our way up into the hills and along a route skirting around, above the cluster of terractota rooftops, planning to return to town for lunch. The dirt track was quiet but we were passed several times by a 4x4 with a trailer full of logs. Its occupants were friendly and we waved cheerily to 'the wood man' each time they passed. It appreared that few places were immune to the damage wreaked by recent downpours; here a sizeable portion of track had collapsed, taking with it the large underground concrete drainage pipe.

    Back in El Gastor, we entered La Posada restautant and were seated at the large U-shaped wooden window seat, padded with mustard yellow cushions that gave it a slightly bohemian feel. The rest of the front room had a rustic vibe, its white painted walls covered in memorabilia from times gone by, ranging from black and white photographs to a wicker farming suit that didn't look the least bit comfortable. Around the corner, logs glowed orange in a large stone fireplace displaying a boar's head on its chimney breast. Our host was friendly and helpfull, happy to talk in English or Spanish and the tapas were brought out in waves to ensure they didn't get cold. All in all it was a very pleasant and relaxing meal.

    On our way back we passed a panaderia and dropped in to pick up some almond biscuits and fried sweet bread. A lot of the cakes we've seen have been sweet dough which is then fried and covered in sugar or honey. Ours were flavoured with orange, stuffed with yam jam and something else that was tasty, but that we didn't know the Spanish for. The baker was chatty and we were pleased we managed to understand most of what she was saying and converse with her using her own language. Santa Semana (Holy Week) was approaching and she told us all about the coming parades.

    Cath and Vicky took the direct way home to get back for Poppy, but Will and Paul walked a circuitous route and were rewarded with the sight of a new born lamb, its placenta still attached to its mother.

    Later on Paul drove back to the village with Will to get some wood. He'd previously enquired at the tourist information desk and was told that the supermarket sold bags. Unfortunately there were none left but the assistant walked with them 500m down the road to a sign advertising local deliveries of 30kg. We put 2 and 2 together and concluded this must be the woodman we'd seen and waved to earlier! It would have been ideal at the beginning of the week, but with only one full day left we couldn't get through that amount of logs. We had a little left over so made do for that evening.
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  • Day641

    Cadíz Strand

    March 29 in Spain

    As much as we had enjoyed our stay at Playa de los Lances, the weather had become overcast and with a just month to explore the whole of western Spain we needed to get a move on!

    Before we could leave, we needed to pump up the back tyre again. It was behaving like a slow puncture, which meant we'd need to take it to a garage. Unfortunately, the hole allowed air to escape a lot faster than we'd expected and when on the motorway we were hailed by a passing car, we knew immediately what the problem was and pulled over onto the narrow hard shoulder. A quick look confirmed our fears; the tyre was flat as a pancake! Being on the left, there was no way we were going to risk standing in the carriageway to pump it up, so we called Saga breakdown, then got out to sit behind the crash barrier and wait. Luckily it was a dry day, not too hot and not too cold. In just over an hour's time a transit van arrived and the two guys informed us they could fix the tyre then and there for €15. When we readily agreed, they proceeded to lay a little square of carpet down and kneel in the inside lane to remove the wheel. There were cars pulling out and zooming by at full speed but they hadn't even put out any warning cones! Our nerves were in tatters for their safety, but everything went well and after they'd removed the offending roofing nail and pushed a glued length of rubber into the puncture, tested it and refitted the wheel. 90 minutes after calling the breakdown hotline, the recovery people watched us drive away, then overtook with a friendly beep when they were sure the tyre was holding! We still can't quite believe they knelt down on the motorway to fix our tyre (albeit with a square of carpet to protect their knees), but we are very grateful to them and touch wood, the repair will last for a good long time.

    There were fewer roads to choose from on our journey northwards and it was necessary (but not undesirable) to go via Cadíz then Seville. Cadíz is reputedly the oldest continually inhabited settlement in Europe and we were planning on staying in this coastal town, but approaching it via a long sandy strand, our eyes were drawn to a large car parking area over the other side of the dual carriageway, adjacent to the dunes. We made a quick decision that we'd rather stay there and turned round at the next exit. The area extended far enough away from the road for traffic noise not to be a problem. It was bordered by a weathered wooden fence, beneath which a multitude of bright flowers opened their petals to the sunshine and quivered in the sea breeze. Spring has sprung down here in Spain! The wind also whipped up excitement in Poppy, who bounded over the low dune to watch Will skimming stones on the surf.

