A sunset coastal road from Zarautz to Zumaia
One of the most beautiful spanish coastal roads near San Sebastian is between the villages Zarautz and Zumaia via the national road N-634 in the Basque Country but before to be able to enjoy it, I had to drive inland.
There are 2 ways from San Sebastián, the quick and horrible way or the long and tiring way, both seem unpleasant, no !!! Let me explain it quickly. The first option is by driving on the highway A-8, it is very quick about 20 minutes but there are nothing beautiful to see and with tolls.
The second option is on a small inner road or on the national road N-634, nicer, going from village to village
for about 40 minutes but it is a wiggly way so it can be fun at the beginning but at the end very tiring. In my situation, we (me and my girlfriend) chose the quick one because we wanted to see the sunset on the coast before it disappeared behind the mountain. So once I saw the exit to Zarautz, I took it to join the N-634.
To Zumaia, there is only about 20 minutes, a road on the mountain which goes along the coast, it is really a beautiful road trip. Between both villages, there is another called Getaria. If you plan to do it during summer time, you will see a lot of people on the different beaches of each village.
Zarautz is in reality a city and it was founded in 1237. It became very famous when the queen Isabel II chose it to pass her summer vacation in the Narros palace. Since this time, a lot of aristocrats and royal people came also there as the queen Maria Christina, the duchess Alba, the king Alfonso XIII… The city is also famous:
- for its beach known as “the queen of the beaches” because it is the most extensive one of the Basque Country and one of the longest beaches of Cantabria
- and for the place where it was built the first ship, Nao Victoria, which did the first trip around the world between 1519 and 1522.
One of the things which stunned me is the natural swimming pool located just outside of the city in direction to Getaria. In fact it is a section of the harbor converted in swimming pool which works with the tide because there is an opening where the sea enters. If you are going to swim, be careful during low tide when doing some jumps.
Getaria is a village founded in 1209 and famous to be the birth place of the captain Juan Sebastián Elcano who went around the world with the ship Nao Victoria. In fact the captain was Fernão de Magalhães and him as a sailor but, during the trip, the captain died so he took the command. Historically, the village has been victim of 3 wars, the 30 years war (1618-1648), the war of independence (1808-1814) and the first carlist war (1833-1840).
We made a stop here, enjoying first the beach before the last rays of the sun were blocked by the mountain then taking a walk on its small streets. The visit was quick because there are not a lot of things to discover, one of the interests is to go to the top of the mausoleum where there is a monument to pay tribute to the sailors who went around the world. The second one is the island called the “mouse of Getaria” (also known as the woodland San Antón) located just after the harbor, a nice walk to the top offers a great 360° view. And the third one is to try its specialty, the grilled fish in one of the bars or restaurants.
Zumaia is a village founded in 1347 situated on the bay where the rivers Urola and Narrondo come together and where from the top, there is a beautiful view on the sea. Beaches like itzurun are famous for its surprising geological phenomenon and stunning cliffs. And for people who like hiking, there is a route called flysch, a walk of about 3h30 to the village Mutriku, famous to offer a spectacular show for hikers. Flysch is the name given for the geological formation of the successive rocky strata and the area is declared as protected biotope.
Once passed this village, I drove back to the highway A-8 to continue our adventure but if you plan to do this trip, you can still keep going on the national road N-634, you will leave the coast during a while and be back again when you will be close to the next village called Deba. One last thing, all pictures are from Getaria and videos show the way.