Jaizkibel Hike, Hondarribia and Gastronomic Society
Walking is a perfect formula to whet your appetite. And walking through a mountain like Jaizkibel airs your brain, brightens your eyes and reveals to you stories of fishermen, pirate shepherd and aviators. After the walk, Hondarribia and the best private club of its kind await you: one in which eating well, and drinking better, are revered.
We’ll leave for Hondarribia, the last town (or the first, depending on how you look at it) before the French border. Hondarribia compels us to talk about the sea and the Basque people’s deep connection with it. The Cantabrian Sea has been and continues to be a place of work, fun, life, death and gastronomy. Everything fits.
Throughout our three-hour excursion along the coast of Hondarribia we’ll see cliffs, lighthouses, and rock formations that seem to have been carved by an artist. We’ll even see grasslands where aviator and millionaire Roland Garros landed in 1911, saving his life. We’ll tell you about everything, about how the Basques continue to fish bonito (white tuna) with traditional methods (with a fishing rod, one by one), so that the fish reach markets in perfect condition.
After the walk, we know you’ll be hungry. To remedy this, we will go to a 'private club' in the Basque style: a gastronomic sociedad or, in Basque, 'txoko'. What is a gastronomic sociedad? Very simple: a place with a professional kitchen and spacious dining rooms, where Basque cooking lovers (and who are not professional chefs) have gathered for decades to eat, drink, talk, sing and more. At any time, on any day. Although gastronomic sociedades are private clubs, Ikusnahi makes it possible for you to take part in this local cultural phenomenon, so you can eat like a Basque (if you can), drink like a Basque (likewise), sing like a Basque (that's easy) or laugh (that, too) like a Basque.
We’ll be welcomed by Fernando, a Basque version of Obélix who, it is believed, fell into a pot of marmitako as a child and gained a superpower for cooking and food in all its forms. Fernando will prepare an authentic Basque dinner for us using typical seasonal products (and kilometer zero, of course!), vegetables from the orchards of Hondarribia and fish from the port market that we’ll have visited at dawn (the fish get up early, what are you going to do?).
The menu? Simple and delicious as the very essence of Basque cuisine: anchovies, garden tomato salad (you know, those tomatoes that still taste like tomatoes) with homemade canned tuna, baked monkfish and, for dessert, pantxineta (a tart typical of Gipuzkoa, with puff pastry, cream and toasted almonds).
Hondarribia has the advantage of being one town but seeming like two: one is a medieval fortress located in the highest part (with walls, cobblestone streets, slopes, wooden balconies full of flowers, and a former palace of Emperor Carlos V that hides tapestries based on paintings by Rubens). The other is a typically Basque fishing village - white houses, colored windows, a large, tree-lined esplanade where fish were once sold, tiny bars with dreamy pintxos. Today it’s a a gastronomic destination. Because of the former (for being fortified) Hondarribia has witnessed dozens of battles; because of the latter (its fishing port), Hondarribia has witnessed something much better: how its bars and restaurants have become a world gastronomic reference praised even by the New York Times.
When it’s time to return to San Sebastián, we’ll take the longest (and most beautiful) road: the panoramic road along Mount Jaizkibel, the third highest coastal mountain in Spain and one of the Cantabrian areas with the greatest biodiversity.
- Price: two people 655€
- Extra adult +175€
- Child (10-17 years old) +85€
- Children under 10 years old free of charge
- For groups bigger than 6 people contact us
- Private tour
- Time: 09:00
- Duration: 8-9 hours
- Walk: 2-3 hours
- Places: Hondarribia, Mount Jaizkibel
- Profesional guide
- Traditional lunch
- Selection of drinks
- Meals, drinks and tickets not listed above
We’ve done a number of great tours on our several trips to Spain but our recent tour with Ania was especially enjoyable. We were hesitating because of the COVID situation but it felt safe. Guethary and Hondarribia will stay in our hearts forever.
In addition to her taking us to delicious cheese, seafood, sweets spots, Ania was extremely personable, knowledgeable, and a pleasure to be with, generally. She gave us the confidence to step outside our food and drink comfort zone and just surrender to the foodie experience.
I would recommend this tour and Ikusnahi in general (already have to a friend planning to visit Europe next year if the COVID situation allow him). It’s a great way to get to know the local culture. I highly recommend!Rose - Agosto 2020