The green heart of the Gipuzkoa region is Goierri (www.goierri.org), which is recommended for lovers of the countryside and mountain scenery. Ordizia, Ormaiztegi, Zerain and Ataun will also enchant the weariest of travellers, as will Idiazabal, home to some of the country’s best cheeses. The town’s annual cheese festival is to be held this year on 5 May, and in March 2012 the town commemorated the 25th anniversary of its Denomination of Origin status. Segura, located in the same area, is also well worth a visit, thanks to its historical centre and the medieval magic of its narrow streets. Don’t miss the traditional market in Ordizia (every Wednesday) and Tolosa (every Saturday), where the farmers of the region descend with their produce.
Other options in the region including hiking and visiting historical sites of interest, such as the Roman mines in the nature reserves of Aralar and Aiako Harria, a mere 30 minutes from San Sebastián.
Where to eat
If you’re taking the coastal road, stop off for seafood in Getaria. Iribar (Mayor, 34 / 94 314 04 06) prepares it in innovative ways based on traditional Basque recipes, as with their octopus with honey. If you’re heading for the Basque highlands of Goierri, try Lazkao Etxe (in the district of Aiestaran-Erreka, Zaldibia / 943 88 00 44). The cuisine, décor and setting are truly captivating.
Where to Sleep
For a bed with views over the Cantabrian Sea, try Hotel Karlos Arguiñano in Zarautz (Mendilauta, 13) or the Saiaz in Getaria (Roke Deuna, 25), which is sure to satisfy. Heading inland, there are rural options aplenty. The Ondarre (Beheko Arrabal, no number, Segura) or Ohiarte (Irukaketa-gain auzoa, Zerain 94 388 74 20 / 680 171 291) are also recommended.