Why is Cadiz special? What makes Cadiz a great place to embark on your TEFL journey? After twelve years living in this unique place on the Bay of Cadiz, I came up with seven special reasons to come to Cadiz.
1. An incredible location.
In 1935, Laurie Lee described Cadiz as “a scribble of white on a sheet of blue glass” and the same is true today. Any aerial shot of Cadiz shows it in all its glory, it’s a city island with the sheltered Bay of Cadiz on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. Being surrounded by water means the city maintains its shape and character and, at the same time, gives it a sense of freedom. Cadiz city is both open and exposed while being sheltered and cozy.
2. A city to wander through.
The streets of Cadiz can feel like an intriguing maze and, although it’s been developed to shelter from the wind, this gentle challenge adds to the joy of being here. You are never lost for long; you’ll bump into the sea pretty quickly and find yourself again. You’ll not need to worry about buses, taxis or trains, in Cadiz you can easily walk from place to place or why not hire a bike if you want to investigate a little further afield. Whether you are an active or more sedentary person, Cadiz is a great place to simply be. It’s also one of the safest cities in Andalusia and Spain and you’ll feel comfortable exploring. One of the great delights of Cadiz is the “paseo gaditano”; a gentle, perhaps aimless stroll through the old town, the “casco antiguo”, going from plaza to plaza for a glass of something and maybe a “tapa” or two.
3. Cuisine; from the traditional to the contemporary.
Talking of “tapas” (or snacks), Cadiz prides itself on its culinary delights. There are tapas bars throughout the city and top quality restaurants too, something for every budget. One of the places to sample the best that Cadiz has to offer is, perhaps naturally enough in the Central Market. The market boasts a large number of stalls selling different food in a delightful atmosphere. It is also the oldest covered market in Europe and again mixes the traditional and the modern in a comfortable and unpretentious manner. The fish market at its centre has stalls bursting with local delights and summer sees a huge variety of fruit and vegetables hit the market.
4. 3000 years of history and heritage.
Cadiz has plenty to see and do, while some things may take some searching out, it is invariably worth it. The city has so many hidden gems from paintings by Goya, Phoenician mummies to contemporary art exhibitions. Cadiz is the oldest occupied city in Western Europe. There are museums and churches a plenty, castles and palaces of all different shapes and sizes to enjoy. And that’s without mentioning flamenco, the musical heartbeat of the city which sits comfortably alongside the many music venues and clubs to pass the night. There is a laid back atmosphere combined with a vibrancy which makes Cadiz so special.
5. The beach, not just one but four.
Cadiz is perhaps most famous for its beaches. There are four main city beaches, each with their own character. The old town has “La Caleta”, bookended by the castles of Santa Catalina (recently restored with art galleries and artists in residence) and San Sebastian. If its surfing you’re after, then head to the new town; the beaches of Santa Maria, Victoria and then the wilder Cortadura can be found. As well as surfing, you can take advantage of all manner of watersports both at the beach and through the watersports centres.
All of these beaches are blue flag awarded and are also great for sun-bathing, swimming and soaking up not only the sun but also the local atmosphere. Cadiz averages over 300 days of sunshine a year.
Cadiz has an authenticity that can be hard to find in bigger cities; it feels like an extremely Spanish city. Summer tourism tends to be Spanish people escaping to their favourite place. It’s warm, friendly and welcoming to foreign visitors and has its own atmosphere of fun, and humour is everywhere. The February carnival is legendary and groups wander the streets singing their political, social and other assorted irreverences and this attitude spills over into everyday life. While “authenticity” and “Spanishness” may be hard to define, Cadiz has them in spades.
We’ve already touched on the warmth and humour of the local people but there is one group of people located in the heart of the old town, Plaza de Mina, who should bring you to Cadiz for your Trinity Certificate in TESOL course; the teacher training team. Our TESOL training team is consistently described in feedback as surpassing all expectations of professionalism, approachability, experience, knowledge and, most importantly of all, inspiration.
The team members are all passionate about teaching and about Cadiz, ask them for tips on both.