A small fishing community shouldered by Mount Ulia and Jaizkibel, Pasaia dates back to 1203 “Pasage”, which means ‘port’ in Gascon. The Gascons lived in the area side by side with the Basque people at the beginning of the 13th century. Today this is the main working port of Gipuzkoa. Pasaia bay is one of the few natural fjords along the Basque Coast. Here the mountains Ulia and Jaizkibel descend into a busy commercial and fishing port that hides a few secret charms.
Once on the other side, you will find the previous home of Victor Hugo, who fell in love with this small neighborhood and lived here during the summer of 1843 in one of the fishing homes that lines the streets.
Pasaia Donibane is lined with interesting houses and temples, picturesque restaurants and coastline. Near the main plaza you can enjoy wonderful, fresh seafood and shellfish. If you are interested in a stroll, follow the route to the ocean along the coast for a hike that takes you along the cliffs. There are hiking routes up to Mount Jaizkibel that start from here, hidden coves for swimming, sand stone cliffs that are popular with mountain climbers, a bar that serves up drinks and sometimes they offer menu del dia and bbq. It’s super scenic, quaint and easy to enjoy a sunny afternoon in this area.
Back on the other side, from San Pedro you can visit the Ondartxo Maritime Museum, a former ship building yard turned museum, next to it is parked the old steam boat Jaizkibel. Along with this historic steam boat the Naval Museum has various replicas of traditional Basque vessels. Finally, the Barco Museo Mater is a traditional tuna fishing ship that offers guided visits on foot and by sea to get to know the bay. With a long sea faring tradition, this part of the coast offers a little bit of everything for history and nature lovers.