Guest Author - Rachel Webb
Jerez de la Frontera has many claims to fame, it’s quality wines, International Horse Fair, the world’s best breed of horse, a birthplace of flamenco and the yearly World Motorcyle championship, formula 1 circuit, a botanical garden, zoo and Spain’s only crocodile farm, and for golf enthusiasts the Jack Nicklaus designed Golf Club of Montecastillo an 18 hole, par 72, course.
The wine cellars or las bodegas of Jerez are world famous as are their products. The Arabs named the town “sheirsh” from which the word sherry has come, we probably know it as Fino, Manzanilla, Oloroso or Palo Cortado. Most of the wine cellars offer more than a visit. Wine tasting, flamenco music and dancing and train rides are some of the features the different bodegas offer.
The Jerez circuit, is considered to be one of the best motor-racing venues in the world playing host to many international events including the World Motorcycling Championships and the Formula One Grand Prix.
In the meadows around Jerez you’ll not only see the Spanish horses being put through their paces, but there are also breeding farms for the toro bravo bulls that appear in the Feria Nacional. These incredibly powerful beasts can be seen during the Feria del Caballo(horse fair). The Municipal school of Bullfighting attracts trainee bullfighters from all over Spain.
The Feria del Caballo takes place in May, usually from 13th - 20th , and has been declared of International Tourist Interest. In the Autumn, at the end of September and into October the Fiestas de Otono, is the biggest celebration with several fiestas running into each other.
The Virgen de la Merced (24th September), then the celebrations of the grape harvest, including the Treading of the Grapes and the Blessing of the Must. Patron San Dionisio, is on the 9th of October which is also the International Horse Week and the Great Horse Parade.
Horse races, games and parades of over a thousand horses can be seen in the town, an amazing street party of loud music traditional dress and plenty of wine!
Jerez is considered to be one of the birthplaces of Flamenco, certainly some of the best artists have come from the town including Lola Flores. The Fiesta de la Buleria is a flamenco bonanza which takes place every Spetember in Jerez, attracting over 7,000 people, recently moved form the bullring to the municipal stadium because of its growing popularity.
Whether it’s beaches, wine, gardens, bulls, horses, motorbikes, formula 1 and on it goes, Jerez has an incredibly diverse list of culture and history, surely there has to be something for everyone here?
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