Explore the Manzanilla Fair in Sanlúcar de Barrameda

The Manzanilla Fair de Sanlúcar de Barrameda is an outstanding event in the province of Cádiz that takes place in May or June, depending on the year, and is not to be missed if you are a lover of Andalusian culture and festivities.

Panoramic view of the Manzanilla Fair
Panoramic view of the Manzanilla Fair

History of the Fair 

The history of Sanlúcar’s annual fair dates back to 1295, when it emerged as an event aimed at the sale of livestock, with the purpose of promoting economic activity in the region. Over the years, this tradition continued, and in 1616 it took on religious overtones with celebrations taking place near churches in different parts of the city. 

It was in 1972 when the fair underwent a significant evolution to become the event we know today. In that year, it officially received the name of Manzanilla Fair, and the Avenida Calzada Duquesa Isabel (also known as the Calzada) was designated as the official site for the development of the festivity, thus marking a milestone in its history and consolidating its importance in the local culture.

Manzanilla Fair Carriages
Manzanilla Fair Carriages

Enjoy the best gastronomy 

The Manzanilla Fair is also a celebration of the region’s rich gastronomy. Visitors have the opportunity to savour a wide variety of traditional dishes, from fresh fish and seafood to grilled meats and typical sweets. But the undisputed star of the fair is undoubtedly the manzanilla wine.

What is chamomile?

Manzanilla de Sanlúcar is a dry and light white wine produced in the region.

This wine is very special and is always the star of the Fair. It is usually bought in half bottles at any stand.

Manzanilla is a wine that can only be produced in this region of Spain due to its type of grape and its climate, which allows the wine to mature with different characteristics. This wine is only produced in wineries in Sanlúcar de Barrameda.

During the fair, local wineries open their doors to offer tastings and samplings, where visitors can learn about the winemaking process and enjoy the exquisite taste of the wine.

What is rebujito?

At the Sanlúcar fair you will see everyone drinking manzanilla or rebujitos. There is no Andalusian Fair without its traditional rebujito, a mixture made with manzanilla or fino wine together with soda or lime soda, ideal to combat the hot days of the fair.

Where does it take place?

The epicentre of the celebration is at the Real, an emblematic space located in and around the Calzada Duquesa Isabel. With the sea in the background and stunning views of the Doñana National Park, this place offers an incomparable setting for the festivities, where the atmosphere of the event blends with the natural beauty of its surroundings.

The Manzanilla Fair Real
The Manzanilla Fair Real

Inauguration of the lighting

The official starting signal will be given by the lighting of the Alumbrado, one of the most exciting and magical moments of this and any other fair in Andalusia.

Switching on of the Manzanilla Fair Alumbrado
Switching on of the Manzanilla Fair Alumbrado

The lighting of the lights marks the official start of the festivities. When night falls, thousands of lanterns illuminate the grounds, creating a magical spectacle that leaves everyone in attendance in awe. 

Lanterns Manzanilla Fair
Lanterns Manzanilla Fair

Enjoy the Casetas Tradicionales

During the fair there will be numerous colourfully painted casetas set up along the Calzada. Casetas are temporary structures, similar to a small bar where people gather to drink, eat and dance. Usually a family or a group of friends sponsor a casta and sell food and drink to visitors. The casetas in Sanlúcar are public, unlike the Feria de Sevilla which is almost all private and you cannot enter unless you have an invitation. When you enter the fair, you are immediately surrounded by an atmosphere of celebration and hustle and bustle.

Activities and Entertainment

As well as enjoying the food and drink, the Manzanilla Fair offers a wide range of activities and entertainment to suit all tastes. From children’s attractions to equestrian displays and live concerts, there is something for everyone at this very special event. Visitors also have the opportunity to explore the town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda and discover its charms, from its streets to historical monuments.

Manzanilla Fair Attractions
Manzanilla Fair Attractions

Tips for Maximum Enjoyment

To get the most out of your experience at the Manzanilla Fair, here are some practical tips:

  • Plan Ahead: Make sure you book your accommodation well in advance, as holiday rentals in Chipiona and Sanlúcar de Barrameda tend to fill up quickly during the fair.
  • Dress for the occasion: If you feel like immersing yourself in the local culture, consider wearing a flamenco dress or shorts. However, casual dress is also welcome, as long as you are comfortable and ready to enjoy yourself.
Flamenco dresses
Flamenco dresses
  • Explore the City: Take some time to explore Sanlúcar de Barrameda and its surroundings to discover all it has to offer. From its stunning architecture to its picturesque corners, it makes for a very special place.
  • Use Public Transport: During the fair, public transport services are offered to make it easier for visitors to get around. Consider using these services to avoid parking problems and enjoy a more relaxed experience.

The Manzanilla Fair in Sanlúcar de Barrameda is much more than a simple celebration, compared to other fairs it is very small, but that is where its charm lies. There is no doubt that it is very beautiful and comfortable, so it is equally or even more enjoyable. On top of that, it is a very safe event where there are no disturbances and a family atmosphere reigns. With no problems getting into any of the stalls and with an enviable climate, it is a very important attraction every year.

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Chipiona, Cádiz

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San Fernando, Cádiz

La maña

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