10 Things to Do in Cádiz in Winter

The high season in Cadiz is during the summer, but if you plan to visit the city during the winter months you can enjoy the attractions of Cadiz with a smaller influx of tourists and various festivals and celebrations of the city's patron saints.

Matías Rodríguez

Matías Rodríguez

11 min read

10 Things to Do in Cádiz in Winter

Winter | ©XTRAICE Synthetic

Cadiz is famous for its beaches, sunsets and summer attractions, but if you plan to visit the city in winter you can also make the most of the Cadiz coast by visiting the main sites with fewer tourists, getting better prices on accommodation during the low season and participating in the festivals and festivals.

Among the activities you can see and do in Cadiz during the winter are whale watching excursions in the Strait of Gibraltar, enjoying the Cadiz Carnival, participating in the Jerez Flamenco Festival, enjoying Christmas in the old town and tasting the city's winter gastronomy, which stands out for its stews, soups and fresh prawns.

1. Participate in the Flamenco Festival of Jerez de la Frontera

Flamenco show| ©n8fire
Flamenco show| ©n8fire

Flamenco is the typical dance of Andalusia and an essential element of Cadiz folklore. If you travel to Cadiz in February you can participate in the Jerez de la Frontera Festival, which lasts approximately two weeks each year and includes flamenco shows, dance classes, workshops and artist conferences.

The main stage of the Jerez de la Frontera Flamenco Festival is set up in the Villamarta Theater, but there are also activities in other parts of the city such as the Sala Compañía, the Atalaya Museum and the Sala Paúl. Each edition includes performances by established artists and others making their debut.

The Flamenco Festival fulfills a social function in Andalusia for the promotion of typical customs and also includes other activities such as courses of bulerías, soleá dance techniques, and compases, palmas and castanets. If you plan to visit Cadiz in winter you can participate in the courses or simply attend the flamenco shows.

Details of interest

  • Price... Entrance to the Flamenco Festival shows has an initial cost of approximately 18 euros per person.
  • When... During the second two weeks of February.
  • Where... Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz.

Book a flamenco show with dinner in Jerez

2. Take a whale watching excursion in the Strait of Gibraltar

Strait of Gibraltar| ©Consuelo Ternero
Strait of Gibraltar| ©Consuelo Ternero

One of the best activities you can do during the winter in Cadiz is whale and dolphin watching in the area of the Strait of Gibraltar. There you can take a boat trip from the beaches of Tarifa and take a walk to contemplate the cetaceans that live permanently in the Strait, but you will also cross with those returning from migration.

During these trips you will be able to live the experience of sailing through the waters that separate the European continent from the African continent and during the clear days you can even see the coast of Morocco, although in general the winter months are usually wet and rainy in the area of Gibraltar, although a trip with dolphin and whale watching is one of the best tours to do from Cadiz.

Please also note that during days of heavy rain the boat departures from the beaches of Tarifa may be suspended or delayed from the agreed schedule, so I advise you to check the weather forecast before making these excursions.

Details of interest

  • Price... It will depend on the boat you decide to do the tour, but the excursions with sighting have an initial cost of approximately 30 euros per person.
  • When... During the last weeks of February and the first weeks of March.
  • Where... Gibraltar, Cádiz.

Book a boat trip in Cadiz

3. Taste the winter gastronomy of Cadiz

Gazpachuelo| ©Inés Fernández
Gazpachuelo| ©Inés Fernández

Cadiz gastronomy is one of the best in Spain and during the winter its dishes are not only a delicacy, but also an ideal excuse to take refuge from the cold in a typical restaurant of the city. Some of the best tascas can be found in the old town but there are places all over the city, in El Puerto de Santa María and also in Jerez de la Frontera.

The winter gastronomy of Cadiz stands out for stews, soups and fish, so the main protagonists of the dishes will be asparagus soup, potato stew, Andalusian stew, oxtail, gazpachuelo, Andalusian migas, sea oysters and prawns, which are usually served fresh because January is one of the main fishing months for these species.

Another alternative to enjoy the local gastronomy is to attend one of the best flamenco shows in Cadiz, because these shows usually combine local dances with a typical dinner.

Book a gastronomic tour in Jerez de la Frontera

4. Participate in the Andalusian Autonomous Festival of Andalusia

In Andalusia| ©Nicolas Vigier
In Andalusia| ©Nicolas Vigier

Every February 28th Andalusia celebrates its autonomous festivity and in all the cities of the Autonomous Community gastronomic and cultural activities are celebrated and Andalusian flags fly on all the balconies. In Cadiz coast, in addition, its celebration coincides with the end of the carnivals, so the celebration is double.

