What to see in Gipuzkoa? (I): 3 plans on the seaside
Are you thinking of planning a trip around Gipuzkoa during your holidays in San Sebastian? It is a good idea, because, beyond our beloved Donostia, Gipuzkoa has a lot to offer. Nature, museums, gastronomy… So much so that it is worth to get to know the province from the coast to the inland, from the sea to our mountains.
Although it is difficult to cover the most important points of interest in Gipuzkoa, at the Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra, we have made a selection of plans and activities. Let’s start with three proposals for the seaside area.
1. Hondarribia & Pasaia
We start with Hondarribia or Fuenterrabía, a town always listed in the rankings of the most beautiful villages in Spain, and it is not surprising. On the east coastline of Gipuzkoa, we find this small treasure that combines its medieval quarter, declared a monumental site, with the colourful fishermen’s houses of the Marina district.
And what about the gastronomy… Txakoli wine cellars, grills, pintxos… A gourmet paradise!
After spending the morning in Hondarribia, we can visit Pasaia (or Pasajes) in the afternoon. Pasaia is an enchanting municipality formed by four districts with a same “village” soul: San Juan San Pedro, Antxo and Trintxerpe. We recommend you to start the visit walking around San Juan, a town so charming that it made the French writer Victor Hugo fall in love with it. After discovering its historical buildings, we can take the boat that crosses to the neighbouring San Pedro, where we will find the Albaola Museum, located in an old renovated shipyard.
2. Zarautz & Getaria
For this second stage, we are still close to the seaside, but this time west of Donostia. Zarautz is a tourist destination with many attractions. Its long beach and lively promenade, its historic quarter, and its wide range of cuisine, among others. Fish and seafood are the main specialties of this town, but meat lovers will also find numerous grills where they can enjoy a good steak.
Linked to Zarautz by a pleasant walk, we find the neighbouring town of Getaria, a charming fishing village and birthplace of great personalities such as the sailor Juan Sebastian Elcano or the father of haute couture Cristobal Balenciaga, among others. Famous for its grilled fish and txakoli, this town is also a good place to enjoy the gastronomy.
After taking a walk through its narrow streets and Mount San Antón (known as the mouse of Getaria), the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum is a must for fashion lovers. For wine lovers, both towns have numerous vineyards and wineries of Txakoli, some with guided tours.
3. Geoparque: Zumaia, Deba & Mutriku
We end up with one of the most important geological treasures of the Basque Country: the Basque Coast Geopark. A small territory nestled between the sea and the mountains, comprising the municipalities of Zumaia, Deba and Mutriku.
Its spectacular cliffs hide millions of years of geological history written on successive rocky strata which, due to the continuous action of the sea, have been left exposed. This whimsical formation has been named ‘flysch’, the element that gives the whole coast its personality. You can learn all its secrets in one of the many guided tours and boat trips offered by Geoparkea.
It is also worth discovering its villages and beaches, where we will find, among others, such spectacular places as Itzurun beach in Zumaia, which was the setting for Game of Thrones.
So much for our walk along the coast of Gipuzkoa. In a next post we will propose several plans for the inland. Don’t miss them: we will discover spectacular temples set in the mountains, rural markets and the world of cider.