Here come the Zambombas in Jerez de la Frontera… Ven, ven ven!

The temperature has finally dropped to an Andalusian wintry chill and the arrival of Christmas is marked by the festive Zambombas, beginning in late November!

Now, what exactly are Zambombas?


They are traditional Christmas carols (Villancicos) sung in groups, usually in neighborhood gatherings, and in Jerezano style; that is, with festive flamenco flair… and perhaps, flare… usually por Bulerias, Rumbas, Tangos y Tanguillos. It is also the name of a friction drum that usually drives the festive songs, along with the guitars and the palmas (hand-clapping).

Today, the first of December, there are at least 20 such festivities in this little big village of ours!

We share this below list of Zambombas from masjerez (reformatted with dates, times and locations) with you English-speakers who are already here, or are planning to come here this month, to make it easier for you to find and participate in this very Andalusian tradition, that is particularly unique to Jerez de la Frontera. Next to Bulerias, Zambombas are the song of this town.

As a popular villancico goes, “Ven, ven, ven… en Nochebuena vente pa Jerez!” (come, come, come… on Christmas eve come to Jerez!).IMG-20181124-WA0008


1. Most of these events are FREE and you can get a cup of beer for a euro and some tapas and the traditional sweets for a couple more.

2. Times are “a partir de…” that means it begins at the listed time (mas o menos/more or less) and goes on all day until before midnight (There is an official cut-off time of 23:00, but you know…)

3. As you can imagine with food and drinks all day and night… the later it is in the night the more vibrant the singing gets!

4. The listing shows “official” Zambombas in Jerez, organized by the numerous religious brotherhoods, pena flamencas, and other institutions. There are several others in tabancos, bars/pubs and restaurants.

Agenda of Zambombas de Jerez 2018

(view the original source in Spanish @ masjerez)

Agenda de Zambombas de Jerez 2018

Friday, November 30
20:00 h, Colegio Las Esclavas, calle Santisima Trinidad
Saturday, December 1
14:00 h

  • Brotherhood of Jesus Nazareno, (Hermandad de Jesús Nazareno), Casa de Hermandad (Alameda de Cristina)
  • Brotherhood of the Candelaria (Hermandad de la Candelaria), Casa de Hermandad (calle Lealas)
  • Peña ‘Alba Neira’, Barriada La Pita (calle Tajo)
  • Brotherhood of the Three Falls (Hermandad de las Tres Caídas), Plaza de San Lucas
  • Brotherhood of the Jews of San Mateo (Hermandad de los Judíos de San Mateo), Plaza de San Mateo
  • Pena Flamenca The Garbanzo, AA.VV. San Miguel (Ronda de Muleros corner Oropesa Street)
  • Brotherhood of the Solitude (Hermandad de la Soledad), Iglesia de la Victoria (Church of Victory)
  • P.R. Los Pelotitos, Calle Carne (Carne Street)

14:30 h

  • Brotherhood the Holy Crucifix (Hermandad el Santo Crucifijo), Plaza San Miguel
  • Brotherhood of the Hope of the Yedra (Hermandad de la Esperanza de la Yedra), calle Empedrada

15:00 h

  • TBO Baguetería, calle Oloroso
  • Shepherdess of San Dionisio (Pastora de San Dionisio), calle Francos
  • A.C.F. Fernando Terremoto, calle Terremoto de Jerez

20:00 h, Bar Las 3 Rejas, calle Porvenir
20:30 h, Brotherhood of Transport (Hermandad del Transporte), calle Merced
22:30 h, Pena Flamenca El Pescaero, Avenida de Arcos

Sunday, December 2
14:00 h, Barriada de la Asunción, Poliderpotivo de la Asunción
Jueves, December 6
14:00 h:
Hermandad del Rocío de Jerez, Bodegas Fundador (Salón Los Claustros)
Pena Flamenca La Bulería, calle Empedrada
Peña ‘Alba Neira’, Barriada La Pita, calle Tajo
Saturday, December 8
13:30 h, Hermandad de las Angustias, Plaza de las Angustias
14:00 h:
Peña Colchonera, Cruz Vieja
P.R. Los Jartibles, Colegio de Adultos ‘El Aljibe’ (Ronda de Muleros)
Peña ‘Alba Neira’, Barriada La Pita, calle Tajo
15:00 h, A.C.G. Arco de Santiago, calle Moraíto Chico
20:30 h, Teatro Villamarta, Zambomba de la Navidad (Organiza Pena Flamenca Buena Gente), € € € entrance fee
21:00 h, Hermandad del Cristo del Amor, calle San Juan
Saturday, December 15
14:00 h:
P.F. Buena Gente, Bodegas Fundador (Salón Los Claustros)
Peña ‘Alba Neira’, Barriada La Pita, calle Tajo
A.C.F. Luis de la Pica, calle Carpinteros (Barrio de Santiago)
14:30 h, Museo de la Atalaya, Zambomba conmemorativa – Instituto Andaluz de Flamenco y Ayuntamiento de Jerez
15:00 h, Pastora de San Dionisio, Casa de Hermandad, calle Francos
22:00 h, T.F. Pepe Alconchel, calle Castaño
Friday, December 21
14:00 h, Peña ‘Alba Neira’, Barriada La Pita, calle Tajo
21:00 h, Pena Flamenca Los Cernícalos, calle Sancho Vizcaíno
Saturday, December 22
14:30 h, Hermandad del Soberano, Bodegas Fernández Gao, calle Arcos
14:30 h, Hermandad de las Tres Caídas, Salón Los Claustros (Bodegas Fundador)
15:00 h, Pastora de San Dionisio, Casa de Hermandad, calle Francos
20:30 h, Teatro Villamarta, Así canta Jerez por Navidad, € € € entrance fee
21:00 h, Pena Flamenca Tío José de Paula, calle Merced
Monday, December 24
15:00 h, Pastora de San Dionisio, Casa de Hermandad, calle FrancosThat is it for now.
We will update as needed. Enjoy the festivities!
Ande, ande, ande!!! Ole, ole, ole!!!
happy to be free… electrons … family

