We have started to create 1 day wonder tours in Jerez that we hope will leave you with wanting more or at the very least be a wonderful or memoable taste of this magnificent city.
Most people in the know will associate Jerez de la Frontera, with three things; Horses, Sherry & Flamenco.
The world famous Feria de Caballo is in honour the horse, you can take in the sweet smell of sherry around parts of the city and it is not hard to find authentic and spontaneous Flamenco
In our three extensive walking tours, we have included the horse, sherry and flamenco as well as the passing of historical buildings and monuments.
Jerez is a delightful historical town with many wide avenues lined with palm trees, cafes and small squares to discover. You can wander around for hours, taking in some of the narrow streets with buildings that can be dated back to the 15th Century.
We want you to enjoy the spirit of Jerez, as much as we do everyday. So each tour is designed so that you can discover on route, the different cultures that have settled in Jerez and over the centuries have greatly influenced its major artistic and cultural heritage.
In route 1, we start at the 12th century Alcazar, one of the most emblematic monuments of the city. A Moorish fortress that emphasisis Jerez’s Arab past with it’s walls and gate ways, the mosque, baths and octagonal towers.
is clear in its walls, the Fortress and the Mosque. The latter is today the chapel of Santa María la Real. The Almohad origin (12th C.) of the building can be seen in the octagonal towers. Among other rooms, the Fortress has bathrooms, covered with vaults in which skylights were opened. The tower of Villavicencio palace, a Baroque building forming part of the monumental site, has a camera obscura from which you can make out the whole city. particular note is the Cathedral del Salvador and the old Moorish fortress the Alcazar.
After enjoying the alcazar and having watched Jerezanos on the streets of Jerez via the camara oscura it’s time to move on to the Cathedral del Salvador. Until 1980, the Cathedral was a collegiate church called Iglesia de San Salvador. Built on top of the Moorish Mosque, it took 83 years to buil and was finally finished in 1778 with at least 7 architects having a hand in it’s design. But this did not stop the roof collapsing in the 18th century.
From the outside, it is very Gothic in style and is said to be one of the last Gothic churches built in Spain. However, there are many Baroque and Neoclassical elements throughout. The alterpiece is Baroque and a domed copula over a hexagonal drum is the source of a lot of light.
It is based on the form of a Latin cross and has 5 naves and the seperate bell tower is a mix of Gothic – Mudejar and Neoclassic styles. The interior also holds some valuable artistic paintings as well as a Virgin Mary by Fransisco Zurbaràn and a late 15th-century Gothic Crucifix named Cristo de la Viga.
From here we will walk down the Cathedral steps and take time to have a refreshing drink in a local bar or outside on the terrace before we make our way down to our final treat which is the magnificent wine cellars of Gonzalez Byass. The only family owned and managed Bodega in Jerez, home to still be owned and managed and home to the famous Tio Pepe sherry and Soberano and Lepanto brandies.
During the tour you will visit the grounds via mini train, the vine yard, aging cellars and take part in tasting and discover the secrets of the making of the finest fino sherry and brandy in the world. The sherry bodegas, or cellars, are conveniently found in the centre of Jerez and production is dominated by the three big players Gonzalez Bypass, Pedro Domecq and Sandeman. The landscape, weather and chalky Albariza soil are ideally suited for vine growth. Sherry varieties include the dry Fino, the Amontillado a dry aromatic amber coloured sherry, the strong Olorso with its bitter after taste and the sweet Pedro Ximenez.
Set in the glorious surrounding of the 19th Century Cadenas Palace built by Charles Garnier, the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art performs a spectacular equestrian ballet accompanied to traditional Spanish music with the riders dressed in 18th Century style costume, an outstanding display of horsemanship as riders in harmony with the horses trot, step and gallop in time with the music.
The origins of Flamenco is shrouded in mystery no one knows exactly how the art was developed but it’s universally agreed that it was popularised in Jerez, a passionate expression of emotions that tells the story of love, hate and treachery in musical and dance form. The Flamenco Festival of Jerez 24th February to 10th March is the culmination of this great art and considered by many to be the most important Flamenco date in the calendar with many internationally renowned artists performing.