TG Tips – Cadiz Province

Things to do and see in Cadiz Province, Andalusia

I am slowly, but surely getting to know where I live… In doing so I have discovered that I love two night – three day – getaways. For whatever reason they seem the perfect length for me – I jam the days full of activities and always return having felt like I have truly been away (and with a new page for 2nd Cup of Tea). I am not longing to go home or sitting around tired on the final day.

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The latest (March 2016) of these escapades came about as a result of a funny story; I was in a restaurant when a waiter said he was from P-olonia (Poland in Spanish), I understood he had said B-ologna with a B and blabbered away in Italian, to the rather perplexed chap. Anyway, misunderstanding resolved, my local Malaga guide, Auxi said; ‘you know we have a Bolonia here too and one day you should go, it is amazing!’

I googled it, and by golly she was right… so here are the results…

Things to See in Cadiz Province

Playa Bolonia

Bolonia and associated beach is a teeny tiny fishing village located half way between Tarifa and Cadiz on the Atlantic. The village counts no more than 117 souls (all year round) but I suspect this swells dramatically in the summer. It is famed for its amazing sand dune, which like gigantic yellow tongue, licks its way down through pine trees to join the sea below.

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The beach walks are great, I found wonderful food and the surrounding countryside was green and lush, strangely not dissimilar to Northern England (and complete with beautiful, beautiful cows – I do like a good cow – alive I must add, being vegetarian).

To boot, it was a wonderful discovery for me that I have the real sea only three hours door to door from my village.

Baelo Claudia

This is the real clincher and reason to come; the most amazing Roman site I have seen in a long long time. This town was founded at the end of the 2nd Century BC and was eventually abandoned eight centuries later after a series of earthquakes. It is wonderful to walk around and is claimed to be the most complete Roman town in all of the Iberian Peninsular; it is all to see here; insulae, aqueducts, the forum, temples, the curia and a small beautiful theatre and to top it all; garum factories (for which the town was famous) all with the spectacular view across to Africa, which on clear days looks swimmable.

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Have a look at their website here; Baelo Claudia – and incredibly it is free for EU tourists. A tip is to go early or 90 mins before closing as most visitors are on day trips (there are no hotels that can cope with tour buses close by).

Where to Stay

Hostal La Hormiga Voladora, Playa de Bolonia

This was easy. I wanted to stay near the ‘action’ (and by action read; beach and ruins) and I could not have found better! Simply a wonderful place to stay. I was the only guest and so was spoilt for choice of rooms. The photo below was from my private terrace…

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They responded right away to my emails, the booking was smooth and easy and for future reference it is worth knowing that in addition to rooms, they also have three small apartments – complete with kitchen. One of the nicest and certainly best located places I have stayed in for a long time. Their website is here; La Hormiga Voladora. Contact them early as I suspect they must get fully booked very quickly.

Tarifa

Still, in Cadiz Province, but with time to kill before I had to be in Gibraltar (my least favourite place on Earth), I headed into the geographically logically located Tarifa. I seem to recall having been there many years ago, and catching a ferry to Africa. If this is the case I must have had my eyes shut that day.

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It’s a great little town. I shall certainly return. Meanwhile as I only had three hours, my recommendations below reflect what I did in this time…

Places to Eat in Tarifa

El Lola, Tapas and Flamenco, Calle Guzman El Bueno 5. Not knowing where to go, I was relying on local knowledge and in this case, company, for a great place to eat. Lola (so far every place with this name I have eaten in, in Andalusia, I have loved, food for thought…)

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Neither myself nor my companion were especially hungry, but the tapas we did share was delicious and the dishes of those with greater appetites arriving either side of us, looked delicious. I shall return here no doubt, the next time I make it to Tarifa. Their website for more details is here; El Lola.

10 Cafe Diez, Calle Virgen de la Luz, 10. I do love a good coffee and I confess I find it rare to discover one – as I like it – outside the borders of Italy. This came very very close. Certainly the best I have found in Andalusia so far. It’s a friendly little place.

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I think the same people also own a restaurant across town, in which case, worth checking out for the future. I couldn’t find their website, but for a coffee do you really need one? They are probably on Facebook though (which I am not).

Shopping in Tarifa

Abril Ribera – Nature Jewellery, Calle Melo 1. I do like silver jewellery and as I had a little time on my hands, I came across this shop.

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First of all, beautifully designed – look out for the fishing weights – genius! The artist is actually in the shop and you can see her making her creations whilst you browse; something that is never bad. Have a look at her website; Abril Ribera.

The Hair Salon – with Jude, Coronel Moscado 6. Anyone who knows me can tell I must have had time on my hands, if I had my hair cut. I normally hate that. Properly one of my least favourite things in the world. But on this occasion I struck gold.

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Jude is super friendly and fun. She is trained in London, so you get the quality of a top London salon at Andalusian prices. Amazingly good luck to find her. Is three hours too far to drive just for my next haircut? Hmmm…

Akita, Calle de la Luz 9. I was lucky that the day I arrived in Tarifa was literally the day it seemed to was up after the winter. As such every shop was unpacking. Akita was no exception, but the place still looked great. French owner Nathalie was great and has immaculate taste.

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I ended up with three things I absolutely did not need, but were beautiful (I mean, who really needs a wooden birdcage?). She travels around the world in the off season – mainly to Asia, where she sources the items for sale. I hope to return one day and see what she has unearthed next… Couldn’t find a website.