We drive back to the AP8 towards Donostia-San Sebastián until we reach exit 12 that will take us to Zumaia. When we‘ll get closer to the village we take the ring road towards Getaria, crossing the bridge upon the river Urola. We can park in the plaza, close to the marina. The river and the marsh, after which the village is named, were an important obstacle. In the 16thcentury, when the monastery of Roncesvalles granted a knight the right of Emphyteusis in order to populate the area. The monastery had its resolutive condition; that pilgrims should always be crossing the river accompanied by a boatman, a tradition that continues until our days. The pilgrims who didn’t arrive on time to catch the boat would spend the night in the hermitage of Santiago, located between the beach of the same name and the N-634 highway (which we drove to arrive at the village).
That hermitage is nowadays part of Z Espacio Cultural, a cultural space and it can only be visited during summer, in the afternoon, from Friday to Sunday. The bulrushes that surround it and outer appearance are a neo-Roman recreation created by the architect Pedro Guimón. Its interior is of Gothic style where two impressive multi-colour carvings by the artists Baobide and Quintín Torre stand out. Both of them were coloured by Ignacio Zuloaga.
If we head towards the village following the clearly marked Camino Norte and by the time we completely cross the village we find Arritokieta hermitage. Take a minute to observe the stunning icon of Andra Mari, patroness saint of Zumaia. Next to the hermitage there was a hospital for people with contagious deseases. San Francisco de Borja, a Spanish cardinal, was admitted to that hospital. As far as opening hours are concerned, you can visit the temple every day; from 9:30 a.m and 19:00 a.m., as the hermitage is located very close to the Way to Santiago. In 7th September, a traditional Salve a la Virgen, a catholic prayer is celebrated and the next day, a High Mass is held.
The San Telmo hermitage is located on a hill just in the north of Arritokieta. In order to reach the hermitage you have to retrace your steps on the Way to Santiago, go down Erribeta Street and turn left towards Amaya square; then take the long slope that will lead you to the hermitage. The temple is a very popular place, the wedding in the movie ‘‘Spanish Affair’’ takes place there. The views above the beach (a Game of Thrones scene) and the geological phenomenon of flynch are really impressive. If you want to make a lovely but difficult trekking by the cliif edge of the that phenomenon, we recommend that you wear shoes for walking in nature. The interior of the hermitage is quite interesting and If you’ve seen the movie, well, you identify the scenes. Access is only perimitted with prior booking, just contact the Tourism Office o call Begi Bistan company, the tour costs 65€ including VAT. As might be expected, the hermitage is a popular place for weddings. San Telmo’s day, patron of the sailors, is celebrated with a procession the second Monday of Easter.