El Puerto de Santa María is a beautiful coastal town and if you are a beach lover, you probably will never get tired of this city! However, you might an explorer who likes to go places or might have spent an entire week crossing paths in the city centre already.
If you are thinking about somewhere else to visit or looking for a change in atmosphere, you have arrived at the right blog post. Here are six places we are sure you will love, which are only a short travelling distance from El Puerto and suitable for both day trips and weekend breaks. And if you are taking Spanish courses at Spark, you have the whole afternoon and evening free (and weekends of course) so plenty of time to explore the region of Andalucia!
Cádiz is a port city sticking out to the sea in the south of Spain. It’s a city that is surrounded by water in all four directions (yes – like an island but it’s connected to the land). At this point I am sure you can imagine what it is like to look at the sea from the shore in Cádiz – it is breathtaking. Definitely, go up the cathedral in Cádiz to see the whole city, I am sure you won’t be disappointed.
How to get to Cádiz: There are both buses and ferries from El Puerto to Cádiz. Ferry fare is around €2-3 each way, with daily frequency of every half an hour and each ferry trip takes 25-30 minutes. The earliest ferry runs from around 7 AM until midnight from El Puerto and also from Cádiz. See ferry timetable here.
Buses from El Puerto have a frequency of every 2-3 per hour and each way’s duration is around 40 minutes. The bus station in El Puerto and Cádiz are located in front of each respective train stations. Check bus timetable here.
Seville is a beautiful city and a popular tourist destination with many things to do that you might want to spend the whole weekend exploring the city.
How to get to Seville: Train from El Puerto takes 1h10’ and costs €26 approximately for both ways. Bus from El Puerto takes 1h35’ and costs around €22 for both ways. When arriving at Seville, you should get off at Seville San Bernando station, which is the closest to the city centre (cathedral, castle, shops and restaurants). Myself and a few other students went to visit Seville as a day trip on one Saturday and we wish we actually spent the whole weekend there! As we arrived at Seville, we went on a free walking tour for 2-3 hours (the most time saving way to see all the main sights) and spent time enjoying sangria! If you have time, definitely watch flamenco shows or go on a tapas tour!
Sanlúcar is also a coastal town located just half an hour away from El Puerto by car. The coastline is long and there are many apartments for rent if you want to spend the weekend there. There is not much to do at the city centre but the beach was spectacular. It is not too filled up with people, which make it so attractive because you won’t feel too much of a tourist! Besides spending time at the beach, go up to the café on level 11 of Hotel Guadalquivir (probably the highest building in Sanlúcar) to get a view of the whole city!
4. Jerez de la Frontera
If you take the train from Jerez airport to El Puerto, you will go past Jerez. It is the largest city in the province of Cádiz and the birthplace of flamenco! The culture associated with Jerez is viticulture so definitely pay a visit to the vineyards.
How to get to Jerez: Train from El Puerto takes less than 10 minutes and you can just buy a ticket as you show up at the train station. A bus takes about 1-15 minutes and it is an inexpensive journey of around €5 each way.
Rota is on the west side of El Puerto, and it is a naval base that has a large American presence. Most restaurant staff speaks English! It is definitely worthwhile to visit the Town Hall and they also offer an English tour.
How to get to Rota: Bus from El Puerto (from Plaza de Toros – the bull ring) takes half an hour, which would drop you 2 km from the beach and the old town of Rota.
Gibraltar was a British colony and this town is sometimes called ‘Mini England’ because of the English presence here. You can find many English brands including Morrison’s and Mark and Spencer! Arriving in Gibraltar you are required a passport to cross the border as you are technically leaving Spain. Top things to do here include going underground and visit the rock cave, see the mosque at Europa Point or monument spotting!
How to get to Gibraltar: Bus takes 2h30’ approximately so the best way to get here is to drive (it’s only an hour and 20 minute drive from El Puerto)
Leave in the comments below if you have more destinations for a day trip or a weekend. Let’s immerse in the Spanish culture together and while you are at it, why not have a look at our Spanish course page? Maybe you can combine some studying in the morning and travel in the afternoon/ evenings. Speaking the language is one step closer to understanding life as a Spaniard!