Jerez de la Frontera
Jerez de la Frontera, on the Costa de la Luz, is one of the major cities in Andalusia, Spain, the fifth in terms of size and population (about 213,000 inhabitants in 2019). Jerez has gradually become a major transport hub and the main economic engine in the province of Cádiz.
Jerez de la Frontera, the resilient city on the Atlantic coast, has always enjoyed a privileged strategic location. Over centuries as a medieval border town with its castle high up, it has resisted first the Christians attacks and sieges, later the Moors that tried to conquer the city again. After the Catholic Kings took over the Kingdom of Granada and brought peace to the peninsula, the economic and intellectual life returned to the splendour of Moorish times.
There has been an intense rivalry between Jerez and Cádiz for a long time. Since Cádiz became capital of the province, Jerez has had to struggle for its current economic and cultural position without much institutional support. While a certain reluctant brotherhood binds the two cities together today, the rivalry continues, and the traveller is well advised not to conflate the two cities.
Nowadays, few places in Spain can be said to enjoy the international renown of Jerez as, thanks to its sherry wines, the name of the city has crossed international boundaries long ago. But Jerez is not just a city of wines and beautiful buildings, it has much more to offer: it is home of the Carthusian horses, cradle of flamenco, capital of motorcycle racing and home to international sporting events, and a recognised centre of artistic and historical interest.
Despite its relatively small size, Jerez is (and has for centuries been) an ambitious, proud, and dynamic place, aided by supportive municipal institutions. For example, Jerez was the first Spanish city to have street lighting and the Caja de Ahorros de Jerez was the first savings bank in Spain. It was also the first city in the province to ask for a university, though the request was denied by Madrid. Projects like the race track Circuito de Jerez or the National Flamenco Centre (Ciudad del Flamenco) started as local initiatives, and then gained support from the national government.
In the region, Jerez is sometimes known as "señorita" ("Madam") because of the many families from bourgeois or even aristocratic backgrounds who developed the wine business. However, despite these noble roots, Jerez is more urban and diverse than it may seem at first sight.
If you are short on time, the traditional tourist circuit comprises horses, flamenco and wine. This little trilogy could be called the essence of Andalusia and largely explains the financial stability of Jerez, despite not being the provincial capital. But if you have more time, try to go beyond the surface: Enjoy some coffee or tapas in a traditional cafe or an ultra-cool one, walk around the food market, attend a play in the theatre or a concert, stroll through the old town. Sometimes just one block off the main road will take you off the beaten path.
Jerez is a large city where long-standing traditions coexist in perfect harmony with the modern: large shopping centres and wide avenues converge upon the historic, cheerful and bustling city centre, where shopping and tapas go hand in hand. These distinctive features, together with a privileged geographical situation and climate, distinct tourist sights, and modern infrastructures, all make Jerez the perfect place to live in and to visit.
The city is in the western part of Andalusia, near the Guadalete river. Jerez is 15 minutes from the beach, 35 minutes from the Sierra de Grazalema, and 50 min to 1 hour from the Andalusian capital, Sevilla.
The weather in Jerez is characterized by enjoying over 3,200 hours of sunshine a year. Temperatures are high in summer and mild in winter. It is advisable to visit the city in spring or autumn.
There is no left-luggage facility at the airport and bus station.
Jerez is on the main line between Sevilla and Cádiz. RENFE, Spanish National Railway.
Consorcio de Transportes Bahía de Cádiz operate a semi-regular bus service from Jerez Airport to downtown Jerez (€1.30 one way) and onwards to Cádiz (view timetable). A train service operates from Sevilla San Justa train station direct to Jerez and Cádiz, for those arriving via Seville airport.
- 1 International Airport of Jerez-La Parra (XRY IATA). There are many flights from Madrid, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, London, Frankfurt.
- Motorway Jerez-Sevilla AP-4 / E-5 from Sevilla.
