European motorhome Travel- Vanlife

Hidden gems of Zumaia,Spain

Perched high on a hillside Verity the Volkswagen has a magnificent view down on the river, from the rather nice, if slightly oddly located Camping Zumaia (N 43.2894, W 2.24861)

Just a short hop of about 40km from our last stop in San Sebastián but what a stop !

When I say it’s a slightly odd location for a campsite, I should point out that it’s entrance is via the local industrial estate and in the somewhat damp and dreary weather might just not look that inviting. But climb their long steep driveway and you transported to another world !

With the promise of the town a short 1.5km along the riverbank, we were off, sometimes when you do only minimal research on a destination you end up believing that their might not be much to see in the way of big attractions,so with a short(ish) riverside walk in our minds we set off

As we crossed the bridge into The Old Town we were in awe – one of the best examples of the traditional Basque architecture, with dark red roof tiles and wood façaces filled with windows and balconies painted in vivid colours.

The magnificent Church of San Pedro stands out above the houses, looking like a fortress overlooking the town. The building dates to the 13th century and is one of the most beautiful Gothic constructions of the region.

Following the rest of the river highlighted the epic sea defence and the town’s stunning lighthouse

But what this town is really famous for is its natural wonders. Its privileged location on the coast of Guipuzcoa have made it a local tourist destination for years, however, its recent appearance in multiple TV shows and movies have brought the international attention here as well.

The coast of Zumaia is part of the Basque Coast UNESCO Geopark. Located in between a bay and the rugged coast of Guipuzcoa, this small fishing village had what might be the most impressive and unusual archaeological formations on Earth.

A Flysch is a sequence of sedimentary rocks that are formed by the alternate deposition of layers of the sandstone found on the coast, mainly due to the rapid changes in sea level. These formations are created underwater, and as the continental plates get shoved and heaved, it landslides the different layers of sediments, resulting in incredible formations that can raise several meters. Flysches are as old as the origins of the Earth, and an incredible testimony of the power of nature.

Another highlight of this town is Itzurun beach, the main beach of the city, which is flanked by incredibly beautiful cliffs, green hills, sharp cliffs and the powerful sea make of this a very magical setting

And perched on the cliffs above the beach is San Telmo a beautiful church on the top of the hill, that have spectacular views over the cliffs, and it seems like a fortress overlooking the town. The chapel dates to the 16th century and was constructed to protect the many sailors coming from this town that risked their lives in the sea every day.


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