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Latest update: 31 July 2023

How many tips? A crazy amount of tips for your holiday or a day trip to Chiclana de la Frontera in Spain. There is so much to do and experience! Quickly discover all tips for sights, activities, and restaurants in Chiclana de la Frontera. Warning: after reading this blog, you will probably book an extra day.

This is Chiclana de la Frontera

Chiclana de la Frontera was a gamble for me. A gamble that paid off. In the winter of 2023, I lived in Chiclana de la Frontera for no less than three months with my best friend and my dog. I had never heard of the city. But it is a perfect base for discovering the Cádiz province in Andalusia. In winter, there is hardly a tourist, not even Spanish tourists. But as the weather improves in March, people show up, and more and more restaurants and beach clubs open. I can imagine that the beaches of Chiclana de la Frontera are packed in the summer.

Like many other places in the region, Chiclana has the addition ‘de la Frontera’. This dates back to when the Moors and the Christians owned part of Spain. Chiclana was on the borderland, on the frontera.

You can roughly divide Chiclana de la Frontera into three areas: the city center, the beach, and everything beyond. That’s why I share my tips for sights, walks, restaurants, and more per area. So take a look at:

The city center of Chiclana de la Frontera

The river Iro flows through the center of Chiclana de la Frontera. That, unfortunately, sounds more idyllic than it is. The river is mostly dry and looks dirty. It is mainly a separation between the part of the shops and sights, and on the other side, you will mostly find the sherry bodegas. After all, Chiclana de la Frontera is in the middle of the sherry triangle. So you owe it to yourself to at least order a glass at a bar, but visiting a bodega is even more fun.

Wine and Salt Museum Centro de Interpretación del Vino y la Sal

In the same building as the tourism office, you will find the wine and salt museum of Chiclana de la Frontera. Bodegas Primitivo Collantes used to use this building. In the museum, you will now learn more about salt extraction and wine production in Chiclana de la Frontera. The exhibition is free to visit. All information signs are in Spanish, so you will receive a brochure with translations. But be sure to ask for the audio guide. It is also available free of charge and in English. The entire visit takes about 45 minutes if you listen to all the talks. But it’s a lot of info, so maybe you (like me) drop out a little earlier.

Google Maps location

Market hall Mercado Municipal de Abastos

The Mercado Municipal de Abastos is a covered market hall in the center of Chiclana de la Frontera. Here you can do your grocery shopping: many stalls of meat, fruit, and vegetables. And especially a lot of fish stalls.

Google Maps location

Ermita of Santa Ana

A little outside the city center of Chiclana de la Frontera is the Ermita de Santa Ana. It is best to take the car to visit the round building. It seems pretty deserted, but the view is unparalleled. There is a huge viewing platform in front. The view extends to the ocean and the city of Cádiz.

Google Maps location

Chiclana Museum

The Museo de Chiclana is free to visit. Located in the Plaza Mayor, it has several permanent and changing exhibitions. You will learn about the history of Chiclana de la Frontera (from the Phoenicians to the Romans, Greeks, and Napoleon). Unfortunately, almost everything is only in Spanish, but at the reception, you get a pile of folders so that you can still make sense of it all. During my visit, there is an exhibition ‘guardia civil in playmobil’ – how does someone come up with that, right?

Google Maps location

Plaza Mayor with clock tower and church

Strangely enough, you will not find dozens of cafes on the Plaza Mayor. It’s even a bit of a deserted square. But do make a short stop at the Plaza Mayor anyway for the clock tower (Arquillo del Reloj) and Iglesia de San Juan Bautista church. The church is still in full use: there are masses, people get married, and the church plays a leading role in religious celebrations such as Carnival and Semana Santa.

Google Maps location

Events in Chiclana de la Frontera: Carnival and Semana Santa

The Spaniards go all out with Carnival and Semana Santa (the week before Easter). For days there are all kinds of activities in the Chiclana de la Frontera. There is food, dancing, and singing. There are parades and activities for children. During Carnival, tractors with choirs go through the city in the evening to sing songs. Very entertaining.

