Cadiz Province - Chiclana

© Michelle Chaplow Plaza In Chiclana
Plaza de Jesús Nazareno In Chiclana

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Chiclana de la Frontera

Just inland from the coast Chiclana sits on a small hill overlooking the marismas (salt marshes). The town dates from 1303, when King Fernando IV of Castille gave the land to Guzman El Bueno, the defender of Tarifa, who was succeeded by the Duques de Medina Sidonia. It enjoyed great prosperity in the 17th century, Spain's Golden Age of Discovery, when the Spanish Fleet was based in Cadiz. During the Napoleonic invasion of the 19th century, it was used as a military camp.

Monuments in the town of Chiclana include the Ermita de Santa Ana, with its great cupula visible from afar. The park in which it is located is a little difficult to get to and is not well kept so the Ermita is only worth visiting for the view over the town, the Milenium Bridge and the surrounding countryside.

In the centre of the town is the Church of San Juan Bautista, which also dates from the 18th century and was also designed by Torcuato Cayon; the convent and church of Jesus Nazareno (17th century); and the Capilla del Santo Cristo (15th century). The 18th-century clocktower in Plaza Mayor (known locally as El Arquillo del Reloj), next to San Juan Bautista church, is also a popular local landmark - traffic passes into the square through an arch in its base.

Near the Plaza and Church of Jesus Nazareno there is an interesting cafe with street terrace called Pasterleria Antonia Butrón where a renowned pianist entertains guests in the afternoons by playing classical and easy listening music on a grand piano.

© Michelle Chaplow Outdoor cafes in Chiclana
Pasterleria Antonia Butrón in Chiclana

Chiclana is famous for its dolls, which are made at the Fabrica Museo Muñecas Marin; this claims to be the oldest doll factory in Spain. There are also various wine bodegas, producing dry whites and muscatels, some of which offer tours and tastings.

The Balneario Fuenteamarga in Chiclana offers treatments for numerous circulatory, muscle and skin complaints, thanks to the therapeutic properties of its waters which include sulphates and calcium.

Ceramic tiles in The Plaza del Socorro, Chiclana
Ceramic tiles in The Plaza del Socorro, Chiclana

The town celebrates its feria, the Ferias y Fiestas de San Antonio, around 13 June, while its romeria, the Virgen Del Carmen Atunera, features the traditional coastal image, patron saint of fishermen, whose day is 16 July. The romeria takes place on La Barrosa beach, near Sancti Petri village. Santa Ana is the next fiesta, later the same month on 26 July, with fireworks. The town's patron saint is Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, celebrated in early September.

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

© Michelle Chaplow Storks, churches and bourganvillea in Chiclana
The Storks watch over the Iglesia Jesús Nazareno and Bourgainvillea in Chiclana

Novo Sancti Petri, a new seaside residential development on the coast just to the south-west of Chiclana, has become the town's summer resort.The Novo Sancti Petri Golf Course was partly designed by the late Seve Ballesteros, and has stunning views of the sea.

Just off the coast near the town, opposite the village of Sancti Petri, is the small island (islote) of Sancti Petri, with a magnificent 17th-century castle built over the ruins of Phoenician and Roman temples. You can take a ferry to visit the island in summer.

Beaches

Nearby there are two beaches: Playa de Sancti Petri and Playa de la Barrosa, both of which have been awarded a blue flag by the European Union for their high standards of cleanliness and excellent facilities. Read more >

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