    We spent a few hours on the beach, sheltering from the wind in a dune hollow and flying the kite. Will went body boarding and we again noted the sudden increase in tidal range since passing through the Gibraltar Straights and over to the Atlantic.

    Being so close to the town of Cadíz, we ummed and ahhed about whether to visit. We had decided to do so the following morning, but quickly changed our minds when we awoke to a chilly grey day, with heavy downpours thundering on the roof. We instead opted for a drive through. High rise flats with balconies lined the outskirts, but the original settlement was surrounded by a thick, castelated stone wall with black canons visible through the battlements. We passed through via a large archway and soon reached the industrial port area. Our exit route took us over a striking modern suspension bridge whose white painted cables fanned out from the inverted V struts. Cadíz certainly had some memorable features, but we were glad we'd had the option to view them from Martha's warm, dry cab.
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  • Day629

    For quite some time we had been looking forward to spending a week with our friends Cath and Paul. Today they were flying out to Malága, hiring a car and driving north to meet us at El Balcon de Lijar; the villa they had hired near the village of El Gastor.

    The temperature had sunk to 1°C overninght and in the morning we woke to fog and rain. It didn't bode well for a week of holiday with our friends. Our thoughts were focussed more on the villa's open fire and small supply of wood than its outdoor swimmimg pool!

    Returning to Ronda we picked up some last minute supplies from Aldi and parked along the route to the villa for lunch. With a plan to arrive just after 4pm we set off in heavy rain and strong winds. Nearing the huge Zahara-El Gastor reservoir a road block appeared suddenly and were forced to take a longer route around the south east shore. We assume the road was closed due to a large landslide as we had seen evidence of many smaller ones already. The area simply isn't used to this amount of rainfall in such a short period and the steep slopes were slipping here there and everywhere. We were skirting the reservoir without trouble until our sat nav inexplicably directed us off the main road onto a smaller one that went via the hill village of Zahara. At the next junction we again found our course diverted because of another closed road. This wasn't looking good! Luckily the remaining carriageways were all open and following the written instructions, we safely navigated along the steep and winding single track road that led to El Balcon de Lijar, whose large electric gate was open to welcome us.

    There was plenty of room to park the van and no other house within view (admittedly the view was pretty limited due to the terrible weather). Getting togged up in full waterproof gear, Vicky fetched the keys from the brick BBQ and climbed the steep drive to open the heavy, dark wood front door. The villa was stunning with an open plan kitchen, dining and lounge area centred around a large open fireplace. From here you could access the terracotta tiled balcony that overlooked the pool and the sloping gardens surrounding the building that were planted with olive trees. Back inside the whitepainted walls were inset with sandstone along the hallway, which led to 3 bedrooms and a bathroom (with bath!), all of the same rustic decor as the rest of the house.

    Will set to work cooking while Vicky ferried boxes of food, drink, clothes and dog paraphernalia in through the large ground floor space, whose sliding garage door opened up close to where we had parked Martha Motorhome. Down here there was another bathroom, gas hobs and indoor bbq area as well as gym equipment, sun loungers and bikes.

    Despite Cath and Paul's first attempt at landing being aborted due to violent side winds and them encountering the same road closures as we did, they managed to make good time and arrived just as dusk began to fall. After a quick tour of the the house, Paul lit the fire while Vicky jumped in the shower. It was great to have hot mains water and lots of space! Soon we were all catching up over a delicious seafood paella and chilled bottle of cava, with Poppy laying contentedly on her rug, worn out with all the excitement.

    Sitting on the comfy leather sofas we planned our activities for the coming week. They were very much dependent on the changeable and inclement nature of the forecast weather, but we agreed to be flexible and that the next day (full of torrential rain and high winds) would be a settling in day at the villa.

    Later that evening we retreated to our double room. Considering how violently the van was being bombarded by the rain and wind, we were glad of the protection provided by the thick stone walls! Unfortunately the house guidance had said we couldn't have the central heating on at the same time as the fire, so the bedroom was pretty cold and the wind was rattling tiles outside. We woke up with no electricity - the fuse for the fridge had tripped and the heating turned off. Will and Cath worked together to get it fixed, which included pulling the fridge out and wiping the condensation off the plug.

