Happening Jerez

Happening Jerez - Madrid, Spain

The Andalucian jewel of Jerez is known for sherry and flamenco, though its charms aren't limited to sweet wine and stompin' dance moves. Check out EuroCheapo's Madrid-based correspondent Elizabeth Gorman's take on Jerez.

EuroCheapo's Mini-Guide to Jerez
Five Things Not to Miss
Five Cheap Hotels in Jerez
Five Restaurants and Activities
Toolbox: Getting There, Getting Around, Event Calendar, More

Introduction to Jerez

When most people think of drinking an after-dinner glass of sherry, the first thing that comes to mind is not a small Andalusian town full of Flamenco-stomping Gitano. Be this as it may, Jerez (officially, Jerez de la Frontera) is synonymous with the fermented wine that we've come to know as sherry. It is also the birthplace of Flamenco.

Tourists arrive in hordes for the central historic quarter as well as the free sherry served at the city's numerous bodegas, which date back to the 1830s. Flamenco fiestas, sherry, and—if it's your bag—motorcycle racing, explain why hotels fill up every weekend.

Jerez Vital Stats

Population: 206,000
Location: Andalucia, southern Spain. 34km (21 miles) northeast of Cádiz and 88km (54 miles) south of Seville.

Five Reasons to Visit

Jerez is an important Andalusian city. This means rich foods, warm people and good weather year-round.

Jerez is no different than any other Spanish town in that it likes to party. The fiestas in Jerez are world famous for their Flamenco dancing and sherry-fuelled merriment.

Sherry is to Jerez what apple pie is to the American Midwest. Side-by-side outlying villages and vineyards form the region's Sherry Triangle.

The city's historic district boasts windy streets, wide boulevards, open plazas, a Moorish Alcazar, Renaissance churches and a gothic cathedral.

Outdoor terraces and Flamenco clubs are the best places to soak up night life in Jerez.

When to Visit

Although planning ahead is absolutely essential in order to guarantee yourself a place to hang your hat, September is the best time to visit Jerez. September is when the grapes are harvested for the coming year and the Fiestas de Otoño are held. Streets are swept with loudly ruffled Flamenco dresses. Traditional equestrian events occupy public spaces.

The Festival de los Caballos takes place the first half of May and is one of Andalusia's biggest parties with horse competitions bullfights, and, of course, Flamenco. The Festival de Jerez in late February and early March pays special tribute to Flamenco. Unfortunately, these festivals mark the high season (translation: high prices) for hotels and hostels.

Beware of the motor races! Hotels hike up prices for motorheads who need a place to crash, especially during the annual World Motorcycle Championship. So unless you feel a need for speed, double check with the calendar of events at the Circuito de Jerez Web site.

Five Things Not to Miss
Five Cheap Hotels in Jerez
Five Restaurants and Activities
Toolbox: Getting There, Getting Around, Event Calendar, More

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