- Autovia A4 - IV National
- Highway Jerez-Los Barrios A-381 - Through Alcornocales Park and joins the Campo de Gibraltar to Jerez. It is a modern highway designed to cause the least environmental damage that crosses Park
- Highway Jerez-Arcos de la Frontera A-382 - The main means of communication in Jerez and Cádiz province by the Sierra de Grazalema.
- Highway Chipiona, Jerez A-480 - This highway connects the Jerez area with the Northwest Coast, towns like Chipiona, and Sanlucar.
- Ring-roads: Jerez has two ring roads, Round East and Round West, to help improve the circulation of the city.
The best way to visit Jerez de la Frontera is to walk as you can enjoy the beauty of its streets and façades of its many palaces, and squares and malls. Tourist buses are also available on two floors with the convertible top.
The City is considering creating a boat service between Jerez and El Puerto de Santa Maria Guadalete across the river, as one of several measures to restore the River.
Taxi service is pretty good and truthworty. You will find several stops in the city centre. You can contact a taxi service at ☏.
A good idea is park your cark in some parking to avoid traffic jams. The nearest one to city centre are:
- Alameda Vieja, Calle Manuel María González, junto an Alameda Vieja, tel. 956320287.
- Arenal, Plaza del Arenal, tel. 956325076.
- Centro, Calle Larga s/n.
- Centro Comercial Los Cisnes, Plaza del Progreso. tel, 956168383.
- Doña Blanca, Plaza Esteve, tel. 956347209.
- Madre de Dios, Plaza de Madre de Dios, tel. 956337253.
- Mamelón, Plaza del Mamelón, junto a la Alameda Cristina, tel. 956348654.
- Plaza del Caballo, Plaza del Caballo s/n, tel. 956313080.
Jerez is the first city in Andalucia has launched a free public transport service bicycles. Free rental bikes will be for a period of two hours and may be left in any of the points that have been in the city are: Alameda Bank Mamelon Square, Bus Station and the Campus University.
- Bodegas: Tío Pepe, Romate, Valdespino, Sandeman, Domecq, Williams and Humbert, Garvey, Harveys, Lustau...
- Flamenco: Andalusian Flamenco Centre, Ciudad del Flamenco, La Taberna Flamenca, Tablao del Bereber... In February/March each year the city erupts with music and dance – representing one of the most important celebrations of Flamenco in the world during the annual world famous flamenco festival.
- Zoo and Botanical Garden.
Monuments from the Moorish period
- Monumental Compound of the Moorish Palace-Fortress and Dark Chamber ☏ or ☏ . This Moorish fortress/palace was built by the Abbadid rulers in the early 10th century and later converted into a Christian stronghold. This complex covers a mosque (subsequently used as a church), Arab baths, several towers (one of which is octagonal), pretty gardens with a fountain, cloistered patios, the Palacio Villavicencio and a camera obscura. The Hall of Ambassadors bears decoration closest to that of Granada's Alhambra. The Patio de las Muñecas is thought to be the site of the harem, and where King Pedro allegedly murdered an interesting mix of guests and family! The camera obscura is in a tower, and offers a 360-degree view of the city projected through lenses and mirrors:
- City Walls – Parts of the old walls of the city remains in Calle Ancha, Calle Muro and Calle Porvera. In Calle Ancha, next to the wall, we will see the monument dedicated to Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, a leading Spanish conquistador who discovered Florida born in Jerez.
- Gate Rota - commonly known as Arch Creek, is the only gate of the ancient Muslim city wall is preserved.
- Archaeological Museum, ☏ . Archaeological museum of the city where we can observe and enjoy the findings of the history of the city and its region.
