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Medina Sidonia

Located in the south of the province of Cadiz we find this small and charming municipality colloquially known as “El Balcón de Cádiz”. If you want to discover one of the villages with the greatest historical-artistic heritage of the province, read on and you will discover all the necessary information to make your visit unforgettable.

This municipality is located on the so-called “Ruta del Toro” and with approximately 12,000 inhabitants, it is considered not only one of the most charming villages in Cadiz. Due to its location between sea and mountain, it is perfect for a weekend getaway at the time of year you want. In addition, you will not find a place full of tourists, because it is not as well-known as other municipalities, Medina Sidonia is a quiet village with little concentration of tourists. You can make your visit with peace of mind and without burdens. Don’t miss it!

The main museums.

Due to its complete cultural heritage, Medina Sidonia has two main museums of different themes where the visitor can take a tour through the history of the municipality

Depending on your preferences, the village offers you the option to visit the Archaeological Museum, where you can get to know the tangible manifestations (i.e. the remains or archaeological samples that have been discovered over the decades and have been part of the origin of the town) and the Ethnographic Museum, where they will show you the culture and ways of life. In the latter you will also know different visual manifestations, but the visit will focus on the way of life of the inhabitants in the past and in the present.

If you have time, it is advisable to make both visits, because they are very interesting and in this way you will have a complete picture of the history and culture of the people.

Archaeological Museum.

It is located in the center of the village, at the top of the Roman Archaeological Site of the same municipality. As you tour the museum you will see these remains with the naked eye, as it is composed of a series of hydraulic constructions of the first century a.C, with more than 30 meters of sewers, today all musealized and prepared for visits by the public. The discovery of the aforementioned remains in 1969 was what led the City Council of Medina Sidonia to want to expose the archaeological richness of the town in a museum open to the public.

The objective of the exhibition is to classify, preserve and display archaeological materials found in the village of Medina Sidonia during the various excavations carried out over the last decades.

Museo Arqueológico Medina Sidonia

Visiting hours are Monday to Sunday at the following times:

In winter: from 10:30 in the morning to 14:00 in the afternoon and from 16:30 to 18:30 in the afternoon.

In summer: from 10:30 in the morning to 14:00 in the afternoon and from 17:30 to 19:30 in the afternoon.

The price of the tickets is 3´50 euros per person.

The museum will be toured by a specialized guide, with which you will first travel through the main area (called La Cloaca) and then you can move to the underground area, since it is not permanently open to the public.

Ethnographic Museum

It was established in December 2010 with the intention of showing and disseminating the ways of life, organization and culture of the inhabitants of the village in recent centuries. In addition, it has also served professionals in the sector to carry out a better study of the ethnographic evolution of Medina Sidonia and the end of their respective knowledge.

The museum offers a tour of different rooms where the visitor will observe in detail the daily activities carried out by the population in the past (work of the land, transport of goods, raising cattle, winemaking…) as well as a room dedicated especially to the domestic area with furniture and equipment donated by the neighbors themselves.

Museo Etnográfico Medina Sidonia

The museum is open on weekends at the following times:

In winter: from 10:30 in the morning to 14:00 in the afternoon and from 16:30 to 18:30 in the afternoon.

In summer: from 10:30 in the morning to 14:00 in the afternoon and from 17:30 to 19:30 in the afternoon.

The price of the ticket is 1´50 euros per person.

What to eat.

Despite being a small village, Medina Sidonia has a complete menu of restaurants where you can enjoy a varied and quality gastronomy. It is the perfect place to go with any company, because due to its variety of restaurants, you can choose between options to go with young children, vegetarians, vegans, etc.

And if you are looking for a short visit to the most emblematic sites and then eat on the beachfront, Medina Sidonia is the perfect choice, because of its great location you can enjoy the rural environment and at the same time move in a very short time to the coast and enjoy the Cadiz food observing the sea.

Below we show you the most recommended restaurants by the visitor within the rural environment (where in addition to eating you can also stay if you want to spend a few days of relax in the village)

La Vista de Medina restaurant.

Apart from a wide variety of types of food, this restaurant has a peculiarity that does not leave any visitor indifferent, and is that the views it offers of Medina Sidonia on its terrace are unique and leave wanting to repeat to everyone who comes.

In addition, if you want to stay for a few days in the village, the owners of the business have adapted it to make the function of a country house at a small price. You can’t miss it!

Restaurante Vista de la Medina Medina Sidonia

El Duque restaurant.

Collected in the Michelin Guide, this restaurant of excellent value for money is defined by visitors as “spectacular” and “of unbeatable treatment”. Enjoy gourmet cuisine in a rustic atmosphere, where you can choose between tapas something fast or enjoy a lunch more quietly.

Restaurante El Duque Medina Sidonia

La Fábrica restaurant.

Close to the Ethnographic Museum, this most modern restaurant offers exquisite service with excellent value for money cuisine. If you are looking for a place to rest and replenish your strength after a morning of sightseeing, the restaurant La Fábrica will not disappoint you.

Restaurante La Fábrica Medina Sidonia

What to do.

In addition to being a must-see for a tour of the two main museums, Medina Sidonia offers a series of essential visits that will make your trip remain for the memory and spend a spectacular day.

The Cadiz region has been occupied by humans since Prehistory (Bronze Age). He has witnessed the presence of different civilizations such as the  Romans, Visigoths, Muslims and, finally,    Christians. All of  them have been leaving their traces on the ground, traces that we can currently observe in the different heritage manifestations that govern the people. The place where this mixture of cultures is best observed  is the archaeological complex of the Castle (which we present below), although we can also see it in places such as the Town Hall Square, the viewpoint, the Roman road, the natural park… or the best known and representative, which we present to you from now on.

Archaeological Site of Medina Sidonia. The Castle.

Located at the highest point of the Sierra we find this fortification with remains of Roman, Arab and medieval eras (although traces of human presence dating back to the Bronze Age have been found).

It is currently in the midst of active excavation, so some areas cannot be visited. Despite this, it is constituted as one of the heritage jewels of Medina Sidonia that also offers excellent panoramic views of the municipality and its surroundings at 300 meters of altitude.

It is open to the public from Monday to Sunday at the following times:

Monday to Thursday from 10 am to 14:00 in the afternoon.

Friday to Sunday from 10 am to 14:00 in the afternoon and from 16:00 to 18:00 in the afternoon.

The entrance fee is 2€ per person.

Castillo Medina Sidonia

La Pastora Arch.

Among the three old entrance gates to Medina Sidonia we find La Pastora Arch, a gate of Arab architecture with an showy horseshoe arch and a large staircase completing the whole.

Arco Pastora Medina Sidonia

Currently we find a remodeled tourist accommodation called Casa Arco de la Pastora which is accessed through the aforementioned Arco.

Santa María Church.

Declared of Cultural Interest under the category of Monument in 1931 we find this Gothic style church built on top of the old mosque. It has an excellent historical collection of a religious nature, among which stands a large altarpiece decorated in detail that give the interior an unparalleled beauty.

And if you’re looking for a complete experience, Oway Tours offers the best guided tours in Cadiz :

 

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