g is the smallest province in Spain and and one of the most diverse. Located on the Atlantic Coast and pinned between the Bay of Biscay and the Pyrenees Mountains, it is set in the Basque country and borders with France.
The province is dotted with charming cities, towns and villages, as well as being an important agricultural, industrial and fishing centre. The provincial capital is San Sebastian, considered by many to be one of Spain's most beautiful cities. Much of the region has the feel of a Swiss landscape, with its pine covered hills, and chalet style homes.
Gipuzkoa is so full of beauty and wonder, culture and diversity, it would be hard not to fall in love with the area. San Sebastián is not the only place the smallest of Spanish provinces has to offer, it is a place you will want more then a holiday to explore.
Coast & Beaches
Besides visiting the region’s capital of San Sebastian and its famous beach Playa de la Concha, there is 90 kilometres of coastline that should be explored.
Fuenterrabia is a fishing village on the border with France. You can still see the historic walls surrounding the old quarter of the village. It has a charming atmosphere and a very scenic beach.
Zarautz is a popular town with a beach well known for its sea swells; expect to see a number of surfers. Zaruatz is also home to a golf course and a famous restaurant run by Karlos Arguiñano, the highly entertaining TV chef.
Pasaia is a port town consisting of four main districts, the prettiest of which being Pasai Donibane, the traditional Basque fishing village. There is just one narrow street with the village square at the end of it. You will also find excellent restaurants and the house where Victor Hugo stayed.
Guetaria is a small fishing village with very nice restaurants; it famous being the birthplace of Juan Sebastian El Cano, the first man to circumnavigate the globe, taking over Ferdinand Magellan's expedition after Magellan's death in the Philippines.
Tolosa has the second largest population of Gipuzkoa after San Sebastián, it used to be the provincial capital. It is famed for its carnivals in February, and its black pudding. The city has a traditional Basque market every month.
Oiartzun is a scenic mountain village, the perfect base for a hiking holiday. There are some superb restaurants in town specialising in meat dishes, particularly beef.
Ordizia is famous for its meat and vegetable market.
Idiazabel is another small mountain village, which has made a name for itself by producing strong cheeses made from sheep’s milk.
Arantzazu is the home of the Sanctuary of Arantzazu and the patron saint of the province, as the Virgin of Arantzazu. The sanctuary is on the mountain range Aizkorri.
If you are into gastronomical experiences, then you won’t be disappointed in Gipuzkoa. The region is famous throughout Spain for its unique cuisine and award-winning chefs, who turn dishes into works of art.
Eating well is a culture in Gipuzkoa and the range of cuisine is truly diverse and varied. Specialities from the region include the famous Pinxtos, a unique style of Tapas which derives from the Basque Country, and are served in individual portions, which are brought round to your table on platters, you can choose as they come freshly prepared out of the kitchen, if you want that specific pinxto or not. It’s a great social way to enjoy a bite to eat, washed down with the famous local cider. Or the delicious Txakoli wine.
If you are visiting in springtime, then lamb will definitely be on the menu. The famous Idiazabal cheese, anchovies and mackerel are all delicious local delicacies.
Autumn is a great season for cuisine in Gipuzkoa, with game being high on the menu, as well as local mushroom varieties and black and white puddings.
The gastronomy is rich and unique, so if you are a bit faint hearted when it comes to trying new dishes, stick to Pinxtos!
The province enjoys a temperate climate. Because of the diversity of the landscape, the region has various microclimates. The beaches enjoy comfortable summers averaging 22 ºC, with days in August often reaching 30 ºC and above.