El Puerto de Santa Maria

Spectacular beaches/authentic Andalucian town/great restaurants and night life/historic city where Columbus set sail from

El Puerto de Santa Maria is the perfect to learn Spanish in the idyllic setting of Cádiz province. Boasting everything from sunny beaches and glorious sea views, to ancient castles and trendy cocktail bars, El Puerto is where the Spanish themselves come on holiday and is little-known outside of Andalusia. This makes it the perfect spot to come and take part in a Spanish course, and the town and locals offer everything you could wish for and more.


Key Aspects

  • Visit the Plaza de Toros, Spain’s largest bull ring
  • Take a stroll along one of El Puerto’s many stunning beaches
  • Feast on Andalusian seafood at El Puerto’s finest restaurants
  • Go on a bodega crawl, sampling different local sherries
  • Buy souvenirs at the riverside gypsy market on Tuesday morning
  • Enjoy a night out at one of El Puerto’s many tapas and cocktail bars
  • Town full of Spanish tourism NOT international, perfect to practice Spanish.



Have a question about El Puerto de Santa Maria?


How to Get to Spark

Andalusia is well-connected to the rest of the world and it is easy to get to El Puerto de Santa Maria once you’re in Spain. There are several major airports (Jerez, Seville, Malaga) in the area of El Puerto if you are coming from somewhere outside of Spain. For groups (larger than 10) we can arrange pick ups from anywhere in Spain; and for adult programmes only we offer pick ups from Jerez airport for a nominal fee (on Sundays) during high season (July-September).

Useful Links:

Aena: To see the flights that operate to any airport in Spain. Select the airport you wish to see the connections for in “choose an aiport”.
Renfe: national train connections (note it isnt for local routes). Note that El Puerto de Santa Maria may be listed under “P” rather than “E”.
Cercanias: Local Train Connections, this is for when you are getting a train from somewhere in the province of Cadiz to El Puerto de Santa Maria.
Local Transport in El Puerto de Santa: this link is only in Spanish, but it has useful links to buses (local and in the province) and ferries, as well as info on the local airports.
– Direct link to local bus routes in the town of El Puerto de Santa Maria.
Spark Location: find us on Google Maps so you can easily make your way to us once you arrive in El Puerto. We’re Spark Languages, Calle de los Espadas 6.
Transport from Jerez Airport: List of transport possibilities from Jerez airport to El Puerto de Santa Maria and vice versa (version Aug 2018).  Check Jerez airport website for the most up-to-date transport information.
Taxi El Puerto de Santa Maria and Andalucia in general > 0034 956 858 584

Click here for a downloadable map of airports around El Puerto with instructions

(El Puerto de Santa Maria is right between Cadiz and Jerez, see map on header of page)

Map of Aiports Andalucia

Click for downloadable street map around Spark

By air

* Jerez de la Frontera is the closest but smallest airport and has many flights to and from different countries. From Jerez you can take a bus, train (click on cercanías above or Jerez airport timetable link above) or taxi (approximately 40€) to El Puerto, which takes about half an hour. For adult programmes starting on Sundays during high season (July-September), we do pick ups from Jerez airport straight to Spark or your apartment for a nominal fee.  Jerez is connected to London, Germany, Austria and Belgium; and many additional destinations exist via transit flights from Madrid or Barcelona. Refer below for connections:

Flight Connections to Jerez

Flight Connection to Jerez

* Seville airport is the next closest and a slightly larger airport.  From the airport, it is very easy to get to El Puerto: there are buses that take you to Seville train station (Santa Justa) from where you can take a direct train to El Puerto. There are approximately 10-15 trains daily and the cost is around 18€ one way. Be careful to select the correct day when looking at the timetable, as timetable vary at the weekend and on holidays.  It is also possible to take a bus to El Puerto for a lower fare.

* Malaga airport is the largest airport in the area and has the most connections with many cities and countries from around the world.  All the cheap airlines operate out of the airport, and cheap flights are nearly always available.  You can take the train to Dos Hermanas (one stop before Seville) and then to El Puerto, or take a bus to El Puerto via Cadiz.

*Madrid. Flying into Madrid (Barajas) airport is another option, as there are many flights to Madrid from all over the world, from where you can take a connection flight to El Puerto or take a train (Seville and soon Cadiz are connected by the high speed AVE train) or bus.

*Barcelona airport is also an interesting option if you are arriving from somewhere within Europe and then take a connecting flight to Andalucia

Need help organising your transport or tips on where to get the cheapest flight?



