After visiting Córdoba and Priego de Córdoba with my in-laws and some family friends, we all came home to Irún. We spent a few days here altogether, enjoying great food and visiting lovely places.
During our first day home, we drove to Guetaria (which is roughly 45 mins away). This charming fishing village houses not only spectacular fish restaurants but also the elegant Balenciaga museum devoted to the renowned designer. Although I had visited it twice before, the exhibition this time was completely different to previous ones. In any case, it is always a pleasure to stroll around this museum to admire the beautiful pieces crafted by this genius.
At the Balenciaga Museum
A quote for a genius
Loved these pieces too
After a memorable lunch (see trip details below), we drove to nearby Zumaia to wonder at the flysch from the Hermitage of San Telmo. The spectacular cliffs on the west coast of Guipúzcoa hide a unique natural treasure: millions of years of geological history embedded in the successive rock strata, which has been uncovered due to the incessant action of the waves. This distinctive formation of nature is called ‘flysch‘ and has a unique geological value. The Basque Coast Geopark (Geoparkea) offers guided tours around the area.
On Saturday, we headed to the nearby region of Navarra to stroll around the beautiful village of Lesaka, and of course taste some delicious food along the way. Belonging to the Cinco Villas (five towns) area in north-western Navarra, Lesaka retains all its charm of the past. Its main features include the monumental church of San Martín de Tours, its noble towers and the stone bridge over the river Onin. You can find some more information on this cute village here.
Lush nature on a grey day in Lesaka
A noble tower in Lesaka
The church of San Martín de Tours lies at the end of the road
Kasino’s famous ‘tortilla de patatas’
A delicious ‘pantxineta’ for dessert
Stone houses by the river
We kept the best for last. On Sunday, we drove to Hendaye (just across the French border from Irún). We walked along the beach but it was so cloudy we could barely see anything!
One of my favorite buildings by the beach in Hendaye
A grey day at the beach
After having lunch at Trinkete Borda (see details below), we went to see the Three Wise Men (or Three Kings’) parade . This is one of the most important Christmas traditions in Spain. Children usually write them a letter in advance to let them know which presents they would like to get. In the evening of January 5th, most Spanish towns throw a Three Kings’ parade, adding to the excitement of kids and adults alike. Then, children go to bed early and excited after leaving some water and goodies for the Kings and their camels. In the morning of January 6th, the presents are unwrapped and families enjoy the traditional ‘Roscón de Reyes’ (a large bagel-shaped cake usually filled with cream).
Fried artichokes at Trinkete Borda
Some delicious ‘chuleta’
The best cheesecake ever
Gaspar, one of the Three Kings during the parade
The Three Wise Men at the townhall balcony in Irún
Enjoying the ‘roscón de Reyes’
Plenty of ‘roscones’ in Aguirre, my favorite pastry shop in Irún
Unwrapping the presents
Strolling along the Bidasoa river
Visiting the Basque Country is a synonym of tasting great food. Here was our take:
– Restaurante Iribar: located next to Guetaria’s San Salvador church and port, this traditional grill house was an amazing discovery. The interior was cozy and decorated with fishing nets. Most of the food we asked for was obviously fish and shellfish: zamburiñas gratinadas, oysters, crabs, grilled red sea bream (best dish ever!), squid and hake. As a starter, we had some grilled artichokes and we drank txakolí, which is a very fresh white wine typical from this area. For dessert, we tried the following: pineapple brochettes, warm cheesecake, quince with walnuts (very Basque), apple crêpes and Tatin cake with cider ice cream.The bill was not cheap but the food was just incredible and you only live once, right?
–Restaurante Kasino: this traditional restaurant in Lesaka is proud of its tortilla de patatas (potato omelette, which is huge by the way; we were 6, we asked for a tortilla for 4 people and we could barely finish it). In addition to that, we had assorted croquettes (their signature dish in my opinion), red beans and fish soup. Don’t miss their delicious pantxineta (a bun of puff-pastry filled with thick custard cream, topped with almonds and often decorated with icing sugar) for dessert!
–Asador Trinkete Borda: this is by far my favorite restaurant in my hometown of Irún. This grill house located in an XVIII century house in the middle of the mountains offers great food. As usual we asked for some artichokes (both fried and with Iberico ham), grilled clams, turbot, chuleta (steak) and their delicious warm cheesecake. What a feast!