When in San Sebastian last week, my travel buddies and I decided to pay a visit to Getaria. We had read about this small fishing village in the north of Spain on several online tourism guides and since the weather wasn’t tempting us into slipping into our bikinis and hitting the beach, we decided to check it out.
Getaria has been around for some time and remains of its old medieval wall are still present. At some point the town was home to Balenciaga, the famous fashion designer and Juan Sebastián Elcano who was the first person to travel around the world. Both are very much revered here with a museum and a couple of monuments.
It took some effort to get to Getaria from San Sebastian, but that was entirely our own fault. Tip #1 : Make sure you correctly pronounce the name when asking for directions as you’re going to end up somewhere inland that doesn’t look like a fishing village at all. Tip #2: Check before you travel as when we went there was a bus replacing the regular bus adding on to our travel time Tip #3: Don’t listen to the taxi driver that asks you what the hell you’re going to do there and says that some other town is a lot nicer. For when we got there we found it was an absolute delightful little town.
We walked around the main street and hit the first pintxos bar we found, just in time before siesta time. Filled up on chorizo, tortilla and jamon, we were ready to explore. We walked around the narrow streets and stepped alleys and happened upon an interesting church called Iglesia de San Salvador. It’s a gothic style building at the end of the main street. From the outside it doesn’t look all that spectacular, but it’s the inside that’s the interesting part as the floor of this church’ floor is sloping down from front to back.
We walked along the quays lined with fisheries, restaurants, bars. It was a shame it wasn’t tea time as we would’ve loved to try some freshly caught fish on the grill, which Getaria is known for. We continued our walk towards the Balenciaga museum and took a breather on a bench next to the Elcano monument overlooking the Mediterranean. This spot is the start of a pedestrian path that runs along the coast, separate from the road and leads all the way to neighbouring Zarautz 6km away. It would’ve been a nice walk if the weather had been a bit more inviting.
We walked back into town which was waking up after siesta. Of course we couldn’t leave this town without having tried its local specialty txacolina. It’s a refreshing, lightly sparkling white wine that’s produced in the area which went down very well, especially paired with some manchego cheese.
We hopped onto the bus taking us back to San Sebastian. Unfortunately it was the slow bus. Fortunately the slow bus takes a route that snakes through the Basque country side with small streams, green hills and small villages offering some superb vistas. A perfect way to end our visit to Getaria.