A large part of Cádiz’s Paseo Marítimo neighbourhood lies within what is known as the ‘new’ area of the city—or in Cádiz street parlance, the part ‘beyond the Puertas de Tierra’ [a monument built into the city walls]. The barrio occupies around 3 square kilometres and its population numbers approximately 20,000. Its residents are among the city’s most economically and socially privileged.
This neighbourhood is closely associated with the Playa de la Victoria beach, parallel to which runs the Paseo Marítimo (a pedestrianised oceanfront promenade over 3 kilometres in length, with a bicycle lane and another lane for motor vehicles).
Without question, this is one of the most pleasant areas to go for a stroll in. This is especially true at sunset when the interplay of the sky, the Atlantic and the outline of historic Cádiz produces truly remarkable effects of light and colour.
The Playa de la Victoria itself is one of the finest of Cádiz’s city beaches. A large part of it is flanked by high-rise tourist and residential apartment blocks, but there are also some outstanding hotels, especially in the area of the Ingeniero de la Cierva roundabout. Near here, the Balneario Victoria spa was built (in honour of Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, Queen Consort to King Alfonso XIII) in the early years of the twentieth century. Today, the site of that historic spa, which remained open for over three decades, is occupied by modern housing, with access to the beach via the seafront promenade.
Not only in the summer, but for a good part of the year, several beach bars are open along the Playa de la Victoria. These establishments are set up with great enthusiasm, and in general they offer good cooking, a coffee or mid-afternoon tea, or even an early evening drink. Some of the most highly recommended are Bebo los Vientos, Malibú, Potito Beach and MarimBa.
Away from the beach, there are other places of interest that are worth visiting in the Paseo Marítimo neighbourhood. For example, close to Cádiz’s main thoroughfare (La Avenida) is the Ramón de Carranza stadium, scene of the triumphs (and let’s be honest, defeats) of Cádiz Football Club.
This is an impressive size, holding over 25,000 spectators, but Cádiz’s passion for football goes far beyond mere sporting activity. In fact, a game at the Carranza stadium is a major social event, and if you get the chance to attend one, don’t hesitate—it’s a great experience.
The barrio of the Paseo Marítimo’s most outstanding religious edifice is the Iglesia de San José [Saint Joseph church]. It was the first church to be built outside the old city walls (in other words, beyond the Puertas de Tierra), in the late eighteenth century. It is one of the finest examples of Cádiz’s neo-Classical period, and is outstanding because of its historic High Altar and, on the outside of the building, the dome clad in blue tiles.
Not far away are to be found the pleasant Varela gardens (South and North). This rectangular park, around whose perimeter are dotted a few terraces, is one of the few green spaces in the newer part of the city. It covers 2 hectares, and is quite significant from a historic point of view—within it have been discovered numerous remains of the necropolis of Phoenician Gadir and that of Roman Gades. In fact, a few of the burial mounds are to be seen within the park itself.
Cádiz’s traditional cuisine is delicious thanks to the assorted ingredients grown in the region and the products available in the nearby ocean.
La Victoria is one of the best city beaches in Spain and has over three kilometres of sand that are perfect for enjoying the sea and sunshine.
Beaches, beach bars, sports, food, nightclubs… Read on to discover everything a trip to Cádiz with friends has to offer and get ready for an unforgettable holiday.