Centred around a beautifully preserved historic quarter, the Spanish town of Hondarribia lies on the west bank of the Bidasoa River where it flows into Txingudi Bay. It’s positioned across the water from the French town of Hendaye and encompasses the runways and terminal buildings of San Sebastian Airport.
Things to do in Hondarribia
Spend an afternoon exploring Hondarribia’s charming Old Town, which is ringed by fortified walls and entered through the medieval Santa Maria Gate. Admire the Baroque-style Town Hall and the magnificent Zuloaga Palace, which houses the local library and archives. Dominating Plaza de Armas is the Castle of Charles V, which was originally built in the 10th century by King Sancho Abarca of Navarre.
One of Hondarribia’s most important architectural landmarks is the Iglesia del Manzano, a 16th-century church that combines Renaissance and Gothic elements and is typical of Basque architecture. Take note of the bell tower designed by Francisco de Ibero and marvel at the beautiful organ inside. Nearby is Parque de San Marcos, where you’ll find walking paths lined by magnolia trees.
At the mouth of the Bidasoa River is Hondarribia Beach, a beautiful crescent of golden sand overlooking Txingudi Bay. It’s a popular destination for kayaking and windsurfing (when the conditions are right) and there are plenty of restaurants nearby where you can dine throughout the day. A short drive west of Hondarribia is the 1890-built Fortress of Guadalupe, which served as a prison during the Spanish Civil War.
Getting around Hondarribia
Hondarribia encompasses San Sebastian Airport, which has flights to destinations across Spain. Regular buses connect from San Sebastian to Hondarribia and the town is compact enough to explore on foot. Renting a car is the most convenient way of accessing the surrounding attractions.