8 Nov, 2023 @ 13:30
2 mins read

Must visit: The tiny island off the coast of Spain’s Cadiz you’ve likely never heard of – and where the Romans believed Hercules was buried

THE coast of Spain’s Cadiz is home to a stunning island escape you’ll want to keep a secret. 

Though small, Sancti-Petri has lots to offer for those looking for winter sun with its peaceful vibes, incredible sunsets and lots of history. 

Just off the coast of Sancti-Petri town, a tiny island, or ‘islote’ is home to a 17th century castle, which historians believe was built on top of Hercules’ ‘grave site’ (or at least, where the Romans thought he was buried). 

The small island is home to a castle rumoured to be Hercule’s gravesite Photo: mromerorta/pixabay

The mythical hero is very important in the area as it is believed he founded nearby Cadiz.  

Before Spain, the island was occupied by Phonecians who built a temple to the god Melqart. 

The Romans later replaced the structure with a temple dedicated to Hercules, who they believed was buried on the island. 

Deemed strategically significant, the castle we know today was built on top of the temple and was a military fortress until its decommission in 1918. 

Now, visitors can tour the castle which has its very own bar with panoramic sea views so you can enjoy a drink after seeing one of its many theatrical productions or historical reenactments. 

The castle bar is the perfect spot to watch the sunset. Photo: Castillo de Sancti-Petri website

The historic site can be reached by ferry from Sancti-Petri marina or by kayak if you’re feeling adventurous. 

The mainland offers many options for beach lovers on the fine sand of Playa de la Barrosa or Playa de Sancti-Petri.

From the ‘Magic Point: Temple of Hercules’, visitors can enjoy a lovely view of the castle jutting out of the ocean, or you fancy a walk, the Sendero Punta del Boqueron offers beachside strolls from Playa de Sancti-Petri. 

Sancti-Petri is the perfect day trip for tourists based in nearby Cadiz. 

The Southern Spanish city is well known for its surfing, sunsets and stunning beaches as well as its huge carnival, which takes place in February. 

Cadiz is a budget friendly city break with lots to explore. Photo: jordi-vich-navarro/unsplash

Cadiz was also recently named Spain’s cheapest city break, with a bottle of wine costing as little as £3.60. 

According to research by Bounce, the city is the ninth cheapest holiday destination in Europe, considering accommodation, transport, activities and food costs. 

One night’s accommodation in the historic city costs an average of £103 and a meal out comes in at just £9 per person. 

Cadiz is home to many attractions such as the cathedral, the Roman amphitheater, La Caleta beach, the Mercado Central and the old town. 


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