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Irun Mini Guide
Where is Irun and why Should I Visit?
Irun is in the Basque country, right on the border of Spain and France and because of its border links it is a major transportation hub for Spain and France. Millennia ago it was the important Roman city of Oiasso and the remains of the Roman city have been found in and around the town. It has a wealth of architectural and historical sights for the tourist as well as festivals and great food. You can also visit the Pyrenees Mountains from here and venture into Southern France and see the rollers on the beach at Biarritz.
How do I get to Irun?
There’s two ways. The nearest airport is under a mile away in San Sebastian
but the airport only services domestic flights meaning a change at Barcelona
, Madrid or Girona. Far easier, although further away is to fly into Biarritz International Airport, about 14 miles from Irun but which accepts flights from the UK via easyJet and Ryanair. From Biarritz you can take a train directly into Irun.
What Should I see and do in Irun?
There’s quite a lot for the tourist. Begin by searching out the Roman remains of Oiasso and then follow up your visit by finding out more at the town’s museum. The town has interesting architecture in the Basque style dating from the 18th and 19th century with highlights being the churches and the town hall. Outside the town, head out into the foothills of the Pyrenees to marvel at the splendour of these much overlooked mountains. Finally, you could day trip across the border into France and visit the celebrity haunt of Biarritz.
What’s Shopping Like in Irun?
There’s the usual range of shops in the high streets of the town and a market selling local produce on weekdays. For unique souvenirs, there’s a T-shirt shop in nearby San Sebastian which produces clothing that mocks the Spaniards and the Spanish way of life. Other than that you’ll find traditional dolls dressed in the clothing of the Basque country which make interesting souvenirs.
What Should I eat There?
Many people think that the best tapas in Spain are found in the Basque country and judging by the number of tapas bars and how packed they are, the rumours aren’t far off. In Irun and San Sebastian, people have a single tapas and a drink in one bar before moving on to another. Main meals tend to be hearty and accompanied by potatoes or chunks of rustic bread.
What are the Main Events in the Town?
This is the home of the chaotic festival of Alarde which celebrates the events of the Peninsula War with mock street battles, processions, drama and fireworks. It is a mammoth spectacle and well worth seeing.
- Irun's theatre, the Mega Cgr Tarnos is hosting lots of concerts and operas this summer including Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin from the 20th February, Don Carlos in April and Verdi's Nabucco in June.