I visited one of Spain’s hidden gems – it wasn’t touristy and has pretty beaches

Spain is a very popular holiday destination among Britons. In fact, 12.2 million British tourists visited Spain between January and July this year.

British tourists usually head to destinations across the Costa Blanca including Alicante, Torrevieja and Benidorm.

Other popular destinations include the largest island of the Balearic Islands, Majorca, Granada, Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia and the Costa Brava.

Over the years, I’ve visited a few towns and cities in Spain including Ronda, Malaga, Seville and Cordoba but my absolute favourite city that has remained somewhat of a hidden gem is Cádiz.

The city, which is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Western Europe, has stunning architecture and is charming with narrow streets leading to plazas and beautiful seaside views.

For those who love the bustle of the city in the evening but want to relax on the beach in the day, Cádiz is the perfect destination.

Compared to other cities in Spain during the height of summer, Cádiz was not filled with British tourists and is clearly a destination that’s popular with Spaniards.

During our stay, rather than asking whether people spoke English, we were forced to stumble through some basic Spanish to order our drinks and food, making the whole experience feel more authentic.

While visiting the city, we stayed in an apartment where Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise reportedly stayed while filming the 2010 movie Knight and Day.

The Hollywood actors filmed on location on the Calle Ancha in Cádiz where they rode a motorbike together and recreated the famous Pamplona bull run.

The apartment had beautiful rooftop views and wasn’t far away from the city centre.

One of the most beautiful beaches we visited was Playa la Caleta which is right next to La Viña – a fisherman’s quarter that’s filled with traditional tapas bars.

The golden, sandy beach is located between the castles of San Sebastián and Santa Catalina and has a natural harbour.

It’s also smaller than the other beaches in the city which gave it an intimate, almost private feel.

One of my favourite aspects of Cádiz is the food. The city is famous for its seafood with many restaurants and tapas bars offering traditional Mediterranean dishes.

Grilled squid, fish eggs, prawn fritters and cuttlefish were all delicious. Every evening we sat outside and enjoyed ice cream in one of the plazas.

Cádiz is also known for its sherry. Even if it’s not your preferred tipple, it’s worth giving it a try as it’s unlike anything served in the UK.

There are plenty of sites to visit in Cádiz including Cádiz Cathedral; a Roman Catholic Church that dates back to 1722; the Roman Theatre and Torre Tavira; an 18th-century watchtower and the highest point in the city.

All are well worth a visit but if you’re looking to save money, simply walking around this wondrous city and admiring the architecture is enough.

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