What can I tell you about Cadiz? Well, it is very old. Europe’s oldest city, actually. When we were leaving Seville and deciding where to go next, we asked the desk person at our hotel and he recommended it: “Cadiz is quiet and small, but is very very charm.” With a review like that, how could we not go?
And yes, it is very very charm. It has the feeling of being a town where the fabulous people would once have gone to tan on the beach in white bikinis and have sumptuous black tie parties and sleep with James Bond. It has glamour, but slightly tired glamour, because the fashionable people have clearly moved elsewhere and Cadiz has been left behind as this sleepy, beautiful beach town with slightly chipped paint and long, elegant, almost empty streets and grand, sunny, almost empty squares. There is the sense that this is the “place by the sea” where the doctor wants you to go if you have consumption in a period novel.
How to recommend Cadiz? I don’t know if it’s for everyone. I loved it, but I wouldn’t say there’s a lot to do there besides go to the beach and have strolls and tapas and drinks and siestas.
Things you should see: Honestly, the beauty of Cadiz is as a whole rather than a sum of parts. I’m not sure any one thing really stood out, but it was a great town to walk around. There are all these colour-coded lines painted on the roads that you can follow and that signify various historical routes. We found out that’s what they were as we were leaving the town, after having wondered during our stay, so I am solving the mystery for you in advance.
Things you should eat: I have a sneaking suspicion that this is one of those towns where you should be eating seafood. Paella, probably.
If you’re going to buy it, buy it here: Nope. I don’t think I saw anything for sale in Cadiz.
If you’re going to do it, do it here: Spend a few months and write that novel you’ve always said you were going to write. It will probably end up with tonal similarities to The Great Gatsby. Or maybe Gone With the Wind. It’s that kind of place.
Worth the trip on a scale of one to five: Depends. If you’re looking for things to see and do, maybe a 2. If you’re looking for a pretty place to wander around and chill by the beach, 5.