- [dead link] Atalaya Museums, ☏ , , . Located in one of the most beautiful palaces of Andalucia, Atalaya Museums are two museums: the Palace of Time and the Mystery of Jerez. The Mystery of Jerez unveils the mystery of the raising of fine wines from Jerez. The Palace of Time is one of the best collections of clocks in Europe. We can enjoy watching beautiful clocks from all ages in this museum
- [dead link] Collection Joaquin Rivero. Spanish painting of the 15th to 19th century. This gallery consists of a selection of works belonging to Collection Joaquin Rivero. Joaquin Rivero Collection is one of the most important set in Andalusia. The collection is up more than 300 works of authors such as Goya, Zurbarán, Velázquez, Hiep, Labrador, Valdés Leal, Maella, Lucas Velazquez Madrazo, Lucas Villamil, Carlos de Haes and many others that will allow visitors to walk through the history of Spain through his painting.
- Museo de la Miel and the Bees, ☏ . Museum to raise awareness of beekeeping in human history. Directed more school groups, tourists and anyone interested in the subject.
- Museo Taurino, ☏ . Museum related to the world of bullfighting and bullfighting.
- Equestrian Art Museum – See “Recreo de las Cadenas”.
- Domecq Palace, ☏ . Declared Place of Cultural Interest.
- Bertemati Palace - Beautiful palace built in 1758, which highlights its extraordinary ironwork balcony and floor move. It now houses the Episcopal Diocese of Jerez. Located in Arroyo Square near the Cathedral.
- Perez-Luna Palace - palatial residence of the late Baroque style of the 18th century in the central Plaza Rafael Rivero.
- Palacio Duque de Abrantes- Neoclasism Palace built by the French architect Charles Garnier in the 19th century. It houses the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art.
- Palacio de Bertemati. It is a Baroque building, founded by the family Sopranis-Davila in the 18th century. Constructed on the most inner slope of the channel of the stream, they are two combined house structures in one building.
- [Palacio de Campo Real]. Its origins dates from Middle Age, but the current building is from the eighteenth century. It is located in the Historic Quarter.
- Palacio Dávila. Renacentist Palace, was built by Bartolomé Núñez Dávila at the beginning of the 16th century.
- Palacio Pemartín. San Juan Square. Built in the 15th century, was rehabilited in the 18th and 20th centuries. It houses the Andalusian Flamenco Centre.
- Palacio de los Condes de Puerto Hermoso. Built in 1873, it belonged to Count family and it was also a Royal residence in 1925. It houses the Local Police Station.
- Palacio de Riquelme. Plaza del Mercado.
- Palacio de Villapanés. Cruz Vieja Square.
Churches are a must during your walking tour around the city. The churches in the old town used to be mosques. They made reference to the Four Evangelists: Saint Luke, Saint John, Saint Matthew and Saint Mark. The others two were meant to the patron, St Denis, and God, the Cathedral.
- Jerez Cathedral, ☏ . It is where the old main mosque was placed.
- Monastery of Santa Maria de la Defensión, ☏ .
- Church of Saint Mark, You will see a lion on its façade.
- Church of Saint James (Santiago), ☏ .
- Church of Saint Luke, ☏ . You will see an bull on its façade.
- Church of Saint John of Knights, ☏ . You will see an eagle on its façade.
- Church of St. Matthew, ☏ . This is the oldest Gothic church in the city, was restored in the early 21st century. You will see an angel on its façade.
- Church of St. Denis, ☏ .
- Santo Domingo Convent, ☏ .
- Recreo de las Cadenas, ☏ .
- Stud of the Cartuja - Hierro del Bocado, Fuente del Suero; Ctra. Medina - El Portal, KM 6.5, ☏ . Over 500 years ago Carthusian monks started to breed horses at Jerez. In the Napolionic period the monks were forced to flee and sold the stud. The Carthusian race was threatened with extinction in the middle of the 20th century. Since the 1970s, the breed has been bred again in the state Karthauser stud. The stud can be visited on Saturdays from 11:00 from March to the beginning of December. In addition to a guided tour, there is a one-hour demonstration with explanations in Spanish and English, the tour is also offered in German and French.
