Zarauz: What to see and do

Zarautz is one of the most beautiful and most visited areas around San Sebastian. Its large beach and old town are well worth a visit.
Things to do in Zarauz

The tourist town of Zarauz is located in the Urola Costa region of Gipuzkoa. It is close to towns like Getaria and is located only 15 kilometers from San Sebastian.

It is a town of about 23,000 inhabitants that has become one of the most visited enclaves of the Basque Country Why? For several reasons, such as the fact that it has the longest beach in the Cantabrian Sea, that it has a magical seafaring essence, that it has a very interesting historical past and that it has a great artistic, architectural, natural and gastronomic heritage.

What to see in Zarauz

To discover the charm of this city, nothing better than a walk through its historic center full of buildings of great interest. However, we recommend that if you visit Zarauz you put special emphasis on seeing and enjoying these corners:

1. Palacio de Narros

Precisely one of the most important buildings of the aforementioned historic center is this one. It is a Renaissance palace, also called the Zarauz, which was built in the sixteenth century. One of the singularities that it possesses is that for a time it became the place where Queen Isabel II stayed during part of her summer vacations. In addition, it is necessary to emphasize that in its interior it lodges some work of Velázquez.

It is located by the sea and has a beautiful English garden.

2. Santa María la Real Parroquia

Just opposite the aforementioned palace is located this Gothic style temple that began to be erected back in the fifteenth century. It stands out for its altarpiece and because it has elements of other artistic styles. Thus, for example, inside you can discover a variety of baroque elements.

In addition, you should know that it has two altars, one dedicated to San Exuperio and the other to the Virgin of the Rosary.

3. Casa Makatza

In Nagusia Street, the main artery of the city, is where you will find this building that is an old fortress with five centuries of history behind it. It is considered one of the architectural jewels of the city, stands out for having brick as the main protagonist and is in a perfect state of preservation. Moreover, it is listed as a Historic-Artistic Monument of Provincial Interest.

4. Zarauz Tower

In this set of enclaves that we recommend you to visit in Zarauz we could not forget this construction that has a singular history behind it. And it is that in the past it was a part of the Palace of Narros and then it worked as city council, but now it exerts like seat of the Museum of Art and History of the locality.

It is of Gothic origin, has four floors and is worth visiting because, in addition, inside you can see a real ‘treasure’. We are referring to a part of the archaeological site of Santa María la Real.

5. Ermita de Santa Barbara

In the Meagas mountain is where this temple is located, which is one of the most picturesque and relevant of the Gipuzkoan city that occupies us. It is presided over by an image of the person after whom it is named, dates from the 18th century and has the particularity that it is part of the so-called Camino de Santiago.

6. Plaza de la música

In Zarauz, in addition to imposing constructions, there are also open-air spaces that are worth visiting. And this would be the case of this square, which is presided over by a picturesque kiosk, made of iron and wood, where musical performances are held. Also, keep in mind that in it, where the Makatza House is located, you can stop to rest and regain strength by having a drink on one of the terraces that it has today.

7. Villa Munda

Of course, you should not leave Zarauz without visiting this building, located on the Avenida de Navarra. It is a small palace of the 19th century that was built on the old cemetery. It has an imposing garden area, it was the residence of an important doctor from Segovia who lived in the city and today it is the headquarters of the conservatory.

These are, in our humble opinion, the must-see sights in this Basque city. Of course, there are many more, such as the Zuano Enea villa, the Convent of the Barefoot Carmelites and the Vista Alegre Tower, among others.

What to do in Zarauz

In addition to visiting its most impressive monuments and buildings, there are many other activities to do in Zarauz. And among them we recommend that you carry out the following:

1. Enjoy the beach

Undoubtedly, you can not leave this city without knowing and enjoying its beach, which has fine golden sand and has about 2.5 kilometers long. Hence, as we indicated at the beginning of this article, has the distinction of being the longest of all the Cantabrian.

This sandy area is divided into several zones, to satisfy the needs of all kinds of visitors, and among them the one dedicated to surf lovers stands out. In addition, you should know that it has facilities such as swings, for the enjoyment of children, and has a promenade that is a wonder.

2. Walking the promenade between Zarauz and Getaria

If you like to admire wonderful views of the places you visit, we encourage you to take this walk that comes to join the city that occupies us with Getaria, where the famous navigator Juan Sebastian Elcano was born. You will be able to fall in love with some really wonderful landscapes.
The tour can be done in about an hour.

3. Discover the gastronomy

When it is said that Spain is one of the great powers in gastronomy, it is true and this has contributed significantly to the quality, innovation and work of many Basque chefs. Therefore, another thing you can do in this city is to enjoy its typical dishes, such as cod kokotxas, porrusalda or cod in pil pil sauce.

Moreover, we recommend that you do not hesitate to go to the hotel-restaurant that Karlos Arguiñano has in this town. It bears his name and you will be able to lick your fingers with recipes such as his seafood rice, turbot in almond sauce and roast pigeon, among others.

4. Climbing Mount Talaimendi

Finally, you should know that another very interesting activity is to take a walk up to this natural enclave, which was formerly used as a place to watch for whale fishing. If you access the top you will reach a viewpoint with stunning views of the entire area. They will leave you with your mouth open.

As you have been able to see, Zarauz is a city full of attractions and activities that will make you live an unforgettable stay and experience.

Remember that you can do this excursion to Zarauz, Getaria and Zumaia from San Sebastian if you want to have it all done. It is definitely worth it to get to know all this coastal area.

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