Much To Discover On A Self-Guided Walking Tour Of Cadiz In Spain
A self-guided walking tour of Cadiz gave us an amazing first glimpse of this charming Spanish coastal city. Cadiz was on our travel wish list in Spain for some time. This teaser certainly ensured a return visit for a longer stay.
We stopped at some lovely small coastal towns in Spain on the early part of our cruise from Barcelona to Lisbon. And we were delighted when a stop in Cadiz was added when the cruise itinerary got changed. Many people chose to take the day trip to Seville from Cadiz. But since we enjoyed a long visit to Seville, we were not tempted.
Since we did not pre-book another cruise excursion in Cadiz, we planned to simply walk around the Old Town. We wandered in a big circle and saw so many of the main attractions.
Wandering The Streets Of Cadiz
Our Oceania Cruises ship sailed under the Constitution of 1812 Bridge (or La Pepa Bridge) and entered the harbour. It was not a busy port when we visited. We saw only the Royal Clipper of Star Clippers at one dock. It was a lovely sight. A sailing ship trip was definitely on our travel wish list for one day.
We had a long day in port and planned to see a lot on our walk to circumnavigate the old town of Cadiz. Almost entirely surrounded by water, Cádiz was thought to be the oldest city in Europe. This made the Old Town a real draw for us.
Our first stop in Cadiz was the Ayuntamiento or the town hall of Cadiz’s Old Town. We enjoyed the colourful gardens before we found the fountain with the “Cadiz A Moret” statue. Segismundo Moret was a 19th century politician who was often referred to as the “favourite son” of the Cádiz. In behind the fountain we saw the city hall building.
Heading To The Puerta de Tierra (Gates Of Earth)
We knew that the stone walls of Cadiz were among the city’s most notable features. At one time, each wall had a corresponding gate that provided access to the city. The Puerta de Tierra (Gates Of Earth) was the entrance between the Old Town and newer sections of Cadiz. This used to be the only way to get into the city by land.
We plotted a route towards the Plaza de la Constitucion. And got our first view of the Puerta de Tierra (or the Gates of Earth).
We wandered around the square and took in the Puerta de Tierra from different sides. And looked down along the section of wall that still stood.
From the Puerta de Tierra we turned back towards Old Town and wandered along the Paseo Del Vendaval. We got great views up and down the coastal shore of Cadiz. Ahead on the water we got our first glimpse of Castillo de San Sebastian.
We were glad we got a glimpse of the walls of the city on our self-guided walking tour of Cadiz.
A Stop At The Cathedral Of Cadiz
We continued along the Paseo Del Vendaval towards the Cathedral of Cadiz. We got our first view of the vast site and the different architectural styles. The design styles reflected the many varied cultural influences on the city.
We walked around to the front of the Cathedral of Cadiz and were rewarded with a quiet view as the sun sank behind the building. We admired the architectural details on the outside.
Beside the Cathedral we saw the smaller Iglesia de Santiago Apostol. We stopped and looked at the colourful tile work at the entrance.
Even if we did not get inside on this visit, we were glad we stopped at the Cathedral on our self-guided walking tour of Cadiz.
Much To Discover Wandering On A Self-Guided Walking Tour Of Cadiz
From the Cathedral of Cadiz, we meandered our way along the streets of Old Town Cadiz. The cobblestone streets were narrow with lots to see. In some areas we found larger plazas with seating.
Interesting buildings drew us in to admire the artistic detail. We found small churches on many of the roads we wandered. Each with a very different design.
Everywhere we looked we found art. We stopped at statues and read the inscriptions. And we were delighted with the colourful tile work we found all over the city. The tile work reminded us of walks along the narrow streets of the Triana neighbourhood in Seville.
We found lots to see as we wandered on our self-guided walking tour of Cadiz.
Forts, Castles And Botanical Gardens In Cadiz
We headed back towards the shore and walked along Av. Campo del Sur. Fort San Sebastian was a medieval fortress off La Caleta beach. The first building on this site was a chapel built by Venetians escaping the plague in the 15th century. Two centuries later, the fortress was built on this site.
We found the gate that took us out onto the sand and saw the causeway that went to the fort. We saw the electric lighthouse that still protected this point. But we did not go for a tour of Fort San Sebastian on this visit.
As we continued walking along the shore, we saw the Santa Catalina Fortress. This was the oldest fortification in Cadiz built in 1598. At one time it was used as a prison. As we approached we noticed the building had many odd angles. Later we read that the fort was actually star-shaped. We sadly had no time to explore inside.
From the forts on the waterfront we moved to the Parque Genoves. This botanical garden contained more than 100 different species of trees and shrubs. Throughout the park we found various sculptures.
We were drawn to the grotto with the waterfall and walked around it. A stone stairway took us on top. It was a tranquil spot for a rest before we headed back to our ship.
We loved the variety we found in the forts, castles and gardens on our self-guided walking tour of Cadiz.
Wandering Back To The Ship
On our route back to the ship, we found more interesting sights that needed more exploration on a return visit. We stopped in the Plaza Fragile and admired the Gran Teatro Falla. The Moorish influence in the architecture of Cadiz reminded us of the amazing sights in Cordoba.
We passed by the Torre Tavira. It would have been great to go to the top of the tower for a view out over the Old Town of Cadiz.
When we entered the Plaza de San Antonio we found a massive town square. And yet another of the churches of Cadiz.
We passed by so many of the great spots to visit on our self-guided walking tour of Cadiz.
Much To See On A Self-Guided Walking Tour Of Cadiz In Spain
We saw a lot of the city on our self-guided walking tour of Cadiz but it was merely a tease. Cruise ship stops were often a way to get a first look at a new spot. It was wonderful to have a full day to wander. But our quick visit put Cadiz on the list of places in Spain we wanted to re-visit one day.
Did you do a self-guided walking tour of Cadiz in Spain? Was there another key site we missed as we wandered?
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