Traveling With Kids: Rota & Cadiz, Spain
If you are looking for a wonderful and safe place to travel with you kids and Spain has entered your mind- GREAT! Here is what you need to know about traveling to Spain with kids.
As someone who has traveled overseas with her kids 7 times, I am super passionate about equipping momma’s to travel with their little ones.
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When my husband finally agreed to taking a family vacation through Space A (space available flights- free military flights if they have space) I knew exactly where I wanted to go! Spain… where the wine flows like water and the tapas grow on trees…
My daughters were 1 and 3 years old and I had a pretty good idea of what I was looking for in an overseas vacation.
- We didn’t want a location that was more then 12 hours away
- Neither of us wanted to go into a culture that wasn’t very kid friendly and family oriented
- I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg on food and hotels
Our overnight flight to Rota, Spain from Dover, Delaware took about 8 hours! My three year old fell asleep in her carseat and my 1 year old nursed to sleep and slept wonderfully the entire flight.
Once we landed on the military base in Rota, Spain, we took a short nap and went out on our first excursion.
Traveling with Kids: Rota, Spain
Rota Spain was a wonderful city to just walk around in. We found navigation to be pretty simple and even stroller friendly. We strolled through the city to the beautiful Palacio Municipal Castillo de Luna and since our baby fell asleep on the stroll, we decided it would be a good idea to try out a coffee with the classic dessert know to this area called “Pan de Cadiz”. These marzipan cakes date back to the 1950’s and are a classic treat in this part of Spain.
One thing my husband and I really love about Rota is how kid friendly it is. There are playgrounds located throughout the city. If the kids ever got tired of sight seeing and being lugged around, we could stop for play.
We walked around the beach and let the kids get out some energy and then headed back towards the base to get some rest. On our way back to the base however, we realized there was a Pizza Festival going on and stopped by for a few slices, beer and a small concert. Have I mentioned how affordable Spain yet? We paid about $2 per beer and less then a dollar a slice! It was a fun and quirky experience for the whole family.
Where To Stay In Rota With Kids
Our family stayed on base in the military lodge. The lodge was about $80 a night and was exactly what we needed after a long night flight with our children. There is free coffee in the lobby, staff who spoke English, and even gave us a list of events in the area.
Getting Around Rota With Kids
We took a taxi off base into the heart of Rota. This taxi drive probably only cost us $10 and we were able to walk the rest of the day until we were driven back home. I did bring a lightweight ring sling to carry my 1 year old in so she could nap safe and snug, and we brought a durable Maclaren folding stroller that could handle the old streets.
Traveling with Kids: Cadiz, Spain
Traveling from Rota to Cadiz With Kids
The next morning we packed up our bags and took a bus to the oldest city in Spain, Cadiz. We wanted to take a ferry which only cost about $6 but since we were traveling on a Sunday the only tickets we could get where through this bus service and tickets were $3 a person.
Something pretty spectacular about this place is how preserved it’s history is! Cadiz is known as the most ancient city still standing and you can still see and explore their Phoenician Ruins. Not to mention the fact that it is perched on one of the most beautiful beaches in the country.
Things to Do in Cadiz With Kids
Our day in Cadiz was spent walking through the Phoenician ruins, exploring Castillo de Santa Catalina castle, and walking through beautiful gardens.
Castillo de Santa Catalina castle was defiantly worth the visit. This 17th century fortress had a panoramic ocean view and an art exhibit inside the castle walls.
If you are looking to really explore Cadiz and maybe even get a nice picture for instagram, Alameda Apodaca was gorgeous. This location was a lovely place to walk through, especially to let the kids run. With huge ancient trees, beautiful tile work, wild citrus trees, and sweeping views of the ocean. Adding this onto your list would be worth it.
Next on our list to stop was Torre Tavira. This observation tower is the highest point in Cadiz and gives you an incredible view of the whole city. This 18th century watchtower was stroller (and wheelchair) friendly. The tickets were about $10 to enter, which was totally worth it when we saw how incredible the view was.
There were also plenty of places to stop and play. Spain is so kid friendly! I cannot say it enough, this country was made with families in mind. Here is a little stop made after lunch to let the girls play. We also decided that each city we went to we would let the girls get a little 1 euro toy out of the little toy vending machines that resembled gum ball machines. It was great because each day they got to play with a toy that entertained them enough and when they got over it, we could just throw it away!
Where to Stay in Cadiz With Kids
Our airbnb apartment in the heart of Cadiz came out to under $80! The affordability of the airbnb was impressive, especially since we had the whole place to ourself. The location was perfect, sitting right in the middle of the city on cobble stone streets across from the ocean. Before arriving in Cadiz, definitely do some research and look up airbnb’s to rent.
What to Eat in Cadiz with Kids
Eating in Cadiz was fun experience! If you are looking for a good meal La Candela Tapas Bar was absolutely incredible. This restaurant serves seasonal delish food that you couldn’t help taking a picture of! The grilled octopus we devoured was probably our most memorable meal.
There were also plenty of cafe’s where Flora and I shared desserts. We loved looking through the menu and trying new things we have never heard of. The most memorable cafe we stopped to sample was called Monkey Bakery Cafe. Monkey Bakery Cafe is one of the most modern and popular cafe in Cadiz! It’s filled with children running around and the air smells of fresh espresso and chocolate.
Getting Around in Cadiz With Kids
If you re debating what to carry your kids in, my husband and I decided to bring a lightweight stroller, a hiking backpack and a ring sling. You probably will not need to rent a car because the city is pretty small and easy to walk through. However, we did rent a car the day we left Cadiz because we were driving north to Seville.
What to Bring For Traveling Cadiz and Rota, Spain With Kids
- A light weight stroller I can guarantee your kids legs will need a brake at some point
- A rain stroller cover I actually discovered these in Spain, literally everyone had one of these and they made traveling in the rain so much less stressful.
- A portable diaper changing station mat – changing tables are pretty rare to find in Spain.
- A breathable darkening cover for your pack and play- gosh I wish I had one of these! These give you a little bit of privacy and keep the kids sleep environment dark even if you don’t have curtains.
- A baby carrier like the Ergo, which is idea for a longer wear or a ring sling for a lighter wear that photographs better.
- If you are planning on walking a lot or going to places with many stairs, a baby hiking carrier is an absolute must. They are perfect for toddlers.
- We have used our mini pack and play for hundreds of trips. Literally my favorite hand me down I have ever received! This mini crib has fit in closets, bathrooms and tiny spaces when we have needed it.
- Snacks, lots and lots of snacks. Here is our favorite healthy fruit bar that is light weight and doesn’t crumble, and here is our favorite high protein beef stick.
I hope this was helpful! If you have any questions about traveling with kids or tips you’d like to share please leave them in the comments below!