From flamenco to amazing sherry and even dancing horses, we share our top tips for a weekend in Andalusia.
Hit the tabancos
Jerez’s tabancos are traditional bars where sherry is served straight from the barrel and flamenco can break out at the drop of a hat.
Hit Tabanco Las Banderillas first, ordering boards of jamón and local cheese, from £2.50, and hope a local guitarist pops in.
And it’s worth stopping by Tabanco San Pablo for the tortillas alone, £2 (Tabancosanpablo.es).
But for dinner it has to be Atuvera, where tapas fuses with Asian flavours. Try the mussels with Thai dressing, £5, and ask barman Ángel for a sherry recommendation (Atuvera.apartamentosjerez.com).
The fortified wine is named after the city, so get to grips with how it’s made on a tour at Gonzalez Byass Tio Pepe, £13.50. You’ll ride a miniature train around the vineyard, before tasting a few varieties (Bodegastiopepe.com).
Later, visit Lustau for a short tour and samples of eight different wines – they even make a vermouth, £14 (Lustau.es).
Jerez believes you can pair sherry with anything – test the theory at La Carboná, where the five-course tasting menu includes local fish and comes with matching sherries, £40 (Lacarbona.com).
Tap your toes
Music is everywhere here and even the horses dance. Head to the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art for the weekly show, an equestrian ballet performed in 18th-century costume, from £18.50.
On other days, visit the museum and explore the gardens where the horses rehearse, £9.50 (Realescuela.org).
El Pasaje is the only place in Jerez where free flamenco is scheduled, so arrive early to nab a seat and watch the local amateur performers (Tabancoelpasaje.com).
Fancy a go yourself? The best place is lively Damajuana – a bar in an atmospheric mansion (Damajuanajerez.com).
Less than 10 minutes away by train, from £2.60 return, is Puerto de Santa Maria on Spain’s south coast (Renfe.com).
It’s another of Andalusia’s sherry towns, but it’s also known for its seafood, best eaten at Casa Paco Ceballos.
Its speciality is fried fish, and the battered hake, £12.50, is delicious. If you’re not bodega-ed out, head to slick, modern Bodegas Osborne and its museum, with a Gibson guitar made from a sherry cask.
Tours cost from £12.50. Don’t leave without taking a dip at wide and sandy beach Playa Puntilla, a short walk from the town centre.
- Flamenco arrived in Spain in the 15th century, along with the gypsies from India.
- Flights from the UK take less than three hours and cost from £29 return.
- Plan your trip at Andalucia.org.
Jerez was once a Muslim city, and sits on top of what the Moors built in medieval times. Pop into La Moderna for a coffee beside the ancient city wall – its vanilla-coloured stone runs through the cafe’s centre – before taking a stroll around the Alcázar, an ancient fortress with peaceful gardens and great views of the city. Entry costs £4.50.
The Moors loved to spend time in the hammam, or bath house, and Jerez’s gorgeous baths are dreamy, with three pools and a range of treatments.
Book a 90-minute session, from £24, and you’ll get Moroccan tea served on the rooftop to boot (Hammamandalusi.com).
In sun-drenched Jerez you’ll want to walk everywhere, and the Tryp hotel is perfectly located just outside the old town.
Rooms are modern and colourful and there’s a decent buffet breakfast including fresh fruits and pastries. Doubles start from £58 B&B (Melia.com).
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