2. Fantastic “small” cities to explore in Europe in 2015 – Jerez

   After lovely Italy, my next beautiful destination that I am going to suggest comes from the south of Spain. It s name is Jerez.

Jerez (http://diverfauna.com/)
Jerez (http://diverfauna.com/)

   Jerez is the fifth largest city in the autonomous community of Andalusia. Big problem for the city, as well as for Andalusia, is the unemployment rate which goes up to 35%. Although these numbers are not going well, number of tourists has been increasing in last years. And there are a lot of reasons to be so.

   Speaking of numbers, here are the top 5 attractions in the city:
1.  Jerez is the unofficial capital of flamenco: the traditional type of dance and a grand part of Andalusian folklore. It originated in Jerez and its surroundings. But what is most striking is that is still very present in everyday life and on the streets of Jerez, where you can easily run into a full-blown flamenco show with singing, clapping and dancing, formed spontaneously by the accidental passers-by.
Flamenco festival (http://www.tristeyazul.com/)
Flamenco festival (http://www.tristeyazul.com/)
2.  What goes better with dancing then a good wine? Viniculture has great tradition and Jerez was developing its wine with every civilization running through this area. Phoenicians started viniculture in 1100 BC, Romans carried on, as well as Moors as they came in 8th century.
Wines are known all over the world. Every sommelier heard of sherryfortified wine made from white grapes. Gonazalez Byass  is one of Spain’s most well-known sherry winery. Winery is owned by 4th and 5th generation of Gonzalez family. It has impressive cellars when it comes to size.
   Tabancos are typical Andalusian premises. A tabanco is half tavern, where you can have a drink or eat some tapas, but also half wine shop, as they sell wine in bulk as well.
3. Moto GP and F1 – Circuito de Jerez is a place where Formula 1 drivers Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher used to ride. Today the circuit holds pre-season F1 testing. Moto GP riders such as Dani Pedrosa, Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and many others enjoy to come to the south of Spain. According to motorbikes and cars drivers, it is one of the most attractive tracks.
ITV-to-screen-MotoGP™-highlights-throughout-2014-season-01
Offical sign of Moto GP
4. Feria de caballo (Horse fair) –  exciting and lively event that brings the entire city to the park Gonzalo Hontoria Fairgrounds, which cover 52,000 square metres, giving ample space for the finest horses of Jerez  to show off their moves to the crowds. The fair attracts more than one million visitors and features music, dancing, bullfights and all kinds of horse competitions, from dressage through to polo. Each day there’s a colourful parade featuring hundreds of horses passing through the Parque González Hontoria fairgrounds.The aristocratic-looking male riders decked out in flat-topped hats, frilly white shirts, black trousers and leather chaps, and their female crupera (sideways pillion) partners in flamenco-inspired dresses.
Feria del Caballo at night (http://static.panoramio.com/)
Feria del Caballo at night (http://static.panoramio.com/)
5. Sun, sand and sea (ocean to be precise 🙂 ) The weather in Jerez is characterized by enjoying over 3,200 hours of sunshine a year. Temperatures are high in summer and mild in winter. In just 10 minutes from the Jerez, there is el Puerto de Santa Maria and the Atlantic ocean with excellent golden sandy beaches and the pleasant water temperature. The beaches have been provided with all the necessary services, such as rescue and life-saving, first-aid post, showers and access for handicapped people. These circumstances make the beaches of el Puerto the preferred place for people from Sevilla, Madrid, etc. to spend the summer in.
Beach Puerto de Santa María (http://www.vuelaviajes.com/)
Beach Puerto de Santa María (http://www.vuelaviajes.com/)
Special thanks to Manu Granados that helped with writing article about his hometown 🙂
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