Connecting two of Cadiz’s most prominent landmarks, San Sebastian Castle and Santa Catalina Castle, La Caleta beach is a favorite among the locals with direct access to the neighborhood of La Viña.
On the beach, the white painted former Spa of Our Lady of La Palma and Real structure dominates the iconic bay, making it the unique beach it is today.
The water dotted with colorful fishing boats is a picturesque reminder of the importance of this beach as a docking port all the way back to Phoenician times and later through the Carthaginian and Roman eras.
La Caleta beach, Cadiz, is just as popular in summer as in winter, morning as evening. Local youth hang out with a couple of beers, families take their children playing on the shore, and the elderly stroll along the beach at sunset.
For being the smallest of the city’s beaches, it’s surely set its mark on locals and travelers alike, and going there is one of the must-things to do in Cadiz. There is no better place to walk between the city’s two castles than the Caleta beach, Cadiz.
In this beach guide, I’ll let you in on everything you need to know about La Caleta beach in Cadiz and exactly what to expect when visiting.
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Table of Contents
How to get to La Caleta beach Cadiz Spain
La Caleta beach in Cadiz is best reached by foot from Cadiz old town. In fact, it’s so centrally situated that even with a day in Cadiz, you can easily go there when visiting the Santa Catalina Castle and walking the Causeway to San Sebastian Castle, which are also two of the many free things to do in Cadiz.
Walking from Cadiz train station takes less than 30 minutes, though you’ll walk through the historical center and might stop for pictures on the way, especially if it’s your first time in Cadiz.
Parking in Cadiz can be complicated around the old town unless you park in an underground parking house. However, there is a paid parking lot near Santa Catalina Castle where you can leave your car if there is space. Except for these options, most of the old town only offers parking for locals.
If you prefer free parking, you will have to leave the car by La Victoria beach, which is a good half an hour’s walk away along the scenic promenade.
Best time to visit La Caleta beach in Cadiz
La Caleta beach, Cadiz, is worth visiting all year round, but it clearly depends on your intentions, whether it’s to go for a stroll on the beach or it’s to go swimming.
In the summer La Caleta beach fills up with people from morning to night and it’s a popular place to go swimming, particularly for the locals that want to relax in the sun right on their doorstep.
The evenings are also packed until after the sun sets and the pastel colors paint the sky until the stars take over the night sky.
There is no secret, the locals in Cadiz love their beaches and spend above-average time outside, which is not surprising considering the number of spectacular beaches in Cadiz.
The best months for swimming are usually from June to October, but swimming season can sometimes last until November.
Due to the beach being set on the Atlantic Ocean, the water gets extremely cold over the winter months. That said, I have seen people dare into the water even in winter without a wetsuit. On warm, sunny days that is.
Where to stay near La Caleta beach
The best area to stay near La Caleta beach is in the old town, within walking distance from not only the beach, but also other must-see landmarks like Cadiz Cathedral, Tavira Tower, and the Roman Theater of Cadiz.
Here are a couple of my top pics for hotels next to La Caleta beach:
Plaza de la Luz Cádiz – Perfectly situated in La Viña district only 100 meters from La Caleta beach, this is a perfect place to base yourself when spending time on the beach. At the same time, it’s less than 10 minutes to walk through the old town to the cathedral and other top attractions.
Plaza de la Luz Cádiz offers hotel rooms, apartments, and studios. There’s also an underground parking for an extra fee that you can use.
Parador de Cádiz – If you want to splurge on your Cadiz vacation, this is the absolute best choice. With a luxurious outdoor pool with ocean views, spacious rooms with views, and restaurants and bars nearby, you won’t find a better location. The hotel is only a couple of minute’s walk from La Caleta beach on one side and the Genovés Park on the other.
Facilities on La Caleta beach Cadiz
La Caleta beach has all necessary facilities in the summer including a Chiringuito on the beach. Here are the facilities you can expect at Cadiz’s most popular beach including a designated area for boats to enter and exit the water.
