The city of Jerez de la Frontera, or Jerez for short, is a traditional Andalusian city that dates back to Moorish times. Much of the charm and aristocratic air of the city can still be seen and felt today in the casco antiguo (old town), the wide streets, and tree-lined squares.
Jerez is perhaps best known for the fortified wine (sherry) that takes its name from the city. Its origin dates back to 1100 B.C. when the Phoenicians brought the first vines to the region. The name “sherry” is derived from the name “Sherish,” which was the 12th C. Arabic name of the city. No stay in Jerez would be complete without visiting one or more of the bodegas (wine cellars) that are open to the public, such as Tio Pepe, Gonzalez Byass, Pedro Domecq and Sandeman.
Jerez is also well known for its Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art, which is considered one of the four principal riding academies in the world, along with the schools in Vienna (Austria), Queluz (Portugal) and Saumur (France). Visitors can watch the world-renowned “dancing stallions” at either one of the riding shows that take place twice a week, or at one of the training sessions held throughout the week. Besides taking in an equestrian show, visitors can also tour the facilities, including the Stables, Harness Shop, Carriage Museum, and Equestrian Art Museum.
Other places to visit in Jerez include:
- 12th C. Moorish Alcázar
- Cathedral built between 1695-1778
- Plaza de la Asunción, with the 15th C. Iglesia Dionisio and 16th C. former town hall building
- Archaeological Museum
- Palacio del Virrey Laserna – residential palace passed down through generations of the same aristocratic family since the 13th C. and is now open to the public
Jerez has a rich flamenco heritage, and many visit each year to attend the Festival de Flamenco that takes place traditionally the end of February/beginning of March and attracts some of the most famous flamenco artists in Spain. Other popular festivals are the Feria del Caballo (Horse Fair) that celebrates the city’s deep equestrian tradition in early May, and the Feria de la Vendimia (Grape Harvest Fair) in early September that opens with grape-treading on the cathedral steps.
Book a private tour! You may want to consider booking a private tour with an English-speaking guide. Your personal guide can provide you with information on the city and its historic sites. For more information on our Jerez tours, click here.
Photo credit: Willtron / Photo of Catedral de Jerez
For assistance with your travel plans, including hotel and private tour reservations, click here.