Some of the typical customs during the autonomic celebration is to consume the mollete antequerano, which is a crumb bread accompanied by olive oil, tomato and garlic that is part of the Andalusian breakfasts, play the Andalusian anthem in all schools and public buildings and participate in cultural activities in which attendees wear flamenco costumes and short dresses.

The autonomous celebrations are a source of pride for everyone although the activities are mainly aimed at children, in order to maintain the ancestral customs, so several points in the city offer children's activities, which will be useful if you are planning to travel with children. In addition, during the Day of Andalusia you can travel for free on public transport and the tourist bus of Cadiz that connect the sites of activities.

Interesting details

  • Price... Participation in the regional activities is free of charge.
  • When... February 28th of each year.
  • Where... In different parts of Cadiz and the Autonomous Community of Andalusia.

Book the Cádiz tourist bus

5. Visit the Christmas attractions in the Plaza de San Antonio

Skating in Cadiz| ©Xtraice
Skating in Cadiz| ©Xtraice

If you plan to visit Cadiz in December, which is when winter begins in the city, you can enjoy the Christmas attractions in the Plaza de San Antonio, where a Christmas market is set up with stalls selling gifts, presents, food and festive decorations.

Also in the square, which is the Christmas epicenter in the old town, you can use the ice skating rink for free , take the best pictures with the giant Christmas tree and participate in the children's toy library , which is an interesting alternative if you plan to tour Cadiz with children.

In the area of the square, you can also witness carol performances and musical shows. During the Christmas eve I also recommend you to wander through the cobblestone streets of the old town to enjoy the old part of the city illuminated by Christmas lights, especially at night.

6. Enjoy the Carnival of Cadiz

Cadiz Carnival| ©santiago lopez-pastor
Cadiz Carnival| ©santiago lopez-pastor

The Cadiz Carnival is not only the most important winter festival in Cadiz but also one of the most anticipated events of the year in the city, so if you plan to visit the Cadiz coast in February you can experience this folkloric activity that brings together chirigotas, choirs, quartets, floats, troupes and costumed characters in parades through the streets of the city.

The formal celebration of the carnival is in February, but in Cadiz the preparations begin in January, with the Official Contest of Groups of the Carnival of Cadiz, which takes place every year in the Gran Teatro Falla and is broadcast on television to reward the most outstanding groups that will then walk the streets of the city.

The Carnival of Cadiz is an ideal occasion to discover the idiosyncrasy of Cadiz, since during its celebration there are also gastronomic events in the neighborhoods of La Viña, in the area of the Plaza de San Antonio and in the Plaza de la Catedral.

Details of interest

  • Price... Participation in the Carnival activities is free of charge.
  • When... The Concurso de Agrupaciones takes place throughout January and the Carnival parades are in February.
  • Where... In different parts of Cadiz.

7. Visit Setenil de las Bodegas during the patron saint festivities.

Setenil de las Bodegas| ©Marbella Escapes
Setenil de las Bodegas| ©Marbella Escapes

Setenil de las Bodegas is one of the most beautiful villages in the mountains of Cadiz and is characterized by its curious architecture of houses, temples and shops embedded in the rocks, which generates a wide network of roads and passages located as a balcony overlooking the mountains.

Visiting Setenil de las Bodegas during your trip to Cadiz is a spectacle in itself but if you also plan to do so during the winter you can participate in the festivities of San Sebastian, which is one of the most important events of the town along with the Fiesta del Aceite de Oliva. During the feast of San Sebastian you can participate in a procession through the local streets and enjoy the bars of typical products.

The procession goes through the main sites of Setenil de las Bodegas such as the Plaza de Andalucía, the Cuevas del Sol, the Coronilla, the Paseo Federico Lorca and the streets Villa, Constitución and Ronda, making it an ideal option to discover the local attractions and the paths built on the edge of the abyss.

I recommend that during your visit to the village you do not miss the local gastronomy, which stands out for the cortijeras soups, asparagus scrambled eggs, stewed beans, gazpachuelo and sweet potatoes with honey, Iberian sausages and local wine.

Details of interest

  • Price... Participating in the procession for the patron saint fair of San Sebastian is free of charge.
  • When... Every year during the third week of January.
  • Where... Setenil de las Bodegas, Cádiz.

