December 13, 2012 by Romotur Travel
Looking for an exotic, yet historical destination in Spain? Consider a stop in Hondarribia (also known by its Spanish name, Fuenterrabía) – a beautiful seafaring town that mixes old style appeal with marine beauty.
Hondarribia was built in the 13th century to help protect Spain from frequent attacks. Located on the western shore of the Bay of Txingudi and close to France, Hondarribia has seen its share of invaders, wars and battles throughout the centuries. Now, it is a quaint town and a feast for all senses. Hondarribia is divided into two sections: the Old Town and La Marina.
Step back in time in the Old Town of Hondarribia
Old Town is the walled part of Hondarribia and full of historical and artistic sites. Some of Old Town’s villas – many adored with wrought iron balconies – date back to the 17th Century. Be sure to check out these popular Old Town attractions:
- Santa Maria de la Asuncion – A beautiful parish church built on fragments of the town’s old walls, Santa Maria de la Asuncion was constructed in the Gothic tradition with some Baroque and Renaissance touches.
- Castillo de Carlos V – Located near the Plaza de las Armas, the Castillo de Carlos V was built originally to house the governor of the garrison at Hondarribia. It was severely damaged by French troops in 1794, and by the early 20th century, the castle was in complete ruins. It was restored in 1968, when it became a Parador – part of a Spanish hotel chain known for its luxurious hotels converted from castles, palaces, convents and other historical buildings.
- Zuloaga Palace – Located in Old Town, Zuloaga Palace was built in the 18th century and now houses the city’s library and archives.
La Marina of Hondarribia is the perfect spot for sea lovers
La Marina (or port) of Hondarribia was built outside of the city’s walls. Be sure to have your camera ready when entering La Marina. The buildings in this barrio are all colorfully painted with wooden balconies and flower boxes. A sea of color awaits you in La Marina!
For beach lovers, be sure to check out the gorgeous, protected beaches in Hondarribia. Situated between the marina and fishing port, the beach is wide and sandy, set against a sea of blue.
Add Jaizkibel Mountain to your Hondarribia itinerary
A trip to Hondarribia would not be complete without a trek up Jaizkibel Mountain. You can hike or bike up the mountain or go by car. Once there, head to The Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, who is the patron saint of Hondarribia. Built in the 16th century, the shrine has been restored several times. The view from the shrine is panoramic, so be sure to bring your camera to capture the breathtaking views.
Interested in taking a tour of Hondarribia? Be sure to check out Romotur’s Barcelona to Bilbao tour. This tour incorporates many of the attractions mentioned in this blog post, as well as other landmarks, restaurants and sites of nearby Barcelona and Bilbao.