Jerez is situated in the Province of Cadiz, in the autonomous region of Andalusia, in south western Spain. The fertile and semi-rural municipality is halfway between the Cadiz Mountains and the Atlantic Coast. Major economic activities are cattle ranching, horse breeding and wine making. The city is renowned for the annual Feria Horse Festival, Flamenco dancing and sherry bars. In 2013, Jerez was named The Wine Capital of Europe. It was also awarded the world's first title of Motorbike City in 2014. The Grand Prix motor circuit is used for motorcycle races and, until 1997, hosted Formula One.
This Moorish castle was constructed during the period of Muslim rule and is the last remaining mosque of the 18 built. It was situated on the highest point of the ancient city as a defensive fort. The perimeter walls, an octagonal tower and baths remain. The Islamic gardens have a formal layout and feature fountains. The mosque was converted into a chapel in 1264 and a palace was added in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Alcazar is the oldest monument in the city and is open year round. Visitors can climb the tower and walk along the ramparts which offer sweeping views of the city.
Calle Alameda Vieja, s/n, 11403 Jerez de la Frontera
2.Cathedral – San Salvador
© Mik Man/stock.adobe.com
The building which has been Jerez's cathedral since 1980 took more than 80 years to build, from 1695 to 1778. Consequently, a number of architectural concepts were incorporated in the design. It has Gothic flying buttresses and gargoyles, a Baroque facade and a Renaissance dome. The collegiate church was built on the site of a former mosque and one of the minarets has remained as a tower. The exterior and interior have neoclassical elements with several statues and tableaux adorning the walls. It is the seat of the Diocese of Asidonia-Jerez and was declared a Property of Cultural Interest in 1931.
Plaza Encarnación, s/n, 11403 Jerez de la Frontera, Phone: +34-956-16-90-59
3.The Dancing Horses
© Azaliya (Elya Vatel)/stock.adobe.com
The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art Foundation is world renowned for its show, 'How the Andalusian Horses Dance'. The show was instituted to celebrate the recognition given to the organization by King Juan Carlos I in 1973. In 1986 the school acquired 35 purebred Spanish horses and 19 horse-drawn carriages, along with harnesses, saddles and embroidered costumes dating back to the 1730s. The show is performed several times a week in the arena which seats 1600. The museum features antiquities alongside state-of-the-art interactive displays on the school's history and aims.
Avenida Duque de Abrantes, S/N. Palacio Recreo de las Cadenas.
11407. Jerez de la Frontera, Phone: +34-956-92-25-80
4.Tio Pepe Bodegas
Early in the 19th century, when the wine industry in the region was at its zenith, Manuel Gonzalez started a small winery. Within 20 years, his enterprise grew to be the leading exporter of sherry. He built the first bodegas or wine storage facilities and left behind an architectural legacy. The winery offers guided tours in English, Spanish and German. There are a range of tour packages to choose from beginning with the basic tasting of between 2-4 wines or sherries. There are also brandy tours, bicycle and 4 X 4 routes, and a choice of lunch, dinner or tapas tastings.
Calle de Manuel María González, 12, 11403 Jerez de la Frontera, Phone: +34-956-35-70-16
The concept of tradition is of utmost importance to this winery. It was founded in 1998 by Joaquim Rivero whose family owned the oldest sherry house in the region. Traditional techniques, using only natural fermentation processes, are used to age the wine. An old sherry warehouse was acquired and refurbished as a cellar. It is open for viewing by appointment. The private art gallery of 300 Spanish artworks from the 15th to the 20th century is housed in the cellar. The winery produces 1500 casks per annum, enough for 20000 bottles of wine, most of which is exported.
Plaza Cordobeses, 3, 11408 - Jerez de la Frontera, Phone: +34-956-16-86-28
This winery started producing wines for sherry producers in 1886. In 1945, under the leadership of Emitio Lustau Ortega, the son-in-law of the founder, first produced sherries under the Lustau label. In 1950, the company started exporting sherries and has subsequently been awarded several medals and trophies for their products. In 1990, the company merged with Luis Caballero and later renovated six bodegas in the center of the city. They have vineyards in three areas of the sherry region and produce wine, sherry, brandy and vinegar. They offer tastings, with explanations in English and Spanish.
