El Puerto de Santa Maria is situated on the Cadiz coast within the Bay of Cadiz, to the south of San Cristobal mountain range and neighbour to the towns of Sanlucar de Barrameda, Jerez de la Frontera, Rota, Puerto Real, Cadiz with a total of some 2 kms of coast. El Puerto de Santa Maria is renowned for its main tourist attraction, its beaches, which total 16kms of its coast, all are of fine golden sand and are graced with more than 3.000 hours of sunlight per year.
A little of El Puerto de Santa Maria's History:
School Groups on an excursion to Seville, a short drive from El Puerto de Santa Maria
The town was founded after the Trojan Wars by Menestheo, General of de Athens, settling in the city and naming it El Puerto de Menestheo. Later the Phoenicians and the Greeks were responsible for the increase in commerce through the port. Proof of this fact is the archaeological ruins of Doña Blanca that date from the VIII century B.C. The town was also occupied by Romanas and Visigoths and in the year 711 it was conquered by the Moors in the battle of the Guadalete who renamed the town Alcanatif or Port of the salt mines. In the year 1260 the town was re-conquered by Alfonso X who changed its name to Santa Maria del Puerto.
In various works of Alfonso X the town was the protagonist of various miracles of the Virgin Mary. Christopher Columbus chose this town as his residence where he convinced a local merchant to put his boat (La Santa Maria) at his service in which he made his voyage to the new World of America. Great progress was made in the town during the XVI and the XVII centuries with the building of the Royal Boats and housing the headquarters of the Navy. At the end of the XIX century, commerce to the New World had declined and after a number of wars and revolutions the town ceased to expand. In the XX century and thanks to the commerce of the local wine and sherries and of course tourism, the town now a city, began to recover its former glory.