In the South of Spain, an hours drive from Gibraltar is a little town called Medina Sidonia. A little town full of Roman history and true Spanish culture, there’s next to no tourism so you can’t just arrive and expect everyone to know English as we do in places such as Barcelona and Malaga, you are forced to speak Spanish. The locals get annoyed with the language barrier and see it as a mark of respect if you at least try to communicate in the language they speak.
Medina Sidonia is a little bubble of history that refuses to evolve like the outside world, the architecture is what you would expect for a little Spanish town, white buildings with imperfections such as chipped paint and crumbling walls. The roundabouts are water features that hold headless statues of Roman emperors, the statues were carved headless so when a new emperor was appointed all they had to do was simply change the head, now they remain headless.
Medina has been left untouched so it is surrounded by the most beautiful views of green landscapes, wild flowers, fields and trees for miles. I am very fortunate to discover Medina trough my friend Helen, her family have been very kind to host me for the third time now and their villa is stunning. I’m very lucky to be given the downstairs bedroom in the back of the villa during my stays, from the window you have the most stunning view of the pool & blue skies for miles.
Every time I have visited I have been lucky with the weather, the sun is always out, the temperatures are always above 20 and the skies are always blue, though as the villa is on the top of a hill it can get extremely windy, as I’m writing this I am soaking the sun up in the conservatory avoiding the strong winds. Although I may not be a natural red head I have inherited the ginger skin from my fathers side, I have slathered myself in factor 30 several times a day and still have sunburn on my shoulders.
In Medina, whilst there isn’t much in the way of entertainment there is plenty of places to discover the local cuisine, the historical sites and the towns way of life such as visiting the local market on Mondays. The nearest shopping centre is around an hours drive away but there are a few local supermarkets for food. As Medina doesn’t attract tourism the cost of food and eating out is very cheap. On Monday, Helen and I, strolled into town to check out the local market and head to the town square for lunch, between us we shared four plates of food, chips, potato salad, roasted peppers and a selection of cold meats, we both had a drink each and the entire lunch amounted to just under fourteen euros.
The town is very hilly so flat shoes are a must, at the very top of Medina you will find it’s oldest building, a grand church that was originally built as a mosque in the tenth century until Christians took the town over and converted it in to a church, it’s very unique as it still has some of the mosque features.
Medina is the perfect location for a relaxing and peaceful escape, perfectly situated by the church and at the top of the town is La vista de medina hotel and restaurant. La Vista de Medina is a beautiful hotel that also host functions such as weddings. Being in the perfect location you can spend most evenings enjoying local dishes and fine wines whilst watching the sunset.
Medina Sidonia really is tucked away so I would recommend hiring a car if you fancy exploring, not too far away is Cadiz where you can find a beach. Cadiz has more tourism so it’s busier but has the most beautiful beach with golden sand and blue sea, along the sea front there’s a mini market that sells all handmade accessories and a little further back on the road are little restaurants so you can make a trip to Cadiz a worthwhile day out.
My trip to Medina Sidonia was much needed, I enjoyed the peace and relaxation, vast amounts of tinto and olives, now I’m ready to face my next challenge.