La Feria del Caballo

Alcázar de Jerez Cathedral La Feria del Caballo

Jerez de la Frontera beguiles with its eclectic mix of sherry, horses and flamenco. It is only 30 minutes drive north from Cortijo de Las Flamingos and Chiclana.
Jerez is best known for giving its name to sherry, one of the most popular drinks in the world. Jerez offers a wide selection of bars and restaurants and a wonderful shopping experience in the main street, Calle Larga. The streets and walkways of Jerez are lined with orange trees and on every street corner you will see stacks of oak barrels representing the history of the city.

The obvious place to start a tour of the old town is the impressive 11th and 12th century Islamic fortress – Alcázar. Inside are beautiful mezquita (mosque), converted to chapel, an impressive set of Baños Árabes (Arab Baths) and 18th century Palacio Villavicencio with impressive gardens. The Alcázar is open from 10am-6pm. The Alcázar has a superb octagonal tower (Torre Octogonal) and camera obscura in the palace’s tower which provides a picturesque live panorama of Jerez.

There are many monuments worth visiting, not least of the entire Baroque Cathedral with its magnificent towers. The cathedral was built in 1700 on the ruins of an old mosque. It was built by the two brothers, Diaz de los Reyes in Seville style. The cathedral houses several important works of art.

There is also a wonderful Archaeological Museum in the Plaza del Mercado. The museum is open every day except Mondays. Opening hours are 10-2 and 4-7 on Tuesday-Friday and 10-2.30 at weekends and on holidays. The museum is best known for the Greek helmet found in the Río Guadalete and the Bronze Age stone sculpture that are on display. The Centro Andaluz de Flamenco is located in Plaza de San Juan and is the most important museum and school of its kind anywhere.It is open 9am – 2pm Mon-Fri.

As with everywhere in Spain, Jerez has a fair share of fiestas, one of the most popular being the Horse Feria is (La Feria del Caballo). This takes place in May and features taming and riding competitions, trophies for the best horses and equine exhibitions. It is combined with one of the largest feria and funfairs in Spain.
The next Horse Fair will be celebrated from May 7th to 13th, 2012 and it has already been declared an event with international tourist interest. So, it is only left to say: Do not miss the chance of visiting it! The Gonzalez Hontoria fair park becomes a town within another town and it is lighted as if a brilliant sun shined through more than 1,200,000 light bulbs with different colours.
On first official day of the fair, at 22:00 you will watch a spectacular firework display which marks the start of a festival lasting 7 days. There will be more than 216 casitas. Fast 2,000,000 visitors in only 7 days backs up the prestige and it guarantees the resounding success of the Horse Fair each year. All this is assisted by an area covering more than 52,000 square meters for kids and adults to enjoy funfairs at this huge scene. At such a celebration, 500,000 wine bottles can be drunk in a week. Apart from a parallel program with the Horse Walk, you will daily observe attractions at several places, such as an impressive show performed by hundreds of horsemen and horsewomen.