A Gateway to Southern Spain
A holiday on the Costa del Sol can be about so much more than sun, sea, sangria, as I found out on a recent trip. There’s far more to discover if you’re ready to get out and about for a few days of your holiday. I really recommend that you do as the Andalusia region of Southern Spain is full of history, stunning scenery and natural spectacles. The Terrazas Costa del Sol Holiday Village at Manilva gives you the best of all worlds as a base, with superb views over the Mediterranean to Africa and Gibraltar, fabulous pools, great beaches nearby and easy access to the local road network for exploring along the coast and inland.
On my first day out I headed west to Cadiz – a town so far removed from the bling and buzz of Marbella, it’s hard to believe you’re still in the same country. After passing Gibralter (which really is another country!) you have a choice – head inland or follow the coast. Inland is quicker, but that way you will miss the stunning views of the African coastline. I recommend taking the coastal route and returning to Manilva by the quicker route. Take this route in early Autumn and you may be lucky enough to witness the migration of thousands of eagles, vultures and raptors as they head to Africa for the winter.
The approach to Cadiz, the oldest continually inhabited town in Spain, is not promising, but after passing through the new town everything will change when you drive under the Puerta de Tierra, and enter the old town. The Old Town is very compact and best explored on foot, so head for the Canalejas car park on the Avenido del Puerto. From here it’s easy to explore. Head into the centre of the old town and you will soon be lost in the maze of narrow streets – you’ll quickly understand why you left the car in the car park!
You can take a really pleasant circular walk around the edge of the town, hugging the coast as much as you can. Stop off and look at the imposing ‘Monument to the Constitution’, before continuing your circular tour admiring the parks and gardens which offer welcome shade from the Andalusian sunshine.
You will soon arrive at La Caleta beach – as nice a ‘town’ beach as you’ll find in Europe. If you’ve remembered your swimming costume you’ll want to take a dip – somehow the sea here looks different – it is of course, because you’re now on Spain’s Atlantic Coast.
After a quick swim and perhaps an ice cream head into the town and visit the magnificent cathedral – don’t miss out on the 200 step climb to the top of the bell tower. After which it will certainly be time to head off for a refreshing drink and some of the local tapas before picking up the car and heading back to Terrazas Costal del Sol.