Sanlúcar de Barrameda in the Cádiz province in Andalusia, Spain, hosts some of the oldest horse races in Europe: Carreras de Caballos, which also were the first regulated horse races in Spain.


It started as early as in 1845 (!) with informal competitions that were organized by the owners of the horses carrying the fish and shellfish in the Bajo de Guía beach to local markets and nearby towns.

This race has carried on ever since in this spectacular place – along the Bajo de Guía beach every August. We heard about it last year when we were staying just a couple of minutes from Bajo de Guía in our friends casa.

The Jockeys looks like the ones in the Derby in England and the distances are 1500 and 1800 meters. Many big names within the racing world participate, so if you’re into racing, this would be an event to check out.

This year the Sanlúcar horse race is planned to the 1-3 August for the first stage and 17-19 Aug for the second stage. It all depends on the tides.

We will not be able to go there ourselves this year either, because we have another great trip to Southern France planned.

There has even been talk about starting a similar race in the neighboring Moroccan city of Tangiers, since tanger Bay is ideal for this type of event, but I have no idea what’s the status of it.

The Sanlúcar horse race association also has an own webpage worth to keep an eye on.

Nearest airports to get there are Jerez de la Frontera or Seville. If you have the opportunity, just go there, Sanlúcar town is really nice – great seafood and Manzanilla Bodegas.

Just be careful with the Manzanilla. It can give you a headache…

Lifecruiser Sanlúcar

10 Comments on “Sanlucar beach horse races”

    TorAa said:

    I’m overwhelmed by events like this.

    Excellent and very informative post

    RennyBA said:

    Sounds and looks like a great adventure and how interesting historical background!

    Would have loved to go there too, but have the same reason why I can’t – this year ;-)

    PS: I can tell from your comments on mine, that you are busy planning for trips again. Looking forward to read about it at TripiIt, but will of course not tell anyone :-)

    Maribeth said:

    Oh to have been watching from the dunes. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Mar said:

    I have heard so much about these races, I will have to head south sometime myself!!
    Loved reading that you have a beach-radar, Captain!! :cool:

    Gattina said:

    Must have been wonderful to watch !

    Can’t you take the snow away from your blog ? It makes me depressed, lol ! Put little butterflies instead !
    here it starts timidly to bloom, after this long winter I watch each plant !

    Puss in Boots said:

    Sounds great. Thanks for the warning about the Manzanilla! Lol.


    That must have been exciting to watch.

    Ling said:

    So now you’re off to the South of France? Captain, how many days in a year do you spend traveling? You’re a true nomad. :mrgreen:

    claudie said:

    :lol: This destination seems so attractive! I have to go there one day!

    Ian said:

    It’s a great event with loads of tradition, with all the kids making their own betting booths and taking small bets on the horse finishing first over their finish line (which they make in the sand), not the real one…!

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