My Top Twelve Spanish Cities – 7 to 9

Continuing my countdown having already covered numbers ten to twelve (Palma, Denia & Malaga).

Number Nine – Cadiz

Ever since I saw a picture of Cadiz’s golden domed cathedral in a magazine, I wanted to go and visit. I was not to be disappointed.

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The clamber to the top of the aforementioned dome and the spectacular view of the city surrounded by the sparkling blue sea was indeed a highlight.

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So too however was the authentically sweaty & earthy flamenco viewed in a dingy club situated on one of the narrow streets of the ancient barrio, an area that appeared to have stood still since the times of press gangs & pirates.

Cadiz is also home to some very fine sandy beaches and an unfussy retail centre with very acceptable bars and restaurants.

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Add to that the fact that Cadiz is the perfect city base to explore the sherry bodegas (distilleries) of Jerez & Santa Maria, as well as the picture perfect Pueblos Blancos (white villages) and you won’t be wanting for something to do if you choose one of Europe’s southern most cities for a short break.

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Number Eight – Toledo

The former capital of Spain is a European mediaeval delight. The walled birthplace of El Greco is stuffed full of ancient monuments, including an absolutely stunning Gothic cathedral.

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Toledo2Surrounded by the River Tagus, Toledo enjoys a spectacular position with great views from just about every point. Scramble amongst the many man-made fortifications and imagine yourself with bow in hand, defending the ancient city from invaders.

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It is only about one hour by train from Madrid and a perfect antidote to the non-stop party of Spain’s modern capital.

Number Seven – Madrid

The fact that the modern day capital is relatively low on the list says more about how lucky Spain is to have so many great cities than it being in any way sub-standard.

Madrid is a party town that is said to stay open twenty-four hours a day and to have more entertainment establishments per head of capita than any other city. We did not test out either fact, but suffice to say we were not short of brilliant places to eat, drink or listen to music in.

I have visited four times and apart from going to watch the mighty Real Madrid play Monaco in the Champions League, the most memorable trip was when Mrs Wilbur and I ventured there at Easter time.

We were treated to some amazing parades, featuring hooded worshippers bound in chains carrying the epitaph of Jesus and a depiction of the Virgin Mary through the streets to the imposing main cathedral.

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Saturday night was party time after the Messiah had risen, fireworks everywhere and plenty of festive eating and drinking.

Other highlights included the majestic Royal Palace with its richly decorated interiors and exquisite furnishings plus the city’s gargantuan squares, topped by the architectural jewel that is Plaza Mayor. For the first and only time, we even had our caricature portraits done there, now gathering dust inside a cardboard tube in our loft somewhere!

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16 comments

  1. Oooh Madrid has to be one of my fave cities. So much to explore there and so many different charactered neighbourhoods. Love to go to Cadiz some time. #citytripping

  2. Spain does have some fantastic cities and I really haven’t seen many of them – Madrid is high up my list but I had never thought of Cadiz which looks wonderful. Thanks for joining up with #citytripping

  3. I really enjoyed this. Thank you. We went on a day trip to Cadiz earlier this year (from Seville, which was wonderful). We spent the morning in Jerez and saw the brilliant riding school display which I’d thoroughly recommend.

    1. Spain in blessed indeed with fab cities. Watch this space re Seville!

  4. Lisa (Travel Loving Family) · · Reply

    I love Madrid, it is a true party city as you say! #CityTripping

    1. I dream of watching El Classico there one day…..

  5. Toledo looks magnificent! I love medieval cities and I think this is right up my alley. 🙂 I’ve only been to Madrid unfortunately, hopefully I get to explore Spain more.

    1. Fab day trip from the capital….

  6. My in-laws have a villa in Spain so we usually visit once a year – I love it. I have never been to Madrid though (shocking) as the villa is on the coast – must venture in next time #citytripping

    1. With their train system you are spoiled for choice!

  7. Loving this in-depth series on Spanish cities. Nice to read your vies on different places.

    1. Will be continued this week……

  8. I am enjoying this list and looking forward to comparing your 12 with mine. It is going to be quite different, so far I have only been to 2 out of your first 6.

    1. Just back from a spin in France. Will do the top six this week and will then indeed be good to compare. Wilbur.

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