And during Semana Santa, processions start at the main church. Chiclana de la Frontera has several brotherhoods, each organizing a procession. The people carry huge religious ‘tronos’ (statues) around the city. Such a trono is worn by a whole bunch of people as it’s really heavy. There are musicians in the procession and adults and children in robes and pointed hats. That immediately evokes the association with the Ku-Klux-Klan, but they are ‘capirotes’. They conceal the identity of the ‘penitents’. So it is an age-old tradition and has nothing to do with the American clan.

I find that the event feels like a pleasant get-together. I was also able to experience Semana Santa in Peru (Ayacucho), and the atmosphere there was much more serious.

The practical information (what, where, when) about events such as Carnival and Semana Santa in Chiclana de la Frontera is often challenging to find. I finally figured it out with Google Translate and this website.

Restaurants and bars in the center of Chiclana de la Frontera

Honestly, I went for a good lunch and drinks on the beach more often than in the center. And secretly, I think cities and towns like Jerez de la Frontera or Vejer de la Frontera have better options to eat in the city. But I do have a few recommendations for restaurants in the center of Chiclana de la Frontera for you.

ViaVai Gastrobar

At ViaVai Gastrobar, they have sharing dishes and a few junk food options for one. The food is certainly tasty, but the style goes in all directions: from Asian to Spanish and back. I, therefore, find it a bit difficult to combine dishes. The service and the kitchen have set the pace: I have eaten three courses within an hour. So if you want to devour something, this is a good option.

Google Maps location

Making Salads Urban

Making Salads Urban is a poké bar serving poké bowls and sushi. The poké bar is very nicely decorated. Beautiful furniture, neatly laid tables. I’m sad that my stomach only has room for a poké bowl because this is a restaurant where I want to try more dishes from the menu. The kitchen predefined some poké bowls, but you can also choose all the ingredients and make your own variation.

Google Maps location

Bodega “El Sanatorio” Manuel Aragòn

In the sherry bodegas of Chiclana de la Frontera, you are surrounded by Spaniards. So you’ll definitely get a local experience. Especially on weekends, it is hectic around lunchtime. Young and old come to the bodega for a snack and a drink. El Sanatorio is from the sherry producer Manuel Aragòn. It’s an old-fashioned bodega with sherry casks everywhere and a small room with some information about the production process. The menu includes sandwiches and some tapas. You already have a sandwich for just over two euros, and a glass of sherry costs just over one euro.

Google Maps location

Bodega La Cooperativa

La Cooperativa is also a sherry bodega. The advantage of this one compared to El Sanatorio is that it also has outdoor seats. But getting a table is difficult because the whole of Chiclana de la Frontera seems to want to drink and eat here on weekends. The tapas menu is much more extensive, but it is challenging to get the attention of the service staff here. The tactics of the Spaniards? Just wave frantically and scream at the waiters and waitresses. It does work though.

Google Maps location

Parking in the center of Chiclana de la Frontera

In the center of Chiclana de la Frontera, you can park under the Plaza Mayor (Google Maps location). But free parking is always better, right? You can do that, for example, here or here. Both are within walking distance of the center and the bodegas.

The beach of Chiclana de la Frontera

Chiclana de la Frontera has one of the most beautiful beaches on the Costa de la Luz. It is wide, elongated, and stretches with nice beach bars alternate with almost deserted stretches of beach along high rocks. The beach is divided into several stretches that flow seamlessly into each other, of which La Barrosa is the most popular. You can park (in winter, at least) pretty much anywhere close to the beach. Just use the parking spaces along the street. These are the Google Maps links to the most important beaches and beach parking spots in Chiclana de la Frontera:

Tip! Haven’t arranged a rental car yet? Compare your options at Sunny Cars and EasyTerra. These are my favorite car rental companies because they cover all necessary insurance. So no hassle with over-enthusiastic sellers when you pick up your car.

