Sherry Towns

Sherry Towns

The Parque Nacional de Doñana is one of Europe's most important wetland reserves and a major site for migrating birds. It is an immense area; the parque itself and surrounding parque natural or Entorno de Doñana (a protected buffer zone) amount to over 1,300 sq km in the provinces of Huelva, Sevilla and Cádiz.

This 839ha reserve is made up of three lakes, Taraje, San Antonio and Comisario, which are fed by rainwater and a nearby waterworks. From Puerto Real near Cadiz take the CA2012 towards Paterna de Rivera. The reserve is around 12km from Puerto Real, on the left-hand side of the road. At Km 9 on the CA2012 there is a track through pine trees.

Located inland, 20 km from Sanlúcar, Jerez holds worldwide acclaim for its sherry and brandy production. The word Jerez is derived from Arabic and has now become synonymous with the English word ‘sherry’. The city is equally famous for its fine horses as well as Flamenco music and dance.

Like so many towns in Andalucía the approach to El Puerto de Santa María along the main road is lined with garages, industrial plants and run down buildings. Keep going and cross the River Guadalete on the NIV (if coming from south) and turn into Calle Ribiera de los Mariscos and park in one of the car parks signposted.

Situated at the northern tip of the sherry triangle, 8 km from Chipiona, the delightful small town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda is flanked by the Guadalquivir estuary. The speciality tipple here is the distinctive manzanilla wine, which acquires its dry, slightly salty tang from the seaside environment and the moist poniente wind. The town is equally famed for its excellent seafood, for which manzanilla is (coincidentally!) the ideal accompaniment.

Much of the municipality forms part of the Natural Park of the Bay of Cadiz. This environmentally protected region is an ornithologist’s delight, being a permanent home to a wide variety of birds including grey herons, cormorants, plovers and ospreys, and the temporary habitat of many more.