The ‘unique’ town in southern Spain where Spanish people go on holiday

El Puerto de Santa Maria, in Cádiz, Andalucia, is a beautiful and vibrant village in southern Spain, and a favourite summer destination among Spanish people.

The charming port town is just 30 minutes away from Jerez, where the nearest airport is, and one and a half hours away from Gibraltar. Although renting a car is recommended to visit the area, there are plenty of things to do in the pretty seaside village.

El Puerto de Santa Maria is a “unique location” with “some of the best beaches in southern Spain,” according to travel blog kristatheexplorer. The travel experts said: “Despite it only being a small town, there are a number of unique things to do in El Puerto de Santa María that’ll keep you busy for the day.”

“You may recognise the name from the history books as the port where Christopher Columbus set sail from with the ship named the Santa María. There are a lot of incredible things to do in El Puerto de Santa María, as it’s still a cultural and historic hot spot in southern Spain.”

Other beautiful towns to visit around the area are Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlucar de Barrameda, Rota, Puerto Real and Arcos de la Frontera. But what is there to do in El Puerto de Santa Maria?

Plaza Real de Toros

The Plaza Real de Toros is a popular attraction in El Puerto de Santa María. It is a beautifully designed building with unique architecture and one of the largest bullrings in Spain.

Castillo de San Marcos

Located in the Old Town, Castillo de San Marcos is a stunning 13th-century castle with interesting history. Christopher Columbus reportedly stayed here while he was preparing for his expedition to the Americas. Definitely, a must-visit when staying in El Puerto de Santa Maria.

Plaza de España 

Plaza de España is the main square, surrounded by souvenir shops and cute cafes. The most important building in the square is the beautiful Mayor Prioral church.

Visit Avenida Micaela Aramburu de Mora and Plaza de Cristóbal Colón, also located in the old town, where you will find lots of restaurants with authentic cuisine, delicious tapas and refreshing sangria.

Puerto Sherry

Head to Puerto Sherry to relax in one of the charming restaurants overlooking the Bay of Cádiz. There is a cute beach near the marina, a shopping centre, water activities for the whole family, and lots of restaurants and bars with delicious seafood and traditional Spanish cuisine.

Bodegas Osborne

Bodegas Osborne is one of Spain’s oldest family-run companies producing sherry and interestingly, it was founded by Englishman Thomas Osborne Mann in 1772.

The Bodegas is one of the main attractions in El Puerto de Santa Maria, loved by tourists and locals. Enjoy the traditional dessert wine by booking a tour and wine tasting – you won’t regret it. 

La Puntilla Beach, Playa Fuentebravía and Playa de Santa Catalina

The main beaches in El Puerto de Santa Maria are the perfect location to sunbathe and relax. On Tripadvisor, visitors said that Playa de is Fuentebravía a “marvellous” family-friendly beach with two beach bars, “clean sand and crystal clear water”.

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