Getaria is Famous as the Birthplace of Elcano and Balenciaga:
On route from Bilbao to San Sebastian, we travel through Getaria, a medieval, walled coastal town in the province of Gipuzkoa. One of Getaria’s most famous sons is Juan Sebastián, Elcano the first man to circumnavigate the globe in 1522. In the town are statues commemorating Elcano and there is also an impressive Monument to Elcano which can be seen as you approach Getaria.
Getaria is well known for its seafaring tradition and many of its more prominent citizens were involved in Spanish expeditions to discover the world. Getaria has been an important commercial and fishing port since the Middle Ages. For hundreds of years, whaling was very important in the economy of the town. In fact, the whale forms part of the crest for the town.
A name that’s still famous in the haute couture world today is that of Cristóbal Balenciaga. At the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa, visitors can see exhibitions of some of the 1,200 creations by this famous Getaria designer.
Getaria has two beautiful beaches, Malkorbe and Gaztetape, which are a great attraction for visitors wanting a beach holiday or to surf.
Fishing still plays an important part in the town’s economy and the port area has many canning industries, restaurants and steakhouses. Grilled fish from the Bay of Biscay is the town’s speciality.
The txakoli is another of Getaria’s famous products. Although the Getaria txakoli has a designation of origin classification, this famous Basque country white wine is produced in the whole of the Gipuzkoa region. However the Getaria txakoli is unique in that the grapes are grown on slopes. Txakoli of course goes well with the grilled fish that is a Getaria specialty.
Camino de Santiago – Coastal Road
Getaria is also on the popular coastal route of Camino de Santiago or St James Way. Pilgrims wanting to enjoy the seaviews of the Gipuzkoa Coast often include the coastal strip in their walk.
Map of Gipuzkoa Coast: