Cadiz is a small, remote seaside town in Spain, filled with winding streets, abandoned castles and plenty of adventures. Here’s how to spend one day in this sleepy fishing village.
For some reason, I’m instinctively drawn to grungy seaside towns. There’s something about the salty air, overcast skies and ornery fishermen that fill me with excitement.
Perhaps I, myself, was an angry, “grumble, grumble” fisherman in a past life. Or, equally plausible, perhaps it’s the lack of crowds and authentic vibe you get when a town and its residents just live their lives, without a care in the world whether tourists like it or not.
Either way, the second I stepped foot in the windy, salty, seaside town of Cadiz, I knew I was in for a Wanderlost treat — and boy, was I right.
Castillo de San Sebastian
Secluded seaside town tip number one: Always explore the abandoned castle. For us, this castle was Castillo de San Sebastian, located along the ocean on the city’s shoreline.
While it wasn’t 100 percent secluded (there was one group of kindergarteners on a field trip), we pretty much had the entire castle to ourselves. Now, real talk – this isn’t a castle castle like Buckingham Palace. It’s an ancient fortress built in the 1700s that today, stands as an old stone structure just begging, pleading to be explored.
Rules at the castle were incredibly loose, and given there was maybe one security guard there, we pretty much had free reign. So we climbed to the top. We jumped from sea rock to sea rock, watching the waves crash up through the holes we luckily didn’t break an ankle in. And we got some of the best Wanderlost photos we could’ve asked for.
Now, I can’t promise it’s always this isolated because we went in December, the off season for tourists. But if your visit to Cadiz is anything like ours, you’re in for a big surprise at Castillo de San Sebastian.
La Caleta Beach
Again, I’d assume this beach gets much more crowded during the summer, but La Caleta Beach in Cadiz had everything you’d imagine in my favorite kind of seaside town: dogs playing, seagulls plotting and old fishermen giving you the skeptical side eye.
Ahh, seaside towns. I heart you.
I’m sure this beach gets more crowded on a hot summer day, but for our chilly, overcast December trip, it was the perfect spot to soak up Cadiz’s authentic, rough-around-the-edges seaside culture.
After exploring abandoned castles and the winding Cadiz streets, we were definitely ready for a beer. It just so happened that my brother had researched an up-and-coming small brewery in Cadiz, so we had to go.
After twists, turns, and many-a calorie burned, we finally found our way to the brewery, Cerveza Maier, which was noticeable only by a small sign on an even smaller side street. But either way, we found it, celebrated with a quick “woohoo!” then made our way to the door to get our beer tasting on.
But there was no official beer tasting at Cerveza Maier. Nope, things are a bit different in Cadiz, and it’s absolutely wonderful. Here’s the rundown:
- We arrive at the subtly marked Cerveza Maier door and apprehensively knock.
- The brewers answer and looks at us questionably.
- We try to explain our urge to try beer in a mix of English, Spanish, and pointing. So much pointing.
- Ahh, they get it (phew!). They smile knowingly and invite us in — not to a beer tasting room, but to the actual brewery.
- They bring us a couple of beers on tap, and we taste them … while standing in the middle of towering metal equipment and brewers working on the next great batch.
- Once our beers are consumed (yum!) and we’re ready to get moving, we flag down one of the brewers to pay, only to find out that we don’t have to pay. Even if we want to.
- So we head out, shake our heads in amazement, and smile at the wonderful beer adventure we’re sure to remember forever.
That’s the way beer tasting works at Cerveza Maier, at least for now (went in 2015) as they get their feet off the ground. So if you’re planning a trip to Cadiz and you like good beer – go! Enjoy this incredible Wanderbrew experience while you still can.
Side note: The address is Calle Cuna Vieja, 4, 11001 Cádiz, Spain, for those of you who don’t want getting wanderLOST to prevent you from getting there.
Know before you go
Like any seaside town, Cadiz is incredibly windy. Plan for 10 degrees cooler than the forecast predicts, and consider a beanie or hat to keep your head warm and hair in place. That adventure out to La Caleta and Castillo de San Sebastian can get pretty chilly.