Getaria is a beautiful village in the spanish Basque Country. It is famous for the quality of its gastronomy, which uses the grill for meat and for fish. The most significant element of its gastronomy is the quality of the raw material of the ingredients used. We include Getaria as a half day excursion in some of our tours in Northern Spain.
Getaria has an important fishing port. This explains the quality of the fish which is served in the local restaurants. But the port is also important for the tourism. When some of the boats have not gone out fishing, its presence in the port adds colour to the waters of Getaria.
Getaria is also very near to Zumaia, a hidden gem, which hosts spectacular cliffs that have been filmed in Games of Thrones. We really love this very affordable tour to enjoy Zumaia, the UNESCO geopark, a pintxo and a refreshing txacoli wine!
It is important to remember that in the neighboring french Basque Country, very close to the border with Spain, there is another village with a similar name (Ghétary).
Getaria is located around 25 kilometers from San Sebastián. This distance makes a tour to Getaria a perfect option for either half-day or a full day. Restaurants in Getaria specially in grilled fish and a visit to any of them and a local txacoli winery is one of the best experiences to enjoy in the Basque country. You should expect however high prices for any private tour. They are worth it, but expensive. Enjoying Getaria by taxi is an option. You may also decide to drive though we would not recommend this in case you want to pay a visit to one of the txacoli wineries (they are not easily booked either!)
The most appealing way to discover Getaria, if time permits and if you are in shape, would be walking or cycling but these options are very time-consuming. From San Sebastián you can take a road with spectacular panoramic views allowing you to discover the landscape of mountains and sea of the Basque Country. This road starts near Igueldo hill and runs along the coast reaching Orio through a very nice and sometimes spectacular road.
If there isn´t enough time to do this tour walking or cycling we recommend taking this road by car.
If you are interested in getting there fast, the fastest way to go is taking the highway and leaving it in Zarautz. Zarautz is the village before Getaria. It has less character compared to Getaria and its beach is normally very crowded.
The road from Zarautz to Getaria allows us to stay in touch with the Cantabrian Sea. Many people take this walk every day, especially at weekends. The distance between Zarautz and Getaria is 4 kilometers. On foot, it takes 50 minutes.
- First of all, it is essential to eat in one of its restaurants of the basque grill. The meat, vegetables and particularly the fish, have a special flavour in these grills. The most renowned restaurants such as Elkano or Kaia Kaipe have quite high prices, but there are cheaper options that offer an equally excellent product and experience.
- If you are a design and fashion lover the Museum Balenciaga is an interesting option. To get to the museum you have to take a lift (free) located in the modern part of Getaria.
- Visit to the beach. While Getaria is not famous for its beach (as it happens in the neighbouring Zarautz), the little beach of Getaria is very pleasant. It is a beach with small rocks, with the shape of a shell. Coming from San Sebastián we have to go through the village and we find it to the right.
- Visit a Txacoli winery. The txacoli is the white wine of the basque country. It is a quite acid wine, which combines perfectly with white fish. The most famous denomination of origin of txakoli is in Getaria. The problem is that very few wineries organise guided tours and they are not in the same village, so in case one winery is ready to open the doors for an English speaking person you will still have to drive through the little hills nearby.
- The Gothic Church of Getaria is dedicated to Saint Salvador. It is a church from the 14th century. 2 of its elements draw our attention due to being very unusual. The first one is the unevenness of the floor. The second is a tunnel that allows us to walk under the church in the Calle Mayor.
- The port is beautiful, particularly if there are boats that have not gone out that day to the sea. At the end of the port there are several important companies committed to high quality canned fish.
- The centre of Getaria is small, but its cobbled streets offer the opportunity of a nice walk. There is a store with several local products such as wines of the denomination of origin txakoli, canned food, honey and local desserts. You will be able to buy as well the little grills with the shape of fish, that are used to prepare the fish. Very good for a barbecue!
2 hours is more than enough to see the village. We have to add the time to have lunch, as well as possible visits to a winery of Txacoli or visits to the Museum of Balenciaga.
- Do not forget to bring the camera
- Take a raincoat because it rains frequently in the area
- Book early in a restaurant and ask for a table with views to the port if possible
- If time permits, walk to Zarautz (4 kilometres)
- Arrive earlier to avoid heavy traffic and for problem-free parking
- Wear comfortable shoes as there are many slopes and the streets are cobbled.