    Over the coming day we got to know the house better and found fan heaters that helped give the central heating a boost, although we needed to be careful not to trip the electrics. As the sun slipped round the back of the house, the clouds cleared gradually, closing in and evaporating in a series of cycles, revealing a little more of the stunning view each time. Two large white towns came into view in the valleys far below and the sun began to spotlight the landscape after noon. Cath, Vicky and Will went for a stroll along the local lanes towards El Gastor, the nearest village. Liver red soil showed itself in patches and Griffin Vultures glided on broad, fixed wings high above. Plenty of large dogs barked at us from behind their spacious garden enclosures but Vicky spotted a little one sitting at the roadside. It eagerly trotted up and rolled on its back when Vicky showed it some attention and enjoyed a good belly rub. We saw close-up the damage done by the rain, with landslides, fallen trees and even a section of building that had tipped over.

    By evening there were few clouds left and a gorgeous sunset coloured the sky above the far away horizon, as orange streetlights twinkled in the two larger towns. The house had warmed and the evening was cosy, with rabbit stew, a roaring fire and good company.
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  • Day635

    On our last full day at El Balcon de Lijar the weather closed in and the wind picked up, rattling the clay tiles on the roof and reminding us of the first full day. Accordingly, we'd decided to have a relaxing time indoors. Paul and Will fetched a couple of bags of logs from Zahara so we could enjoy the open fire crackling away all afternoon.

    Looking at photos and reflecting back on our time at El Balcon and its surrounds we were very happy with how the week had panned out. There had been difficulties, including the frequent tripping of the electricity supply and some atrocious weather, but thanks to Cath's expert planning, we managed our activities around the latter. Will relished having a large kitchen and people to cook for, patiently working round the power outages to the cooker. Paul was a dab hand at fire lighting and we had a warm fire every evening. It meant a lot to us that Poppy could come in the car and live in the villa. She loved having the large enclosed garden all to herself, with no other dogs to bother her and was very happy to adopt Cath and Paul into her pack, looking around for them whenever they were out of sight.

    The high rainfall had been extreme and had thrown up roadblocks (literally) but we'd managed to do pretty much everything we had wanted to, except to cycle the Via Verde; a train line that had been turned into a walking and cycle track. Like many of the region's roads, it had been closed for repair following the storms.

    Variety really is the spice of life and our stay with Cath and Paul had been an exciting interlude to life on the road with just the three of us. We weren't used to having planned activities radiating from a central point for a week, instead of our usual linear passage, but we liked the 'sense of place' we gained from this. Seeing the world around us through Cath and Paul's eyes also added a welcome extra dimension to exploration. One of the real delights of the week were the Griffin Vultures, dozens of whom lived in the locality. They often came up really close to the villa, especially so once sheep moved into the field nextdoor. Although they only ever appeared when we were without a tripod, we filmed them in flight and have put together a 1 minute video that you can watch on VnW Travels You Tube channel here:
    https://youtu.be/5g-9Xb_0IN0

    As the final evening began we popped the cork on the bottle of champagne Paul and Cath had bought to celebrate and Vicky took a glass for a wonderfully indulgent soak in the tub. We'd packed all of what we could during the day, so after a rich beef and ale stew we gathered on the sofas around a fire that blazed with the last of our logs. All in all we were feeling considerably more relaxed than when we had arrived and were happy to have gathered many new memories of fun times with our friends.

    On the morning of departure we woke up cold with no light. The mains electricity supply to the house was down, meaning the central heating had shut off. We couldn't open the 3 large electric shutters in the living room, boil a kettle or make toast. There was enough light coming in through the windows with manual shutters and Will heated water for tea in a saucepan on the gas hob in the basement. After a short while we realised that we may run into trouble opening the electric gate when it came time to leave! We went outside and had a look at the system but there was no quick release and a specialist handle was needed to operate the override mechanism. There were no contingency plans in the house information so we were effectively locked in. There was still a good amount to do before we left so we got on with packing and cleaning. A stroke of luck brought a momentary surge of power to the house and Cath was on it, quick as a flash, pressing the button to open the gate. She did well to react so quickly because the power soon cut out again and was still off as we said our goodbyes and locked up!

    On the way along the single track road leading to the main road we stopped to deposit the recycling and rubbish, only to find Martha's rear left tyre was partially deflated. Locating the 12V pump we inflated it and continued on through beautiful wild scenery towards the coast, hoping that would be the end of it.

    We'd like to thank Cath and Paul for all they did to make this week as amazing as it was. We are looking forward to seeing you again and perhaps planning our next adventure together...
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Provincia de Cádiz, Provincia de Cadiz, Cádiz, Cadiz, Província de Cadis, Cadix, Cadice, カディス

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