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Astigarraga

Astigarraga

The river Urumea runs around this locality. We are talking about Astigarraga, the home of cider, located just a few kilometres from San Sebastián.

The town comprises two distinct areas. Down in the area around the river Urumea, the main town centre is located on the lands that were once controlled by the lords of Murguia. Up the town, in the current neighbourhood of Santiago, the buildings are spread over the Santiagomendi mountainside, on the summit where there is a chapel dedicated to St. James the Apostle. Paying a visit this modest church on the St. James' Way is a good excuse to enjoy some of the most unbeatable views from the summit. Next to the original chapel we find another great point of interest, the Santiagomendi Environmental School-Hostel.

Also deserving special mention is the Santiagomendi ethnographic park. This is a set of traditional farm tools and animal-powered transport.

The parish of Santa María de la Asunción (also known Santa María de Murgia), built on the top of the hill known today as Markesmendi, is another must-see spot for the visitor. It is a small church built in hewn worked stone, in the shape of a Latin cross with a nave comprising two rectangular sections. Next to the church stands Murgia palace. It is a remarkable rectangular building and has a ground floor and is three storeys high, with a hip roof. It retains much of the old hewn stone walls. Some years ago the private garden, landscaped in a Roman style opened its doors to the public.

Cider Capital

But, above all, Astigarraga is famous because of its cider; this area is full of apple trees thanks to its climate and its lands' favourable conditions. Nowadays the cider industry is growing and dinners in the cider breweries have become very popular, especially during the cider season (from mid-January to the end of March). Guests will enjoy a delicious cider menu consisting of codfish omelet, fried codfish with green peppers, grilled T-bone steak and cheese with quince and nuts. Obviously, all accompanied with delicious cider.

As an essential accompaniment to this varied gastronomic offer, the Sagardoetxea (Cider House) of Astigarraga offers visitors the chance to get to know the production of this natural drink. The museum includes an apple plantation, an interpreting centre, tasting area and cider tasting.

On another note, all those who visit the town in July will have the chance to experience the annual local festivals held between 24th 26th July in honour of St. James' the Apostle. Another good day to enjoy Astigarraga is on 15th May, the feast day of San Isidro, a day on which the busy, bustling fair is held in the neighbourhood of Benta.


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Surface area: 17.16
No. of inhabitants: 4709