A Day in Hondarribia

June 5, 2017
hondarribia basque country spain san sebastian travel blog
During our stay in San Sebastian we visited the charming town of Hondarribia. Hondarribia is a colorful fishing village that is both rich in architecture as well as in gastronomy. It’s a feast for the eyes and also for the stomach. It was a cloudy and gloomy day but we were not going to let the weather spoil our day trip. We started by visiting the well-preserved Old Town with its beautiful and colorful houses. Green, white and red predominate which are the colors of the Basque flag. The font that you can see in the collage below is also typical of the Basque country. The font is inspired by the inscriptions in old basque tombstones and cemeteries. If you look closely you can see it on a few of the houses in these photos.
hondarribia basque country spain san sebastian travel blog
We stared at the beautiful buildings from under a canopy since it was raining cats and dogs. Oh well, we decided to look on the bright side, we were actually experiencing the north 100% since that's the typical weather. At lunch time we headed to the restaurant where we had made reservations. Are you ready for some mouth-watering pictures? 
hondarribia basque country spain san sebastian travel blog
After reading great reviews on TripAdvisor we had booked a table at Gastroteka Danontzat. A truly gourmet experience where we felt at home. Danotzat is a basque word that means "for everyone" which is the work philosophy of this restaurant. Gorka, is the friendly man who runs this business. He took the time to explain to us the characteristics and facts behind every dish we had and he does that with every single costumer. We started with sardines and anchovies, two delicacies that melted in our mouths. We kept asking for bread to dip it on the delicious olive oil.
Next we had txangurro spread, another delight. If you read the complete travel guide to San Sebastian you may be familiar with this term. Txangurro is a type of crab that you'll find in every restaurant.
The next one was ox tongue. A dish that is finished on the table with a blowtorch. I know the name may not sound very appealing but the taste reminds you of ham. The best thing to do is not to think about what it is and just enjoy it because it's delicious.

The last dish before dessert was octopus with potatoes and algae. Both my fiancée and I agreed that this was our favorite. Octopus is not the easiest to cook. Some people cook it too hard, others too soft. This one was the best we've ever had (sorry mom). It was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. How do they cook it? I have no idea. The yummy sauce is also a well kept secret.
All dishes were paired with txakoli, the typical wine of the region.
Dessert was something we had never tried before: sesame ice-cream. Too avant-garde for us. It was really good but I expect ice-cream to be sweet and this was not. The presentation is amazing, don't you think?
After this unforgettable culinary experience we went to Parador El Emperador for coffee. Here we felt like we were back in Medieval times. If you follow the blog you know we are big fans of Paradores, a unique hotel chain committed to reclaiming the Spanish heritage. Check out this post and this one too for more information.
hondarribia basque country spain parador san sebastian travel blog
hondarribia basque country spain san sebastian travel blog
Sadly, it was time to say farewell to Hondarribia. We took one last walk around the promenade and we headed back to San Sebastian.hondarribia basque country spain san sebastian travel blog
hondarribia basque country spain san sebastian travel bloghondarribia basque country spain san sebastian travel blog
I still have one more charming Basque town to show you. Stay tuned for a post about Zarautz, another seaside town that is home to more culinary gems and breath-taking views of the Mar Cantabrico.



  1. It seems to be a lovely place, thanks for sharing ;)


  2. Wow the houses are so beautiful! And it sounds like your meal was delicious!
    By Lauren M

  3. What a picturesque town! Your dining experience has my mouth watering! I love seeing unique places like this, and hopefully one day I'll get there!

  4. Wow! Your day looks lovely and the colours are amazing !Plus that food is mouth watering!


  5. Such a beautiful place. Looks like a fairy tale!

  6. I love traveling! That meal looks delicious and that courtyard makes me want to grab a book and a coffee and people watch! Great pics!

    More to Mrs. E

  7. What an adorable town, and it looks like you had amazing food!



    I hope you are having a great week so far!


  8. This town looks so pretty!! Sounds like you had a blast! Gorgeous photos!


  9. I have never even heard of Hondarribia! I need to go to the Basque country soon - your photos make it look like it came from a dream!

