Day Trips from San Sebastian: Things to Do in The Basque Country
If you are visiting San Sebastián, you should definitely take a trip or two outside this fabulous and cosmopolitan city and explore some of the more quaint villages of the Basque Country. Some of them are only about half an hour away and can be easily explored in a day.
Basque Country in the north of Spain is known for its beautiful seaside landscape, white sandy beaches and picture-perfect fishermen's villages. The Basque country's extraordinary wealth of seafood and local produce makes it also a fascinating place for any food lover.
To learn more about San Sebastián, read our post San Sebastian: Sophisticated Coastal Gem.
Getaria is a charming fishing village just 25 km east of San Sebastián. Here you can walk the streets of the picture-perfect medieval village, pop into the 15th-century Gothic Church of San Salvador, and have some freshly caught fish grilled over charcoal or sopa pescado (fish soup) with txakoli white wine at a seaside restaurant.
If you like fashion, then make sure to visit the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum. Balenciaga was born in Getaria and the museum showcases some of his best works.
Picturesque Hondarribia, 25 km west of San Sebastián on the French-Spanish border, has a colorful and charming historic center (Casco Antiguo) and a beautiful beach. Plaza Armas and its colorful houses with balconies and bright flower boxes, the Gothic Iglesia de Santa Maria de la Asunción, and the marina area with fishermen's houses are its main sights. Not only is the town a pleasure to explore, it is also home to some of the Basque Country’s best restaurants.
Continuing on alongside the spectacular Basque coast you will reach Biarritz in the French Basque Country, 35 km from Hondarribia.
When Napoleon III built a palatial summer residence for Empress Eugenia (now the world class Hotel du Palais), Biarritz was forever changed and transformed from a quaint village to a posh seafront resort town popular with the rich and famous. This French Basque resort town is known for its sandy beaches and therapeutic water, and is a favorite with surfers. Here, stylish restaurants and luxury spas exists side-by-side with laid-back pizza joints and surf shops—it is perfect mix of Belle Époque glamour and a relaxed coastal vibe.