Until mid-March, dogs are allowed on a leash on the beach in Chiclana de la Frontera, but even after that, I still see enough dogs on the beach. Apparently, there is no control (yet) in the preseason.

Take a boat trip

You don’t have to get wet to enjoy the ocean water. You can sail with the Al Barco catamaran. It sails (in the summer months) to the bay of Cádiz, or you choose a catamaran cruise with lunch or one at sunset. These are your options:

Go surfing in Chiclana de la Frontera

Surfers are in the water in various places at the Chiclana de la Frontera beaches. Both beginners and advanced. With all those bobbing, surfing, and plodding people, you might feel like a surfing session yourself. You can rent surfboards on the beach and also take lessons. Please contact, for example, Kite Surf Chiclana (Google Maps location) or La Barrosa Escuela de Surf (Google Maps location).

The god Melkart

You will come across a statue of a bluish man at several spots in Chiclana de la Frontera. This is the god Melkart, the prince of Tire in Lebanon, and associated with the sea, commercial trade, and sometimes also the sun and fertility. So he’s a busy man. You can find Melkart on the beach of La Barrosa and at the top of the walking area of Playa la Loma.

Google Maps location La Barrosa and Google Maps location Playa la Loma

The walkway above the beach: Sendero Novo Sancti-Petri

Above the La Loma beach is a short constructed walking path of about half an hour. It has beach access, but the path also takes you to the Torre del Puerco, a medieval watchtower. On March 5, 1811, the allied Spanish, English, and Portuguese troops fought against the French in this area. And you’ll have the god Melkart waiting for you too.

Google Maps location

Restaurants and bars near the beach of Chiclana de la Frontera

Most restaurants and bars are concentrated on La Barrosa beach. Following the coastline, you will find a few nice beach bars. And then there’s also the Carretera de la Barossa: the street behind the beach where you will find even more restaurants and cafes. You don’t have to go hungry or thirsty! Of course, I have tried some options for you. Remember that the Spaniards have lunch around two o’clock and don’t start dinner until 9 pm. Reservations are always recommended!

Restaurante La Mafia

La Mafia is quite a popular restaurant in Chiclana de la Frontera. Reservations are a must, especially on weekends and in high season. Even for lunch! It’s an Italian restaurant on the road behind the beach. The service is fast, and the food comes almost even faster. I still need to finish my starter when the main course is served. And so we’re out in an hour. It was tasty but over very quickly.

Google Maps location

Pizza La Mafia Chiclana de la Frontera

Restaurante Zurga

Restaurante Zurga is a simple restaurant on the promenade of Playa La Barrosa. As soon as the sun shines, it gets extremely busy here. The staff almost runs to keep up with the orders. You can also eat here, but it’s especially a nice place for a drink with a snack.

Google Maps location

Los Pescadores

As the name suggests: here you eat fish and seafood. Although there are other things on the menu as well. Especially on sunny days, everyone fights for a spot at Los Pescadores. It is a very popular restaurant in Chiclana de la Frontera. The service is fast and friendly, but only in fast Spanish. So just point to what you want. 😉

Google Maps location

La Rúcula – Gastrobar Argentino

Honestly, I’ve never seen anyone eating at La Rúcula. There is a lot of drinking going on here though. It is a busy bar on the beach side where they serve full glasses. The mixed drinks are poured from the bottle at the table – very generously.

Google Maps location

Pizzeria Da Vinci

Pizzeria Da Vinci is located on the seafront; you can reach it via an internal staircase. The sunny terrace is on the first floor. Even on less beautiful days, there is enough space inside, and part of the terrace is covered. The service is friendly and relaxed. You eat pizzas and pasta, and they have local wines. If you ask me, the pizzas are better than those of La Mafia: nice thin crust and richly topped.

