Cadiz may pose some challenges in terms of getting there from Malaga, but it unquestionably justifies the effort.
Situated on the Atlantic coast, this ancient port city offers a distinct atmosphere and a slightly cooler climate compared to the Mediterranean region of Andalucía.
While the province of Cadiz is renowned for housing some of the finest beaches in Andalucía, even the city beaches attract a significant number of visitors. People are drawn to the pristine, white sands and the picturesque views of the historic city centre, which includes the waterfront cathedral with its 18th-century baroque and neoclassical architecture.
The oldest continuously inhabited city in Spain
Founded by the Phoenicians in 1100 BC, Cadiz holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously inhabited city in Spain and one of the oldest in Western Europe. In the 16th century, it flourished as a bustling hub for exploration and trade. Notably, one of Christopher Columbus’ four voyages to the New World set sail from Cadiz on 24th September 1493. Consequently, the city enjoyed a virtual monopoly on trade with the Americas until 1778.
To this day, Cadiz remains Spain’s largest port and serves as a significant base for the Spanish Navy. The Bay of Cadiz, spanned by the impressive La Pepa bridge connecting Cadiz city to Puerto Real, bustles with maritime activity and serves as a prominent sight upon entering the city.
However, aside from its maritime significance, one of the main attractions of Cadiz is its annual Carnival, which rivals the fame of Rio de Janeiro’s carnival. This extravagant 11-day street celebration attracts revellers from all corners of Spain and beyond.
Traditionally taking place in February (though dates may vary), it stands as the highlight of the city’s year, with months of preparation dedicated to accommodating the influx of visitors.
Fancy dress or some form of costume is nearly obligatory during the Carnival, particularly on the first Saturday and during the two main parades: La Gran Cabalgata and La Cabalgata del Humor.
The event captivates locals and tourists alike, creating an atmosphere of unbridled joy and festivity throughout the city.
A complicated trip from Malaga
Getting to Cadiz from Malaga involves either a three-hour journey by road (via either Seville or Gibraltar) or a rather complex journey by train which takes approximately five hours, with three changes.
Daryl is the co-founder of Malaga Guru. He is a copywriter, editor and translator who moved to Malaga a decade ago having first fallen in love with the city on his Erasmus year. After working for many years at local expat newspaper SUR in English, Daryl gained expert knowledge in life from the perspective of foreign residents and decided to co-found this site in 2016.