Vivid green water, ancient fortresses and white houses that gleam in the sunlight: these are just some of the things that make Cadiz a magical place to visit. This port city on the south coast of Spain is one of the oldest cities in Europe.
Founded by the Phoenicians 3,000 years ago, it has been an important centre for trade ever since. It's also one of Andalucia's most picturesque locales, with many sandy beaches and delicious restaurants to choose from.
The best beaches in Cadiz include the family-friendly La Caleta, near the city centre, and La Victoria, a long stretch of shoreline with beach bars and restaurants.
At the end of La Caleta is the Castle of San Sebastian, an 18-century fortress with a lighthouse attached accessed via a stone causeway across the water. It's a lovely 1.5-kilometer walk providing views of the city from the other end.
Located on the waterfront, the yellow-domed Cadiz Cathedral is definitely one of the top attractions in Cadiz. It was built in the 18th century and features a pretty combination of baroque, rococo and neoclassical architecture. You can climb to the top of the cathedral tower for views of the city.
The Torre Tavira offers another perspective of Cadiz. This 18th-century observation tower is the highest point in the city. It also has a camera obscura and exhibition halls within.
One of the best things about Cadiz is the food. Here, you can indulge in aromatic dishes like seafood paella, garlic prawns and pescaito frito (fried fish), all washed down with a glass of fino (sherry).
Like in many Spanish towns, the top place to discover Cadiz cuisine is in the Mercado Central. Here you can find plenty of local produce and freshly caught seafood in a lively atmosphere.
If you decide instead to refuel at a local restaurant, be sure to time your visit correctly. Many places close between 4pm and 8pm, in keeping with the tradition of late-night dining in Spain.