In this post, you’ll find our guide to the Jerez Horse Fair in May. It’s a wonderful celebration of Andalucian culture and one of the best times to visit the city.
For a truly Andalucian experience, head to Jerez
Located about 90 kms from Seville, in some ways Jerez (or Jerez de la Frontera to give its full name) is like a smaller and more compact version of the Andalucian capital. Like Seville, it’s a beautiful city with a rich cultural heritage. Jerez boasts a magnificent cathedral and has a Moorish fortress (the Alcazar of Jerez), which dates back to the 12th century. Jerez is also one of the best places in the country to experience flamenco. Indeed, locals will argue strongly that their city is the true home of the most famous of Andalucia’s traditions: flamenco. But whilst this latter point could be debated endlessly, there are two things about Jerez are indisputable. The first is that Jerez is the home of sherry and the second is that Jerez is the capital of Andalucian horse culture.
And there’s no better time to experience the latter than the Jerez Horse Fair in May.
Jerez Horse Fair: 5 to 12 May, 2018
The Jerez Horse Fair (Feria de Caballo) is the city’s biggest festival. It’s a celebration of all things Andalucian with the city’s much-loved Andalucian horses at its heart. The festival usually takes place in the first two weeks of May. In 2018, the Jerez Horse Fair takes place between 5 and 12 May.
During the week-long festival, a big amusement park takes over Gonzalo Hontoria Park. But the major events are the horse shows. Taking place throughout the week, the shows feature dressage and riding competitions. There are also polo matches, bullfights and flamenco displays. For many, however, the big highlight is the parade of horses and horse carriages all richly decorated. The people on them are also in traditional clothing. This means men are in short jackets and wide brimmed hats whilst women are in traditional gypsy dresses (perhaps better known as flamenco dresses). The parade takes place every day during the fair between 1.00pm and 7.30pm so there are plenty of opportunities to experience it.
The fairground is free to enter. Many of the horse events (aside from the parade) happen at Ifeca Jerez, which is located east of the park.
In addition to the amusement park, the fairground is also filled with over 200 casetas, which are like marquees where plenty of food and drink is served. They’re also good places to mingle with locals, dance and enjoy traditional Andalucian music. You may also get to catch some impromptu flamenco.
Drink of the fair: the Rebujito
Naturally, there is plenty of sherry flowing. But a popular drink enjoyed the festival mixes fino sherry with lemonade called a ‘rebujito’. With temperatures already firmly in the mid-20s in May, a rebujito is a refreshing accompaniment for the festival!
Gonzalez Hontoria Park
You can find the fairground at Gonzalez Hontoria Park. which lies about 2 kms northeast of Plaza del Arenal. There is a big car park southeast of the park along Calle Rafael Alberti.
For more information on the Jerez Horse Fair including a map of the fairground, visit: jerez.es. You should also be able to pick up information at the tourist office either in the city centre or at Jerez Airport.
More Jerez from our blog
- Tabancos in Jerez: Where to drink sherry
- Alcazar of Jerez and Camera Obscura views
- Sherry tours in Jerez
- Art and sherry at Bodegas Tradicion
- Tabanco la Pandilla
- A must from Jerez: Tocino de Cielo