Google Maps location

La Bandida Beach Bar

At La Bandida, I had a lot of drinks because, on windy days, you can sit out of the wind and enjoy the winter sun. Service is fast and attentive. In many bars in the area, I have to try hard to get the attention of the service staff to order a second drink. Not here. It is already poured before you take your last sip – so to speak.

Google Maps location

Atenas Playa Restaurante

Atenas is closed during winter, so I’m thrilled that I caught the opening at the end of my time in Chiclana de la Frontera. Atenas is a popular bar, restaurant, and chill spot. You can also rent fancy beach beds there. I expected a chic place, but it’s not too posh at all. The artificial grass on the floor does not help the appearance. Order a tasty cocktail and enjoy the view and the occasional live music. You can also eat at Atenas, but I didn’t try that. The food did look good from a distance though.

Google Maps location

El Arbol Tapas

I had doubts about El Arbol Tapas from the outside, but damn, I had a good meal here. You can order all standard tapas dishes here, but they are just slightly different. I call it chic tapas. The restaurant is on the street behind the beach. Highly recommended in Chiclana de la Frontera!

Google Maps location

Coconovo Beach Club

The Coconovo Beach Club is open 365 days a year, rain or shine. But it is, of course, most fun when the sun is shining. There is always live music on the weekends. It is meant to be a more luxurious beach club: everywhere you see champagne references, and the beach beds look luxurious. But on the other hand, you must sit on white plastic chairs waiting for the service for ages. And it is pretty pricey by Spanish standards. As far as I’m concerned, fine for a drink if you’re not in a hurry.

Google Maps location

Nova Sunset Club

I am at the Nova Sunset Club on the weekend at sunset, and there is a party atmosphere. There’s a DJ, people are dancing, yelling, and screaming, and cocktails are constantly mixed: it’s a beach party. The location is lovely, so I’m curious what Nova Sunset Club is like when there is no party. According to the Google reviews, you can also enjoy good food (and then hang around for cocktails and music).

Google Maps location

The ‘outskirts’ of Chiclana de la Frontera

Chiclana de la Frontera extends beyond just the center and the coastal strip. Of course, much of the area is residential, and part is also rural. There are a few beautiful hiking spots, and you can do an excellent sherry tour!

Bike tour through Chiclana de la Frontera

A bike ride is a good option to get active and explore Chiclana de la Frontera. At GetYourGuide, they offer an electric bike tour. This bike tour focuses mainly on nature in Chiclana de la Frontera and takes about half a day. This way, you get to places you would never have come to otherwise.

Hiking in the Parque National Bahía de Cádiz

The national park ‘Bay of Cádiz’ is located on the river Guadalete and is quite large. And quite varied: it consists of beaches, dunes, and marshes. There are salt mines and small lagoons. I decide to do the Salina de Carboneros walking trail because my dog is also allowed on a leash here.

It is an easy trail on paved paths along a pine forest, a salt mine, canals, and lagoons. Because it is so flat, the wind blows hard here. Dress accordingly. During the walk, I encounter a few birdwatching points and fishermen try to catch fish. The trail takes about 40 minutes, depending on which turns you take, or not.

Google Maps location

Also a good option: a private tour along and through the marshes. Book it here.

Salt spa in Chiclana de la Frontera

In the Bahía de Cádiz park are the salt pans of Chiclana de la Frontera. You can visit these. In fact, you can go to a salt spa. You can see how salt is produced in the old salt mine in the Salinas de Chiclana and then enter the salt spa. How about a massage, a salt bath, or mud wrap? There is also a restaurant where you get a nice lunch. Unfortunately, in winter it was closed, but maybe you can go? It’s not cheap, but it’s unique! Look here for more info.

Sherry tour at Bodega Manuel Aragón

It’s my very first sherry tour ever. I do a few more sherry tastings in the Cádiz region, but this first tour is the best. Because our guide does not speak English, we combine the audio guide with her explanations in Spanish. Later another employee joins us as he does speak English and has some time on his hands. I understand that tours in the summer are possible in German and English.

