For a holiday full of history and great food, Puerto de Santa Maria is a hidden gem along the Atlantic coast between Jerez de la Frontera and Cadiz on the Costa de la Luz. In the heart of the old town you will find pretty, pedestrianised, orange tree lined, cobbled streets and beautiful architecture. Explore the many historic monuments that earned the town its Site of Cultural Interest status, as well as the number of bodegas in El Puerto de Santa Maria where sherry is distilled. There is a good choice of restaurants and cafés in El Puerto de Santa Maria, and the food is particularly tasty as the area produces a wealth of fresh fruit, vegetables, and of course the fish are freshly caught. A small ferry can be taken from El Puerto de Santa Maria across the bay to Cadiz for interesting day trips.
El Puerto de Santa Maria has so much to explore, your only problem will be working out where to start. With historical buildings including the Saint Marcos Castle and the Casa de los Leones, you can absorb the history of the region and get some great photos at the same time. One of the oldest bullrings in the country can be found in the town, and it’s still used today for lots of live performances and events. Sherry is one of the main things El Puerto de Santa Maria is known for, and you can visit the sherry bodegas where you can find out more about it and try some samples to work out what to bring back home. If you have time, you can also visit the El Puerto Museum, shop in some of the local artisan boutiques and markets, take a boat ride out to Cadiz, and go fishing like the locals do.
Wine and Dine
The food and drink in El Puerto de Santa Maria is one of its chief attractions, and even the locals enjoy visiting to sample some of the local delicacies. There are restaurants and bars all along the side of the river, and there’s no shortage of fish and other kinds of fresh seafood dishes made from hauls caught that day. One thing you’re unlikely to find in abundance is any kind of international cuisine, because every restaurant you find is going to serve purely Andalusian food. This is no bad thing, however, because this is your chance to sample this authentic cuisine in a way you won’t be able to anywhere else in the world, so take the opportunity to try the very best and freshest there is. And of course it goes without saying that you need to try the local sherry while you’re here.
As a largely unspoiled resort with lots of historical sites and wild countryside, there’s not much in the way of kid-specific attractions to amuse little ones during your family holiday in El Puerto de Santa Maria. But that’s not to say kids won’t enjoy themselves here, because they certainly will. The many beautiful beaches are perfect for families to spend lots of long, happy days on, with children free to build sandcastles and splash around in the sea, taking breaks to get food and ice cream from the nearby snack bars. With the lovely weather and miles of golden sand, a summer holiday in El Puerto de Santa Maria has all the ingredients of an ideal summer holiday at the British seaside, but without the threat of rain. If they do ever get bored of the beach, there’s always Aqualand Bahia de Cadiz for more water-based fun, with huge colourful slides and pools just for kids to play in.
Action and Adventure
Golfers will love taking a holiday in El Puerto de Santa Maria, where they can play as many games as they like on the lush green courses under the warm sunshine all day. The weather and the beautiful coastal location also make excellent sailing conditions, whether you’re a beginner or an expert sailor, so take the opportunity to get out onto the water with an expedition or by hiring a boat of your own. Get out into nature by heading to some of the most interesting ecological areas of El Puerto de Santa Maria, exploring the lagoons and salt marshes, and finding wildlife like flamingos in their natural habitat. To make the most of your exciting natural surroundings, make your way to the Parque Natural Bahia de Cadiz and the Natural Reserve of Complejo Endorreico de El Puerto de Santa Maria.
Life's a Beach
The climate in El Puerto de Santa Maria is comfortably warm in summer, and mild during spring and autumn, with more than 3,000 hours of sunlight every year, so it’s the perfect place to sit by the beach. El Puerto de Santa Maria is set within 15 kilometres of find sandy beaches, with eight beaches to choose from in the region. Muralla beach is next to a large marina with a seafront bar, and has a picturesque location inside the old city walls. The beach Playa Puntillo in El Puerto de Santa Maria is a great stretch of coastline for the whole family to enjoy, with golden sands and clear blue waters. El Puerto de Santa Maria is surrounded by the Parque Natural Bahia de Cadiz which incorporates three ecosystems and a wealth of flora and fauna.
If you like a lively night out when you’re on holiday, El Puerto de Santa Maria is the place for you. With exciting nightlife in the centre of town as well as on the seafront, El Puerto de Santa Maria is a great place to party after dark, with lots of bars and clubs to choose from. Another hotspot is the Parque Calderon, where there are clusters of places to drink and dance, as well as mingle with locals and other visitors as you hop between bars. With late dinners that typically go on until 11pm, nights out start much later than they would back home, and clubs are open all night until around 4am, with some carrying on until 8am. No matter what style of music you’re looking for, you’re bound to find it among the huge number of nightspots here in El Puerto de Santa Maria, and you can just as easily have a casual night at a quiet bar as an intense all-night party at a big, busy club.
El Puerto de Santa Maria, with its miles of golden beaches and clear blue water, as well as the warm weather and beautiful landscape, is ideal as a couples’ retreat. Spend long, idyllic days laying on the sand topping up your tan, or swimming in the sea, before heading back to your hotel and then out again in the evening for fine dining and a few drinks at a local bar on the seafront. Or you can wander the historic streets and explore the unique original architecture for a laid-back and relaxing break for two with a slow pace and lots to see at every turn. Sail out to sea on a boat trip to see the resort from a different perspective, and watch the sun set over the sea on the romantic holiday of your dreams.
The culture and heritage of El Puerto de Santa Maria is all around you, with historic buildings everywhere you look. Monuments, squares and ornate buildings all have their own unique history and character, and finding out the story of each of these buildings gives you a fascinating insight into the area. Bullfighting is still a big part of life at certain points of the year, and there are several big celebrations you can join in with if you’re around at key times points during the spring and summer. The Spring Carnival means parades and fancy dress in the streets, while huge crowds show up for the Semana Santa. Sherry plays a role in many celebrations in El Puerto de Santa Maria, and the bodegas are the lifeblood of the area, so it’s wise to visit at least one if you want some real insight into your holiday destination.