The Jerez Horse Festival Get ready for an amazing experience in Spain!

The Jerez horse festival, or the Feria del Caballo, is one of the most notable events of Cádiz province and a celebration that draws visitors from across the globe. Held annually from May 4th to May 11th, it is a must-see for anyone interested in authentic Spanish life. The music, dancing, gastronomy, and impressive horses are all part of the experience that will leave you with a deep appreciation for the culture of Jerez and Spain.

The Jerez horse festival is an unmissable event that brings the entire city to life at the González Hontoria fairground. It is spread across 52,000 square meters, offering plenty of room for the finest horses in Jerez. The streets are also packed with people in their traditional costumes, creating a vibrant and festive atmosphere. 

The festival offers different activities, including music performances, flamenco shows, entertainment for children, and a large selection of typical drinks and foods. Here’s everything you need to know about the Jerez horse festival in Spain.


1- History:

historyvia – andalucia

The Jerez horse festival has a long and distinguished history, dating back over 500 years. During the reign of Alfonso X El Sabio, Jerez was just a town, and the commercial livestock fairs established during April and September set a foundation for its success.

In 1491, an official agreement was signed by various participating merchants, solidifying the event’s place in the local and international calendar. Besides, the event grew in popularity as a source of entertainment and social interaction, and by the 19th century, it was one of the most significant social gatherings in the area. In addition, local wine producers set up stalls to sell their products and added a children’s amusement park, transforming the fair into the significant event it is today.

In 1955, the Domecq Sherry family set out to honor the hard-working horse that was a valuable asset to cattle breeding throughout the region. The Recinto opened in 1903 and agreed that individuals and societies could build their casetas. For the less-initiated, this fair is like the Seville Fair with its portada and casetas. But this fair is unique. It has its equine flavor and takes place in a different venue – essentially, it is a park. 


2- Traditional Costumes:

Traditional costumesvia – straitescapes

One of the best things about the Horse Fair is seeing all the locals and Spaniards from nearby towns wearing traditional costumes. Men wear short-cropped riding jackets and flat, broad-rimmed hats, while women dress the stunning flamenco trajes de gitanas (gypsy dresses) with pride.


3- Useful Information:

carriage toursvia – insightguides

The Jerez Horse festival is open to everyone. You don’t need a ticket for the equestrian events. The event is in the Parque González Hontoria in the north of the city, located on Avenida Álvaro Domecq by the intersection with Paseo La Roseleda.

Jerez City’s horse and carriage tours move from the city center to the fairground for carriage processions, and you can rent them for a circuit. They are waiting near the park entrances. Bring your sherry and glass. Many tour buses from the towns and villages of Andalusia visit the fair over the weekend. The locals, dressed in their finest, tend to go to the fair a little later in the day than the visitors.

Furthermore, the fairground is home to almost 200 magnificent casetas, each adorned with brightly-colored paper luminaries known as farolillos. Jerez’s Feria differs from Seville’s Feria de Abril in that the casetas are public for everyone to enjoy. Unlike in Seville, where access is by invitation only, the Jerez casetas welcome all.

Opening speeches, ribbon-cutting, and illumination ceremonies happen on opening day at 10:00 pm. The horse-drawn carriage parade takes place on the penultimate day of the fair, from 1 pm to 7:30 pm. The fairground attractions are open daily from 1 p.m. to dawn.


4- Jerez Fair Lighting:

Jerez horse festival Lightingvia – paladarytomar

The lighting of the Jerez horse festival is one of the most anticipated events of this party. Thousands of bulbs and colored lights are installed during the week of the fair, illuminating the entire fairgrounds. The lighting ceremony usually takes place on the first day in the night at 10:00 p.m. The most exciting part is the illuminated entrance gate to the fairgrounds, followed by the lighting of the street arch and the rest of the decorations. Once the lights are turned on, the fair officially begins.

From the moment the sun rises to the second it sets, the Feria is a sensory experience. As the sun sets, the fairground transforms into a wonderland of 1,360,000 lights, including 206 archways, 100 metal halide projectors, 60 double portals, 12 grouped motifs and hundreds of garlands, illuminating the night sky.

5- Where is the best place to see the lighting?

Jerez horse festival Calle del Infierno streetvia – kanoa

From several areas of the fairgrounds, you can see the lighting. The main street, Calle del Infierno, is the place you want to be to see the event. That’s where the entrance arch and main decoration are located. You can even see the lighting from within the booths. If you’d like to see more lighting from the outside the fairgrounds, head to Plaza del Arenal or Torre Tavira for a picturesque panoramic view. However, remember that seeing the lights from outside the fairgrounds will limit how much you enjoy the fairgrounds. The real party happens inside, so be sure to check that out.


6- Calle del Infierno: Feria de Jerez Fairgrounds:

Jerez horse festival Fairgroundsvia – diariodejerez

The Calle del Infierno is the fairground of the Feria de Jerez. There are rides, attractions, and plenty of stalls. Children love it. On Día de los Cacharritos, ride prices drop, and a children’s day, Día de los Niños y de las Niñas, runs on the Tuesday of the fair. On this day, children benefit from reduced prices on the rides. Prices are lower on the Sunday after the fair.



7- If you’re coming from abroad, here’s how to get to Jerez:

Jerez is an excellent base for visiting the fair, with excellent transport links. If you don’t want to use your vehicle, you have other options.  Jerez airport has good connections to Madrid and Barcelona, and also to other major cities in Spain. During the fair, scheduled flights are intensified, so it’s a good time to fly in. Once at the airport, you can get to Jerez by bus, taxi, commuter train, or directly renting a car. Alternatively, take the train, which offers suburban, medium, and long-distance options, making the city more accessible. If you’re coming from a city near Jerez, consider the surrounding areas, such as Cádiz, Puerto de Santa María, or San Fernando, connected by the train line. Lastly, you can take the bus, the station is conveniently located next to the train station and is the recommended option for those who want to attend from some of the Andalusian capitals closer to Seville or Malaga. There’s no reason not to come and enjoy the Jerez Horse Fair!