Calle Arcos, 53, 11402 Jerez De La Frontera, Cádiz, Phone: +34-956-34-15-97
The Plaza del Toros de Jerez is one of the oldest and most famous bullrings in Andalusia. It was first built in 1839 as a 16-sided wooden structure with seating for 11000 spectators. Unfortunately, it burnt down in 1860. It took 12 years to reconstruct but was burnt again in 1891. The current arena was built in 1894 and has an eclectic mix of styles resulting from its history. There are regular bullfights on the program and the plaza is also used for livestock contests and, until recently, the annual Horse Fair was held there.
8.Feria Del Caballo
The annual, week-long Horse Fair has been held in May in Jerez since 1983. Hundreds of men, women and children dress in traditional costumes and parade their purebred Spanish horses through the streets and into the González Hontoria fairground. The men wear black suits with short jackets or boleros and flat broad-rimmed hats. The women wear brightly colored, flamenco or gypsy dresses and carry fans. Several marquees are erected on the grounds and local food and beverages are served. Bullfights are scheduled at the bullring during the festivities and at night the fairground turns into an amusement park.
9.Tabanco El Pasaje
© Tabanco El Pasaje
Tabanco is a term originating from the 17th and 18th century. It means a small shop that sells tobacco. In modern times the term has come to be associated with sherry bars. The Tobanco El Pasaje is so named because its two entrances form a passage. Wines and sherries from local wineries are served. Tapas are on the menu, paired with wines poured straight from the barrel. A smoked fish dish is the specialty of the house. Flamenco shows are featured daily and entrance is free. This sherry bar is on the Tabanco Route.
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10.Tabanco San Pablo
This sherry bar, in San Pablo street, was established in 1934. It is in the old, traditional neighborhood of San Miguel. It is a place where all are welcome and young and old mingle. Manuel Muñoz Peña was the owner until 1976 and it is run by one of his descendants, Jesus Muñoz. San Pablo sells wines in association with Tio PePe winery, straight from the barrel. The tapas specialties include potato tortillitas, meatloaf and cheese montaditos and Old Cheese palometas. In early summer, pots of snails are cooked and consumed. San Pablo is on the Tabanco Route.
The Church of San Dionisio, the patron saint of Jerez, was built in the late 15th century, according to a Basilica plan. It was built on the site of a former mosque, in a Gothic-Mudéjar style. Except for the high altar, the interior was renovated in the 18th century and has Baroque elements. The attached tower, which dates back to the 15th century, was a civilian construction. It was built as a watchtower and houses the town clock. The tower and the church are separately listed as Places of Cultural Interest.
© Las Cuadras
The Blocks or Stables restaurant offers local, Jerez cuisine in a relaxed, homely atmosphere. Las Cuadras has an irregular floor which dates back to its former function as the stables of the Palace of the Countess of Cesares. Posters of bullfights of the 18th century adorn the walls. There are several small rooms, a patio and a terrace which all create intimate spaces for private or corporate gatherings. Traditional food, such as tapas, stews and sausages share the menu with more sophisticated dishes. Live music, wine tastings and flamenco evenings are regularly scheduled.
Plaza de la Asunción 2, 11403 Jerez De La Frontera, Phone: +34-630-96-01-39
Before 1787, the moat around the Alcazar was used as a dumping ground. In the following year, two perpendicular sides were covered and planted with avenues of pine trees. It was Jerez's first green open space and the grove is now the oldest in the city. The area around the trees is paved, turning it into 11000 square meters of pedestrian mall. In the 1960s, the space was used for concerts and cultural events. The promenade is popular with the city's inhabitants, especially on Sundays. It provides the city's best opportunities for sunset photographs and views of the rear of the cathedral.
This combination of botanical and zoological gardens was established in 1953 and is one of the oldest in Spain. There are scores of species of fauna and flora, both native to the region and exotic. Visitors are transported on the Tourist Train and can order a photo souvenir of the trip. The Serengeti Restaurant provides refreshments or visitors can bring their own and use the outdoor picnic area. The shop has a range of related articles and branded merchandise for sale. Funds raised from the various tourist activities are used for education programs, conservation and research. The gardens are open all year.
