Photo of Hondarribia

Visit Hondarribia

Hondarribia is in the Guipuzcoa province of the Navarra and La Rioja region of Spain. It is known as Fuenterrabia in the Basque language.

Just a few kilometers from the French border Hondarribia is situated on the north coast of Spain the mountains on the Bay of Chingudi. The city is uninspiring but the old town high above and separated by 15th Century walls is well worth the trip and Hondarribia still has a lovely old harbour and pleasant beaches.

Explore Hondarribia

The old town of Hondarribia is surrounded by a 15th century wall and is entered through the Puerta de Santa Maria gateway which looks like a tiny castle.

From here the Calle Mayor leads to the huge church and the main square, the Plaza de Armas which is flanked on one side by the ancient Carlos Castle. The Calle Mayor is the main street and along its length are beautiful houses with balconies overhanging the street.


Various houses along the street are important either for the historic events that took place in them such or for their architectural styles such as the baroque style of number 20 and the striking facade of the Casa Iriate with its wooden modillons and beams.

The huge church of Santa Maria de la Asuncion is built in the gothic style on the site of an earlier Romanesque church. It has 15th and 16th century Renaissance additions and a Baroque bell tower built in the 18th century.

On the outside of the church on the north side you can get beautiful views over the Bay of Chingudi.


On the edge of the Plaza de Armas, Hondarribia's 10th century castle, the Palacio de Carlos Quinto, is now a fabulous looking parador, and dominates the top of the old town. Sneak a look into its entrance lobby if you are not lucky enough to actually be staying here.

The castle is a large rectangular fortress built in the Middle Ages and served as both a castle and a palace. It was converted into a Parador in 1968.

The Plaza de Armas has served as the garrison and for bullfights and is now popular meeting place for lunch or a drink on the square.

In the old town it is a real pleasure to wander through the narrow cobbled streets flanked by old houses with intricately carved wooden balconies. The buildings are a real delight. Find the lovely sunny squares and stop and pass some time in one of the street cafés.

As you explore there are a number of fine houses and palaces and particular architectural details to look out for. Pick up a map from the tourist office on Plaza de Armas to help you find all of the main sights.

The ancient walls surround the whole of the old town and a particularly fine part to explore is the section between the Gate of Santa Maria and the gardens of the Gernika tree.


Below the old town is the harbour, an area known as La Marina. The old fishing houses are lovely three storey wooden buildings which are painted in bright colours and have balconies decked in flowers. Utterly charming! It is particularly pleasant to join the locals in their evening promenade through the streets of the Marina area.

Hondarribia also has a large sandy beach.The beach is 800 meters long and is very popular on a hot day.

Hondarribia like San Sebastian is well known for its Pintxos which is the Basque form of tapas and the bars and restaurants always have a huge and delicious selection. It has a very vibrant foodie scene and a good number of gastronomic restaurants. The Marina neighbourhood is particularly good for pintxos, bars and restaurants.

Places to visit nearby

San Sebastian is one of our favourite towns in Spain. It is on the beach and has beautiful buildings and also a hill on either side from where you can get great views over the beach and the town.

Not far away Pamplona is famous for its bull-running but also has a historic centre worth exploring.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Navarra, La Rioja, Basque Country guide.

See also: 

Photos of Hondarribia

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Map of Hondarribia and places to visit


Hondarribia places to visit

San Sebastian

San Sebastian

A beautiful town on the edge of the La Concha beach which is often said to be one of the best in Europe.

San Sebastian guide
Centre and Romantic Districts of San Sebastian

Centre and Romantic Districts of San Sebastian

Donostia-San Sebastian is a beautiful seaside city and the Romantic and Centre Districts are full of fabulous Belle-Epoque buildings.

Centre and Romantic Districts of San Sebastian guide
Old town of San Sebastian

Old town of San Sebastian

San Sebastian is a beautiful city and its old town is a thriving district with bars and pintxos and a charming harbour.

Old town of San Sebastian guide
San Sebastian's Mount Urgull and Mount Igeldo

San Sebastian's Mount Urgull and Mount Igeldo

Mount Urgull and Mount Igeldo sit at either side of San Sebastian's beautiful La Concha beach.

San Sebastian's Mount Urgull and Mount Igeldo guide


Pamplona is famous throughout the world for its bull-running festival that takes place in July every year.

Pamplona guide

...or see all our recommended places to visit in Navarra, La Rioja, Basque Country