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Day trip to Hondarribia from San Sebastian

Toronto, Canada
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Day trip to Hondarribia from San Sebastian

Hondarribia is a small and quiet alternative to San Sebastian. It's also the town closest to the San Sebastian airport. There are some excellent restaurants and bars, including Bar Gran Sol. This year, we took a taxi to/from San Sebastian but next year, we're going to take the E21 bus. Google maps is very useful as a first-start to trip-planning. It often gives bus and train options. That's how I found the E21 bus and the website of its operator, Lurraldebus. There are several buses that run from San Se to Hondarribia but the E21 makes the fewest stops.

http://lurraldebus.net/

19 replies to this topic
Bilbao, Spain
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11. Re: Day trip to Hondarribia from San Sebastian

Of course, of course..I do know you´re a foodie...it´s just that we are not used to "pintxos menus", I do feel it´s something aimed at tourists. We like to have a pintxo per bar and then go to another bar and have another pintxo and then another bar and another pintxo...but never a full pintxos menu in a bar.

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12. Re: Day trip to Hondarribia from San Sebastian

Hi again Mikelg,

I would like to apologize if I was rude earlier. I understand the traditional approach to pintxos as a snack, not a meal and certainly not with a menu. I've given this some more thought and I would like to explain the tourist's position.

Having a piece or two with friends, then moving on to the next place. That's fun and good if you have lots of time in that area. Or if you live there permanently. You don't feel 'pressured' to try everything. There will always be another day.

The problem is when you have very limited time and you don't get to visit several times a year. Then, you really want to maximize your pleasure. If you know that a certain bar is the tops, then it makes sense to want to stay there and enjoy ALL their food. What's the point of bar-hopping when you know that you've already hopped into the best one for you?

At Bar Gran Sol, they DO have a printed menu of their special pintxos. It's not just for English-speaking visitors (I only met 1 other group of Anglophiles); it's also in French for the visitors who have taken the ferry over from Hendaye.

You're right, Mikelg. The menu is designed for tourists.

Bilbao, Spain
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13. Re: Day trip to Hondarribia from San Sebastian

Gigis_mum, I didn´t think you were being rude, not at all!! In fact, I admire your knowledge of this land and the enthusiastic way you describe food and places. I do understand your position and the tourist way, of course. I just wanted to stress on the fact that it´s not the way we like to have pintxos, a part of our culture, that implies socializing and having a drink with our friend and a morsel of food to avoid getting drunk. We rarely stay long in just one bar (which is odd for most of the world and a particularity of us Basques and Spaniards), but I understand my visitors from overseas when I want them to enjoy another bar and they say "but...there are so many pintxos we haven´t tasted yet here!!". And bars want to make the most of it...of course...but in the end we "touristize" a way of living and lose some of the "essence". Unavoidable, I guess. In any case, I´m sorry if I sounded too harsh...:))

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14. Re: Day trip to Hondarribia from San Sebastian

Hi G_mum,

I read about it at Maribel's Guide for Hondarribia: http://maribelsguides.com/mg_hondarribia.pdf . It's last updated in August '11 so it should be pretty accurate. It says "you must wait until 7.30 to order delectable hot pintxos from the kitchen".

You make a good point about the limited time that us tourist when when visiting a destination like San Seb. There is an urgency to try the full breadth of a pintxo place because we can't simply return another day.

Hermosa Beach...
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15. Re: Day trip to Hondarribia from San Sebastian

I've visited Gran Sol twice during the afternoon in 2009 & 2010 during the week and there was definately the made to order pintxos offered at this time.

Funny but I like to hop from bar to bar trying a variety of places when I'm in Spain. No matter now good a place is I love the ability to move around and try different food and atmospheres. When I'm back home it's often difficult for me to stay in one place for an entire evening - I keep wanting to wander about :)

Bilbao, Spain
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16. Re: Day trip to Hondarribia from San Sebastian

when in Rome...

Bilbao, Spain
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17. Re: Day trip to Hondarribia from San Sebastian

what I mean is: what prevents anyone in Hondarribia to taste pintxos the Basque way? And the answer is simple: because you tend to do it as at home. But true experience comes when doing it as it should be, you won´ t see any local with a full plate of pintxos or seated having a pintxos menu...

Leuven, Belgium
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18. Re: Day trip to Hondarribia from San Sebastian

Amen!

I for one am looking forward to eating everywheren, all day long:p

Aude, France
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19. Re: Day trip to Hondarribia from San Sebastian

An update to this thread, we were in Hondarribia this week and took the bus to San Sebastian.

The E27 express bus leaves Hondarribia 15 mins past the hour from the bus stop on the outskirts, arriving on the outskirts of the Old Town SS 30 mins later and costs 2.45euro.

The return leaves on the hour from the next street. An excellent service.

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