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Jerez or Arcos

We'll be travelling by car from Tarifa to Seville and want to stop for a couple of hours in either Jerez or Arcos on the way. Arcos is further off the highway. Which would you recommend? We'll have already seen Ronda (day trip from Marbella).
By the way, neither sherry nor horses are of any particular interest to us. If we went to Jerez, it would purely be for a walk through the historic section and perhaps breakfast or lunch.

Posted by
3696 posts

I prefer Arcos and because you have no interest in the horses or sherry I would not bother with Jerez. I did not find the town itself particularly charming. We did find a wonderful little restaurant for lunch at what was supposed to be a art/craft area, but it was not a great art fair. I did spend the night at Arcos so that made it very special as we had a wonderful dinner and view from the veranda. I think we stayed at Arcos de la Fronterra. We enjoyed walking around the town and photographing the architecture. I do not remember any particularly wonderful shopping.

Posted by
2393 posts

I 2nd Arcos as well - we've been to both but I loved the equestrian school. Arcos is a charming town with some restaurants, cute shops & beautiful views.

Jerez is all about the sherry & the equestrian school - no charm - a small city - a little gritty

Posted by
12154 posts

Jerez was a really nice surprise for us. While it doesn't have major sights like some other cities, it's a nice city with squares, cafes, a cathedral, and lots of Bodegas - I wouldn't call it gritty (Cadiz was gritty). We chose Ronda for a white town so didn't feel we needed to see Arcos too.

Jerez is the only place in Spain where you can tour a Bodega without advance reservations. Too bad you aren't interested in Sherry. Even if you aren't particularly interested in drinking it, it's a big part of the culture there and the Bodegas are very old and quaint. We toured the big one Tio Peppe (Domique?) and a smaller one, Osborne, a short walk from there.

I'm not a Sherry drinker (before or since Spain) but when you're in Spain, it kind of makes sense - and the taste of Sherry seems to fit that part of Spain. The big silhouettes of bulls that are in Rick's Spain shows, were advertising for Osborne Sherry. Osborne's Manzanilla is THE drink at the April Fair in Seville. 1/2 Manzanilla and 1/2 Seven-Up is the spritzer Rick talks about. Sherry comes in varieties from very dry and nearly clear, like Manzanilla, to very dark and sweet for dessert. The medium sherry Harvey's Bristol Cream, Queen Elizabeth's favorite drink, is made for export only but you can taste it at Osborne.

We didn't go to the horse academy. The Royal Lipizzaner Stallions used to tour through San Diego yearly and my mom always took me to the show - so I felt like I'd seen it plenty of times.

Posted by
16893 posts

When our Spain tour groups visit Jerez, they only visit the sherry and horses, and don't see more of the city than just driving through. We use Arcos as our home base for both nights around the Jerez visit, because it is more charming and fun to wander.