Chiclana de la Frontera
(population 60,000) is an old Andalucian town with an interesting history and access to some of the best beaches in all of Spain. It is situated about 25 kms south of Cádiz and about 6 kms from the coast. The terrain is gently rolling and partly wooded inland, whilst pine woods and salt marshes characterise the coastline.
A long, sandy beach extends from the point of Sancti Petri right down to the Cape of Trafalgar. The town has a wide range of shops and services as well as bars, restaurants, markets and sherry bodegas.
The picture is of the promenade on the banks of the river Iro which flows through the town. The promenade has an attractive band stand and mosaic tiling.
The town centre has the narrow streets and courtyards typical of this region of Spain. Parking can be a problem, although construction of a new market with an underground car park has started, just behind the existing covered market.
The centre, located around the town hall square and the covered market, is bustling and lively. The market has an array of fruit and vegetable, fish and meat stalls. Country folk who have come in from the rural areas set up tables in front of the market to sell wild asparagus, snails and bunches of herbs.
On Tuesday mornings, a large outdoor market is held by the blue bridge across the river.
Chiclana is a centre for furniture manufacture and there are many large furniture stores on the way into town, in and around Avenida de los Descubrimientos.
is an old, abandoned fishing village located at the northern end of the Playa de la Barrosa. It adjoins the Bahía de Cádiz Natural Park and has a wonderful 2 km beach which faces a little isleand of the same name.
According to local lore, the village was commandeered by General Franco and his entourage as their holiday retreat. The fishermen were forced out of their homes and when Franco died, the place fell into ruin.
Now the area is protected to prevent inappropriate development. A few local people are moving back in and renovating some of the properties.
Here you will find a fishing port and marina, sailing and windsurfing schools and a few bars and restaurants. The Bar Bongo is located on the beach with lovely views over the estuary and out to sea.
La Barrosa - one of the 5 best beaches in Spain according to the Sunday Times Travel Magazine (6 June 2010) - see article below**
is one of Chiclana's two beach resorts with 8 kms of fine sand. It is a safe, sandy beach which has received the Blue Flag Clean Beaches of Europe Award.
Property in the area consists of low rise apartments and private villas. The native umbrella pine is protected and all development is forced to accommodate the trees. This makes for an agreeable environment.
La Barrosa has a pleasant seafront promenade with a number of reataurants and cafes looking out to sea. Seafood is on every menu.
The resort is very popular with Spanish people, particularly in July and August and on holiday weekends. The main street runs parallel to the beach. It has a range of bars, restaurants, cafes, shops and services.
In the Pinar del Atlantico area there is a tennis school and Tennis Club la Barrosa.
**Sunday Times Travel Magazine : The best beaches in Spain
Unpack your cozzie, slap on the sunscreen and you’re ready to step out onto Spain’s best beaches, from urban to utterly wild. We have five of the best
Escape the tourist packed beaches of Europe's sunniest country and find a uniquely Spanish sun spot where you can relax with the locals. Whether it's white sand, seclusion, or family friendly you want, Spain has it, you just have to know where to look. Here are five of the best.
La Barrosa, Cadiz province
Regularly topping best-beach polls in Spanish newspapers, La Barrosa, just outside Cádiz, is a family-friendly spot with an excellent reputation for safety – not to be sniffed at on a coastline infamous for its fierce winds and giant breakers. In summer, trained lifeguards keep an eye on those splashing in the Evian-clean waters, and are ready to jump in at the first sign of anyone misjudging a current. The beach is an eight-kilometre arc of soft sand lined with palms, and has more than enough space for silent novel-reading in the dunes and sandcastle-building in the shallows, as well as thronging stretches of bars and cafes playing dodgy Euro pop come nightfall. Check out Utopia, on the seafront at Calle La Barrosa 5, if you fancy a bop. The more developed section of the beach, close to the promenade, can get very busy in July and August when Spanish city-dwellers come in search of cool breezes; and in winter it gets taken over by surfers. However, as long as you’re prepared to walk for a bit, a patch of virgin sand is always waiting for you. Suits active families.
