If you're looking for a quick getaway with the family that is within 2 hours drive from Marbella, then Cadiz should definitely be on your list! This ancient city has a rich history as it served as the main point of entry into Spain for hundreds of years. Cadiz was the home of the Spanish Navy and the port boomed in the 16th-century as a base for exploration and trade.
We jumped in the car at noontime on a Saturday and were exploring this exciting city on the edge of Western Europe within 2 hours!
Key Things to See
One of the distinguishing features of this city is its more than 100 watchtowers, including iconic Torre Tavira, traditionally used for spotting ships, and 18th-century Cádiz Cathedral, on the waterfront.
There is a convenient hop on hop off tour bus in the city which will take you to all of the key sites in less than one hour.
We opted to walk from our hotel near Plaza de San Antonio to the waterfront. There is a beautiful and bustling promenade that winds around the peninsula to Parque Genovés where you can watch the large cruise ships as they arrive at the port.
This part of Spain is well known for its seafood so we made a point to sample the tuna which, we all agreed, was the absolute best we have eaten in Spain.
If you’re looking for a family friendly location for dinner, check out Casino Bar y Restaurante, right off of Plaza de San Antonio. We loved the tuna tartar, the pasta with truffle oil and mushrooms and the bacalao (cod).
Where to Stay
We booked our stay at a lovely hotel directly in the city centre on the MarbellaFamilyFun.com Hotel Booking Page.
It was a spacious, 2 bedroom apartment at the Casa Palacio Cadiz. The kids had their own bedroom and there was also a kitchenette in the suite which made it easy to prepare snacks and morning coffee.
Easter Week in Spain is referred to as "Semana Santa". If you plan a visit to Cadiz during this holiday, make sure to watch the incredible procession which will wind its way through the city.
For families, we highly recommend the drive. Take the quick route there so you can get a jump on checking out the city.
On the way back, you can follow the beach route back to Marbella, which is about 40 minutes longer, but well worth it.
One stop that you definitely don’t want to miss is the lovely restaurant El Jardin del Califa atop the town of Vejer de la Frontera, just about 40 minutes south of Cadiz.
You wind up a little road a few kilometers on a hillside and journey back in time a thousand years. The restaurant features traditional Moroccan cuisine that will delight your tastebuds.
We chose the meze platter to start followed by lemon chicken and lamb kefte. The ambiance is superb and the service is outstanding.
On our way back to from Cadiz we took the route which led us through Tarifa, the kitesurfing capital of Spain.
You’ll marvel at hundreds of colourful kites blustering in the windy air. But this is not the place for a leisurely beachside experience. So we chose a secluded spot at Punta Paloma.
Park the car and walk down the short incline to reach the pristine shoreline. And don’t forget to take your snorkeling gear so you can see the wildlife beneath the crystal blue Atlantic!