By train and bus

El Puerto is well connected to all of Spain and even has a high speed train connection with Madrid and Seville. Go to the Renfe website to get the most up-to-date information on train times and connections.

Pick ups for adult students

  • We organise pick ups and drop offs to El Puerto train / bus station and Jerez airport for a nominal fee during high season July-September.
  • All transfers are on the Sunday before the start of a course between 16.30 and 23.30.
  • Pick ups have to be booked at least 7 days in advance.
  • You can arrange your pick up on your application form or by contacting us. Make sure to let us know at least 7 days before the start of your course.

* If you are coming during the rest of the year, don’t worry, as getting here is easy and we will have a Spark staff member waiting for you in Spark from 14.30-23.30 ready to take you to your accommodation.



Spark in El Puerto

Study in the Centre

Spark’s 14 bedroom student residence is situated in the centre of El Puerto de Santa Maria, allowing easy access to local sights, shops and beaches. Studying at Spark means being at the heart of a beautiful Andalusian town that is both lively and relaxed, as well as being close to all the amenities necessary to make your time with us comfortable and enjoyable.



Key features of Spark’s location

  • Just down the road from SuperSol supermarket, greengrocers, bakeries and hairdressers
  • 5 minutes from Plaza de los Toros, the widest bull ring in Spain
  • 10 minutes from Playa de la Puntilla, one of El Puerto’s five gorgeous beaches
  • 10 minutes from the historic city centre and sights such as the 800 year old Castillo San Marcos and the beautiful Iglesia Mayor Prioral






All within walking distance of Spark!



Sparkville Residence With 14 Fully Equipped Rooms

Cádiz Province

Discover the South of Spain



El Puerto de Santa Maria is ideally located not just for learning Spanish but also for all sorts of great day or weekend trips. Being a relatively small city, it allows for an easier getaway by train, bus, car or even by bike. Watch the video and get a grasp of the Cádiz area and the many things that await you here when you study Spanish at Spark!



El Puerto is situated right across the bay from the historic city of Cádiz, and there is a regular ferry. Once there, you can stroll along the beautiful beach promenades or explore the bustling bohemian centre. Climb the tower at the Cathedral, for perfect view across the city. Cádiz is perfect for a daytrip, but also for a night out if you are prepared to get the first morning train back at 7 am!

Los pueblos blancos

These many idyllic white villages are unique to this area of Andalusia. Influenced by Moorish culture, they have both an Arabic feel and an unmistakable Andalusian presence. These include Arcos de la Frontera, which boasts stunning panoramic views over the surrounding landscape; and Ronda where Ernest Hemingway wrote many of his novels, and which has a famous Roman bridge . Our personal favourites are El Bosque and Grazalema in the nearby Sierra de Grazalema which are great places for hiking, rock-climbing, cycling or just spending a day or weekend with friends and exploring the beautiful surroundings.






The gorgeous capital of Andalusia is only 1 hour and 15 minutes by train from El Puerto, perfect for a day or weekend trip. Explore the beautiful city centre and take in its magnificent sights, such as the magnificent Cathedral and Giralda once was the highest minaret in the world), and the gardens of the Alcazar (the old royal palace), or visit  the beautiful neighbourhood Triana.


One of the three cities in Andalusia that make sherry and flamenco, Jerez has a beautiful city centre and a relaxing atmosphere, and is only 15 minutes from El Puerto  by train! Jerez is also Spain’s most famous city for horse riding and is home to the Real Escuela del Arte Ecuestre where shows with dancing horses are a big hit with tourists from all over the world.

Other must-see destinations

  • Córdoba wears its Arabic influence proudly in the architecture of its world-famous and beautiful Mezquita (mosque-cathedral).
  • Granada is a fabulous place to chill out in the Alameda, visit one of the Arabic baths, or browse in one of the many Moroccan shops over a long weekend.
  • Sierra Nevada (with the tallest mountain in mainland Spain) offers great skiing opportunities for up to 6 months a year.
  • The Rock of Gibraltar is famous for its dual language society, monkeys, views and incredible history, meaning it should definitely be on your “to do” list.
  • Morrocco can be visited by ferry to the African coast from Tarifa or Algeciras, so you can spend your weekend amidst all the beautiful colours, smells and food! Day trips to Tangier from Tarifa are also possible and worth it if you don’t have time to spend longer.

At Spark we also organise cultural events to these beautiful cities, where you will experience Spanish culture and lifestyle too. Studying Spanish at Spark is not only learning a language, it is also learning a whole culture!



Beautiful Cádiz Town Centre