Details: fly to Jerez with Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) from Stansted. Situated right on the beach, the Hotel Playa La Barrosa (0871 711 5193, www.hipotels-hotels-spain.com; doubles from £105, B&B) couldn’t be better placed for those wanting to claim a prime spot before the crowds arrive.
The 4 beaches also recommended:
Cala Mondrago, Mallorca
Cala d'Aiguafreda, Catalonia
La Concha, San Sebastian
The Sunday Times Travel Magazine
Published: 6 June 2010
Further along the same beach is:
This is a fairly upmarket, modern resort with a range of low-rise hotels and apartment and townhouse complexes.
Inland from Novo Sancti Petri, properties are laregely detached villas, with many more being built currently. Novo Sancti Petri is centred around a 36-hole golf course designed by Ballesteros and it also has an excellent beach and a riding school, Hipica Novo Sancti Petri.
The town has a clinic and a number of commercial centres, such as Centro Comercial Altamar and the Novo Center which have plenty of bars, restaurants, estatae agents and shops catering for tourists. It tends to be quiet out of season
From Chiclana, it is a short journey to the historic towns of:
Vejer de la Frontera
), and to some beautiful nature parks in the mountains, e.g. Grazalema and Alcornocales.
Prehistoric remains have been found in this area, which proves the presence of man since the Paleolithic era. Chiclana has always been historically associated with Cádiz and, as in Cádiz, traces of Phoenician, Carthaginian and Roman civilisations are evident.
Steeped in history and legend, the little island of Sancti Petri has been linked with Hercules. An ancient temple to Hercules once stood on the headland. And according to myth, two of Hercules' 12 works were performed here.
Since the 16th century, Chiclana's economic development has been closely associated with the Bay of Cádiz, which at that time was the centre of trade with the American colonies. The discovery of America was very important for the development of Cádiz and Chiclana. The golden era for the region was the 17th century. A number of monuments and buildings dating from the 16th, 17th and 18th century can still be seen in the town.
You may notice that several towns in this western part of Andalucia have the words "de la Frontera" attached. This is because it was the frontier between the Christian and Moorish areas back in the 15th century, before Isabel and Fernando finally ejected the Moors from the Iberian peninsula in 1472.
As a result of the economic development which began in the 60's and 70's, Chiclana is now a town with 53,000 inhabitants and enjoys increasing prosperity and growth partly based on tourist trade.
The climate is mild with few temperature extremes, little rain and more than 3000 hours of sunshine.
The local cuisine is based on traditional Andalucian cookery. The most typical dish is the Berza Chiclanera, cooked with chick peas, marrow, sweet potato, green beans, beef, chorizo (spicy sausage) and salt pork.
The Chiclana area, as well as the whole Bay of Cádiz, is famous for its seafood dishes. Fish and shellfish are all caught in the local seas or salt marshes. The king prawn of Chiclana is famous; its size is a little smaller but the taste is exquisite!
Pig-farming is important in the countryside around and pork sausages such as butifarras, longanizas and chicharrones must be tasted to be appreciated.
Pastrymaking and confectionary in Chiclana is a special delicacy, especially the almond tarts from the Convent of Madres Agustinas Recoletas.
Chiclana also has a long wine-making tradition. Although production has decreased in recent years, dry and sweet sherries (finos and moscateles) of high quality are still made in the local bodegas using traditional processes. A visit to one of the wine cellars and a tasting of the different wines of the area would be a very worthwhile and enjoyable experience for the visitor, who will discover that Chiclana, offers not just good weather, sun and sea, but also wines of exceptional quality.
