A little taste of Hondarribia, Basque Region

En route to San Sebastian we stopped off in the old fortified town of Hondarribia for a few days. It straddles Spain and France; an unusual town which seems to have that duality running all the way through it.

In truth it’s not somewhere we’d probably wish to stay ordinarily but it was good to see the old quarter with its huge square outside the church and the narrow, cobbled streets which ran to the now crumbling or partially restored walls.

There was little in the way of beach near the town although surfing beaches are accessible on the far side of the marina which can become a little pungent when the tide rolls out.

The main streets in Hondarribia are lively at night as holiday makers pack the pavements to enjoy street entertainers who paint portraits, juggle, become stone statues and even perform whole plays, while bar owners rub their hands together at the prospect of separating the tourists from their recently exchanged euros.

There are vast numbers of tourist tat shops and bakers seem fit to do battle with each other on a daily basis but it’s the bars and restaurants which dominate this old town.

The airport is a rarity too; its short runway coming in over the sea which requires some very precise flying on the pilot’s behalf.

The colourful square in Hondarribia's old quarter has some decent cafes and beautiful old architecture.

For me the old quarter was a much more pleasant prospect and the free wifi in the square was a boon.

All in all Hondarribia is a little too touristy for my liking but a short hike up the hill or a ride in the very out of place elevator will take you up to the old square where the sea views and lovely architecture make for a much more pleasant experience than the overly crowded streets below.

If you wish to stay in Hondarribia but wild camping isn’t your thing you can book a hotel by clicking here.

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