- Real Escuela Andaluza de Arte Equestre, Av Duque de Abrantes, s / n. ☏ . The "Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Arts" in Jerez was founded in the 1970s and is based on the "Spanish Riding School" in Vienna. There are screenings several times a week (usually Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:00).
- Old Town Hall. The Old Town Hall was built in 1575.
- Villamarta Theatre, ☏ . It's the main theatre of the city and was built in 1926 Anasagasti Teodoro work. Its façade is modern with a touch reminiscent of Gaudí and Cubist. The major events are held such as the famous Flamenco Festival de Jerez.
The best seasons to visit Jerez are spring and autumn. Some festivities that attract many tourists are:
- Holy Week- Every year varies the celebration of this Christian festival (usually in April but may also be in March). Holy Week in Jerez is one of the largest in Andalucia, comparable to Holy Week in Seville. There are a total of 37 teams. Some flamenco song can often be sang to the images in the streets of the city, especially those with are closer linked with the Flamenco suburbs.
- Horse Fair - One of the largest and most important fairs of Andalusia because of its beauty and above all to be a public exhibition in which there are no private booths. Always held in May each year but on different dates and duration is 1 week. It could enjoy tapas and wine from Jerez and enjoy dancing. It is advisable to visit at night to enjoy party and beautiful lighting.
- The Autumn Festival. Held between September and October. Enter your program enters the Bulería Festival, the Grape Pisa, Spanish Polo Championship, Horses Parade, New Musics Festival, Medieval Market, Expo.
- Festival Flamenco de Jerez. This is considered the best flamenco festival in the world. In its last edition held 140 performances and 36 courses of flamenco. The festival was attended by 32 nationalities and 120 media around the world.
- Christmas — The most typical of Christmas are undoubtedly holding the Zambombas. There, friends, family, neighbors, and fraternity brothers gathered around a campfire or in a salon and go caroling and Christmas songs while serving pestiños and sweets.
- Grand Prix motorcycle Spain — The largest test of the World Motorcycling Championship. Jerez de la Frontera is considered "Motor Mecca" for its incredible biker atmosphere in those three days. It attracts up to 200,000 people.
- Casco antiguo. Bring a map and let yourself discover the narrow streets, small squares and noble buildings from Middle Age. Calle Francos is a must, since was the central street during the Arabs dominion, linking the Santiago Gate and the Royal Gate (Plaza del Arenal), and Plaza del Mercado, in which the Andalusi market was established during the Middle Age as well.
- Terraza Sabores is a nice terrace that you can find in the old city, belonging to the Hotel Chancilleria, it's very easy to access, just taking the elevator in the main patio or going upstairs. Surrounded by old church towers, the view and situation are really nice, enjoying a wine, cold drinks or any cocktail, they usually play soft music, bossa nova or jazz.
- Alameda Vieja — Walk at dusk around this area, on the top of the hill where the Alcazar was built. The fresh air from the cost, the nice and colourful sun make it unforgettable, besides enjoying one of the nicest area in the city, among the Cathedral, the Arab fortress and a Wine Cellar.
- Hammam Andalusí, Arabic Baths, has become an essential stop for any visitor to Jerez as indeed it is to many locals. It is set in a beautifully restored 18th-century house in the old part of the town and consists in a circuit of 3 pools (warm, hot and cold) with optional relaxing massages of 15 and 30 minutes, starting at €15 for an hour and a half of bath only, 25 and 40 with the respective massages included. They also have special treatments which include scrubs and wraps which are ideal for a couple and last 2½ hours. The accompanying relaxing music and candle-lit atmosphere provide for a truly memorable and relaxing time. Highly recommended.
- Central Market — The Central Market was built in 1885. The whole business is built on a combination of stone, iron and glass that shape a building that exceeds its commercial character to become an essential meeting point for understanding the more traditional concept of traditional trade and their products in Jerez.
