– three things I love to do. Come with!
Next time you feel like walking twenty-two kilometers, I have just the trail for you. It runs from Donostia to nearby surf-spot Zarautz, and the views are out of this world.
That day, we talked about our hopes for the program, favorite restaurants, friends, family and loved ones back home, and our shared love for the outdoors. Thus, it seemed only fitting that we book-end our time in Pais Vasco with another hike- this time heading west to Zarautz.
We hiked from La Concha beach in Donostia, up the posh neighborhood of Monte Igeldo, along the coast to the mouth of the river Oria, through txakoli vineyards on hillsides above Zarautz and finally down the grassy slopes onto the beach.
Pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, the footpath from France to Santiago de Compostela on the far west coast of Spain, have walked this trail for centuries.
The scallop shell, the calling card of pilgrims on this path, could be seen on fellow hikers’ backpacks, on front doors, on churches all along the way.
While this hike was a great way to see more of Pais Vasco and to enjoy a beautiful day outside, I was reminded by the scallop shells and the many crosses along the road that the Camino de Santiago remains for some a deeply spiritual endeavor.
I did say hallelujah when we arrived above Zarautz; the view is simply breathtaking.
We could see the sets of waves rolling into the long beach, dotted with surfers and sunbathers. The mouse-shaped island at the edge of the port in nearby Getaria made its profile clear from this distance.
It took us six hours, but as we arrived in Zarautz around 7 pm, the sun was still high in the sky.
We jumped in the water, grateful for some relief from the heat and the sun, but also simply stoked to be swimming in the Bay of Biscay.