advertisement

The most interesting part of town is the medieval quarter in the upper market, where some of the villas date from the early 17th century. The fishing district in the lower part of town is called La Marina; old homes, painted boats, and marine atmosphere there attract many visitors. Because restaurants in Fuenterrabía tend to be very expensive, you may want to fill up here on seafood tapas in the many taverns along the waterfront. The beach at Fuenterrabía is wide and sandy, and many prefer it to the more famous ones at San Sebastián.

Wander for an hour or two around the Old Quarter, taking in Calle Mayor, Calle Tiendas y Pampinot, and Calle Obispo. Castillo de Carlos V, standing at the Plaza de las Armas, has been turned into one of the smallest and most desirable paradores in Spain. It's hard to get a room here unless you reserve well in advance, but you can visit the well-stocked bar over the entrance hall.

Sancho Abarca, a king of Navarre in the 10th century, is supposed to have founded the original castle that stood on this spot, but the present look owes more to Charles V in the 16th century. You can still see battle scars on the castle dating from the time of the Napoleonic invasion of Spain.

The most impressive church in the Old Quarter is Iglesia de Santa María, a Gothic structure that was vastly restored in the 17th century and given a baroque tower.

If you have a car, you can take some interesting trips in the area, especially to Cabo Higuer, a promontory with panoramic views, reached by going 4km (2 1/2 miles) north. Leave by the harbor and beach road. You can see the French coast and the town of Hendaye from this cape.

Sunset in the Basque Country -- You can head west out of town along the Jaizkibel Road, which many motorists prefer at sunset. After going 5km (3 miles), you'll reach the shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, where another panoramic view unfolds. From here, you can see the French Basque coast. If you continue on this road, you will come to the little fishing village of Pasai Donibane, 18km (11 miles) away.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.