First-time family camping road trip summer: How much will it cost?

The cost of things we think we need for our first-time, family, camping road trip in Europe in the summer are listed in part one.  But what about the cost of sleeping, gas and food for this 6-week nomadic trip?

Cost of Sleeping on the Road

We need a total of 45 days for sleeping on the way to Poland and back.  It is summer season.  Accommodation for 2 adults and 2 children is not cheap.  The capital cities and especially the small countries that we plan to visit are expn$ive.  Forget hotels. seems to offer cheaper options, compared to Air BnB.  Difficult to find family-friendly hostels—those that can accommodate little kids.

The cheapest option is to sleep in a tent.  But, it turns out booking camping sites for only a night or two is a little tricky during high season.  Camping sites seem to prefer longer term bookings of a week, or at least 3 days.  A website called Pitchup offers limited locations.  We found that the quickest and most efficient way to find camping grounds was to search for “camping near [the area that you want to visit]” in Google map.  It showed more options for us in a short amount of time compared to other sites, but not everything of course.

Expect €30 per night (for 2 adults and 2 children) for the cheapest camping sites, to include a car, a tent and electricity hook-up.  To have a buffer, Ania and I figured to give us no more than €50/night for sleeping cost.  So, our budget for a 45-day, once-in-a-lifetime, roadtrip across Europe is between €1,350 and 2,250.  There goes the little savings that we have left!

Cost of gas/benzin/sin plomo gasolina/fuel for the road

We will likely travel 3,448 kilometers (2,142 miles) to Poland and 3,648 km (2,267 mile) back.  That’s about 646 L or €968.  Hmmm…  That seems a little short.  For the calculation, Buda (our Mazda minivan) uses about 11 kilometers per liter of gas and I guesstimated an average of €1.5/liter of 95 unleaded/sin plomo/bezolowiowa.  Gas is cheaper in Jerez at about €1.2/L.

Now, food?

This should be no different from our daily food expenses at home and that comes up to about €540 for 45 days.  Hmmm…  That may be a bit tight! Of course, our cooking will be limited to our butane burner and whatever we can bring with us on the road.  Food prices here in Jerez/Andalucia are much cheaper.  That’s why we are stocking up on grocery to take with us (beans, rice, pasta, tomato sauce… you know, dry foods).  That’s a lot of fuel for our very own internal combustion engines… all 4 of us… in one tent!

Don’t forget miscellaneous expenses to consider, such as beer, libations, travel insurance (about €300 for family of 4) for 3 months since our insurance does not cover international travel, fees for sightseeing, restaurants, piwo, , medicine, wine, sherry, cerveza, birra, beer… and more beer (to take the pain of living in a tent and on the move…. away 😉

In all, what’s the total?

  • € 257: camping gear essentials
  • 1,350 – 2,250: sleeping in tent (45 days in tent, 2 adults, 2 children)
  • 968: unleaded gas/fuel/benzin for 7,096 kilometers roundtrip (4,435 miles), estimated
  • 540: basic food for 4
  • 300: travel insurance
  • 500: miscellaneous
  • € 3,915 – 4,815 euros, total

Wait…. Ouch, Awa… Oh, shaizeaufderstrasse! Deep breathe here…

Well, considering we will be on vacation for a total of 45 days and visiting about 27 places, 11 countries…. and a chance to experience life on the road as a family… and spend some quality time with family and friends?… … that’s not too bad at all! That’s about (€87 to 107 per day for 4 people). It’s like having 3 American vacations all packed into 1.  Now, lessons learned.  Next time, we’ll cut that in half… or at least try!  And where next?

What do you think?  Big Smile!

Up next: Here we go and on the move, northwards, upwards!

Previous: What to bring for summer camping road trip?

Credits: Partial map of Europe taken from “Maps” by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski; published by BIG PICTURE PRESS, modified. Thanks!