- Sunbed and shade for rent in summer
- Lifeguard in summer
- Changing rooms in summer
- Toilets in summer
- Drinking fountains above the beach
- Wheelchair accessibility
- Bar on the beach
- Restaurants next to the beach
- Kayak rental
La Caleta beach
La Caleta beach is the smallest of the urban beaches in Cadiz being almost 500 meters long and 50 meters wide, connecting two of the most important tourist attractions in the city, Santa Catalina Castle and San Sebastian Castle.
Yet, it’s a popular meeting point to soak in the sun, go for a quick swim, or watch the sunset for tourists and locals alike.
Dominating the beach is the unique structure of the Spa of Our Lady of La Palma and Real, which was inaugurated in 1926 as the new Royal Baths of Cadiz.
The structure was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1990 and today it houses the Underwater Archaeology Center of the Andalusian Institute of Historical Heritage.
While you have the safety of a lifeguard and can rent sunbeds and shade in the summer months, make sure you bring your own shade and beach towels from October on.
Things to do near La Caleta beach
Being situated right on the outline of the old town, the beach has easy walking access to the top attractions in Cadiz. Here, I’ll list the most popular things to do near La Caleta beach. To explore the city’s hidden gems, check out this post.
Walk the Causeway to San Sebastian Castle
San Sebastian Castle is situated on a small island connected to the mainland with a causeway on the south side of La Caleta beach. The castle itself has not been open for tourists for a few years, and it’s not known when or if it will reopen.
However, walking the causeway to the castle taking in the spectacular views of La Caleta beach, Cadiz coastline, and the star-shaped Santa Catalina castle on the opposite side of the beach, is well worth it.
On the tiny island where San Sebastian Castle is situated, there used to be a temple dedicated to the Greek God Kronos.
There is evidence of the Moors using the fortress before the crew of a Venetian ship took refugee there in the mid-1400s during the plague.
The sailors built a chapel dedicated to the Saint San Sebastian and and rebuilt the former Moorish watch tower which has given it the current name.
See the beach from Santa Catalina Castle
Santa Catalina Castle is situated on the north side of La Caleta beach. It’s a 17th-century star-shaped fortress that was built to protect San Sebastian Castle and La Caleta beach.
It’s free to enter and you can walk along the fortified walls with epic views of the beach and the San Sebastian Castle. Inside the castle, there are museums in the castle, one room with a permanent exhibition showcasing the history of the castle and one room with a variety of temporary exhibitions.
Climb the Tavira Tower
Not far from La Caleta beach, you can climb to the top of the Tavira Tower for the city’s most epic 360 views. From the 45-meter-high tower, you can see across the rooftops to the San Sebastian Castle on one side and the Cathedral on the other.
For an extra adventure, add a couple of Euros to your ticket and see the city from a different perspective in the Camera Obscura.
Stroll around Los Genovés Park
Only a few minutes’ walk from Playa La Caleta, you find one of the most popular parks in Cadiz and the city’s botanical garden, Los Genovés Park.
Featuring 65 species of plants, and several epic fountains, one of them with a rock to climb and with a cave inside, this is one of the top family activities in Cadiz.
There is also a café and a playground in the park, while the older children can play at the skate park right outside the park.
Visit Cadiz Cathedral
Cadiz Cathedral is a short walk from La Caleta beach and a must-visit when in the city. Dominated by the golden dome that you can see from the promenade, it’s just as fascinating inside as outside.
Make sure you climb the clock tower for spectacular coastal views. The clock tower is included in the cathedral entrance ticket.
Reflections on La Caleta beach in Cadiz
As you can see, La Caleta beach, Cadiz, Spain is one of the most sought-after attractions in the city and a must-visit beach when traveling to Cadiz.
There’s something for everyone and the proximity to the old town makes it a great stop on any itinerary whether you decide to spend a day at the beach or you want to go for a stroll.
In my opinion, La Caleta beach in Cadiz is one of the absolutely most stunning urban beaches in Andalucia that you should add to your Andalucia itinerary!