Mysterious, magical atmospheres
Cádiz is among the oldest settlements in Spain and one of the country’s principal ports.
On an MSC Mediterranean cruise excursion, you can visit its old town, built on a peninsula-island, and remaining much as it must have looked in those days, with grand, open squares, sailors’ alleyways and high, turreted houses.
Literally crumbling from the effect of the sea air on its soft limestone, it has a tremendous atmosphere – while slightly seedy, definitely in decline, it is nevertheless full of mystique.
The Museo de Cádiz, the province’s most important, overlooks the leafy Plaza de Mina and incorporates the archaeological museum on the ground floor with many important finds and artefacts from the city’s lengthy history. Almost irresistible, even if you don’t normally go for High Baroque, is the attraction of the huge and seriously crumbling eighteenth-century Catedral Nueva.
Cádiz is one of Spain’s top holiday cruise destinations for its cathedral, too, decorated entirely in stone, with no gold in sight, and in absolutely perfect proportions. On the edge of the Barrio del Populo, the city’s oldest quarter dating from the Middle Ages, lies the “old” or original cathedral, Santa Cruz.
This was one of the buildings severely knocked during the English assault on Cádiz in 1596, causing the thirteenth-century church to be substantially rebuilt. A fine Gothic entry portal survived, and inside there’s a magnificent seventeenth-century retablo with sculptures by Martínez Montañés. A first-century-BC Roman theatre has been excavated behind.
Much closer to us in time, instead, is the eighteenth-century mansion, Torre Tavira, with the tallest tower in the city, from where there are great views over the rooftops to the sea beyond. In addition, one of the most impressive Baroque buildings in the city, the chapel of the Hospital de las Mujeres, houses a brilliant El Greco painting.
Reach the Port
Coming from the North (Seville and Jerez), take the AP-4 Barcelona to Cadiz motorway and exit at the junction signposted for the City Centre (Centro Ciudad – Plaza de España 17).
Coming from the Costa del Sol (Malaga), take the A7 motorway and turn off onto the A-381 motorway at the Los Barrios exit, heading towards Jerez de la Frontera. Take the AP-4 just outside Jerez de la Frontera in the direction of Cadiz and exit at the junction signposted for the City Centre (Centro Ciudad – Plaza de España 17).
There is a local train from the main San Fernando–Bahia Sur Station to the Cadiz city centre station on Plaza de Sevilla.
There is also a bus service to the city centre, on two runs run by the T. G. Comes company: M – 010 and M – 011. These buses run every 20 minutes.
Taxis are available from outside the station.
Jerez Airport is a 48 km (30-mile) journey from Cadiz City Centre and Port.
There is a taxi rank immediately outside the airport building.
Several bus services link the Airport, Jerez del Frontera city centre and Cadiz.