In Spain Sanlúcar de Barrameda is synonymous for tradition and gastronomy. The small Andalucian town is located on the Costa de la Luz where the Guadalquivir River and the Atlantic Ocean meet. On the other side of the river you find Doñana National park, Europe’s largest wetlands wildlife park. Together with Jerez de la Frontera and el Puerto de Santa Maria the town completes the “sherry triangle” but only Sanlúcar has the unique environment to produce the manzanilla. This sherry-like wine makes a perfect combination with the seafood that is brought ashore here every day.
The inhabitants of Sanlúcar are known for their inborn friendliness and hospitality. Here you can still experience a typical Spanish atmosphere that you hardly find along the well known costas due to mass tourism nowadays. The area is a tourist destination mainly for Spanish people. Because of the climate and the size of the town (60.000 inhabitants) the more than hundred bars and restaurants are open all year round. Another typical Spanish theme you can enjoy here is the flamenco.
The area was first inhabited in the Phoenician era. It was a strategically important town for the Moors and since then, Sanlúcar has been guarded by the Muslim fortress Castillo de Santiago. Colon and Magellan sailed from the historic port of Sanlúcar to the New World. Prosperity increased with the volume of trade, especially after the riches started to stream back from the New World. The little city became the cosmopolitan centre of Spain and was bigger than Madrid in the 16th century. The progressive decline in Sanlúcar’s status and power set in for the next two centuries. The creation of a beautiful neo-Mudejar palace (today’s town hall) as a summer home for the aristocratic Montpensier family in the 19th century was what started Sanlúcar’s growth as a resort. Later on its prestige further enhanced, when the fashion for spending the summer at the seaside caught on with the nobility of Seville.
Sanlúcar has two excellent beaches with waters that are recommended for health purposes. Both la Calzada and la Jara have fine golden sand and are together more than 3 kilometres in length. The town itself is divided in an old quarter “Barrio Alto” and a relatively newer part “Barrio Bajo”. In Barrio Alto you find most of the old churches, palaces and the bodegas. The Barrio Bajo used to be the old fishing village with small white houses and narrow streets. Here is also the main square Plaza del Cabildo, the beating heart of the town. From here it is a 600 meters walk to the beach via the tree lined avenue. Where the town meets the sea you find Bajo de Guia area. This is where the finest seafood restaurants of Andalucia are located. It’s an idyllic experience to watch the sun go down over the Atlantic Ocean while tucking into the succulent fresh fare here and washing it down with a drop of manzanilla.