Cádiz

Cádiz

Arranged in typical Andalucian style around a central arcaded patio, with delightful map of the city painted onto tiles in the entrance, this charming 19th-century hotel is themed around Spain’s first-ever constitution, La Pepa, which was drawn up in Las Cortes (the Courts) in 1812.
This new one-star hotel is in a stunning historic setting: a converted Dominican convent dating from 1635. In addition to the magnificent original arcaded patio, complete with chequered floor and stone-and-iron wells, it still has cloisters, a church (Santo Domingo) and chapel. Monks still inhabit the building today.
This delightful two-star hotel is in a 19th-century building with beautiful original stone façade. Décor is tasteful and imaginative, with loads of character – colourful tiled floors, Moroccan lamps, beamed ceilings, decorative mirrors, and carved wooden doors and screens.
This nine-storey hotel is situated on long, sandy La Caleta beach - its façade is simple and classic, and the interior was refurbished in 2013. The 143 rooms are spacious and modern, with wood floors - be sure to ask for a superior room with sea view, on a higher floor, so you can enjoy the spectacular sunset. Tea and coffee making facilities also in superior rooms. All have free WIFI and satellite TV. Family rooms have bunk beds.
This four-star hotel, with smoked glass façade, looks over the long sandy beach, and is located about 30 minutes’ walk from the old town. Each of the spacious rooms – there are 188 – has a 1960s-style pod-like curved white balcony, with décor in muted, neutral tones; 32-inch TVs offer multimedia applications. Suites have their own private terraces. WIFI is free.

Carnival is the biggest event in Cadiz's calendar, and the most important of its type on mainland Spain, just as the Feria is for Seville. People flood in from all over Spain, and beyond, to enjoy the noisy, colourful, festive atmosphere, singing competitions, concerts (rock, flamenco, samba), comedy, children's shows, parades, firework displays and street parties. Carnaval is also celebrated in towns and cities around Andalucia.

As one of Spain's major ports during the 16th century, Cadiz copied the carnival of Venice, a city with which it had much trade, and since then it has become the liveliest and most dazzling carnival town in mainland Spain, famous for its amusing and creative characters and satirical song groups.

The Granada Carnival, along with those of the provincial towns, are among the least publicised, but they do take place. The festival usually lasts about a week in the provincial capital and starts well after Shrove Tuesday. It includes the usual singing contests that are held in theatres and other venues. There is also plenty of activity in the streets of Granada (a city that is famous for its "tapa" appetisers that accompany drinks at no extra charge), including a parade.

From 1937 to 1977, the people of Málaga kept their costumes packed away and refrained from meeting to practice and enjoy the old carnival tunes together - much less organise any traditional parades or other celebrations. This was due to the prohibition issued by Franco and strictly enforced in this area.

The 17th-century Castillo de Santa Catalina, which formed part of the city’s defences from the time of King Felipe II, has been partially restored and now has four rooms where exhibitions of paintings, engravings and photographs are held.