The city of San Fernando, popularly known as "La Isla", is located in the Bay of Cadiz. Its origins date back to Prehistoric times, although countless civilisations have passed through the city, leaving their mark.
From the outset, it has been inextricably linked to the sea and fishing, in particular the fishing of Almadraba Tuna. Its strategic geographical location has seen its history marked by a strong military component. It was here where the first Constituent Courts of Spain were sworn in 1810. A city bursting with history, legends and pirates that you are bound to fall in love with.
Ready to discover what to see in San Fernando? Get there by train with Renfe!
San Fernando experienced an age of splendour during the eighteenth century thanks to its strong colonial trade. The military establishment of the Navy also boosted the city, with buildings including but not limited to the Royal Institute and Observatory of the Navy, the Arsenal of La Carraca or the School for Non-Commissioned Officers.
- San Fernando Naval Museum: its privileged position converted San Fernando into a key military enclave and a place for repairing ships. It served as the backdrop to naval battles including the Battle of Trafalgar or pirate attacks such as the attack on the famous Drake. All this and more can be discovered at this museum, which is also home to objects related to the discoveries and expedition trips led by the Spanish Navy.
- There are other emblematic buildings that you cannot miss, including the Real Teatro de las Cortes, the Town Hall or the mediaeval fortresses, including the Castle of San Romualdo or the Castle of Santi Petri. The former played a key role in the history of Spain, as it was the site where the first session of the Cortes Generales was held, giving way to the 1812 Constitution.
- Punic kilns: this archaeological site is well worth a visit. It consists of a series of remains of pottery kilns dating back to Phoenician and Carthage-Punic times which can be visited free of charge in the centre of the city.
- Castle of San Romualdo: this is the oldest building in San Fernando, as it is believed that its construction was commissioned by Alfonso X. It is now home to his remains and different archaeological works, including the "Burial of lovers", dating back more than 6,000 years.
- The religious buildings in San Fernando are also well worth a visit. Churches including the Iglesia Mayor de San Pedro and San Pablo, the church of Divina Pastora or San Francisco serve as excellent examples of local religious art.
- One other thing you cannot miss in San Fernando is the Camarón de la Isla route. Here, you can follow in the footsteps of the famous singer-songwriter and discover some of the most influential places in the city where he grew up. We recommend that you visit his museum and his sculpture, the tour of his birthplace on Calle del Carmen and that you take a look at the Venta de Vargas: an authentic flamenco museum offering live performances and find out more about the life of this great artist.
Feeling peckish? Sample the best that San Fernando has to offer! A rich and varied gastronomy that will leave you with a wonderful taste in your mouth. Its high-quality fish and seafood are the pillar of San Fernando's cuisine.
The bienmesabe, fried fish and shrimp omelettes... you'll want to try them all.
San Fernando beaches
San Fernando is the perfect holiday destination. If you are looking to relax in the sun, this is the place for you. Hours and hours of sunlight, fine golden sand, wild plant life and crystal clear waters are waiting for you on any of its beaches. Discover them all for yourself!
- Playa de Camposoto: part of the Bay of Cadiz Natural Park, it is the perfect place for taking in natural marshes of great environmental values.
- Playa de Cortadura: its fine sand dunes contrast with the rocky outcrops, perfect for fishing and diving.
- Playa del Castillo: this difficult-to-access virgin beach is nestled in a unique landscape.
- Playa el Chato: undoubtedly the choice for families, as at low tide there is lots of room to play in the sand or discover marine animals.
How to get to San Fernando by train
Tempted to experience the south for yourself? Treat yourself and visit San Fernando with us and discover everything the city has to offer. Renfe makes it easy for you with our routes, meaning you can travel in the fastest, most comfortable and sustainable way possible.
And remember, if you are in the city of Cádiz and want to find out more about the province, travelling to San Fernando is easy on our Cercanías (commuter) trains.