24 hours in Sanlucar de Barrameda
Gateway to America
After the discovery of the New World, Sanlúcar became an important port, facilitating Christopher Columbus' third voyage as well as the first circumnavigation of the earth by Magellan and Juan Sebastián Elcano, giving rise to the greatest economic boom in its history due to trade activity among America and the port of Seville, promoted by the Dukes of Medina Sidonia.
9:00 - Bread and things to get you going
We begin the day by enjoying the morning atmosphere in Barrio Bajo, very close to the food market (c/ Traspuesta s/n), with its vegetable and sweets stands and other products around the outside, and inside with magnificent fish, seafood and olive stands. But first, breakfast; on that same street are the Bar El Corcho and the Cafetería Pozo, where you can find any type of bread or muffin or anything else that will get you going. In the nearby plaza de San Roque there are also bars where you can have a coffee and from there walking toward the Plaza del Cabildo you can see three tile plaques commemorating the first ship voyage around the world by Magellan and Elcano (c/ Isaac Peral).
10:30 - The Red Duchess
Climbing Belén hill to reach Barrio Alto, the first thing you see are Las Covachas (XV Century) commissioned expressly by the second Duke of Medina Sidonia; it is constructed in late Gothic style and consists of a portico inserted into the wall. Further on you will see the Auditorium la Merced, an ancient XVII Century convent, and from there you come to the Palacio de Orleáns Borbón (XIX Century) summer residence of the Dukes of Montpensier and the current City Hall.
Next stop is the Church of Nuestra Sra. de la O, in XIV Century Gothic-Mudejar style and in the same plaza is Palacio de Medina Sidonia, residence of the Dukes of Medina Sidonia, declared a monument of historical-artistic interest. It contains the archive called the Red Duchess (Duquesa roja), Isabel Álvarez de Toledo, considered one of the best historical archives in the world. It has an Inn and a cafeteria with wonderful views of the mouth of the Guadalquivir and the Doñana Natural Park.
We continue on toward the XV Century castle where the Catholic Kings stayed on their visit to the city and from where the Catholic Queen looked upon the sea for the very first time. Now it's time to eat; right in front there are the Bodegas Barbadillo with guided tours and where you can taste some local wines. There is also a Museum of Manzanilla Sherry, nothing better to get your appetite going.
12:30 - To the banks of the Guadalquivir
Coming down from Barrio Alto on foot, you easily come to Bajo de Guía, along the river, a pleasant walk facing the Doñana Natural Park (Ice Factory Visitors Centre - Bajo de Guía). Around the entire natural park there are places to visit and enjoy such as Pinar de la Algaida and the Bonanza marshes and salt flats, you can participate in activities like touring the Compuertas salt flats. If you want to purchase some variety of salt, the Sanlúcar company Max Meridia offers direct sales via their website , or at La Sacristía Winery (c/ Rubiños,23) in addition to tasting all the representative wines of Marco de Jerez you may also enjoy some local Sanlúcar cuisine.
14:30 - With Prawns, Mantis Shrimps and Manzanilla Sherry
Here in Bajo de Guía is where you will find some of the best restaurants in the city with incredible views and an unparalleled gastronomic variety: prawns and mantis shrimps, which look like crayfish, native to this area, from Casa Bigote, seafood stews from Joselito Huerta, fish and seafood paellas from Mirador de Doñana, with everything bathed in Manzanilla sherry. Consult the Gastronomic Guide.
16:00 - Upstream
Now to digest your lunch; the best is an excursion through the park in a 4x4 or in the Ship Buque Real Fernando (Viajes Doñana). You must set aside about 3.5 hours for either of these options.
If you prefer to stay on dry land, visit the La Victoria Cultural Centre where you'll find the Mythological Cádiz Interpretive Centre; the exposition content is centred around three themes: Holy Land/Land of Hercules, The Mother Goddess/the origin of time and Temple of Hercules/the lighthouse of the far east.
19:00 - Snack Time
Throughout Barrio Bajo you can find the most traditional bakeries of Sanlúcar where you may purchase delicious olive oil cakes (Bollería La Merced - c/Ancha, 72), or try the rondeña (La Rondeña - Avda. de la Rondeña s/n), a small cake filled with angel hair created by this company and which they call delicious ‘bacon from heaven!'. (Las Dominicas Convent - c/Ruiz de Somalia, 1).
You may also enjoy a delicious ice cream from one of the more traditional ice cream parlours in the city, La Ibense Bornay
While you're at it, stop by the Vinoteca La Sacristía del Marco de Jerez (c/ Rubiños, 23), they offer Jerez and Sanlúcar wine tasting and you may also purchase products related to salt from the local company Max Meridia.
20:00 - A Day at the Races
If there is one activity that characterises this city it is Horse Racing on the beach in Bajo de Guía during the month of August. This event has been held for the past 160 years and attracts thousands of people, including many celebrities, who enjoy an unforgettable moment, horses running along the beach at sunset. It's not considered as an International Tourist Interest for nothing.
Now, if you cannot come in summer, Horse Week is held during the month of December, which also includes horse racing, show jumping, rides, etc.
22:00 - The Best Tapas
In and around the plaza Cabildo there are many places to enjoy an entire selection of gastronomic variety; in an old grocery store, subsequently converted into a tavern, which today is a reference for tapas in this city is Casa Balbino (Plaza Cabildo), where shrimp fritters are art as Ferrán Adriá signed when he was there. In the plaza is also La Gitana with an exquisite menu of seafood stews.
Close by is Barbiana (c/Isaac Peral, 1) another historical spot in the city centre, which offers not only great fish and seafood but also its own house-made Crianza Manzanilla Sherry. For a little change, the Bar Juanito (Plaza de San Roque) offers dishes with a bit more meat such as Iberian pork loin. Another suggestion is to dine sampling the different tapas at the Patio Andaluz of the Bodega La Cigarrera, (Plaza Madre de Dios), the oldest in Sanlúcar (1758), if time permits; if it doesn't, stop by anyway.
| Sanlúcar de Barrameda.
|| Bajo de Guía.