Whether you’re a full-time van dweller or you’ve rented a motorhome to visit the sights of Spain, one question that might have crossed your mind is, ‘Should I take my campervan to Jerez de la Frontera?’ Watch our video highlights and read on to find out what Lou and I thought about taking a campervan to Jerez.
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After our epic visit(s) to Cadiz, we headed north-west into the zone of Andalucia known as the ‘Sherry Triangle’. This lived up to its mysterious name by blanketing us with fog on the drive. Of the three towns that make up the so-called triangle, Jerez is the largest and most well known, having given its name to the region’s most famous export, Sherry – a mispronunciation of the original name, Xeres.
In this article we’ll show you where you can park your campervan or motorhome in Jerez; give you some tips on using public transport in Jerez; explain why touring a sherry bodega is a ‘must do’ activity and introduce you to the venue that made us fall in love with the traditional music of Spain, flamenco. Read this and you will be able to answer the question, ‘Should I take my campervan to Jerez?’
Where to park your campervan or motorhome overnight in Jerez
Lou and I always prefer to wild camp. However, when we are visiting larger towns and cities, the security of our campervan is of paramount importance. So, we were happy to find an excellent secure parking facility in Jerez: La Morada del Sur the site of a former industrial building, located in the north-east of the City on Avenue Tio Pepe (36.713,-6.1097). This overnight parking for campervans and motorhomes in Jerez is 15 euros per night.
For the price you get a hot shower, electricity, water, wi-fi and waste disposal, not to mention a free glass of sherry! After 9pm the gate is locked and you are given an electronic fob to enter. Next door is a basic restaurant serving breakfast and on weekend evenings, grilled meats. Although La Morada del Sur is not cheap, it still compares favourably with a campsite.
Public transport in Jerez de la Frontera
We found almost no information on public transport in Jerez de la Frontera before we arrived. There is a metro planned in Jerez but it has not been built. Of course, you can get the train to Cadiz or Seville but within the city, unless you have your own bicycle with you, you will have to rely on the public bus system.
From your parking in La Morada del Sur it is approximately a one hour walk to the historic centre of Jerez. Alternatively, you can take the number 16 bus from just over the road. It’s worth noting on weekends, the services are highly irregular with a gap of several hours in the middle of the day. Don’t make the same mistake we did and end up having to book a taxi. A single bus fare costs 1.10 euros and the taxi fare is approximately 10 euros.
Taking a sherry tour in Jerez
You probably don’t like sherry. Do not think because you are in the region of Jerez, you will suddenly start to like it either. To really appreciate this fortified wine, you need to see how it is made and taste it in the company of an expert.
Lou and I visited two sherry Bodegas in Jerez. Bodegas Tradicion was highly rated on TripAdvisor and we can confirm it was excellent. A lovely guide called Ulrike explained to us the fascinating process of sherry production and more importantly tasted their expensive range with us, accompanied by some tasty nibbles that paired well. With bottles starting around 55 euros we were glad no attempt was made to sell us any!
Although Bodegas Tradicion was quite pricey at 30 euros per person it compared very favourably with the second tour we did at Gonzalez-Byass – one of the world’s largest wine producers and owners of the famous Tio Pepe brand of sherry. Here, we were grouped with ten other people and shown barrels of sherry signed by among others, Bobby Charlton and Margaret Thatcher…
After an hour or so of being shown various barrels and having technical information thrown at us, we finally were allowed to sit down and taste. For 21 euros we tasted four different sherries, all of which were bog-standard. The miserly portions of cheese and nuts did little to compliment them. Of course, we could have tasted their top of the line sherry… but that would have cost 30 euros each. We exited via the gift shop!
The bottom line on sherry tours in Jerez: You get what you pay for. In our opinion, if you have to pick one Bodega to visit, it should be a small one where your custom is valued, your tour is more personal and the quality of the produce is higher. Just make sure you don’t miss out because you cannot get this experience anywhere else in the world.
Where to go in Jerez in the evening
Don’t be fooled into thinking you need to pay to see flamenco in Jerez. Lou and I chanced upon the wonderful Tabanco a la Feria (In Jerez, a tabanco is a bar where they serve sherry, usually straight from barrels). We turned up at around 6pm when it was closed and saw the signs on the door stating tapas were one euro each and we returned at 8pm just as they opened the doors. Not only was the tapas one euro, so was the sherry… and the beer!
On the internet, Tabanco al la Feria was described as having walls adorned with bull-fighting memorabilia. Well, thankfully the times are changing and they’ve had a more neutral makeover. Slowly the bar began to fill and at 10pm we were treated to a performance of live flamenco from a local trio. We hope the raw and emotional power comes across in our video.
The show was finished by midnight and we got chatting to some locals who took us to their favourite late-night watering hole. Coincidentally we had passed Tabanco Romate earlier in the day when it was empty. Built around a large courtyard it almost felt as if we were inside, such was the warmth of this huge throng, chatting and smoking. The place was still heaving when we stumbled out about 3am.
Other dining options in Jerez de la Frontera
If flamenco isn’t your thing or you just want a higher quality of food than you get in a tabanco, then our favourite place to eat in Jerez was Bistro Rigodon It was a cold day outside but the cosy surroundings of this petite place and the offerings of home-cooked moussaka and tartiflette warmed us to the core. We were actually lucky as they weren’t meant to be serving food at 4pm but the chef-owner was very nice to us!
Should I take my campervan to Jerez? Reasons to say… Yes!
🚙 Cheap, secure parking with facilities
🚙 The only place in the world to visit sherry Bodegas
🚙 Flamenco here is not dressed up for tourists
🚙 Ridiculously cheap tapas and drinks
🚙 Only a short drive to Cadiz or Seville
Thanks for reading ‘Should I take my Campervan to Jerez de la Frontera’. We hope you enjoyed it. We would love to hear from you, so please feel free to email us on antlou [at] vanutopia.com and don’t forget you can stay right up to date with all of our antics by following us on social: Facebook; Instagram; Twitter and subscribing to our YouTube channel.
Ant & Lou