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Jerez de la Frontera
© Martin Bobrovsky / age fotostock
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Jerez de la Frontera

By Amy Adejokun Amy Adejokun Section editor

Our Editorial team's advice

A short stroll in the city will quickly give you an idea of the two specialities here: wine and horses. Their symbols (cask, calash...) can be seen everywhere! You simply have to visit one of the many wine cellars in the area, the best known being Tio Pepe, whose giant weathercock is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records! If you are interested in horses, look no further, as you are in the land of equestrianism. You absolutely must attend one of the shows put on by the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art to see the marvellous dressage exercises carried out by Andalusian horses. Walking the streets of the city centre, amidst the ramparts dating from the Muslim era, and amidst the orange trees, you will discover churches, palaces, unique buildings, and spots in the shade where you can enjoy some tapas accompanied by a glass of sherry. That's not all there is to Jerez though, as there's also wide avenues lined with palm trees where the city's upscale hotels are located and the parks where one of the country's most popular festivals takes place. One possibility for a family outing in Jerez de la Frontera is a visit to the botanical zoo, an exceptional place with one of the most extensive collections in the country. If you prefer active and rural tourism, go for an outing on one of the many trails that pass through the natural parks around the city. Among them are 'los pueblos blancos', 'del Toro', and 'atlántica'.

To see

Visit the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art, a superb building designed by Charles Garnier, comprising a palace, an equestrian museum, a calash museum, stables, pretty gardens, and an exhibition room where you can admire the Andalusian horses.

To do

Why not attend a flamenco show at Taberna Flamenca in the gypsy quarter of Santiago, a show featuring Andalusian horses at the Real Escuela de Arte Ecuestre, or visit a fino cellar.

pros

  • +  The charm of the Old Town.
  • +  The Mecca of horses and Sherry wine.

cons

  • -  The location in the backcountry, rather far from the sea.
  • -  The suffocating heat in summer.

To think about

Jerez de la Frontera is located about 12 miles inland. Therefore, you will not find a beach in the immediate vicinity of your hotel. It is not possible to discover the real Andalusia without visiting the little gems of Seville, Cordoba, Granada, and Malaga. Less cultural but more bucolic, the Route of the White Villages is also full of wonders.

To avoid

In summer, the temperature here exceeds 40C°. During Holy Week, it is almost impossible to walk around in the centre of Seville.

To try

Its wines, brandies, and vinegars are protected by an AOC (protected designation of origin) label: Jerez (in Spanish), xères (in French), and sherry (in the UK), no matter what you call it, the wine from this region is unique, the best known being fino and manzanilla. It is used with meats, Bahia fish, traditional stew, and tapas, accompanied with few drops of fino, amontillado, oloruso or pedro ximénez to obtain a sherry-based or 'Jereza-style' dish.

To bring back

A bottle of AOC (protected designation of origin) fino sherry, a fan, chestnuts, Flamenco dancer figurines, bull-themed souvenirs... It is in Andalusia that you will find one of the best hams in the world: Spanish Pata Negra ham, especially that which is from Jabugo. For guaranteed quality, ask for the 'cinco jotas' label produced by Sanchez Romero Carvajal. It's quite expensive, but this is truly a luxury product!
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