The town is laden with historical architecture that helps illuminate its past. Here, even the simplest stroll becomes a sightseeing excursion. There are three modest towers rising up along the skyline, two of which were used as defensive towers in battles during the 16th and 18th century. The final is the Arquillo Clock, one of the most iconic structures in town, whose bell tower is built upon an ancient gate.
Throughout the town are great examples of neoclassical architecture, with a number of mansions once owned by prominent members of Spanish society. The Capilla del Santa Cristo is the oldest church in Chiclana de la Frontera, dating back to the 15th century, while the Ermita de Santa Ana is the highest point. If you make it up to the top, you’ll be rewarded with views of the surrounding area for miles around.
Wining and dining
The cuisine in this part of town is largely seafood-focused, what with the Atlantic Ocean just metres away. Most of the local restaurants dish up traditional tapas-style meals seasoned with Andalusian flavours, and are expertly paired with full-bodied wines. There’s also a handful of Italian eateries boasting homemade pasta and pizzas to bring in some flavours from the wider Mediterranean.
From family-run restaurants off the beaten path to beach huts parked right on the shore, you won’t have trouble finding the right atmosphere for whatever vibes you’re after. And once the night falls, you have the option to settle into a waterfront booth with a cocktail or head out on the town for dancing and drinks until the sun comes back up.
The production of wine isn’t taken lightly in Chiclana de la Frontera. Because of its incredibly fertile land, vineyards have thrived in the area for centuries. You could definitely say this has made the locals into vino experts. The area is especially known for its sherry and Rioja, which can be sampled at local restaurants.
If you’re lucky enough to come at the right time, Chiclana de la Frontera is host to a number of vibrant festivals throughout the year. The locals celebrate Carnival at the beginning of Lent, which features performances and a parade. At the San Antonio Fair, women dress up in colourful local costumes and the entire town joins in with dancing and a parade.
The Festival of Parpuja sees national figures in flamenco gather for a gala and Chiclana treats. There’s also a number of feasts throughout the year, where locals will participate in a procession through the streets, and highlight Andalusian dishes.
If you’re looking to submerge yourself in Chiclana de la Frontera’s culture, there are plenty of opportunities to have you feeling like a local. One of these is by winding through the Mercado de Abastos, an indoor market with rows and rows of stalls containing things like fresh fish, bread, locally sourced produce and meats, plus clothing and toys. Here, you can grab some ingredients to create your own snack or pick up an authentic souvenir to take home.