8. Visit the Catacombs of Beaterio

Catacombs of Beaterio| ©Santiago Cordero Guerrero
Catacombs of Beaterio| ©Santiago Cordero Guerrero

One of the best kept secrets of Cadiz are the Catacombs of Beaterio, a series of Franciscan subway passages that during the Middle Ages served to connect the main sites of Cadiz through the lower parts of the city. These catacombs reinforce the legend that there is a circuit of tunnels connecting various points of Andalusia.

The Catacombs of Beaterio were founded in 1633 by the 3rd order of St. Francis and in them lived in community and were buried a group of 12 blessed sisters. After several uses over the centuries, it also served as a shelter during the Spanish Civil War, and today it can be visited. In addition, it is one of the tourist attractions of Cadiz that of course you can add to your list of things to do in winter.

Of course, to know the history and secrets of this place of great historical and archaeological value of Cadiz, it is highly recommended that you join a guided tour, available for booking on their website, are in small groups and have an approximate duration of between 30 and 45 minutes.

Details of interest

  • Price... Free admission 3€ for adults, 2€ for children from 6 to 12 years old and free for children under 5 years old. The guided tour costs 5€ for adults, 3€ for children and free for children under 5.
  • When... All year round
  • Where... Valverde 3, Cádiz.

9. Take surf lessons in Tarifa

Surfboards| ©NICO BHLR
Surfboards| ©NICO BHLR

During the winter the southern part of the coast of Cadiz has many activities to offer, especially in Tarifa. There you will find that January is one of the coldest months of the year in Cadiz but also an ideal time for surfing, because it is when the best waves break in the coastal area and when the wind cooperates with the surfers.

If you plan to visit Cadiz in January you can take surf lessons in Tarifa, even if you don't have any previous experience, and learn from the best surfers from Cadiz who come in large numbers to Tarifa to make the most of the swell that in some cases easily reaches 3 meters high.

In Tarifa, in addition, you can also make excursions with dolphin and whale watching and practice water sports such as paddle surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing, making it one of the most complete beaches for water sports.

10. Lose yourself in the second hand markets.

Cadiz flea market| ©Raquel L. Rego
Cadiz flea market| ©Raquel L. Rego

Cadiz at Christmas time is full of Christmas markets, including the one in the Plaza de San Antonio, which is the epicenter of the old town, but after Epiphany the markets of the festive season leave space to the second hand markets in El Puerto de Santa Maria, Sanlucar de Barrameda and San Fernando.

These flea markets are used to buy clothes and other second hand items and also to exchange objects. These flea markets often have charitable purposes, as they sell donated items and then use the proceeds to support charitable causes while they remain open, between the months of January and February.

The second hand flea markets are usually set up in areas close to other flea markets or in some stalls within the most famous ones. The most representative case in Cadiz is the second hand market in the Plaza de la Libertad, located in front of the Central Market.

Temperatures in Cadiz in winter

Evening in Cadiz| ©Angel Sotomayor
Evening in Cadiz| ©Angel Sotomayor

Winter in Cadiz is quite cold, with average temperatures of 10°, maximums of 15° and minimums of 5°. January is the coldest month of the year and also the rainiest, so I advise you to always check the weather before activities.

If you visit the southern part of the coast of Cadiz you will see that the temperature can decrease, as it is a more humid place. In March temperatures start to improve, reaching an average of 14°.

The influx of tourists in Cádiz in winter

Streets of Cadiz| ©santiago lopez-pastor
Streets of Cadiz| ©santiago lopez-pastor

If you visit Cadiz in October you can see that the end of summer begins to empty the city of tourists, but from December the influx decreases drastically, so winter is an ideal time to tour the city in a quiet way, even if you can not take a swim in the beaches.

To get the most out of your trip to Cadiz in winter you can visit the inland villages, take tours and walks through the city center and also enjoy adventure tours.

Prices in Cadiz in winter

Money in euros| ©Ibrahim Boran
Money in euros| ©Ibrahim Boran

December and January are the cheapest months to visit Cadiz, since it is low season and when it is coldest, so if you want to know the city saving money I recommend you to travel at that time.

During the winter you can get accommodation at an affordable price and if you book in advance online you can save your place in the excursions and also get discounts for other activities.

What to bring in your suitcase to visit Cadiz in winter?

Luggage| ©JamesDeMeyer
Luggage| ©JamesDeMeyer

Winter can be cold and rainy in Cadiz, so I recommend you to pack the following clothes in your suitcase to avoid bad weather conditions.

  • Thermal T-shirt
  • Wool sweaters
  • Wool scarf
  • Wool socks
  • Cotton T-shirts
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof boots
  • Umbrella
  • Rain jacket
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sport shoes
  • Light coat
  • Lightweight pants