Provincial city Jerez de la Frontera, home to the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art, some of the worlds most famous Sherry Bodegas and is where Flamenco originated. The Fería de Mayo takes place in early May and is the most important celebration of the year when the Jerezanos turn out in force to celebrate their beloved horses, flamenco and sherry until the early hours of the morning. Jerez is also home to a small zoo, again making the city a great day out for all
For culture visit Cadiz, the oldest, continually inhabited city in Spain and possibly of western Europe. Sitting at the end of a narrow isthmus, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Cádiz is understandably worth a least a day of your holiday time – with something for everyone to enjoy. The narrow streets connect into splendid plazas, sub-tropical gardens and a magnificent cathedral, Cádiz has several splendid beaches including La Caleta which served as the set for Cuban scenes in the James Bond movie – Die Another Day. In February, the city vibrates as it hosts one of the world’s greatest carnivals
Other days out might include Tarifa, within an hours drive. It is the wind and kite-surfing capital of Europe, where Africa meets Europe and the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean. This slightly bohemian port town bustles with the tanned and trendy enjoying the often brisk winds in the day and the laid-back nightlife once the sun has set. Popular with the children are the dolphin and whale watching boat trips, with all proceeds going towards the research and preservation of marine mammals. For a cultural twist, Tarifa is less than 45mins by hydrofoil from Tangiers – a popular daytrip for those wishing to sample the Moroccan hospitality.
Baelo Claudia is an ancient Roman town situated on the Costa de la Luz, some 15km north of Tarifa, next to the town of Bolonia and the beautiful beach. Its history lies in the trade routes serving Europe and North Africa – the town’s strategic position on the coast near the Straits of Gibraltar made it a crucial stopping-off point between the two continents. The ruins of Baelo Claudia, with its impressive temple, forum and basilica, and especially the large fish-salting factory, show how important the town was
Seville, the stunningly beautiful capital of Andalucía and arguably one of the most picturesque cities in Spain, Seville is the ‘must see’ at least once during your stay. Seville captures the true ‘spirit of Spain’ and is a wonderful mixture of Roman, Muslim and Spanish architecture. The Alcazar for example, is a beautiful series of Moorish palaces, courtyards and gardens which rival the Alhambra in Granada whilst Seville’s Gothic cathedral, is the largest in Spain and retains the minaret of the mosque which it replaced. Seville is within an hour and half drive.
Arcos de la Frontera is one of Andalusía’s most dramatically positioned pueblos blancos, straddling a rocky limestone ridge, its whitewashed houses and stone castle walls stop abruptly as the sheer cliff face plunges down to the fertile valley of the Rio Guadalete below. Justifiably popular with international visitors, the myriad of cobbled streets are some of the narrowest in Andalusía – not for the faint hearted!