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There's a small place in Gipuzkoa that is both unique and special. It may be small in size but it's large in influence, a place where everything, absolutely everything, is linked to cider. The area's history, culture, economy, customs and ways of life are all closely connected with this product. Welcome to Cider Country!

Txotx is most popular cry at any cider house. At the sound of 'txotx!', people get up from their tables and move to whichever barrel is being opened by the cider maker. They hold their glasses strategically, tilting them toward the stream of cider, making sure the liquid splashes against the side of the glass to release its best aromas. Although barely 50 years old, people the world over have fallen in love with this custom. The ritual originated when cider makers began offering buyers a chance to taste the cider before bottling. Today the txotx season runs from January to April although most cider houses now keep their doors open year-round.


Most of the cider houses are concentrated in the towns of Astigarraga, Hernani, Urnieta and Usurbil. However, cider houses can also be found throughout Gipuzkoa. At the most traditional cider houses diners normally eat standing up, wearing warm clothing to fend off the cold in the large dining rooms where the barrels are kept. Today, however, most of the cider houses have 'gone modern', and now have heating and long wooden tables to sit at. What has not changed from one cider house to the next is the menu: cod omelette, fried salt cod with green peppers, thick steak, and cheese with quince jelly and walnuts for dessert.


We owe a large part of our culture to apple cider. Is not known whether the traditional apple trees that form part of our landscape grew here naturally or were planted at some time in the distant past. What we do know is that a number of sources dating to the Middle Ages refer to the defence and protection of apple trees, apples and cider production. In the 16th and 17th centuries cider was produced in Basque farmhouses, which were constructed around a central apple press. Not only was cider a common beverage among the general population, it was also essential for Basque fishermen and whalers on their long journeys to the North Atlantic in search of codfish and whales. Their contracts specifically provided for two or three litres of cider a day for every crew member to fend off the dreaded scurvy.





A route to the heart of the cider

Sagardo-route: we take you to a cider house

Gipuzkoa is the cradle of cider and its cider houses.

Ciderhouse experience

You´ll become a cider expert

Sagardoetxe visit + cider house menu

Gipuzkoa is the cradle of cider and its cider houses.

Apple workshop for kids

Learn about apples in family

Cider and the sea

Basque sailors took three litres of cider a day for each crew member

Galarreta remonte

Apple cider and cheese are our two most valuable home-grown products

Natural treasures


Leitzaran Biotope

Declared a protected biotope because of the quality of its riverside forest.



Rezola Cement Museum

Cement is an element of enormous importance in our civilisation.

Chillida leku

Chillida-Leku is the fulfilment of that dream, a place to discover the trajectory of the artist from San Sebastian.

Cider country


Cider Country | Reservation Center

So near to San Sebastián that you’ll think that you’ve been dreaming, passing in such a short time from a cosmopolitan city to a setting that is full of traditions. In just a few minutes you’ll already feel that you form part of an authentically unique socio-cultural environment.

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