- Places and Malls — The beautiful squares and avenues are a must in Jerez: Plaza del Arenal, Alameda Cristina, Plaza Rafael Rivero, Plaza de la Asuncion, Plaza del Progreso, Alameda del Banco, Plaza de la Yerba, Alameda Vieja, and Plaza del Caballo.
There are many shopping centres in Jerez, mainly out of the city centre. Cinemas, department stores, etc. but if you want to enjoy the taste and charm of the city, the city centre is the best place to stay.
- Calle Larga. The local people, jerezanos, say that no one can talk about having been in Jerez and not having walking around this street. As large as the old wall was, this street is full of bars, shops and anything you may need.
- Jerez Souvenirs. Calle Lanceria, Centro Comercial Lanceria. Souvenirs about horses, flamenco and wine cellars.
- Vinoteca Rafael, Calle Arcos, 6. Any kind of Sherry wine you may fancy, you will find in this old-fashioned flavour shop.
- Zoco de Artesanía. Plaza Peones, s/n - Edif. Carnicerías Viejas. Charming place in the old-district. Handicrafts and local products.
Typical dishes served are:
- Sopa de Tomate
- Caracoles (spring only)
- fish (Pescado frito)
- Tortilla de Patatas
- Patatas Ali-Oli
- Tortillas de camarones
- Sangre con Tomate
- Atún Encebollado
Much of the eating is done in bars. Another eating option is in small shops, ventas.
Plaza Rafael Rivero is with Plaza de la Asunción, one of the most beautiful square in the old city. Among places and old houses, there are several tapas bars until late.
- 1 Damajuana Café Bar, C/ Francos 18. Beautiful place in old town.
- 2 El Almacen, la, C. Latorre, 6. Other bar by the City Hall
- 3 Bar Juanito, C. Pescadería Vieja, 8, 10 (Pedestrian old street, between Plaza del Arenal and Pescaderia Vieja). Regional menu. Somewhat touristic.
- 4 Bar la Moderna, C. Larga, 67 (end of the 'Larga' Street, close to Alameda Cristina). The ancient wall surrounding Jerez is still present at its back. A nice nightly environment.
- 5 Las Banderillas, C. Caballeros, 12.
- 6 Chè! Craft Paella & Fideuá Space, C. Guarnidos, 2.
Around the railway station
Outside the city center
- 9 Venta Las Cuevas, Ctra. Cortes, 1. You can find an excellent bread in it.
- 10 La Cruz Blanca, C. Consistorio, 16. Nice place in a small old square by the city hall. Many local people.
- 11 Venta Esteban, Colonia de Caulina, C. 11 - 03.
- 12 Taberna Jerez, Pl. del Arenal, 6.
- 13 A Mar Restaurant, C. Latorre, 8.
- 14 Alboronía, C. Gibraleón, N°3.
- 15 Avanico Restaurante Jerez, P.º la Rosaleda, 4.
Do taste some sherry, after all this is where it comes from!
There are two main areas to go out:
People usually get some nice tapas around Plaza del Arenal or Plaza Rafael Rivero and then some drinks out.
- La Lola, Calle Porvenir, 1. Three floors in a 1780s building. Cool atmosphere. Live shows every week.
- Kapote. Avenida Alvaro Domecq. A bit stylish, people around 40s.
- Café Bereber, Calle Cabezas, 8. Disco, flamenco show & dinner and also coffee shop. Very late on weekend.
- Damajuana, Calle Francos, 18. A nice bar in the old area, always busy and funny, many local people. Live pop music shows and cultural exchange. Good atmosphere.
- Cuatro Gatos, Calle Santa Rosa, 10. Jam session every Tuesday, DJ sessions every weekend at night. Also blues, rock, punk. etc.
- Montparnasse, Calle Adriático, 6-7. A bit posh but relaxing. Live concerts.
- Oxi. Calle Zaragoza. Big discoteca, mainly young people.
Avenida Lola Flores
This new district, by the soccer stadium, attract many young people -and not so young-.
- La Thipica. Good for some drink, but you can even keep dancing on any Sunday evening.
