El Puerto de Santa María tour
Whilst Andalusia is home to countless beautiful cities and tourist destinations which are a coach ride away, we also recommend exploring our home in Puerto de Santa María!
There are a lot of things to see here, and with next-to-no travelling time, groups can see several attractions in just one afternoon.
El Castillo de San Marcos
This castle dates back to the 13th century when it was built by Alfonso X. It was built as a church with fortifications on the site where a mosque had been before. Just one wall of the original mosque remains and it was converted to a church within the castle – testament to the alternation between Islamic and Christian periods of rule which marks so many historical Spanish buildings.
Castillo San Marcos was declared a National Monument in 1920. Guided tours of the castle can be booked in Spanish or English.
The ‘Real Plaza de Toros’ or ‘Royal Bull square’, at a 5 minute walk from Spark, is well worth a visit. Students have the opportunity to have a tour of the bullring and learn more about this contentious sport.
Wherever you stand on the issue, we feel it’s important to be informed about the bullfighting tradition as part of a well-rounded cultural education.
There are also two magnificent bull statues to be found in the square outside – perfect spots for a group photo.
An atmospheric walk through the centre of El Puerto in the evening will take you to a riverside market selling jewellery, books, clothes and souvenirs. A great place to see what El Puerto is all about and to pick up something to remember the trip by.
Paella ingredients shopping
In this activity, students visit a local frutería selling fresh Spanish produce and will buy the vegetables they need for their paella class later on in the day.
Shopping for paella ingredients thrusts students into a real life situation where they will use their Spanish to interact with locals – and their success or otherwise in making a tasty paella may depend on it!
It is also possible to do the paella class without the shopping trip, although it does prove to be a great learning experience for those who include it in their programme.
A popular favourite amongst students and teachers alike! The picturesque Playa de la Puntilla is just a 15 minute walk away from the Spark residence, meaning there should be several opportunities to visit during your stay.
Your dedicated group chaperone will have plenty of games and activities up their sleeve to occupy the kids on the beach and keep them using their Spanish.
Allowing for down time such as beach visits in between excursions is important to give some well-needed rest in an otherwise very full programme of activities. Aside from this, the beach is consistently a favourite in the feedback we receive!