Bodegas - Wine cellars you can visit
- Bodegas Barberá, c/Ayala,2, tel. 956 400257 (by appointment)
- Bodegas Miguel Guerra, c/Mendaro, 16, tel. 956 400501 (by appointment)
- Primitivo Collantes S.A., c/Ancha, 51, tel. 956400150 (by appointment)
- Bodegas Velez, c/San Antonio, 2, tel. 956 400053(by appointment)
- Bodegas El Sanatorio, c/Olivo, 1, tel. 956 535180 Open 8.00-12.00
- Bodegas María Salud, c/ La Plaza, 22, tel. 956 400355 Open 9.00-2.00 and 6.30 - 8.30
- Bodegas San Sebastián, c/Mendaro, 15, tel. 956 533232 Open 8.30 - 2.30 and 5.30 - 9.30
- Bodegas Brisau, c/Sol, 7, tel. 956 400715 Open 9.30-2.30
- Bodegas San Antonio, c/Sor Ángela de la Cruz, 14, tel. 956 400765 Open 9.00 - 2.00
- Bodegas F.J.Ruiz,(El Rincón del Vino), c/Guadiana, 4, Open 9.00-2.00 and 6.00-9.00 Mon- Sat
- El Santuario: San Antonio 5, Tel: 956 404264
- El Pájaro: Mendizábal 2, Tel: 956 401210
- El Campanario: Rompeolas S/N, Playa de la Barrosa, Pso. Marítimo, Tel: 956 495958
- El Corredor: Fernando Magallanes, Tel: 956 533345
- El Jardin II: Ctra. La Barrosa C.C El Patio, Tel: 956 497119-18
- Venta Alegría: Ctra. La Barrosa, Km. 0,2 Tel: 956 494211
- Mayte I: Ctra. La Barrosa, Km. 1, Tel: 956 402721
- Mayte II: Ctra. La Barrosa, Km. 1, Tel: 956 400169
- Nueva Alegría: Ctra. La Barrosa, Km. 4, Tel: 956 494211
- Popeye: Ctra. La Barrosa, Km. 4,5 Tel: 956 494424
- Los Drogos: Playa La Barrosa, Tel: 956 494815
- La Mina: Playa La Barrosa, Tel: 956 494488
- Novo Golf Cachito: Urb. Novo Sancti Petri, Tel: 956 495249
- El Carretero: Sor Angela de la Cruz 26, Tel: 956 400757
- Noöi: Ctra. La Barrosa, S/N, Tel: 956 495904
- El Bache: Paseo Maritímo, Playa de La Barrosa, Tel: 956 497520
Sailing and Windsurfing: there is a large marina at Novo Sancti Petri and also a windsurfing school. The area is ideal for all water sports.
Golf: there is a 36-hole golf course
designed by Ballesteros just behind Novo Sancti Petri and the 9-hole Club de Golf Campano is located along the road to Algeciras just south of Chiclana.
Horse riding: the length and beauty of the beaches make them ideal for a long horse ride. There are private clubs, where you can hire the good horses and the right equipment.
Tennis/Padel: the Tennis Club La Barrosa with 12 tennis courts, two padel courts a swimming pool and a tennis school is located in the "Pinar del Atlántico" development. There is another very good club at Heit with 6 clay courts and 2 grass courts. Padel tennis is a form of tennis played on a clay court, smaller than a tennis court surrounded by high walls. It is played with a wooden bat-like racket and a softer ball, which can also be bounced off the walls during the game.
Novo Sancti Petri has 3 football pitches (many European football teams do their winter training here) and several other courts for tennis and squash. There is also a riding school
(Hipica Novo Sancti Petri)
Spain is renowned for its fiestas and ferias. Virtually every town and village has its annual celebration and many places have a large feria ground built especially for the ferias. Chiclana is no exception and tapas, processions, bullfighting and flamenco are part of every life in Chiclana. If you are in the area around June 13, Feria is a must! You will see all the old customs, flamenco dresses and caballero hats.. Going from stall to stall, you will hear flamenco singing and dancing and the strange canto-style lament typical of Andalucia. Buy yourself a bottle of chilled fino, sit back, relax and become a part of the scene.
