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Hondarribia

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About Hondarribia

Nestling on the Bay of Biscay, Hondarribia has all the charm and rustic beauty you would expect from a Basque fishing village. Encircled by medieval ramparts, the area has been settled since the Romans and teems with stunning Renaissance architecture - from its crested gates to its Baroque churches - but its greatest asset lies in its panoply of pintxo bars and gourmet restaurants, supplied daily by the fishermen who haul their fresh catches down the marina each morning. Our collection of best places to stay in Hondarribia has something for everyone from chic value options to luxury hotels.

Perched at the foot of Jaizkibel Mountain, Hondarribia has been a settlement since the Romans though it only became a fully-fledged village in the 13th century. A Basque border town straddled between Navarre and Castille, as well as France and Spain in later years, it was the unfortunate victim of sieges in a seemingly endless game of geopolitical piggy-in-the-middle, before the instigation of the Treaty of the Pyrenees. Curiously, though perhaps unsurprisingly, Hondarribia has a Gallic air to much of its architecture and way-of-life, leading to a picturesque mix of traditional Basque and Baroque architecture.

The Old Town, which you can enter through the Santa Maria gate, is made up of narrow cobbled streets flanked by old shuttered houses painted with bright colours. The colourful balconies, characteristic of traditional Basque architecture, hang beautifully from the buildings. Old buildings like the magnificent Castle of Charles V, sadly now a parador hotel managed by the Spanish government, stand high and stark against the skyline; the 15th century Iglesia de Santa Maria is also worth checking out, for its stark Gothic exterior and Renaissance flourishes.

As you stroll through the Old Town and into the marina, you will see the harbour bobbing with rickety old fishing boats and the promenade bursting with life. The neighbourhood around the marina is exceptionally charming, the boardwalk providing especially gorgeous views of the ocean. The main street is shaded by trees and lined by an incredible concentration of fantastic gourmet restaurants and pintxo bars, serving a wild range of Basque, French and Spanish cuisine. The beach, being only 1km from the Old Town, is easy to get to and a delight to relax on: an 800m stretch of golden sand with the texture of icing sugar, and is fairly unspoilt by crowds.

What not to miss

  • Take a walk along the medieval ramparts that encircle the town.
  • Marvel at the extraordinary design of the Castle of Charles V.
  • Head down to the marina and dine at one of the countless gourmet restaurants.
  • Stroll down the Butron Boardwalk during the evening and watch the sunset bleed gently against the sky.
  • Visit the Church of Saint Maria and stand awestruck at the stunning Gothic facades.
  • If you're lucky enough to be in town in early September, be sure to check out the festival of Virgen de Guadalupe - a parade of the city guilds.
  • Sunbathe at the beach, an 800m stretch of golden glittering sand.
  • Head out to Irun and immerse yourself in ancient history at the Oiasso Roman Museum.

To start planning your trip to this picturesque town browse through our collection of the best places to stay in Hondarribia.

The best places to stay in Hondarribia

Value chic

  • Hotel Obispo: right next to the beach, this traditional old townhouse offers rooms decorated with stone floors and exposed wooden beams. Close to some of the best restaurants in town.

Luxury living

  • Villa Magalean: sophisticated, stylish and refreshingly simple, this hotel offers bright, chic and airy rooms, a fantastic gourmet restaurant and a pampering spa. Great for couples looking for intimacy.

For an apartment or villa

  • Our partner Booking.com has a wide range of villas and apartments.

Travel information

  • Fly to Biarritz Airport, in France, and get public transport to Hondarribia, which is a 20km journey.
  • If you want to rent a car we recommend contacting our partner Rentalcars.
  • The summer is the best time to go, when the temperature ranges between 15 and 25 degrees.

Still not sure?

Weather

Monthly Weather in Hondarribia

Best Hotels in Hondarribia

  • Hotel Obispo Hondarribia 16 rooms from £87

    Local exploring  -  A charming spot from which to explore both French and Spanish Basque country
    Views  -  Views over the river Bidasoa, Txingudi bay and over to France.
    Traditional  -  Period details remain throughout the property
    Sailing  -  Sailing across the Bay of Biscay.
    Air conditioningRestaurantGardenViewsNo pets

    A charmingly traditional stone townhouse close to the beach. Simple rooms are all unique and feature wooden beamed ceilings, iron framed beds, and stone floors. Within striking distance of the best restaurants, the sea, and the nature park around. A good value spot for an active holiday. See More

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  • Villa Magalean Hondarribia 8 rooms from £169

    Spa breaks  -  Unwind in the Spa Henriette which uses Cinq Mondes products and offers Ayurvedic massages amongst other treatments.
    Local exploring  -  Ideally located on the edge of the medieval old town and the fisherman's port.
    Surfing  -  Try your hand at surfing at the Basque coasts world-famous surf spots.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantDisabled accessParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    A small hotel oozing sophistication and style and offering services beyond its proportions. Rooms keep the building's original features but have been given a clean contemporary overhaul and dotted with little luxuries and mod-cons. The restaurant is superb and the expansive spa utterly spoiling. See More

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