What To See And Do In Jerez de la Frontera, Spain marts 29, 2022 – Posted in: Spain, Travel – Tags: Attractions, Cadiz, Holiday, Jerez, Spain, Vacations, Weekend Breaks
*The article contains advertising links, read more here: Affiliate Partners*
A day trip to Jerez de la Frontera
On a holiday to either Cadiz or Seville, you will simply have to make a detour to the city of sherry, Jerez. People often associate sherry with something sweet and liqueur-like, which is only drunk by grandmothers and in old, English movies. But nothing could be further from the truth! Jerez means sherry in Spanish, and the wonderful drink is made only in the Andalusian sherry triangle, in the cities of Jerez de la Frontera, El Puerto de Santa María and Sanlúcar de Barrameda, all located near Cadiz.
Most people, like us, choose to take a day trip to Jerez, and here in the article you can read about what we achieved in 8 hours in the beautiful city. However, if you love sherry or just love the relaxed Andalusian city life, you can easily spend several days in this lovely city. Here there are lots of bodegas, the big sherry houses, where you can go on a sherry trip. However, the city also offers many other experiences, which you can read about here.
What can you see in a day in Jerez?
Churros in the square
The tour starts in the small square in front of Mercado Central. It feels as if all the inhabitants of the whole of Jerez have got the same idea, for there is a large crowd in front of the churros stalls in the small round house in the middle of the square. Buy your churros at Churros Plaza De Jerez and then find a table at one of the surrounding cafés. Here you order your hot chocolate to dip in and maybe a cup of coffee or orange juice – the churros are sweet!
Alcázar de Jerez
The trip continues to the old Moorish castle, Alcázar de Jerez. Please read the English guide first. The great fortress was built by the Arab rulers in the 12th century when the Moorish empire was at its height. Start in the beautiful mezquita (mosque) and move through the Arabian gardens towards the fortifications. The Hammam, the Arab bathhouse, is a hidden, but try to find it and enjoy the beautiful star-shaped light holes in the roof. From the octagonal defense tower there is a nice view over the city, but also a good look to the well-preserved watermill.
In the 17th century, the fortress was taken over by the Villavicencio family, who built the small palace next to the courtyard. You are free to walk around the old mansion, but the most exciting thing is the pharmacy on the 2nd floor. The pharmacy dates from the 19th century, and the beautifully carved original wooden shelves and the many bottles and boxes are worth a visit.
Catedral de Jerez de la Frontera
Just below the castle is the impressive Catedral de Jerez de la Frontera. The Jerez Cathedral is a beautiful 17th-century building, built on top of the remains of an much older church. Before these churches, however, there was, within walking distance of the magnificent palace of the Moors, an equally magnificent mosque. It costs €7 to enter the cathedral and the associated tower. We chose to enjoy the cathedral from the outside, because now it was time for a break!
Tapas in Jerez de la Frontera
Jerez is a city that is visited by many tourists every day. Therefore, the city also has many wonderful tabancos, small bars with tapas. Originally, a tabanco was a place where you bought sherry from the large barrels that were poured into the bottle you brought with you. Today it is a bar where you can also buy sherry in glass.
Especially on the long street Calle Consistorio there are many restaurants, but we chose the quieter street, Calle Latorre. Here are also some of the better restaurants, but at La Bota, the tapas and the obligatory glass of sherry were both excellent and reasonable for the price.
After a good lunch, it was time for some serious sherry tasting. Most major bodegas in Jerez offer sherry tours where you get a tour of the bodega with a sherry tasting. We had our teenage son with us to Jerez, so the sherry tour will have to wait until another time – and we promise to write about it later on. Instead, we found another bar, Tabanco Plaza Plateros, where we shared a few more glasses of the lovely sherry.
Sherry is a whole science in itself, but here is an ultra-brief introduction to a few of the most popular types of sherry:
- Fino: very dry and pale – and also the most popular
- Manzanilla: dry and pale yellowish – as fino good for fish (only made in Sanlúcar de Barrameda)
- Oloroso: dry – but with the dark color from Cream
- Cream: sweet and dark – the sherry that we associate with the name. A dessert in itself
- Pedro Ximenez: very sweet – especially good for blue cheese
The different types of sherry suit certain dishes, so ask the waiter what goes well together. And otherwise just try it out. If you want to read more about sherry, there is a short and easy to understand overview here.
The Royal Andalusian Riding School
The Fundación Real Escuela Andaluza Del Arte Ecuestre, The Royal Andalusian Equestrian School, is also worth a visit. Unfortunately we didn’t go, because the school was closed due to preparing for a horse shows that were to take place the next day. But in general, the equestrian school is the place you want to be if you love horses. It is the world’s leading dressage school with students from all over the world, and twice a week you can enjoy the beautiful equestrian shows with the Andalusian horses.
How do you get to Jerez?
If you can’t fly directly to Jerez, the easiest way to get to Jerez is by landing at Seville Airport. From Seville Airport, you first take the airport bus to Santa Justa Train Station. In March 2022, the airport bus cost €4.
From Santa Justa Train Station in Seville, you can take the train towards Cadiz. From Seville to Jerez it takes one hour and forty-five minutes by train. At the station you have to buy your tickets at the ticket office (Renfe), where you also have to show a passport before you can board the train. In March 2022, it was €17 from Seville to Jerez, and the price includes a mandatory seat ticket. If you want to save time, you can also buy tickets on the Omio app. Note that you still need to enter your passport information in the app.
If you are already in Cadiz, it takes about half an hour by train to Jerez. If you travel outside rush hour, it costs €6.25 – during rush hour three times as much.
More tips for your holiday in Jerez
A apartment in the Old Town in Cadiz
During our visit to Jerez de la Frontera, we stayed in Cadiz. Being a group of two adults and a teenager on vacation, it required an extra room. We ended up finding a really nice apartment right in the middle of La Vina in the Old Town. There was not one but two extra rooms as well as a sofa bed. In addition, two toilets, a large living room with a dining area and a kitchen.
Back home, we had planned all the food we would buy at the food market, which is only a five minute walk from the apartment. That didn’t happen! The Old Town is packed with cheap tapas bars and restaurants and we ended up eating out every single night.
The apartment is also located right on the local beach La Caleta, loved by families and large groups. Still, the best thing about the apartment was the key box. It was excellent to be able to get into the apartment at our arrival, without planning a specific check-in time with the owner. A bottle of wine and a box of chocolates stood waiting for us as we locked ourselves in. We will be back!
Read more about the apartment here: Precioso piso en La Caleta