There are several other festivals during the summer linked to various traditions, e.g. June 23 : the burning of satirical figures; July 16 : the fisherman's procession between Sancti Petri and La Barrosa.
See the calendar below :
- February to March: Carnival
- March - April: Holy Week
- June: Feria and Festival of San Antonio
- Night of 23rd June: San Juan Bonfire Night
- 16 July: Procession of the Virgen del Carmen Atunera
- 26 July: Festival of Santa Ana
- 8 September: Festival of Chiclana's Patron Saint, the Virgen de los Remedios
Chiclana has a tourist route known as The Seven Magical Places of Chiclana which was created to celebrate the 7th Centenary of the town. It visits seven areas of Chiclana, notable for their panoramic views and historical importance.
- The Hill of Santa Ana - on top is an ancient watchtower from where you can see across the whole Bay of Cádiz. The tower was used to alert the population of Chiclana to the attacks by the Vikings and the Moors
- La Loma de Puerco -where the Battle of Chiclana took place on March 15 1811, during the war against Napoleon. Thousands of soldiers from many different European countries died here
- The Temple of Hercules - magical at the time of the spring and autumn equinox, because the sun sets just behind the tower
- The Wetlands - from here you can see parts of the Nature Park of the Bay of Cádiz comprising the salt marshes, wetlands and estuaries. This area has always been very important for the Chiclaneros for fish and salt
- Miralmar - a lookout point on a hill by the road to Conil. The sea, the bay, Chiclana and its surrounding countryside can all be viewed from this point
- El Carrascal - looking out landwards towards Medina Sidonia
- La Espartosa - this is the site of municipal reservoir. The area is a living reminder of what the countryside looked like centuries ago, covered in Mediterranean-type forests - carob trees, olives, cork oaks, dwarf evergreen oaks and holm oaks
Chiclana has a hospital (check Centro Médico Chiclana
for facilities) and a range of medical and public services. There is a wide range of shopping facilities ranging from a large supermarket on the outskirts of town to small food shops, fruiterers, bakers, pastry shops. Chiclana has numerous furniture, hardware and household goods shops, important if you need to furnish or refurbish a property.
- Escuela Internacional de Idiomas Hercules, Urb. Coto de la Campa, s/n; tel. 956 497 358
- Escuela Oficial de Idiomas, Ctra. La Barrosa, 40; tel. 956 408 022/ 533 181
- Trinity Language School runs a bilingual Summer school
(Summer Camp.com) in Chiclana
in July and August for children 9-16 years.
Road: A4 Cádiz - Sevilla motorway passes Chiclana.
Train Cádiz - Madrid line. Nearest station : San Fernando (9kms)
Boat: nearest port : Cádiz (22 kms). Regular lines to the Canary Islands; Tarifa (80kms) Regular lines to Tangiers
Air: There are airports in Jerez (30 mins) Gibraltar (1.5 hrs); Sevilla (1.5hrs);Malaga (2.5 hrs); Faro (4 hrs)
Public transport connect Chiclana and neighbouring towns.
Tele-Taxis: 956 536666/ 956 533939
- LHD4SPAIN : WWW.LHD4SPAIN.COM tel. +34 956495388
- Autos Lara, Urb. Novo Sancti Petri, tel.956 496048
- Autos Rico, Alameda del Río, 17, tel.956 400570
- Rent a car Novo Sancti Petri, Urb. La Cerámica, local 1-D, tel. 956 532604
- Avis, Urb. Novo Sancti Petri, tel. 956 494109
- Europcar,Urb. Novo Sancti Petri, tel. 956 496208
- Gestema, n.340 km.,12,600 Campano, tel. 956 531154
Offiicial Tourist Web Sites
- Alameda del Rio, s/n: tel. 956 535969
- Playa de la Barrosa: tel. 956 497234