Gipuzkoa (for the more distracted, the province San Sebastian is the capital of) is the smallest province in Spain, but is full of sites with history, culture and tradition. And as it’s so tiny, you can go to any place from Donosti investing very few time.
So that, to encourage you to leave San Sebastian and visit our neighbours, here you have a daytrip. However, you will need a car or motorcycle. All these towns can be visited with public transport, but if we want to go to all of them in the same day the only option is to drive a private vehicle.
Getaria, city of txakoli
From Donosti we leave towards Getaria to spend a nice morning in this charming coastal town. You will have to take the AP-8 highway to Zarautz, we will talk about this town some other time, and from there take the N-364 road to go to Getaria. This coastal road is short but really beautiful, as it lets you enjoy the panoramic view of the Cantabric Coast and the Getaria’s mouse.
Once in the town… your options rocket. You can wander through its beautiful old town, visit the church of San Salvador, discover the txakoli producing vineyards, with Getariako Txakolina Certificate of Origin, or visit the Cristobal Balenciaga museum. And if you feel brave you can always swim in one of the two beaches the town has! Surely after that you wil
l be hungry to eat some pintxos, which are a great hamaiketako.
At this point you should be hungry, and even if Getaria is always a great option, I ask for a little patience. You will see it’s worth it. We say “geroarte” to Getaria because we are heading to Tolosa. We take the AP-8 towards San Sebastian to Lasarte, and now with the A-1 we go South. It’s 40 minutes, but as I said: it is worth it.
Tolosa, a tribute to beans and txuletón
Tolosa, that in the 19th century competed for the capitality with Donosti, is famous in all the province for two delicacies: the black beans and the steak. The beans of Tolosa, black and slow cooked with lot of love, are an institution in Gipuzkoa.
A good pot of beans with all its sacraments (collard greens, the meat, pork rib, the Ibarra’s chili peppers and the black pudding) is the best way to spend a rainy winter day. You don’t want beans? Don’t worry, Tolosa’s steak is a serious business. Grilled, with salt and peppers, a pleasure!
After the dessert and the well-known coffee the best thing is to walk around Tolosa to let the food go down. The town has a medieval centre with remains of the past that talk about the long history of the town, like the parish church of Santa Maria, the convent of Santa Clara or the idiaquez palace, to mention only three. But don’t get very comfortable, here in winter gets dark early and there’s still a lot to visit in other town: Hondarribia.
Hondarribia, the mouth of the Bidasoa river
Through the AP-8 towards Oiartzun and later the GI-636, changing to the GI-638 to arrive to Hondarribia. About the town we talked a lot back in the day, but it has a special feeling at night. It’s difficult and I think it’s something better when lived, but lit up by the lampposts and the sky turning dark blue before going black has a unique charm that intermingles with its animated night life. The truth is that walking through the mouth of the Bidasoa river or the neighbourhood of La Marina as culmination of the day is unbeatable. When you do it you’ll agree with me. You’ll see.