Fuenterrabía is a beautiful city, with a beach and an interesting heritage, both architectural and natural, which is well worth a visit from San Sebastián. This Gipuzkoan town, which in Basque is called Hondarribia, is located just 20 kilometers from San Sebastian and is also very close to the French Hendaye.
Here you will find very interesting monuments, a historic center of medieval essence that is worth a walk, a magical beach, its seafaring essence and endless plans with which to enjoy your getaway. And it is not for nothing that it is known as one of the most beautiful towns that exist throughout the Basque Country and, in general, throughout northern Spain.
In addition, Fuenterrabía airport is considered the airport of San Sebastián, as it is the closest to the capital of Guipuzcoa.
What to see in Fuenterrabía
As we have mentioned, one of the main attractions that Fuenterrabía offers to its visitors is the possibility of enjoying its wide and interesting architectural and artistic heritage. Specifically, these are the ones you must visit:
Church of Santa María de la Asunción and El Manzano.
In the center of its historic center is located this Gothic temple, which was begun to be built in the fifteenth century. It stands out because it has later additions that have given it a remarkable singularity such as its baroque tower or its Renaissance altar. Likewise, when visiting it, you should not miss its spectacular organ.
There are several squares in Hondarribia that you have to visit to discover its charm. And among them is the Guipúzcoa, which is one of the favorites of locals and tourists. It has a special magic because it allows you to discover in situ the typical architecture of the area both through the existing houses and the arcades it has.
In this list of essential visits to this Basque town we must include the obligatory stop in this other square, which is one of the oldest areas of the town. It is also called Apezpiku Plaza, where there are also numerous traditional houses. It is presided over by a statue of Cristóbal de Rojas y Sandoval, the archbishop of Seville who lived in this land and who was chaplain to Charles V.
No one can leave the city without taking a walk along this street, one of the most emblematic and also one of the most beautiful that Fuenterrabía has. There is no visitor who does not take a picture of it for its combination of historic buildings, traditional houses and flowers.
Charles V Castle
In this list of what to see in Fuenterrabía we could not fail to include this spectacular building, now converted into a Parador. It was originally a fortress of the tenth century, but then the king that gives it its name restored it and, of course, stayed in it, like other members of royalty since then. If in itself draws attention, we must not forget that so does and remarkably its location, as it is located on a hill that allows you to enjoy some really wonderful views.
Santa María Gate
This Basque town has the singularity of being the only one in the province of Guipúzcoa that maintains being surrounded by a medieval wall. And precisely one of the gates of this is the one we now recommend you to visit. It is not only worth seeing for its structure itself but also for the unique sculpture that presides over it. This sculpture is called Hatxeroa and represents the soldier called axeman, who was in charge of leading a troop
Plaza de Armas
In addition to the Guipuzcoa and the Bishop’s, do not forget to visit this other square, located next to the aforementioned palace and the church of Santa Maria, that is, in the upper part of the historic center. It is one of the typical images of the city and has the particularity of offering impressive views of the bay of Txingudi.
The Marina Neighborhood
Of course, another must is to take a walk through the network of streets that form this neighborhood of fishermen, which is declared a Historic-Artistic Monument. It is one of the most beautiful areas of the city, where its colorful traditional houses stand out. It is also an ideal place to enjoy the local gastronomy.
What to do in Fuenterrabía
In addition to strolling and discovering the most charming monuments and corners of Fuenterrabía, you have many other activities to do during your stay. Some examples are these:
Enjoy its beach
Between 800 and 900 meters long is this beach, which is one of the longest in the Basque Country. Another of its peculiarities is that its waters are calm, so it has become a perfect place to take a dip with the family.
In it, in addition, you can enjoy a beautiful view of the bay and the nearby beach of Hendaye.
Taking the boat to Hendaye
Precisely another of the recommended activities is to take a boat to visit the neighboring French city of Hendaye. In just 10 minutes you are in French lands and you can discover in depth this other city so important historically. Yes, because it was there where the Peace of the Pyrenees was signed and where Franco met with Hitler.
Go to Mount Jaizkibel
Of course, it is also recommended to take a walk to this mountain, located about 500 meters high, which allows you to fall in love with spectacular views of Hondarribia. In addition, you can discover interesting monuments such as the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Discover the local gastronomy
Visiting Fuenterrabía also means enjoying its gastronomy, something that is recommended to do, among other areas, in the aforementioned Barrio de la Marina and also in the old town. As is traditional throughout the Basque Country, its pintxo culture is very important and so is the discovery of txakoli.
Likewise, it also has renowned restaurants such as the Michelin-starred Alameda Restaurant and many other interesting ones. You can take a look at the best restaurants in Hondarribia that we have selected for you.
You can also try some of the best pintxo bars such as El gran Sol, winner of numerous awards, or the Embata bar.
If you are interested in trying traditional dishes, keep in mind to taste recipes such as marmitako, hake kokotxas or txangurro.
Walking along the Butrón promenade
The fifth plan that we suggest you do during your stay is to take this walk, which will allow you to know the natural wealth of the city, breathe fresh air and even enjoy truly breathtaking views.
As you can see, Fuenterrabía is a destination that offers endless leisure alternatives and a lot of places worth discovering. Are you going to miss it?
How to get to Hondarribia from San Sebastian
Getting to Fuenterrabía from San Sebastián is very easy. Just take the Irun-France road and follow the signs. When you reach the toll, you have to take the exit and toll on the right.
Before arriving, you will first pass the Fuenterrabía Golf Course, then the airport and finally you will arrive in Hondarribi.