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  • Writer's pictureAmar Dhaliwal

Sanlúcar de Barrameda , Spain - February 2024

Two days to fill out a winding itinerary of Andalucia led us to Sanlúcar de Barrameda – serendipity is the loveliest of things.


We arrived in Sanlúcar by bus from our previous stop of Sevilla on the Damas line (which was booked via Omio for €10 each). The bus trip takes close to 2 hours as it stops in the suburbs of Sevilla and in several towns along the way.


Sanlúcar had not been on the radar until we were well in the planning our trip. We then came across a series of articles (especially one in The Guardian from April 2022) touting the charms of a laid-back seaside town, that was still relatively unknown despite a growing reputation for gastronomy and a long, illustrious history in the production of sherry, especially manzanilla.  And that was it, we booked a hotel and paid little attention to this side trip until we got to Sanlúcar and fell in love.



Located on the sandy estuary of the Guadalquivir, across the river from the Doñana National Park, Sanlúcar feels like a traditional Spanish hilltop town picked up and planted by the sea. It combines a lovely esplanade, beautiful beach, beachside bars and restaurants with a traditional town square, alleys to explore, street markets, and shopping.


We spent just two nights in Sanlúcar on this trip, but we loved it so much that we have already booked a trip to be back for three weeks next year!


Sanlúcar de Barrameda was stop five on our Andalucian road trip. Check out the trips reports of our previous stops of Malaga, Granada, Ubeda, and Sevilla. Would love your feedback.


In the sections below, I have only listed places personally visited.


 

Staying (prices are from February 2024)


Hotel Barrameda (map), (C. Ancha, 10)


  • Hidden behind an unassuming entryway, Hotel Barrameda is a nice, modern, and comfortable place to stay.

  • It may lack some local character, but it’s just off Plaza de Cabildo and there are views across the square from some of the rooms. A decent enough breakfast was included.

  • We found the staff to be super friendly and helpful.

  • We paid €75 per night including taxes.

  • Highly recommended.

 

Eating (prices are from February 2024)

 

Casa Bambino (map) (Pl. del Cabildo, 14)

 

  • I just can’t convey how much I have come to appreciate an old school tapas bar. They have been the staple of Spanish culture for centuries and the tradition of serving small plates of food with a drink has been passed down through generations. Tapas bars are also important social hubs, and the sense of community is often palpable. I will say, however, that some of the more traditional ones are still very male dominated.

  • As I have said before, a busy tapas bar can be a bit intimidating to walk into when you first arrive in Spain. Take a big breath, walk in, make your way to the bar, order a drink, and enjoy a unique and beautiful institution. 

  • Casa Bambino on the Plaza del Cabildo has a large outdoor patio; however, we chose to get a table indoors not just to escape the February evening chill, but mainly to enjoy the rustic charm, and vintage décor. The atmosphere is cozy and welcoming.

  • We ordered some manzanilla and white wine to drink and a selection of tapas including soup, meatballs, pork in a rich beer sauce, and some spicy pork skewers. On average, expect to pay €3.00 per drink and between €3.00 and €4.00 per tapas.

  • Highly recommended.



 

Taberna Avante Claro (map) (C. Pórtico Bajo de Guía, 20)

 

  • The beachfront of Sanlúcar is a delight. As you walk along the estuary of the Guadalquivir towards the buzz of Bajo de Guia, you will come across a series of waterside restaurants and bars, each worthy of exploration.

  • We settled on Taberna Avante Claro for lunch because it had a nice modern feel, some lovely tables on the esplanade, and happy looking customers.

  • We had lovely fresh tomato salad to start and then huevos a la mar (poached eggs in a fish stew) and atún al amontillado (tuna stew with amontillado sherry). It was all seriously delicious.

  • We paid €74.50 (including €18 for a bottle of wine).

  • This was a lovely lunch, on the water, in the warm February sunshine. Highly recommended.




 

Drinking (prices are from February 2024)


Bar La-Gitana (map) (Pl. del Cabildo, 15)

  • Sanlúcar has many Sherry houses (or Bodegas) to explore, and Hidalgo - La Gitana is one of the most famous. They have a bar right on the Plaza del Cabildo.

  • Just like its neighbour Casa Bambini, La-Gitana is an old school tapas bar. Stand inside and have a glass of their delicious manzanilla with some manchego.

  • Expect to pay around €3.00 per drink.

  • Highly recommended.




Coctelería La Juanela Copas (map) (C. Bolsa, 7)

  • This is a little bar just off the main square. Wine, beer, and pretty much nothing else – which sometimes is just fine. Young clientele. Nice vibe.

  • €3.00 for a glass of wine or a beer.

  • Recommended

 

Restaurante Paco “18” (map) (C. Pórtico Bajo de Guía, 16)

  • As mentioned above, Bajo de Guia has a string of bars and restaurants any of which make for a nice pit stop after a long walk exploring this love seaside town.

  • We just happened to pick Restaurante Paco “18” and availed ourselves of a couple of glasses of their palomino.

  • We did not eat but it seemed like a nice place. If you like 70s and 80s euro pop, you will feel very much at home!!

  • €3.00 for a glass of wine.

  • Recommended


 

Doing (prices are from February 2024)


Tour of Bodegas Barbadillo (map) (Pl. del Castillo de Santiago)

  • You must do at least one tour of a sherry house in Sanlúcar, and we chose Barbadillo.

  • Sanlúcar is one corner of the sherry triangle (the cities of Jerez de la Frontera and El Puerto de Santa María being the others) and is especially known for manzanilla.

  • As you will learn from your tour of Barbadillo, the combination of the river, the ocean and the marshlands of the Doñana Natural Park create a unique micro-climate with mild temperatures and a high relative humidity. The sherry bodegas of Sanlúcar are oriented to catch the breezes that come of the ocean, and these are claimed to be the secret of the wonderful manzanilla you will try.

  • We did book our tour in advance, to ensure an English-speaking guide, and were joined by four other people. The tour was approximately an hour and very informational. Learning about the solera system for ageing sherry was alone worth it. The bodega also has a vice nice shop.

  • We paid €18 per person which includes a nice tasting experience.

  • Highly Recommended.



Run or Walk along Esplanade

  • I’m a runner (as much as these old knees will still allow) and it’s one of my favourite ways to explore a new place.

  • The Sanlúcar esplanade (where the Atlantic Ocean and Guadalquivir River meet) is flat, scenic, and lovely.

  • From one end to the other and back is about 10kms.

  • Highly Recommended



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