Cádiz Travel Guide

At the bustling main market, the stands heave with ripe fruits, cheeses, nuts, herbs, snails, and the garnet-red tuna, which is so prized by the Japanese that they wait offshore to snap up whatever they can from area fishermen.

Take a break from sizzling on the crowded Costa del Sol beaches for a self-guided driving tour along the Route of the Pueblos Blancos.

The antiquities collection begins with an anthropomorphic pair of Phoenician sarcophagi. More recent works include masterpieces by Zurbarán, 19th-century puppets, and folk art.

Jeweler Pedro del Río Macanaz has a refined-yet-adventurous eye, and it shows in his collection of exquisite brooches, from old-school pieces set with coral or cabochons to futuristic designs in delicate gold mesh.

In the Old Quarter, the sights are so copious that a Roman amphitheater is just another ruin, located at the end of a tiny, virtually unmarked alley.

Sophisticated revelers know to head across the Bay of Cadiz to one of the clubs or taverns in the port town of Puerto de Santa María. Among the current favorites is Discoteca Mucho Teatro, a former theater decorated in high Moroccan style.

After you've settled on your favorite variety of Andalusia's sherries (manzanilla, amontillado, oloroso), you can pick up bottles to take home at the wine bar's adjoining shop, which also sells brandy and flavored vinegars.

Jerez is known as a center of Flamenco and you can get a good taste of the passionate dance at this tablao, a theater-tavern that attracts world-class performers.

The theater, built in the 1880s, is an icon of Moorish style architecture. Its diverse program includes classical opera, concerts, modern dance, and children's shows.

The olive oil mill has been in the same family since its inception in 1755, and its current owner, Juan Urruti, is one of the few Andalusian holdouts who still extract oil using the hydraulic cold-press method perfected in the mid 19th century.

Everything is worth sampling at this bakery, from the flaky media lunas, or "half moons," to the picos, as locals call the addictively crunchy Andalusian crackers.

Merchants used to keep an eye out for incoming shipments from the colonies at the Torre, one of Cádiz's most famous lookouts. Today, the tower contains a camera obscura, which uses Renaissance technology to project a real-time image of the modern cityscape.