We traveled here in July 2014. We had seen a picture on the internet of the stairs and put together a trip to Spain with the main purpose to visit San Juan. It did not disappoint.
We rented a car in Bilbao and drove to San Juan (most definitely rent a car with a GPS and be prepared to get lost with with GPS!), it took us less than 1 hr to get there. We parked at the restaurant Enepari and explored the area. We were with two elderly people and the hike to the stairs was a bit much for mother-in-law (hiking poles would have helped!), which was not able to go up the stairs, but still enjoy the view. We climbed the 231 stairs to the top. It is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!!!! It was a bit hot and it is a bit physical, but worth every effort to get to the top.
We were not going for the religious aspect, but cannot help but be affected by it. It is a serene and gorgeous place. If you like to travel off the beaten path, please do yourself a favor and visit this gem.
We had drink and appetizers and the Eneperi restaurant afterwards. Very nice place.
Again, we traveled thousand of miles to visit San Juan and we are so glad we did!
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