LESS THAN ONE HOUR FROM SAN SEBASTIÁN

20 MINUTES AWAY: ZARAUTZ

At 2500 metres long, Zarautz is the longest beach in Gipuzkoa. It is also the name of a pretty fishing village geared towards family tourism but also with an area defined by the sand dunes where surfers search for waves. Watching them is always a show.

Zarautz

20 MINUTES AWAY: PASAJES DE SAN JUAN

The village of Pasajes de San Juan, at the narrow entrance or mouth of the port, has typical houses with balconies and a number of restaurants where you can enjoy fresh fish.

View of the Port of Pasajes from Pasajes de San Juan

25 MINUTES AWAY: HONDARRIBIA

Hondarribia is one of the prettiest towns in Euskadi. Facing the French Basque Country, its immediate neighbour, this seafaring town of houses with flower-filled balconies is a delight, with first-rate food. That's why it's one of the towns to receive the most visitors.

Hondarribia

25 MINUTES AWAY: GETARIA

In addition to being a charming fishing village, Getaria is the birthplace of the first person to sail round the world, Juan Sebastián Elkano, and of the famous designer, Cristóbal Balenciaga. The Balenciaga Museum is a place of pilgrimage for fashion lovers, or for any lover of beauty.

Getaria

30 MINUTES AWAY: ZUMAIA

Zumaia is located in the Basque Coast Geopark. One of the prettiest stretches of the Gipuzkoa coastline, in the bay where the rivers Urola and Narrondo meet. This lovely village has an interesting Old Town, where the 13th century Gothic church of San Pedro is of particular note, in addition to two beaches where you can hide away. Also nearby, silhouetted against the Cantabrian Sea, is the hermitage of San Telmo, much loved by the town, and now famous thanks to the film "Ocho apellidos vascos".

Hermitage of San Telmo. Zumaia

35 MINUTES AWAY: PEÑAS DE AIA

In the easternmost part of Gipuzkoa, in the foothills of the Pyrenees, is Peñas de Aia Natural Park, formed by a series of craggy hills and mountainsides, with steep slopes, valleys, beech and oak forests. There is a magnificent view of the city of San Sebastián and La Concha Bay, framed by mountains and the omnipresent Cantabrian Sea.

Peñas de Aia

40 MINUTES AWAY: LOIOLA

The Sanctuary of Loiola is a huge religious complex built in the 17th century in the vicinity of the house where St Ignatius of Loyola was born, the renowned founder of the Brotherhood of Jesus, known as the Jesuits. The magnificence of the Basilica and the spectacular dome can be appreciated from the extensive gardens.

The Sanctuary of Loiola

45 MINUTES AWAY: GOIERRI VALLEY
CRADLE OF IDIAZABAL CHEESE

Goierri valley is the postcard picture you have always dreamed about finding, right here in rural Euskadi. Green meadows and mountains dotted with small pretty villages and farmhouses. It is home to the Natural Parks of Aralar and Aizkorri-Aratz, and just 30 minutes from San Sebastián. Traces of the earliest human life have been found in the higher regions: In both the Aralar hills and the Aizkorri hills, there are burial mounds and menhirs dating back thousands of years.

Cradle of Idiazabal cheese

55 MINUTES AWAY: ARALAR NATURAL PARK

Tucked into the interior of the Goierri region, the Aralar hills have the characteristic topography of the huge limestone elevations. The most representative peak is Larrunari, also known as Txindoki or Ñañarri. Its elegant silhouette can be seen from almost any part of the park and it is thought to be the most loved and beautiful mountain in Gipuzkoa.

Aralar Natural Park

55 MINUTES AWAY: THE SANCTUARY OF ARANTZAZU

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Arantzazu was built in the 16th century, but in the middle of the 20th century, the imposing Basilica was built with the collaboration of Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza as the architect. It also has sculptures by Jorge Oteiza and Eduardo Chillida, an altarpiece by Lucio Muñoz and paintings by Néstor Basterretxea. As a result, it is as much a religious pilgrimage site as an artistic one.

The Apostles on the main facade by jorge Oteiza. Sanctuary of Arantzazu

ALSO AT LESS THAN AN HOUR AWAY...

You can visit cosmopolitan Bilbao to see the latest exhibition in the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and discover the city's modern architecture. Or go to Vitoria-Gasteiz to visit the Cathedral of Santa María on the interesting tour, Open for Construction, and ride your bike through the parks forming its Green Belt. Or enjoy the world of wine in the Rioja Alavesa wineries and end up with a wine therapy treatment at one of the many spas.