Zarautz, the Guipúzcoa coastline’s longest beach and much more
The Guipúzcoa coastline’s longest beach at 2.5 km, known as “the queen of beaches”, is just one of the attractive features of this seaside town which has been an international tourist destination since the 19th century. Surfing, gastronomy and nature combine at a location which reflects the essence of the identity of Gipuzkoa.
Since its origins as a fishing village until the whales disappeared from the Cantabrian Sea, Zarautz has been a meeting place for local people. And nowadays its virtues as a tourist destination are known around the world.
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Its large expanse of sand is a paradise for enjoying a day at the beach, and also for both amateur and professional surfers, and at its schools throughout the town, year after year young people, families and the older generation enjoy their first experience of direct contact with nature. Walking along its long promenade we can drink in the local atmosphere, with exhibitions of “herri kirolak” (Basque sports) on many weekends, concerts, terraces and a warm, jatorra ambience (“agreeable” in Basque) on any summer’s day or any weekend during the year.
Moving into the old town only a few minutes from the beach, we go down little cobbled streets conjuring up a fishing village that turns any chitchat on one of its terraces or an afternoon’s shopping into a pleasant experience. In the bars we are met with long counters of pintxos, and we can soak up the atmosphere of the baserritarras (local farmers) from Monday to Saturday at the market in the centre of town, and their wonderful local produce. Because in Zarautz we will hear “Ongi etorri” [Welcome] anywhere we go. A place like this, a popular tourist spot for decades now, knows how to take care of its visitors.
But Zarautz does not end there – if we continue along the promenade, we arrive at the Iñurritza Biotope’s dunes, a combination of saltwater and freshwater alongside fauna as diverse as it is abundant, where the gulls watch over the marsh and its thick vegetation. And finally, we cannot leave Zarautz without a pleasant stroll to the Mollarri loading bay, where all the ore taken from the Asteasu mines used to be stored. From here, the views of Zarautz with Getaria in the background are a wonderful sight, especially at dusk.