El Puerto is typical of towns in Andalucia with it's small white 18th century buildings and narrow one way streets. It is not a particularly beautiful place but it is by no means ugly either.
For many years it has been a poor crumbling village though now due to an influx of new investors it's really coming into it's own. It survived only on it's massive Spanish tourist industry in summer where the small village was transformed into a bustling town packed with visitors from Madrid, Sevilla and other lage landlocked cities. Although this is still it's major income many believe it is slowly taking over Cadiz and Jerez for importance due to it's perfect geographical location. El Puerto boasts many shops and enterprises that Cadiz couldn't get even if it wanted to due to it's geographical inability to grow. It is well connected to Sevilla (the capital of Andalucia) and of course beats Jerez due to it's sandy beaches.
El Puerto's other source of income comes from the American Mlitary as many of it's officers are located here instead of Rota (where America has an airbase). Although this is good for it's ecomomy it is often bad for it's society.
Puerto Sherry is part of El Puerto de Santa Maria, yet due to it's distinct architecture I has a really different feel to it. It is located next to a marina that joins it to Playa La Puntilla, although it overlooks a small beach of it's own, La Muralla (the wall). This is from where Napoleon bombed Cadiz.
The buildings, as you can see from the photo are very colourful, they are all interestingly shaped too. I will see if I can sneak another photo that demonstrates this on the website.
This area, like Vistahermosa, El Ancla, Las Redes, El Aguila, Fuentebravia and Valdelagrana are the richer and more modern places in El Puerto. Some of the houses in these areas look like dolls houses.
Though there are still some unfinished/not going to be finished houses in Puerto Sherry that mar the landscape a little. This is due to the construction laws. The lowest bid may get the construction rights, but then they must sell the houses or flats first to finance the building work. If they run out of money that's it. If another company wants to take over, they have to pay the last company's debts. For this reason many skeletons of flats or houses litter the whole of Cádiz.
Puerto Sherry also has many bars, cafes and Ice-cream parlours. It makes a great place for an afternoon refreshment, looking out over the blue sea. At sunset is is particularly beautiful
For Family entertainment try Aquasherry a water park located just out of town heading towards Jerez.
June 15th to September 4th 2005.
June and September from 11 am to 6 pm.
July and August from 11 am to 7 pm.
Buses stopping at the park gates: No. 26 from El Puerto de Santa María, every 40 minutes approximately.
Aqualand Shuttle Buses
Shuttle bus direct from Novo Sancti-Petri hotels, prior booking required. Information and bookings at your hotel or ringing the Park under Phone: 902 11 49 95.
PRICES FOR SEASON 2005
Adults: 16,00 Euros
Children 3 to 12: 11,50 EurosSenior Citizens over 65: 11,50 Euros
School groups: 8,40 Euros
One tutor per 25 students enters free. Booking required.
Groups (25 people or more):
- Adult: 13,60 Euros
- Children: 9,80 Euros
- Senior Citizen: 9,80 Euros
- Booking required.
This is a photo of El Puerto's worst beach which was also my local beach when I lived there. Called La Puntilla it is the beach closest to the centre. It is not a bad beach; I only call it the worst because there are better one's and that this beach is directly opposite Cádiz Cities idustrial side so the water often gets a little polluted. Head further up out of the bay for cleaner water: Visahermosa, Las Redes, El Ancla and Fuentebravia.
You can visit the local Bodegas (wine cellars) which make up big part of this town and sample some of the local sherry or fino (a very swwet white wine). Try:
Osborne (956 861600) on Calle Fernán Caballero. It's Labels are: Fino Quinta: Fino. Cara de Gallo: Manzanilla Fina. Conqueiro: Amontillado. Bailén: Oloroso. 10RF: Oloroso medium. Santa María: Cream. Pedro Ximenez 1827. Vinos muy viejos: Aos: amontillado. BC200: oloroso. Sorera India: Oloroso Médium. Solera PAP: palo cortado. Pedro Ximénez Viejo
Bodegas 501 on Calle Valdés, 9. It's lables are: 501 Marinero: Fino. 501 Tercio: Oloroso. 501 Zurbarán: Cream. 501 Gades: Amontillado. 501 Ribera del Puerto: Blanco.
or Caballero's which is housed in a converted convent in C/ San Francisco, 24
They all offer guided tours in various languages.
The photo shows the Iglesia Mayor (the main church) in Plaza España; it was built by the same person who built the original cathedral in Sevilla (the one that fell down!). The town museum can be found opposite the church. It is very small, but has some interesting pieces.
Although I personally can't stand Bull fighting I present the Bull ring of El Puerto. It is the second biggest in Spain (Sevilla has the biggest) and attracts all the big names in summer like El Juli. It was built in 1800 odd possibly 1892.
I don't recommend going to see a fight as it is cruel, but if you want to see it before making up you own mind then bare these things in mind: Try to see a known fighter the amateurs are gory; you can buy tickets to be seated in the sun (sol) or shade (sombra) depending which you prefer (Ticket prices vary considerable depending on where you sit); and it is mainly the older richer element of Spanish society that are obsessed with bull fighting. The younger Spaniards are far less enthusiastic about it and many are against it.
Bull frighting has been a Spanish tradition for a long time, but this does not mean you have to go and see one while you are in Spain. There are many more Spanish traditions which are far more humane and worthy.
A trip just to see the outside of the bull ring is worth it though!
There is also a really good castle which is a mix of different eras and cultures by Plaza Juan de la Cosa.
It was constructed somewhere around the 10th Century as a Muslim Mosque and was transformed into Christian temple in the 13th Century. Later it chopped and changed between these two denominations and design until 1943 when it underwent it's last reformation.
You can enter the Castle for free on Tuesdays. Wednesdays to Saturday it costs 5€ (2€ for children) to enter and it is closed on Sundays and Mondays. It only opens in the mornings between 10 am and 2pm.
The structure you can see in the photo is located next to the train station. As you can see the left hand side is an old church. what you can see tacked on to the right hand side is the old jail. These days it is used as an exhibition and business fair centre.
El Puerto is situated in the province of cadiz. Capiz Capital is only 30 minutes away by train and Jerez (the home of Sherry) even less.
To find out what there is to do around El Puerto please check out my Cadiz pages:
Take me to Cadiz
Plaza de Polverista is one of El Puerto's prettiest plazas (squares). You can come here to sit and relax and watch the world go by.
Another pretty square to try is Isaac Peral.