We’ve all heard of Benidorm, Madrid, Barcelona and Malaga – all incredibly popular holiday destinations but if you’re looking for something a little different, consider Cadiz. Sunshine all year round, stunning Moorish architecture and one of the best carnival’s in Spain, this southern Spanish city will have you hooked.

When it comes to history, Europe has plenty of contenders for the oldest city, but Cadiz could be the real deal. Recent archaeological studies have dated the old city walls as far back as the 8th century BC. Here are some more compelling reasons to put visiting Cadiz on your bucket list:

  1. Sun, sun, sun

Summer is long here, so if you’re happiest in a t-shirt and shorts, Cadiz will suit you to a tee! Being on the coast, you’ll enjoy the cooling breeze when things get a little too warm. Spring and autumn are beautiful too, and winter could never be described as cold, with beautiful azure skies and balmy temperatures. For flights to Cadiz from Irish Airports, visit https://irelandwestairport.com/

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  1. Local art

Artists from across Spain are drawn to Cadiz for the great quality of light and bustling cultural scene. For a greater understanding of the city’s history, a visit to the Museum of Cadiz is a must for details of its Roman and Phoenician roots and an impressive display of local archaeological treasures.

  1. Enjoy the chiringuitos

Any visit to Cadiz should include the Playa de la Victoria where you can relax and sunbathe during the day and ease into the nightlife as dusk brings the cafes, bars and restaurants to life. The chiringuitos are the laid-back beach bars that you can hop between as you chill in true Cadiz style.d

  1. Beautiful churches

Not one for dull architecture, Cadiz boasts some truly spectacular churches. The long history of the city has resulted in a fascinating mix of architectural styles, but the must-see site is the domed Catedral Nueva, one of the largest churches in Spain with stunning neoclassical and baroque details. Be sure to climb one of the Catedral’s towers for the best views across the city. Another sight not to be missed are the trio of Goya frescoes in the Oratorio de la Santa Cueva.

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  1. Experience the Carnaval

Locals will tell you that their carnival rivals anything on earth and it’s a huge celebration to say goodbye to winter and to welcome the spring. Ten whole days of partying are taken very seriously, so if you plan to be in Cadiz during the celebrations, it’s advisable to book early as people flock from right across Spain to see the colourful parades.

  1. Stunning surroundings

The beautiful countryside surrounding Cadiz is well worth a visit on its own. Here you’ll find the Donana National Park which is Spain’s largest national park and proud owner of a place on the UNESCO World Heritage list. You’ll discover endless pine forests, swathes of coastal sand dunes and the chance to spot unique wildlife including eagles and the elusive Iberian Lynx.