From all things you should not miss out on in Cadiz, La Playa de La Caleta (Caleta Beach, caleta meaning creek) definitely is one – if not THE one! Protected by the castles of San Sebastian and Santa Catalina, it is the smallest beach of Cadiz and by far the most picturesque.
Caleta Beach has been used since ancient times, among others by Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Romans, for loading and unloading merchandise and soldiers, in order to reach the inlands of southern Spain.
Nowadays, to protect the treasures that can be found below its water surface, scuba diving is prohibited. But luckily it is not forbidden to jump into the water for a refreshing swim, and during the summer Caleta Beach is one the favorite hangouts for Gaditanos and tourists alike, looking for a chance to sunbath, enjoy open air activities and relax.
Thanks to its privilegedlocation right in front of the neighborhood of La Viña, also known as Pequeña Cuba (Little Cuba) for its small, colored houses and palm trees, Caleta Beach stars in both Spanish and international movies! For example, who doesn’t remember the famous scene in James Bond’s “Die another day”, in which Halle Berry sensually walks out of the sea… guess where that was shot?!
Another peculiarity of Caleta Beach: every single stone has its own name, like El Toro (the bull), La Tortuga (The Turtle), El Delfin (The Dolphin), El Coche (The Car), El Rastrillo (The Rake), La Media Luna (The Half-Moon) or Las Pibas (The Kids). Here you can find a complete list of the names of all the different stones and even a little map (in Spanish only).
Overlooking the beach, seemingly embracing it, is anelegant white building extending its halls towards the sea. Once it was Cadiz’s Spa, El Balneario de Nuestra Señora de la Palma y del Real, inaugurated in 1926 and functioning on and off for over 30 years. Due to its deteriorated conditions its use has been completely changed; in 1990 the old Spa was transformed into the Center for Subaquatic Archeology.
The golden sand and the amazing sunsets of La Playa de La Caleta have inspired already many a artist, musician, poet… and loving couple La Caleta Beach is simply stunning: just sit down, watch how the warm colors of the sunset spread in the sky, linger until they fade away and the darkness comes…