Getaria is a short, beautiful drive on the N-634 from San Sebastian/Donostia. Right away as we drove into town we knew we’d come to the right place. Visible from the coastal road you take into town is a storefront bearing the name of the controlled wine region Getaria-Txacolina–I was in heaven.
I met a young woman there who gave me a map with the locations of all twenty-one wineries whose wines qualify for the Getaria-Txacolina designation. This is an incredibly small region, and these winemakers aren’t like those in California. There aren’t huge tasting rooms open seven days a week–these are mostly family-run businesses based out of people’s homes. These wineries typically only make Txacoli, which is a unique wine in and of itself–a young wine produced in limited quanities once a year, and meant to be drunk within the coming year. The woman secured a reservation for me that evening at Urki, a new operation, but one that produces incredibly heavenly Txacoli, and we were off to explore the town.
The picture above shows the main street of town, facing from the coastal highway towards the ocean beyond the church. The Church of San Salvador was originally erected in the fourteenth or fifteenth century over an even older temple, of which nothing remains. Getaria is a point of great archeological interest since it has been inhabited for centuries, and the street you see above has always been an important corridor used for defense from the inland to the sea. A small tunnel runs under the church still to this day, in order for townsmen of old to defend their homes from seaside invadors.
After some pixtos (or tapas) from one of the bars (I think that one with the red awning in the picture) we decided to hit the beach.
It was a truly picturesque afternoon. I took a dip, laid in the sun a bit, and when I got too hot, I retreated to a beach cafe and had a bit of Txacoli.
Entering Getaria and the Monument to Juan Sebastian Elcano (J.S.E. was the first man to sail around the globe. This monument was erected in the 20s after the Winged Victory of Samothrace).
The view from atop J.S.E.’s monument
Getarian children jumping from the port into the bay!
Next up, a report on my visit to Urki winery.