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Jerez de la Frontera (203.000 inhabitants) in Andalusia, southern Spain, is mainly known for two things: Sherry and horses. The best sherry's are produced in this region, and you will find a lot of well-known brands in or around this town. In this town you'll find a very strong English connection, as a lot of the sherry was exported to England, and also a couple of the bodegas were and are still in the hand of English owners.
The city centre of Jerez is pretty small, and can easily be seen on foot. Parts of the old city walls can still be seen. The main sights in the center of Jerez are the Cathedral and the Alcazar. The 11th- or 12th century Alcazar has a pretty little mosque, and in the mainbuilding it houses a camera obscura, that you can visit on sunny days, to get a very nice panoramic view over the city.
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A lot of the Bodegas can be visited but it is recommended to make a call to reserve a tour. It is good to go to the tourist office (at Plaza de Arenal) to get an overview which bodegas can be visited at which times. At some of the bigger bodegas, you can get a tour with an appointment. These are Sandeman and Gonzalés Byass. Some of the bodegas are in the center of town, others are further away. The bodegas of Gonzáles Byass are opposite the Cathedral.
Jerez houses a training school for horses (and their riders.) called the Royal Andalucian School of Equestrian Art. Shows of the school can be visited on Thursday afternoon, with some additional days in the summer season. (on Tuesday, and in August also on Friday). Training sessions are cheaper to watch, and can be visited in the mornings on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and at some points in the year also on Tuesdays.
Near Jerez there is a race track, that hosts one of the rounds of motorcycle world championships in April or May, on these days Jerez is packed with people, as Motorracing is one of the sports that draws a lot of people to the circuits (and in front of the television in Spain. In the past it also has been used as a track for the Formule 1. Nowadays it still is a beloved track to test Formule 1 cars in the winter.
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In late February and or early March, Jerez is the scene of a music and dance (flamenco) festival that last for 2 weeks, the Festival de Jerez.
In the first half of May, one of the biggest festivals of Andalusia takes part in Jerez, the Feria del Caballo. Like most festivals in Spain this means a lot of music and dance, a couple of bullfights, and in this case also a lot of horseriding competitions. There are also parades through the Parque Gonzáles Hontoria in the north of the town.
Jerez de la Frontera has a small airport (XRY), that is serviced by Iberia from Madrid and Vueling from Barcelona, and some of the other lowcost airlines, with destinations like Helsinki, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, Palma de Mallorca, Brussels, London, Manchester and several other domestic destinations and seasonal flights (Amsterdam for example).
There are busses running from the busstation to the airport, on somewhat regular times.
Jerez is reachable by train. The trainstation is on the eastside of the town at the Avenida de la estacion. Seville can be reached in about 1 hour and 10 minutes, and the train to Cádiz still takes about 45 minutes to get there. Trains run by Altaria are a little bit faster (and thus more expensive), than the regional express trains.
The busstation is next to the trainstation, and the buscompanies services routes to most of the bigger Spanish towns and cities. From here it is also possible to take a bus to nearby towns like Cádiz, Puerto de Santa Maria and Arcos de la Frontera.
If you stick to the city center than everything is within walking distance.
If you are planning trips to Bodegas that are outside of the town, or to some other towns in the neighbourhood, take a good look at the website of the consorcio de bahia de Cadiz, that runs most of the public transport in the region.
|Pensión Las Palomas||Higueras 17||Guesthouse||85|
|Tierras de Jerez||Corredera 58 11402||Hotel||82|
|El Ancla Hotel||Plaza de Mamelón, no 13||Hotel||-|
|Nuevo Hotel||C/ Caballeros 23 Bda/ San Miguel||Hotel||-|
|Al Andalus Jerez||Calle Arcos nº 29||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Cortijo de Ducha||Nacional Iv Km628||HOTEL||-|
|Albergue Inturjoven Jerez de la Frontera||Avda. Blas Infante n 30||HOSTEL||83|
|Hotel Dona Blanca||C/ Bodegas 11||HOTEL||84|
|Apartamentos Jerez||Ramon de Cala 15 Jerez de la Frontera||APARTMENT||-|
Internet is widely available within Spain. Most airports have wifi-zones and in most towns there are internet cafés or shops where you can use internet for a fixed price. Wi-Fi points in bars and cafeterias are available after ordering, and most hotels offer Wi-Fi connection in common areas for their guests.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The international access code for Spain is +34. The emergency number for police, ambulance and the fire brigade is 112.
In cities you can find plenty of public phones, and 'locutorios'. The latter are small shops where you can use the phone and use internet. Most of them also sell prepaid cards for mobile telephones. These shops are used a lot by foreigners to call to their mother country.
The main mobile network operators in Spain are Yoigo, Vodafone, Movistar and Orange, as in most of Europe voice and data coverage is generally good in urban areas however it can be patchy in rural locations. Cheap mobile phones (less than €50) with some pre-paid minutes are sold at FNAC or any phone operator's shop (Vodafone, Movistar, Orange). Topping-up is then done by buying scratch cards from the small stores, supermarkets, vending points (often found in tobacco shops) or kiosks.
If you want to post a card, you can head to the post office (Correos). The Spanish post is not yet as efficient as colleagues in other countries so receiving a card can take a bit longer than the number of days that it should take. On the website of Correos, you can find the locations of nearby post offices.
Post offices are generally open from 8:30am to 2:00pm, although times will vary according to the size of the city/town and the main post offices might be open until the early evening. Most will also open again on Saturday mornings, but in the smaller towns will close as early as 12 noon. When posting a letter, look for a yellow box and, if possible, post at the post office itself where there will also be divisions for local, national and international mail. Be prepared for long queues at the post office. This is why tobacco shops sell stamps and many will also have the facility to weigh packages. Standard letters/postcards of up to 20 grams sent within Spain are €0.34. However, non-standard letters/postcards of up to 20g are €0.39. Letters/postcards of 20 to 50 grams are €0.45. In the case of international shipping, the price is €0.64 to most countries within Europe for standard envelopes (letters/postcards) up to 20g, for a few European countries and outside Europe it is €0.78. If you want to send a package you are probably better off with a private courier company like TNT, DHL or UPS, as they offer quick and reliable services against competitive prices.
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