El Puerto de Santa Maria, the traditional port of the sherry houses in Jerez, has several interesting churches, mansions and a 13th century mudejar castle. It also has one of the largest and most famous bullrings in Spain as well as several nice beaches and great restaurants. Nearby Cadiz, which bay is almost entirely surrounded by water. some claim is Europe’s oldest city and many speak about Hercules being its founder. Occupied by the Carthagininans, Romans and Moors, the city lived a gold period during the Re-conquest from the wealth taken from the New World (Las Americas). Although more a tourist resort nowadays the real joy of visiting Cadiz is to wander around the city through the gardens and open squares, as well as the old Town. The baroque Cathedral is lovely . The Carnival here in February is the pride of the city and one of the most important in Spain.
The charming town has a number of interestinghistorical buildings and attractions, including the Saint Marcos Castle, a cathedral and the Casa de los Leones. El Puerto de Santa Maria is also home toone of the oldest bullrings in Spain, where they hold regular concerts and exhibitions.You can also pay a visit to one of the wine and sherry bodegas, including the famous Osborne sherry bodega. Most visits are made by appointment only, so be sure to book before turning up to avoid disappointment. The El Puerto Museum walks through the history of El Puerto deSanta Maria.You can also take a pleasant boat ride over the province’s capital city of Cadiz.
El Puerto de Santa Maria is surrounded by the Parque Natural Bahia de Cadiz (Bahia de Cadiz Natural Park) and the Natural Reserve of Complejo Endorreico de El Puerto de Santa Maria, both are important ecological areas, which consist of lush green vegetation, lagoons, and salt marshes, and are home to a variety of fauna, fish and migrating birds such as flamingos, storks and waterfowl.
The beaches around El Puerto de Santa Maria enjoy fine golden sand and fresh and crystalline waters. There are eight beaches in total in the region, including Muralla Beach, which sits protected by the old city walls. Here there is a large marina, with a seafront bar, where you can enjoys views to the Atlantic ocean.
The gastronomy of Puerto Santa Maria is one of the main reasons that Spanish visitors enjoy the town so much. One may start in the old part of town, strolling along the riverside full of restaurants and bars, choosing the appropriate place to taste all kinds of shellfish and fish.
Definitely don’t expect to find a typical English breakfast or dinner here, El Puerto de Santa Maria serves up strictly Andalusian cuisine and seafood.