C / Madreselva s / n, CP: 11.408 Jerez de la Frontera, Phone: +34-9-56-14-97-85
This popular sherry bar is situated on the ground floor of a triangular corner building in the heart of old town Jerez. The traditional tabanco concept has been combined with that of a modern wine bar. Sherry wines from the Cooperativa de las Augustias are served in cantavinos or special wine-tasting glasses. Vermouth is also a popular drink. Typical Jerez cuisine is served, including tapas, black pudding, sausage, cheese and cold meats. The bar is lively and patrons can choose to sit indoors or on bar stools on the sidewalks.
Calle Algarve, 35, 11403 Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz, Phone: +34-665-21-34-15
16.Andalusian Flamenco Documentation Center
© JUAN CARLOS MUNOZ/stock.adobe.com
The Center has its base in the 15th century Pemartin Palace in the suburb of Santiago, where many renowned Flamenco dancers were born. Portraits of famous dancers line the walls and the Baroque courtyard is a fitting backdrop for performances. The center houses printed, audio and visual records and promotes the value and standards of Flamenco. Collections include costumes, musical instruments, posters and press clippings. The staff arrange courses, contests, festivals and exhibitions. They also offer guided tours through the palace and assistance in the sound and video library. The Center provides scholarships for promising performers.
Plaza de San Juan, 1, Jerez De La Frontera 11403, Phone: +34-956-90-21-34
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17.Bar El Cuco
Bar El Cuco is a popular restaurant that sells traditional Andalusian tapas and Mediterranean mezze platters, made for sharing. The signatures dish, for which it has become renowned, is fried fish. Anchovies, mullet, squid and other seafood are sourced locally, from the Bay of Cadiz. There is a dining area and a large bar, with minimalist décor and extra large prints hanging on the walls. The wine collection is extensive.
Av José León de Carranza, 1, 11407 Jerez de la Frontera, Phone +34-656-99-74-75
© A Mar
Despite being in the center of Jerez, away from the coast, this restaurant has a distinctly marine flavor. The love of the sea is displayed in various motifs that decorate the lounge and bar and seafood is the mainstay of the menu. The cuisine on offer is a fusion of traditional dishes and creative presentation. There are a range of rice dishes to savor, as well as cold tapas, sausages and shared meals. Meat is cooked slowly over a low heat to enhance the tenderness. The a la carte menu is lengthy and there are a number of set menus to choose from.
Calle Latorre, 8 · 11403 Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz), Phone: +34-956-32-29-15
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© La Tasca
La Tasca is off the beaten tourist track and is popular with locals. Guests are greeted with a complementary glass of sherry and the atmosphere is cordial. The specialty of the house is baked, boiled and fried seafood, including bream, squid, lobster, shrimp and a variety of fresh catches. The restaurant is also known for its slow cooked oxtail and juicy steak entrecôte. Portions are large and can be ordered as starters. Shared meals are also an option. There are three distinct dining areas, namely the classic styled lounge, the tapas bar and the terrace. The bar is well stocked with local wines and sherries.
Calle Paraíso 4, Building Jerez74, Jerez de la Frontera, Phone: +34-956-31-03-40
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19 Best Things to Do in Jerez De La Frontera, Spain
- Alcazar, Photo: max8xam/stock.adobe.com
- Cathedral – San Salvador, Photo: Mik Man/stock.adobe.com
- The Dancing Horses, Photo: Azaliya (Elya Vatel)/stock.adobe.com
- Tio Pepe Bodegas, Photo: traveldia/stock.adobe.com
- Bodegas Tradicion, Photo: KikoStock/stock.adobe.com
- Lustau, Photo: warloka79/stock.adobe.com
- Bullring, Photo: chrupka/stock.adobe.com
- Feria Del Caballo, Photo: lo2/stock.adobe.com
- Tabanco El Pasaje, Photo: Tabanco El Pasaje
- Tabanco San Pablo, Photo: archimede/stock.adobe.com
- Iglesia Dionisio, Photo: chrupka/stock.adobe.com
- Las Cuadras, Photo: Las Cuadras
- Alameda Vieja, Photo: Adwo/stock.adobe.com
- Zoobotanico Jerez, Photo: Marc/stock.adobe.com
- Tabanco Plateros, Photo: Anastasiia/stock.adobe.com
- Andalusian Flamenco Documentation Center, Photo: JUAN CARLOS MUNOZ/stock.adobe.com
- Bar El Cuco, Photo: Punyaphat/stock.adobe.com
- A Mar, Photo: A Mar
- La Tasca, Photo: La Tasca
- Cover Photo: max8xam/stock.adobe.com