Zarautz is one of the most beautiful fishing villages on the Basque coast. Here’s a guide to the best places to visit while you’re there.
Located in a privileged position on the coast of Gipuzkoa and bathed by the choppy waters of the Bay of Biscay, Zarautz (in Spanish Zarauz) is a popular holiday destination in the north of the country.
Thanks to the long beach of almost three kilometers long, an extensive leisure offer, and delicious gastronomy where fresh fish and seafood from the area stand out, as well as the famous pintxos (tapas).
Although all its points of interest can be visited in the morning, it is worth spending the night in the city to enjoy its lively nightlife, long walks along the seashore, and walk along the stretch of coastline to Getaria.
The best way to get to Zarauz is to take the Euskotren line that connects San Sebastian and Bilbao daily and stops in the town if you don’t have a car.
What To Do In Zarautz? 5 Best Things To Do Around Zarautz
1. Narros Palace
If you arrive by car in Zarautz, you should park it in the subway parking lot next to the Narros Palace and start your visit from here.
This 16th-century building, located at one end of the beach, was the summer residence of Queen Isabella II of Spain. That turned this town into one of the favorite vacation destinations of the aristocrats and upper-class people of the time.
In this private palace, you can see on the facade a family coat of arms with the inscription “Zarauz before Zarau” and an English-style garden.
2. The Beach – One of the must-see places to see in Zarautz
After observing the outside of the Narros Palace, you can take a refreshing dip or stroll along a 2.8-kilometer beach, known as “The Queen of the Beaches,” and another of the most picturesque places to see in Zarautz.
This beach of fine sand and strong waves, located among the best beaches in the Basque Country, is perfect for surfers and water sports enthusiasts. Also in the final stretch is the Protected Biotype of Iñurritza, a protected place formed by dunes, marshes, and an estuary where different species coexist, both flora and fauna that you can observe from a wooden platform.
If you want to enjoy better views of this area, the beach, and the island of Mollarri, we recommend you go up to the viewpoint located in an old watchtower on Mount Talaimendi.
Once you have seen the area of Inurritza, we recommend that you make your way back along the fantastic promenade, another place to visit in Zarautz.
The first stop will be at the beautiful terrace overlooking the sea of the restaurant of the television Karlos Arquinaño, where we recommend you to try some of his delicious pintxos.
This place also offers food service. Due to the high prices, we recommend you go to Kirkilla Jatetxea or Telesforo, both located in the old town and considered two of the most recommended restaurants to eat in Zarautz.
Once you have regained your energy, you can continue your stroll along the beach. You can look at the different beach environments and the original sculptures made of bronze and stainless steel, characteristic of this area of the town.
4. Old Town
Once you get back to the Narros Palace, you can start visiting the Old Town, by the Church of Santa Maria la Real, built in the fifteenth century in Gothic style and another of the most important places to see in Zarautz.
After seeing the baroque altarpiece inside and climbing the bell tower that houses the fascinating Museum of Art and History, you can approach the beautiful Market Square chaired by the Town Hall, which occupies the building known as Casa Portu, declared a Historic-Artistic Monument for its architecture.
To leave this square, you can take Nagusia Street, where you can find historical buildings such as the 15th century Luzea Tower, the Makatza House, the Zarauz Market until you reach the beautiful Plaza de la Música.
5. Walk from Zarauz to Getaria
Another of the best things to do in Zarauz is to walk along the 4.5 kilometers pedestrian promenade that runs along the coast of Gipuzkoa and observe the geological phenomenon called flysch until you reach Getaria.
You can start the route going up to the hermitage of Santa Barbara, from where you will have spectacular views of Zarautz, and then continue along the vertical cliffs of the Basque coast until you reach the top of Getaria, another of the most beautiful fishing villages in the Basque Country.
In addition, we recommend you try a delicious grilled turbot and baked txangurro, with Getaria txakoli, in the Asador Astillero or the Politena, considered some of the most recommended restaurants in Getaria.
Where to stay in Zarautz
Our recommended accommodation in Zarautz is the Pension Txiki Polit, located in the historic center and near the beach.
Another good option, with an excellent quality/price ratio, is the Zerupe Hotel, located 200 meters from the beach.