The Basque Country is at its best during Easter: spring is in full swing, nature is starting to bloom, and the city wakes up into glory after the chilly winter.
And make sure to pack your swimsuit—sometimes we even have the first beach days in April!
Springtime is also one big celebration of gastronomy; it’s the best season for many vegetables and other delicacies here in the Basque Country. We gathered up a list of five things you can’t miss out during Easter in San Sebastian so you can experience this beautiful, delicious time of year like a local.
1. Enjoy nature
As we already mentioned, Easter is probably the most gorgeous time of the year in the Basque Country when it comes to nature. Plants and flowers are flourishing after winter and the green hills of San Sebastian invite you to take a beautiful hike along the impressive Basque coastline.
One of our favorite routes—and a perfect day trip for your Easter holiday—is taking a walk from San Sebastian to the attractive nearby fishing town of Pasaia. You can find more specific tips and a route to Pasaia here.
2. Visit a cider house
Springtime in San Sebastian is known as the season of Basque apple cider. Not a big cider fan? Wait until you try some before deciding. Basque cider is different from any other cider in the world: less sweet and oh, so refreshing!
Visiting a sidreria is a must-do tradition every spring that no Basque will miss out on—and you shouldn’t either! A cider house experience isn’t only about the cider; an inseparable part of the visit is the traditional meal served with the cider. The tables will be filled up with seasonal Basque delicacies such as txistorra sausage, fresh codfish with fried peppers, and txuleta—the mouth-watering Basque T-bone steak—playing the main role. All of that is topped off with the traditional cider house dessert of local Idiazabal cheese, fresh walnuts and quince paste.
Are you convinced yet? So are we! One of our favorite cider houses is Petritegi in the small town of Astigarraga, 20 minutes away from San Sebastian. You can easily arrive there by taxi or by bus.
3. See the Easter processions in Hondarribia
Processions are an important and traditional part of Spanish Easter celebrations. Nowadays, you won’t find any Easter processions in San Sebastian itself, but if you wish to see some traditional Basque Easter celebrations, we recommend heading to nearby Hondarribia, an attractive small town right next to the French border.
The processions in Hondarribia are held on Good Friday, and attract a great number of visitors from all over the Basque Country every year. Located less than 30 kilometers from San Sebastian, you can drive to Hondarribia in half an hour. If you don’t have a car, no problem! Catch a bus from Plaza Gipuzkoa, right in the center of San Sebastian.
4. Try the local cheese
Fan of Spanish cheese? Don’t miss the Basque varieties, either. Sagardoaren Lurraldea, a local cider museum in Astigarraga, organizes a dream program for cheese lovers every Easter.
In addition to the normal museum visit, you’ll also try Idiazabal, Roncal and Iraty, a great variety of cheeses from different areas of northern Spain which are paired, of course, with some local cider. After the tasting and sampling, you can easily catch a bus back to San Sebastian.
5. Take a pintxos crawl
Spring is the time to try some of the best seasonal vegetables in the Basque Country, which means that the pintxos, the Basque version of tapas, are at their best this time of year! Head to the Old Town area of San Sebastian, which is home to many world-famous pintxos bars, to try your hand at txikiteo, or a pintxos crawl.
The best part of eating pintxos is that you can continue from bar to bar trying the small delicacies of each place for as long as you feel hungry. This is, without any doubt, a must-do on your Easter holiday in San Sebastian. See you in the Old Town!
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After living years in Madrid and Barcelona, Tita found her home in San Sebastian, not least because of the delicious food. Nothing beats a bottle of sidra and a plate of anchoas after a Sunday hike in the green mountains of Basque Country, she says.