8 Top-Rated Beaches in Cadiz, Spain
Author Michael Law explored the beaches of Cadiz on a 10-week trip through southern Spain in 2022.
One of the best places to hit the beach in Southwestern Spain is the city of Cadiz. Beaches run for miles, not only in the city but up and down the coast. Unlike many other beaches in Spain, these beaches face west over the ocean, ensuring spectacular sunsets every day of the year.
The area around Cadiz is known as the Costa de la Luz, which translates roughly into English as "The Coast of Light." This is an apt description, as Cadiz receives over 300 days of sunshine every year.
The beaches in Cadiz are all a bit different, ensuring that there's something for everyone. Do you like the action and scene of a busy beach? That's more than covered in the city beaches of Playa de la Victoria and Playa Santa Maria del Mar. Crave a bit of space? Head south to Playa de La Cortadura. Like a bit of nature but still want a boardwalk and restaurants? Playa de Valdelagrana fits the bill.
If you are arriving on a cruise ship into Cadiz and crave a bit of beach time, the main beaches are about five minutes by taxi from the cruise port.
Plan your beach vacation with our list of the best beaches near Cadiz.
1. Playa de la Victoria
The most famous beach in Cadiz by far is Playa de la Victoria. Backed by condo towers, this beach thrums with activity all summer long. Soft, golden sands are lapped by the waters of the Golfo de Cadiz, and although the water is not particularly warm (as with most beaches in southern Spain), the entry is shallow and easy for most people. Lifeguards keep a wary eye on all bathers to make sure no one gets into trouble.
Several excellent restaurants, called chiringuitos, line the back of the beach offering up the local delicacy — wood-fired sardines — in addition to more traditional beach-menu items like hamburgers and French fries.
If you're feeling lazy and want to relax, head over to the chiringuitos where they offer sunbeds and umbrellas for rent. Set yourself up and enjoy food and beverage service right to your chair. If you have a bit more energy, join one of the many volleyball games that spontaneously happen on the permanent sand courts. Alternatively, try out your best football (soccer) moves on the screened-in sand pitches.
Playa Victoria is the best place to stay if you're on a beach vacation in Cadiz. An extensive selection of tall condo towers and large hotels line the beach, and finding a place to stay is generally not difficult. Each morning, just stroll out your front door and hit the beach; each evening, catch the sunset from your balcony or one of the restaurants.
A wide walkway runs along the back of the beach and extends right into the Old Town of Cadiz. In the evening, walk along the pathway to the Old Town and have a delightful dinner on a patio in the oldest city in Western Europe.
Parking is challenging at Playa de La Victoria, especially close to the beach. A number of underground parking lots are available and are located midway along the beach. If you don't mind a bit of a walk and are a lucky person, you might find a free street parking spot available back across Avenue Ana de Viya.
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2. La Caleta
The wonderful beach of La Caleta has an enviable position — right in the heart of the Old Town. This small beach is popular with locals and is probably where you'll end up if you stay in one of the amazing accommodation options in the Old Town.
The beach is a 450-meter curving arc of sand with a stone wall in the back. The views from the sand to the ocean are spectacular. Two ancient structures are visible in the distance, a view that makes La Caleta unique among beaches in Spain. The San Sebastián castle was built in 1706 (currently closed), and the Castillo de Santa Catalina dates from 1621.
The beach is popular and tends to get crowded during the day giving it a festive atmosphere. The crowd is a mix of locals and tourists, and it tends to be quite a friendly spot.
A breakwater on one side of the beach ensures calm waters and is recommended for those who aren't strong swimmers or those with small children. The other side of the beach is more exposed to the ocean and has larger waves. The beach is best at high tide; at low tide, rocks are exposed in some areas.
A large white elevated building sits in the middle. Although you might think this is a beautiful beachside restaurant, it is in fact a government agency, the Subaquatic Archaeology Centre of the Andalusian Historical Heritage Institute.
La Caleta is one of the best places to come to catch the sunset in Cadiz. The gently bobbing boats framed by the castle and lighthouse make for exceptional photos. Considering this beach is in the Old City, parking is readily available at the giant Parking Varcácel lot.
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3. Playa Santa Maria del Mar
Playa Santa Maria del Mar starts off the long string of beaches that run southwards from the Old City area of Cadiz. Set between two large breakwaters, the beach is a pleasant arc of sand backed by a high stone wall.
Interesting (and high!) circular stairs lead down to the sand below where you'll find Chiringuito Tirabuzón (a restaurant), showers, and plenty of space to lay out your towel. For those not interested in taking the staircase down, a long, gently sloping walkway extends down to the beach at the northern end.
