Jerez epitomises the rich history, heritage and architecture of the area and is the home of sherry, tapas, horses and flamenco.
What I loved about Jerez is you can experience all this without the crowds that descend on the more well-known cities nearby. You’ll even find the town goes eerily quiet in the afternoon whilst locals are having their siesta.
Jerez is just a 30-minute train journey from Cadiz and around 1 hour from Seville so it makes a good day trip option or as part of a larger itinerary. I visited whilst on holiday on the Costa de la Luz and found it a charming city to explore. Perhaps the star attraction is the Alcazar de Jerez. This stunning 11th and 12th century Moorish palace is an excellent example of an Almohad fortress. The mezquita (mosque) was transformed into a chapel but still retains its fountain and arches. The peaceful, Islamic style gardens with fragrant flowers, water fountains and geometric shapes are a joy to wander around. The Palacio Villavicencio built over the Almohad palace ruins provides wonderful views of the city from its camera obscura.
Just a few minutes’ walk from the Alcazar, you will find the Cathedral de San Salvador. Like many cathedrals I have visited in Spain, its fusion of baroque, neoclassical and Gothic styles work together to create a wonderful sight.
Stroll 20 minutes north to the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art where you can appreciate the history, skill and architecture with an impressive show every Tuesday and Thursday (plus Fridays in August and September). If you need to rest your tired, hot feet, a horse and carriage ride around the city is a great way to appreciate the architecture and pretty plazas. It felt quite appropriate given the history and tradition of horses in Andalucía and the sound of the hooves on the quiet afternoon streets was delightful. It is also a fun way to get around if you have children with you.
Jerez is famous for its flamenco and hosts one of the most important festivals in the world, traditionally at the end of February and first week in March. Centro Andaluz de Flamenco is located in the attractive Pemartín Palace and this unique centre holds thousands of print and musical works. Flamenco videos are screened half-hourly between 9am and 1.30pm. You can also find out about local flamenco events and classes here. Jerez is a great place for sherry lovers with many bodegas offering guided tours followed by wine sampling. This underrated city is a joy to visit whilst in the region and will certainly impress with its alluring air.