Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 August 2019

Flamenco dancer Sara Baras' guide to Cadiz, Spain

The most successful flamenco dancer in the world offers advice on visiting the multifaceted Spanish city of her birth

Sara Baras. Photo by Sofia Wittert
Sara Baras. Photo by Sofia Wittert

The Flamenco expert tells us where to eat, shop and dance in Cadiz.

What's the first thing everybody should do when they get to Cadiz?

You have to go directly to the beach, to the sea. It’s an important part of Cadiz – a bendita, a blessing. Cadiz is an open-minded place with open-minded people, because cultures have come from everywhere, across the sea. Cadiz is the oldest city in Europe and this is where the Spanish Constitution was proclaimed. Because of its position, ferries and ships come here from around the world. It’s multicultural and it’s open – and that’s thanks to the ocean.

The sea is still and the colours are perfect but nobody's around. Just a man watches the sunset drinking a bear in la Caleta beach, in Cadiz. Getty Images
La Caleta beach in Cadiz. Getty Images

What do you love most about the city?

Cadiz inspires. Every little thing in Cadiz is a good excuse to start dreaming.

What is your favourite place to eat?

Aponiente restaurant in Santa Maria port because the chef, Angel Leon, is a genius of the sea. They call him that because he changes the way you eat seafood. He uses things from the sea that you maybe aren’t used to eating, so it’s a totally new experience of seafood.

Where do you go shopping?

For me, the most interesting and special place is the food market. There are markets everywhere in Andalusia, but Cadiz market is very old. It’s a sightseeing experience because in the morning you have all the fish coming in really early, and you can buy, you can eat and you can taste. You have all the shops around the market, so you can stay there all morning or you can come just to have tapas at the end of the day.

Fresh fish in the Mercado Central de Abastos food market, Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz province, Andalucia, Spain, Europe. Getty Images
Head to Cadiz's food market. Getty Images

When is the best time to visit Cadiz?

Anytime.

Cadiz is famous for dance. Where is the best place to catch a performance?

Los Carnavales de Cadiz takes place indoors and outdoors, but I’m more interested in the outdoor events because you can have fun, you can express your feelings, be happy or sad, and laugh and cry at the same time. Everybody can be an artist during carnival. This is the voice of Cadiz: the voice of the people during the carnival.

What is the biggest mistake a visitor to Cadiz can make?

First, don’t forget to use some sun protection, and second, don’t try to plan everything. Just freestyle – because everything is freestyle in Cadiz. You have to just go with the flow. Don’t organise anything.

How much time do you need to spend in Cadiz to get a proper feel for the place?

Olvera panorama seen in the morning. Olvera, Andalusia, Spain. Getty Images
"Everythign is freestyle in Cadiz," says Sara Baras. Getty Images

You don’t have to be born in Cadiz to be a ‘Cadita’. It’s about connecting with the city. Cadiz is not just about the sea – it’s complete. It’s gastronomy, it’s food, it’s wine, it's horses, it’s flamenco, it’s mountains, nature. So it depends on what you’re coming for. If you’re coming for all this, you will get what you’re searching for, and maybe more.

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Updated: June 4, 2019 11:41 AM

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