The views back towards the Old Town with the Cadiz Cathedral, San Sebastián castle, and the lighthouse off in the distance are spectacular. This beach is moderately busy, but nothing like La Caleta or Playa Victoria just down the way.
This beach, like many in Cadiz, can get windy. One of the best spots to get out of the wind is near the circular staircase. This area is also quite calm, as it's protected by the breakwater. If you are fortunate, you might find a parking spot on the street; if not, the Parking Garaje América is a good spot within easy walking distance.
4. Playa de La Cortadura
Beach walking is one of the most popular morning activities in Cadiz, and the best place to do it is on the seemingly endless Playa de la Cortadura. This beach starts at the southern end of Playa Victoria at the Baluarte del Infante d Carlo and runs uninterrupted all the way to Playa del Chato.
Slip on your walking shoes and sunglasses, grab a hat, and head south with the crowds. The farther you go, the less people you'll see. The sand is generally hard-packed, making walking easy.
It's best to go at low tide, but even when the water is up, it's still easy to walk. Your views to the south are all nature — no big condo towers, just dunes and the ocean. The return trip to the north affords you views of the towers of Playa Victoria and the Old Town of Cadiz.
However, Playa de La Cortadura is not all about walking. It's also a good place to set up an umbrella, grab a book, and relax by the seashore. The beach has few amenities, except at the northern end, where you'll find Chiringuito Nahubeach.
If the wind is up, tuck in behind the ancient walls of the Baluarte del Infante d Carlo. You'll also find a small parking lot here. Ample free parking is available off CA-33 on Carr. de Cortadura, which runs the length of the beach.
5. Playa del Chato
Off on its own is Playa del Chato, a lonely stretch of beach perfect if you want to get away from it all. Tucked in at the southern end of Playa de La Cortadura, this beach is wide and flat with small sand dunes in behind.
Parking is plentiful and easy here, just make sure you don't zip past the main entrance off CA-33, or you'll need to do some serious backtracking. Few people visit here, so it's likely that you'll have the entire place to yourself. Shore fishing is popular here as are beach walking and running.
One of the highlights of a visit to Play del Chato is a meal at Ventorrillo El Chato. This historic restaurant is located right on the beach and serves the freshest seafood in the area.
6. Playa de Camposoto
The farthest beach south of Cadiz, Playa de Camposoto is completely different from all the other beaches nearby. Really more of a barrier island than a traditional beach, this long stretch of golden sand is backed by a large estuary.
The regional government has done a good job of creating a vast public space here with excellent facilities, including changerooms, washrooms, and showers. A long boardwalk runs back from the beach by the roadway and is ideal for walking and cycling, although you won't have views of the water.
The beach is reached via long walkways over the dunes, so be prepared for a bit of a walk from the parking area. The beach is widest at the northern end and gradually gets narrower the farther south you go.
A couple of ruins are located along the beach. To the north, you'll find Ruinas del Antiguo Búnker de la Ardilla. Near the southern tip of the beach, you'll see Bunker Punta del Boqueron. Visible offshore at the far southern end is the imposing Castillo de Sancti-Petri.
7. Playa de Valdelagrana
If you find the waters off the main Cadiz beaches beautiful but too chilly for comfortable bathing, head over to Playa de Valdelagrana. Located on the relatively shallow Bay of Cadiz, this beach features warmer water ideal for lolling about in.
Instead of unending views out to the ocean, here you'll be treated to a spectacular panorama featuring the massive bridge leading to Cadiz and the towers of the Old Town.
The vibe at Playa de Valdelagrana is similar to Playa de la Victoria but less intense. The area behind has a few condo developments, but most of the area is low-rise holiday homes. A long walkway has tall palms along its length, and multiple restaurants both on the beach and off serve up fine fare. Sunbeds and umbrellas are available for rent if you don't have your own gear.
The best way to approach the beach if you are driving is to come down Avenue del Mar and peel off at Calle de Littoral. Here, you'll find a large parking lot.
8. Playa de Levante
Keen on a bit of water sports action on the beach? If that's the case, head to Playa de Levante, located at the southern end of Playa de Valdelagrana. This wide-open beach is backed by the Parque Natural Los Toruños, a huge area of sand dunes, coastal scrub, and swamps.
It's here that the local kitesurfers, wingers, and windsurfers congregate to take advantage of the strong winds and small waves. The wind is usually side-onshore, meaning that you'll eventually wash up on the beach should you run into trouble. The colorful kites with the huge Puente de La Pepa behind make for excellent photos.
This beach is also an excellent one to head to if you are traveling with your dog. It extends for many miles to the south, eventually ending where the Rio de San Pedro empties into the gulf.
The beach is best accessed by following Ave del Mar until it dead ends. Alternatively, park in the large lot off Calle de Littoral.