Travel: Home to the salty-tanged sister of sherry - Arts and Entertainment - The Independent

Travel: Home to the salty-tanged sister of sherry

When the Spanish fancy a break they amble down to Sanlucar de Barrameda for a rest and a drop of manzanilla.

SATED WITH the splendours of Seville? It seems improbable. Yet it must sometimes happen to the people who live there, so where do they go to get away from it all? And what if you, too, feel like a holiday in southern Spain without the clamour of the Costa del Sol?

One answer is Sanlucar de Barrameda, a town which lies about 60 miles south-west of Seville at the mouth of the Guadalquivir river. Columbus, Magellan and Pisarro all set sail from here, but now it is sleepy. Wine lovers will already know the town as the home of manzanilla, the salty- tanged sister of fino sherry.

If you don't want to drive (I didn't) there is a bus service every hour or two from Seville. It leaves from the San Sebastian bus station, takes two hours and deposits you in a tumbledown but pretty square.

In two minutes you will be in the Plaza del Cabildo, the town's main square. It is a handsome place, full of cafes and empty of traffic. From here, a left turn takes you straight down to the waterfront via a palm- lined sandy paseo as broad and straight as an airport runway, taking you past the tourist office as you go. A much shorter walk to the right takes you straight to the Hostal la Blanca Paloma in Plaza de San Roque, where the smiling senora will let you have her best room (with a shared but spotless bathroom) for the equivalent of pounds 17 a night.

Sanlucar is set exactly where the river meets the Atlantic. The beach is long and lined with silver sand and the high water line is a row of pearly oyster shells. Fishing boats chug up and down and at the top of the tide, container ships glide serenely past, then disappear surreally among the fields and pine trees as they make their winding way up-river to Seville.

Although it has 60,000 inhabitants, Sanlucar still has a small-town feel. It is generally old and picturesque but - reassuringly perhaps, if you have just come from Seville - it contains no gems of art and architecture that it would be criminal to miss. You are here for a rest, remember, so drift around and enjoy what you see - and smell. That aroma of baked bread and brandy is manzanilla being made and half the buildings in Sanlucar are bodegas that are often open to the public.

As most of the holidaymakers here are Spanish, it makes sense to adopt Spanish eating times. For breakfast, at around 10am, try hot chocolate with churros, or trickle olive oil onto your tostada instead of butter. Lunch is to be enjoyed around 2pm (don't forget the siesta) and don't go looking for an aperitif much before eight; bars that open before then cater mainly for drunks.

Serious eating begins at 9pm. Investigate the Bajo de Guia at the eastern end of the riverfront. This is a line of restaurants specialising in fish and seafood. For tapas bars, return to the Plaza del Cabildo.

Getting there: Iberia (0171-830 0011) has flights from London to Seville before 10 December for pounds 162 including tax or, if you book before 15 December and spend at least one Saturday night there, British Airways (0345 222111) has a fare for pounds 128.30 including tax.

Accommodation: The Hostal La Blanca Paloma (00 34 956 363644) has double rooms for around pounds 14 per night or contact the Sanlucar de Barrameda Tourist Information Office on 00 34 956 366110 for a list of hotels in the town

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Arts and Entertainment

art
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in new film 'Serena'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Some might argue that a fleeting moment in the actor’s scintillating, silver-tongued company is worth every penny.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth stars as master magician Stanley Crawford in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

film
Arts and Entertainment
U2 have released Songs of Innocence in partnership with Apple

musicBand have offered new record for free on iTunes
Arts and Entertainment
Brad Pitt stars in David Ayer's World War II drama Fury

film
Arts and Entertainment
Top hat: Pharrell Williams

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as undercover cops in 22 Jump Street

film
Arts and Entertainment
David Bowie is back with fresh music after last year's hit album The Next Day

music
Arts and Entertainment
Keith Richards is publishing 'Gus and Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar', a children's book about his introduction to music

music
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris has generated £4m in royalties from the music platform

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman stars as the Time Lord's companion Clara in Doctor Who

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Time and time again: the popular daytime quiz has been a fixture on Channel 4 since 1982

TV
Arts and Entertainment

To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthday

books
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel McAdams is reportedly competing with Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss for a major role in True Detective

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Sam Smith returned to the top spot with his album 'In The Lonely Hour'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Backshall is set to dance with Ola Jordan on Strictly Come Dancing. 'I have a friend who's a dancer and she said to me 'You want Ola because she's a fantastic dancer and she can make anyone look good' meaning 'even you'!' he said.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Sting and Paul Simon on stage together at Carnegie Hall in New York

music
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Strictly Come Dancing 2014 contestants and their professional dance partners open the twelfth run of the celebrity ballroom contest

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week