  10. Oh thanks! You are so sweet :)

  11. I love the colorful houses!
    Thanks for linking up at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2017/06/my-happy-place.html

  12. The row of homes is absolutely beautiful! I never even heard of Hondarribia, but now it is definitely on my bucket list :)


  13. I went to the Basque Country about two years ago and it is a place that surprised me in a lot of ways. The food is exceptional and that alone is a reason to go back. Hondarribia looks similar to St. Jean of Luz on the French side. I was gloomy when I visited too. #WordlessWednesday

  14. The houses are so adorable and that food looks delicious! Great photos :)

  15. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comJune 7, 2017 at 5:40 AM

    Wow - what a colourful and pretty town! Lovely shots.

  16. What a beautiful place! That garden is to die for! The food looks amazing!

  17. Hondarribia is so picturesque, fabulous pics! I agree that not many people can cook octopus well, kinda like squid - it's either overcooked (hard and chewy) or too soft. Glad that you had quite a good feast :-) #citytripping

  18. This look like such a stunning place! Not to mention that yummy dessert :) Love all the beautiful photos!

    ~Lor @ acozyspace.com

  19. Living on Cloud NineJune 7, 2017 at 9:26 PM

    WOW! I've never seen anything like those houses or those delicious looking dishes! What wonderful and fun travels!!

  20. Here's another reason why I have to revisit San Sebastián and the Basque area! I adore octopus and love the ethos behind the restaurant. Shame about the rain. We must have been lucky with our weather - it didn't rain at all when we were there. Thanks for linking #citytripping

  21. Que sitio más bonito Cristina y que interesante todo .
    Las fotografías maravillosas como siempre .

  22. Courtney LivingstonJune 8, 2017 at 3:45 PM

    Love the colorful buildings! So unique!
    Courtney // https://courtneylivin.com

  23. I don't know if I would've eaten the ox tongue unless they told me what it was after I tried it haha but I definitely would've tried the octopus, potatoes and algae dish. I had never heard of Hondarribia until I read this post so thanks for sharing! xo

  24. Beautiful photos! Those buildings are adorable and that meal looked absolutely delicious! I would love to visit this area.

  25. Those houses are so cute! Your photos are gorgeous and the food looks amazing!

    Doused In Pink

  26. It looks beautiful there!! Those food too looks tasty
    xo, Christianne'

  27. These pictures are gorgeous! #travellinkup harpreetswanderlust

  28. I've never heard of this town but it seems magical! Honestly, I love the architecture and the food seems incredibly yummy as well ;) Thanks for putting Hondarribia on my radar!

  29. What a fabulous adventure!!
    And how great that you will eat the local fare---I used to be such a picky eater, but luckily I'm over that. And it's so fun to be more open to new experiences!!!

  30. What a beautiful place and exciting time. Boy, the food looks delectable! I have never tried octopus, but am getting a bit more adventerous.
    thanks for linking!
    jess xx

  31. What an amazing trip! Thanks for sharing at the Moda Thursday linkup!

  32. All this food looks pretty amazing to try there! And what a cute little town. I may need to add this to my travel list!

  33. The photos are gorgeous - I really love those colorful building facades and adorable balconies! The food looks great too!

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

  34. Those colourful balconies are so adorable! And the rainy weather would make me feel right at home. ;-)

  35. Fantastic photos of this amazing place!
    Thank you for taking part in the Travel Tuesday meme.

  36. The colorful architecture of this town just makes me happy! I enjoyed reading about your amazing meal. Sounds like a wonderful place to visit.

    Thanks for linking up with Fabulous Friday!

    Jennie - A Pocketful of Polka Dots

  37. I'm headed to the North of Spain soon, and was considering staying a night here! Is it worth going out of the way for, or only passing through? Thanks for all of the great info!

  38. Are you going to San Sebastian? If you are it's better to stay there and spend half a day in Hondarribia. It's not far and it's small.

  39. Considering going to San Sebastián, but I've already been twice and, although I love it, I was hoping to explore new places. Thanks for your advice!


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