Bodega Manuel Aragón is a small bodega in Chiclana de la Frontera where they make different types of sherry. We learn about cultivating the land and the production process: a process of years in which the sherry is always transferred to the next barrel and where a layer of yeast (flor) is formed on the sherry. Interesting to see because it is really different from how wine is made. Manuel Aragón also has a cozy tasting room in the center of Chiclana de la Frontera.

We conclude the tour with a tasting of five sherries and some snacks. I had no idea there was so much choice! Sherry is sherry, right? No. But you have to find out yourself with a guided tour. Check the website to make a reservation.

Google Maps location

Chiclana de la Frontera flea market on weekends

Every weekend there is a flea market in Chiclana de la Frontera that attracts many people, while it is actually quite remote. You can go bargain hunting between 8 am and 2 pm on Saturday and Sunday. It is best to go on Saturday because then there are the most stalls. Sometimes only a handful are left on Sundays. It is mainly a lot of junk (if you ask me) that is sold, but I always like walking around at flea markets. It will keep you busy for half an hour if most stalls are set up.

Google Maps location

Parque Forestal Pinar del hierro y la Espartosa

The Pinar del hierro grove in Chiclana de la Frontera is a landscaped forest with long, wide paths that enclose the trees in straight lines. On the hill, it feels more natural. People like to come here to mountain bike or play with the kids. On the hill (it’s only a small climb) is the Punto Mágico La Espartosa. That is a nice vantage point. You look over the forest and Chiclana de la Frontera.

Google Maps location

Hotels in Chiclana de la Frontera

I rented a house in Chiclana de la Frontera for a longer period, and it is also available for shorter stays: take a look. I think the short rental prices are a bit pricey, to be honest. The owner is very relaxed and accommodating though. But there are much more hotel options in Chiclana de la Frontera. Check out these hotels and apartments:

More Spain inspiration?

  • Accommodation. All-time favorites: Booking.com and Campspace. Rather stay in a hostel? Try HostelWorld.
  • Activities. You book the best tours and activities with GetYourGuide and Viator. Another good option is WithLocals. And Freetour.com and GuruWalk both offer ‘free’ walking tours, while Baja Bikes has bike tours.
  • Attractions and museums. Get a 5% discount at Tiqets on museums and attractions with the discount code: KIMOPREIS22
  • Boat. You can catch a boat to Mallorca from Barcelona, for example. Book your ticket at Balearia. You can also get to the other Balearic Islands with Balearia. Compare ferry prices at Direct Ferries.
  • Bus and train. Travel to Spain with NS International or Flixbus. Other useful companies are Busbud, 12go, and Omio, also for buses and trains within Spain.
  • Car rental. My go-to car rental companies are EasyTerra and Sunny Cars as they have all-inclusive / worry-free offers. Want to compare more prices? Check out Discover Cars.
  • Flights. Have a look at Transavia and Vueling, but do compare prices! Definitely check out Momondo, Skyscanner, and Kiwi.
  • Money. Your debit and credit cards may not get accepted everywhere. You could opt for a Revolut card as an additional card when you travel. 
  • Package deals. Rather go on a catered trip? From The Netherlands, there is plenty of choice. ANWB vakanties, Tui, Shoestring or Sawadee, of rather D-reizen, Sunweb, Corendon or Vakantie Discounter?
  • SIM card. Beware of unexpectedly high calling and internet costs. Buy a local SIM card when you arrive, or arrange one online via Airalo.
  • Travel gear. Buy your gear at Bever or Decathlon, or simply at Bol.com.
  • Travel guides. Let’s get you ready for your trip! Order a travel guide to browse through. For example, at Bol.com or Amazon.
  • Yoga retreat. Or why not treat yourself to a yoga retreat in Spain!

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