Know the province

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History

The province of Cadiz is the southernmost of the Iberian Peninsula . It has a perimeter of 586 Km, 260 of which are coastline. It has a surface area of 7,385 Km, divided up into 44 municipal areas. Its population totals just over one million, with the density being just over the national average.

Cadiz has an ancient history. The Tarshish and Phoenicians visited these lands more than three thousand years ago. It was here that they built the old Gadir (Cadiz) around 1,100 B.C., making it the oldest capital in the West. The Romans and the Visigoths also left their marks here. After 711, it was ruled by the Muslims until Alfonso X The Wise reconquered it in the middle of the 13th century and it became part of the Kingdom of Castilla.

The province played an important role in the discovery and colonization of America during the 15th century. Christopher Columbus and other famous sailors set sail from these ports on their voyages to the New Continent.

The 18th century, Cadiz's Golden Century was dominated by the growth of overseas trade, giving the city its cosmopolitan character and introducing new liberal ideas and opening the door for democracy which came to fruition with the drafting of the constitution in 1812.

The province of Cadiz is an exceptional and unique area, whose qualities will delight those people seeking tourism that reflects true cultural, festive and ecological values, together with the authentic and essentially Andalusian customs and monuments.
Art and Culture

Many cultures have left their mark throughout Cadiz 's long history. Examples of this are the "Tajo de las Figuras" cave paintings in Benalup; two Phoenician sarcophagus es currently in Cadiz 's Museum; the Roman remains of "Baelo Claudia" at Tarifa, and the "Carteia" at San Roque.

The province has over 30 castles and fortresses, many of which are in a good state of repair.

In the field of religious art, the province also boasts an extraordinary collection of monuments. Good examples of this are the Cartuja in Jerez or the cathedrals of Cadiz and Jerez.

As far as paintings are concerned, examples of works by El Greco, Murillo, Zurbarán and Goya can be found in many of the province's churches and museums.

Craft

There is a wide range of craftwork in the province of Cadiz . The best known are considered to be:

• Leatherwork that is based in Ubrique as well as the neighbouring towns of Prado del Rey   and Villamartín.
• The blankets and ponchos from the Grazalema looms.
• Jerez for its barrels and other items used in the wineries, together with harnesses and   saddles for horses.
• Wickerwork and items made out of reeds or bulrushes in Medina Sidonia, Setenil, Bornos   or Vejer.
• The baskets and espadrilles typical of Torre Alháquime and the crochet work of Paterna.
• The hand made guitars in Algodonales and the Gastor horn.
• Ceramics from Arcos and Conil.
• Leather riding boots from Alcalá de los Gazules and Espera.
• Handmade furniture in Prado del Rey and Benamahoma.
• The cabinet making and mahogany furniture of Sanlúcar de Barrameda.
• The typical dolls of Chiclana, where there is a permanent exhibition dedicated to the best examples of this craft.

Wineries and Gastronomy

Cadiz's cuisine is influenced more than anything by the province's wines and by the wide selection of locally caught fresh fish: gilt-head bream, sea bream, sea bass etc, as well as the shell fish: prawns, Norway lobsters, crab claws, sea snails .... and the famous king prawns from Sanlúcar de Barrameda.

Then there are the traditional cheeses, cold cuts and meats from the mountain villages.

The confectionary and cakes are delicious and have been clearly influenced by the Arabs and by the nuns in the local convents. Tocino de cielo (pudding made with egg yolk and syrup),turrón (Spanish nougat), alfajores , traditional Arab pastries from Medina Sidonia, turrónand fritters from Cadiz and the famous pestiños (honey coated fritters), which are typically served at Christmas throughout the province, are all mouth watering.

The numerous restaurants, bars, shellfish bars, taverns and "chiringuitos" (beach bars) are the ideal settings to try this varied cuisine and its excellent sherries: fino, amontillados sweet, oloroso or a manzanilla wine from Sanlucar, as well as the province's brandies, which give this area its special character.

Anyone who comes to the province should visit the impressive wineries in Jerez, El Puerto de Santa María, Sanlúcar, or Chiclana, where these exquisite wines, such as fino, manzanilla, muscatel, as well as a Jerez or sherry, which has become Spain's ambassador worldwide. You should contact each winery's public relations department prior to planning a visit.

Nature

The province boosts a wide variety of natural spaces of great diversity and exceptional ecological value. These natural surroundings have been respected and preserved and include areas of marshland, threatened types of fauna and coastal sectors that are still untouched.

Thrilling tours are available through the six natural parks. More information can be found on this website under the Natural Parks section.

Without doubt one of the province's principal natural resources is its wide range of beaches, with white fine sand and transparent water.

A wide variety of beaches stretch along the province's 260 km of coastline. Unspoilt, isolated beaches, others located in towns with many facilities, small coves or large expanses of open sand stretching along several kilometres; family beaches or less crowded ones; areas of calm sea or others swept by high winds, that are ideal for windsurfing.

Every year, the European Blue Flag is awarded to many of them in recognition of their high quality. There are a total of 138 km of beaches.

Sports

Thanks to its climate and natural conditions, this province is ideal for sport lovers. Along the 260 km of coastline: sailing, with important regattas organised throughout the year, particularly in the Bay of Cadiz.

Tarifa and its beaches are considered by the experts to be the best place to windsurf in Europe . It is also the ideal spot for cuba diving, swimming, fishing, jet skiing or kite surfing.

The mountain areas are the perfect setting for gliding, caving, mountain biking...and all other mountain sports.

Cadiz and La Linea are famous for their football tournaments.

In Jerez , the emphasis is on the Formula 1 Grand Prix and the Moto GP.

Yet, the city is famous for its horses and related activities.

Hunting abounds, with more than 60 game reserves scattered throughout the whole province.

Polo, pigeon and clay pigeon shooting, tennis and an endless list of other sports can all be played or simply watched as an enthusiastic spectator in the province.

See online the press dossier:

 

Cádiz es singular, es plural.
Cádiz, Faro de Europa.