Walking through the beautiful parks and gardens of Cadiz is one of my favourite things to do in Spain’s historic port city. Cadiz is believed to be the oldest city in the Western World, and evidence of its long history can be found on this self-guided walk from Cadiz’s port to La Caleta beach (you’ll find a map of the walk at the bottom of this post).
Cadiz – A brief history
Cadiz is a strategic port for Spain and was once home to the Armada that was partially destroyed by English pirates in the 16th century. It was also where Christopher Columbus set sail for the new world, and today thousands of cruise ship passengers arrive in Cadiz to explore Spain’s Andalusia region, including Seville.
Walking tour of Cadiz’s parks and gardens
Before or after you get lost in the tight web of streets that make up the city centre, let the Atlantic Sea breeze cool you down on a coastal walk. Begin by turning right from the port of Cadiz through the Monument of the Constitution to the gardens of Alameda Apodaca.
Shaded by giant rubber trees (thought to be a gift by Columbus from the New World), the gardens are a tranquil space with statues, fountains and vibrant flowers.
The coastal walk continues to Genovés Park where soaring palm trees line the path way to a wonderful lake and waterfall feature that you can walk on top of or beneath.
On the edge of La Caleta beach is the castle of Saint Catalina, a free to enter fortress with great ocean views and, from time to time, local exhibitions and shows.
Walking tour of Cadiz’s top landmarks
If you’re only visiting Cadiz for one day (perhaps on a cruise or a day trip), head down the Calle de la Rosa from the beach to the central Cadiz market and see where the locals buy their fresh fish and produce. Extending from here is the Plaza de las Flores, which by the name you can expect to find some pretty flower market stalls. This conveniently leads on to Cadiz’s Cathedral square where you can enjoy a beverage and try some local cuisine and tapas beside the city’s iconic landmark.
Walking east along the Calle Pelota and Plaza de San Juan de Dios takes you back to the port of Cadiz. If you’re interested in doing this walk yourself I’ve mapped it out roughly below – it’s just over 5km/1 hour without stops.
Cadiz’s small size makes it very walkable in a day – pick up a local map from the tourist office (near the port) or use your smartphone app as it’s easy to get lost on those tightly packed streets.