Wine, horseback riding, flamenco dancing and fine dining – what more could you want from a Spanish holiday? Jerez is much more than a stop before the beaches of the Costa de la Luz, it’s the birthplace of sherry and a place to relax and enjoy the finer things life has to offer.
Sherry, famous as a tipple in the UK, actually comes from this small Spanish city which gave its name to the drink – the Moorish name for the place, Xerez, became anglicised as sherry when the drink became popular. Ever since then, holidaymakers have been flocking to the bodegas of Jerez to see the fortified wine being made and tasting the delicious results. The city’s tabancos – tapas restaurants with unbeatable selections of wine and beer – are a great place for visitors to refine their tastes.
Jerez shows its many facets throughout the year – flamenco dancers, Moorish architecture, and equestrian sports are additional highlights – but no time is like April and May, when back to back celebrations swell the city with revellers and spectators. The Festival de Jerez features some of the region’s best flamenco dancing, while the Motorcycle Grand Prix brings fans from around Europe to cheer on their favourite riders. Equestrian enthusiasts should come for the Feria del Caballo or the horse race in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, which counts Spanish royalty as regular attendees. See everything Jerez has to offer when you fly from Zurich to Jerez with SWISS.
When is the best time to visit Jerez?
The south of Spain can get quite hot in the summer months of July and August, with temperatures well above 30°C. The best time to visit is in the cooler spring and autumn months of March to May or October and November. Depending on your preferences, you may also want to plan your trip around major festivals, such as the Festival de Jerez in February-March or the Motorcycle Grand Prix in May.
What should I pack for a trip to Jerez?
Depending on when you visit, you will want to prepare for the weather on a visit to Jerez, especially in the winter or the summer. Wintertime sees the most rainfall of any season, and rainstorms tend to be short, intense affairs. That means that in addition to rain gear, good shoes are important as streets can frequently become flooded. In the summer, the usual precautions against the sun are recommended. Visitors during this period are also unlikely to find much going on between the hours of 4:00 and 7:00 p.m., so adopting the tradition of a siesta may not be a bad idea.
What is the best way to get around Jerez?
Jerez Airport has bus and rail connections to the city centre, which is 5 miles away. While in town, the local bus routes provide good coverage to the main urban area, though travellers looking to use transit should familiarise themselves with the routes and frequency of buses. A more convenient option is to travel by taxi, which operate out of several taxi stands in the city centre. Renting a car is a good option for those who plan on travelling farther afield, though parking may be scarce during the festival season in April and May.
Explore Jerez’s bodegas
The fame of this Andalusian city stems largely from its status as the birthplace – and sole producer – of sherry. The tipple is featured on the menus of the city’s bars and tapas restaurants, but the real way to experience it is by heading to one of the city’s bodegas, the wine cellars where the fortified wine is made. Visitors can stop at each one in turn, or book a tour to visit several at a time. Popular locations include:
- González Byass
- Luis Pérez
- Dios Baco
The centre of Jerez de la Frontera
Visitors would be mistaken, however, to leave their explorations to the oenological side of the city. The city is one of several in Andalusia vying for the title of the home of flamenco, with especially strong roots in its Roma quarters. Several centres put on shows throughout the year, the largest of which is the Centro Andaluz de Flamenco. For true fans of the dance, however, the best time to visit is during the Festival de Jerez, held in late February or early March.
Discover Jerez’ architecture
Jerez has a rich history that includes a period of Moorish rule, meaning that the city’s architecture is a mix of European and Arab styles. This is most prominently on display at the Alcázar, the city’s castle and a must-see on a visit to Jerez. The interior gardens are a particular highlight. Visitors can continue their explorations in the Catedral de San Salvador or the Archaeological Museum, which chronicles the city’s changes throughout history.
Often overlooked by holidaymakers attracted to the sunny Spanish coast, a visit to Jerez will be a delight for your eyes and taste buds – but don’t take our word for it, travel from Zurich to Jerez and find out.
Open your taste buds with Jerez tapas
The steady stream of visitors queuing up to sample the city’s sherry have given rise to an excellent array of tapas restaurants, known here as tabancos. Their beer and wine selection goes deep, with something for every palate, and the correct tapas to boot. Local meats and cheeses are menu mainstays, with cured ham a particular favourite, downed with local sherry and an accompaniment of flamenco music.
Sherry like you’ve never tasted it before
Travellers who are familiar with sherry in Britain have generally been exposed to the cream variety of sherry, which is an alteration of the additional recipe through the addition of grape juice or a sweet wine. Spaniards, however, tend to prefer fino, a clear, dry version of sherry that is a perfect ally at the tapas table, pairing ideally with cured meats and dried nuts. Sherry has many varieties, from amber, flavourful olorosos to darker, sublime amontillados. There’s plenty more to discover in the wine and tapas bars of Jerez.
Look your best while on holiday
Once you’ve finished buying your bottles of sherry from the local bodegas, try shopping for the other thing southern Spain is famous for: great fashion on the beach and seaside promenades. From malls to boutiques, Jerez has an excellent fashion offer that ranges from flamenco dresses and leather goods to your next chic outfit. The Calle Larga is the place to start, though flamenco enthusiasts will want to check out the boutiques along Calle Medina. If you’re in town for the equestrian shows, you’ll find a large selection of riding gear on offer as well.
Zurich - Jerez de la FronteraFlight duration: 02:45 hrs total, Frequency: Wed
Departure ZurichTerminal: 1 / 3Counter opening time: 24 h prior to departure
Airbus A320-214Height: 11.80 mLength: 37.60 mSeats: 136-168
Crew:Pilots: 2Cabin crew: 4
Arrival Jerez de la FronteraDistance to city centre: 12 km