- Discoteca Rouge. Terrace, different atmosphere. Ibiza flavour.
Gay and lesbian scene
Jerez is a tolerant and respectful city about LGBT community. Every June 28 the gay flag is hoisted from the City Hall and throughout the years there are numerous activities (film series, lectures, LGBT theatre, etc.)
- La Plaza de Chueca Tea Dance and Café. Drag Queen Show every weekend and coffee place every Sunday evening. C / José Cádiz Salvatierra, 4
- Discoteca Fangorias. Guadalcacín. The only gay disco in the province. Mainly young people
- Backpackers Jerez, Calle Doña Blanca 14 (Look for the small red sign on the ground floor near the door. There is a doorbell and intercom. Hostel is on the top floor of a three storey building -a small lift is available), ☏ . Opened in 2018. Beds in the 4-bed dormitory are sturdy (not squeaky) bunks. A fridge and full kitchen are available for guests. The owners, Eva and Antonio speak Spanish and very good English. Payment in cash only. 10€ Dorm Bed, including a basic breakfast plus free tea and coffee all day.
- La Fonda Barranco, C/Barranco 12, ☏ . La Fonda Barranca is a delightful new boutique hotel in the historic centre of Jerez. Just eight rooms and a suite arranged around an interior courtyard tucked in behind a discreet street façade. Elegant Andalusian/Moroccan decor, superb showers and toileteries, and breakfast on the roof terrace. Very good value at about €85 (double) a night. It's comfortable, quiet, and friendly.
- NH Avenida Jerez, Avda. Alcalde Alvaro Domecq, 10, ☏ . This comfortable hotel is in the centre of the city, near the ‘Real Escuela Andaluza de Arte Ecuestre’ (Andalusian Royal School of Equestrian Art). It has modern and functional decoration.
From Jerez de la Frontera you can take different routes.
- Almohad and Almoravids route - You will be able to enjoy and experience the heritage of Islamic culture in Jerez and in other locations on the route.
- Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Chipiona and Doñana National Park route - Through this route you will reach some of the most interesting part of the province. Sanlucar de Barrameda is on the banks of the Guadalquivir River (at its mouth), compared to Doñana National Park. In Chipiona you can visit the Sanctuary of the Virgen de Regla and its lighthouse. To achieve this route should take road A-480. Jerez, Sanlucar. The ride lasts for 15/20 minutes.
- El Puerto de Santa Maria and Cádiz Route - From Jerez you can get to El Puerto de Santa Maria in just 10 minutes. In the port we can enjoy the Castillo de San Marcos or its excellent sandy beaches. If you want you can go to Cádiz or the A4 road or catamaran service which costs €1.80 one way. It is also possible to go to Cádiz, taking the typical Vaporcito.
- White Villages route - This is one of the most beautiful routes that can be performed. With this route you will discover the beautiful Sierra de Grazalema. The journey Jerez de la Frontera, Arcos de la Frontera is done in about 25–30 minutes. Arcos is one of the most beautiful villages in Andalusia, Spain, and the first village of the White Villages Route. Arcos balances atop a rocky limestone ridge, its whitewashed houses and stone castle walls stopping abruptly as a sheer cliff face plunges down to the fertile valley of the river Guadalete below. Historic-Artistic Monument offers a typical Andalusian architecture and Arab descent. It is also essential to visit El Bosque and Grazalema Benamahoma.
- Atlantic Flyway - With it you can enjoy the excellent beaches and beautiful towns of the northwest coast and the bay. This route is a dense semi-wild coast of white sandy beaches dotted with fishing villages that reach Tarifa.
- Ruta del Toro - including the fields of Jerez, and followed by Medina Sidonia Alcala de los Azules and the Natural Park of Alcornocales abound graze pastures where wild bull are. Beautiful setting and exquisite cuisine.
|Routes through Jerez de la Frontera|
|Cádiz ←||S N||→ → Seville|