Why Overlooked Jerez Should Be Your Next City Break

Why Overlooked Jerez Should Be Your Next City Break
La Cartuja de Santa María de la Defensión, on the edge of the city Credit: GETTY

Head to the Andalusian city of Jerez for winter warmth, flamenco and lashings of sherry.

Go now

It’s a lovely time of year: you’ll need a jumper for the evenings but days are usually bright and sunny in winter in Jerez. The flamenco festival – Feb 22 – March 9 ( is a fabulous part of the city’s cultural heritage, along with horses and, of course, sherry. Ryanair ( flies from Stansted to Jerez airport on Fridays and Mondays.

Stay here

The newly opened Casa Palacio María Luisa (1 on the map above), is in a luxurious, 19th-century palatial mansion: doubles from £217, including breakfast. The YIT Casa Grande (2) occupies an elegant Twenties townhouse; doubles from £55 including breakfast.

Why Overlooked Jerez Should Be Your Next City Break
The city's flamenco festival takes place in February Credit: GETTY

Walk here

From the 18th-century Jerez de la Frontera Cathedral (3), walk to the adjacent Alcázar fortress (4), which was built in the 12th century. Inside there is a small mosque and you can climb up the tower for panoramic views (admission from €5/£4.40). Head around the corner to the Plaza del Arenal (5), the centre of the city, then swerve down Calle Consistorio (6) and drift through the atmospheric lanes, stopping off at tapas bars.

See this

Book ahead to see the magnificent Andalusian horses dancing at the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art (7) (; from €21). If there is no performance, you can see the horses training and visit the museum and gardens (€11).

Why Overlooked Jerez Should Be Your Next City Break
The city's 18th-century cathedral Credit: GETTY

Try this

Get an insight into sherry by visiting one of the bodegas, such as monumental Tio Pepe (8) (; admission €15.50) and tiny Bodegas Tradición (9) (; admission €30), which also has an outstanding art collection with paintings by Zurbarán, Velázquez and Goya.

Why Overlooked Jerez Should Be Your Next City Break
The Gonzalez Byass bodega Credit: GETTY

Shop here

The Calle Larga (10) is the main shopping drag, with shops in elegant mansions. Antonio García ( at number 33 stocks handmade hats and riding accoutrements. At Calidad en Boca ( at number 75, you can pick up sherry, wine and local specialities.

Drink here

Get right into the Jerez swing at the traditional bars known as tabancos, where a glass of sherry costs €1.50 or less. At El Pasaje (11) (, which has been going for nearly a century, there is live flamenco at 10pm every night.

Eat here

Originally a sherry bodega, La Carboná (12) ( offers a five-course menu that matches each course with a different sherry (€45). LÚ, Cocina y Alma (13) ( has just been awarded a Michelin star, the first in Jerez. Tasting menus from €70, wine-pairing €40.

Why Overlooked Jerez Should Be Your Next City Break
A dish at La Carboná

Off the map

Three miles south east of the centre is La Cartuja de Santa María de la Defensión (, a Carthusian monastery that was founded in the 15th century. Although you can only visit the church during services, the ornate Renaissance and Baroque façades make it worth seeing from the outside.