On the best hike you'll find in the San Sebastian area, you'll walk along the coast from the city to the colorful seaside village of Pasajes de San Juan.
This beautiful 7-km coastal hike from San Sebastian to Pasajes was the remedy we needed for several days of indulgent eating in Basque country—after all, 13 pintxos a night starts showing on the waistline quickly.
The starting point for the hike is at the farthest east end of Zurriola beach, the surfer beach that's on the eastern side of Urumea River. From Avenue Navarre (Navarra Hiribidea), find the gas station to your right and go up Zemoria Kalea, which soon turns into stairs. The first five minutes of the hike are actually the most challenging, so if you’re anything like me, quell your panic. :)
As you begin the incline, you’ll get beautiful views of the orange rooftops of San Sebastian through the trees.
Soon we were surrounded by lush vegetation—northern Spain is so unexpectedly green! The first half feels a little like a trek through the jungle, with all kinds of plant life around you. There’s plenty of shade cover for a hot day.
Toward the end of the hike, the trail slides closer to the water. We descended with stunning views of the craggy coastline to the left. The rain from the day before had left some muddy spots along the trail, but for the most part it had dried nicely in a days’ time.
Because the trail is part of the Santo de Domingo pilgrimage walk, we’d occasionally pass hikers with huge backpacks, making their way across the full route. For the most part, though, the trail had very little traffic.
I hate when hikes peak midway and leave you disappointed at the end—but this one ends on high note. The last few minutes are the most beautiful. As we walked down a staircase toward a little lighthouse, we were surrounded by green hills and emerald waters.
Soon, the colorful little fishing village of Pasajes de San Juan came into view (called "Donibane" in the Basque language). A little green ferry takes you across the water for just a few euro.
We popped in for a late lunch at the charming Ziaboga Bistrot, which boasted a seaside dining area shaded with umbrellas.
Sardines, cod, and fish soup went down easily with cold glasses of txakoli. The village is tiny, so the restaurants are impossible to miss.
Where to Eat in Pasajes de San Juan (Donibane)
Ziaboga Bistrot : Donibane Kalea 91, 20110 Pasajes, Spain | +34 943 51 03 95
Casa Camara : Donibane Kalea 79, 20110 Pasajes de San Juan, Spain | +34 943 52 36 99
Txulotxo : Donibane Kalea 71, 20110 Pasajes de San Juan, Spain | +34 943 52 39 52
There's an easy 30-minute ride back into San Sebastian by bus. For more info on the hike and on the bus, see here.
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P.S. The pintxos you must eat in Old Town... foie gras, pulpo, anchovies, and more.
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