The frontier town of HONDARRIBIA, immediately across the mouth of the Bidasoa river from Hendaye in France, makes an appealing stopover just under 40km east of San Sebastián. Down at water level, where the broad boulevards just back from the pretty harbour are lined with pavement cafés, it feels like a resort, but its fortified Casco Antiguo, a delightful little enclave just higher up, offers a real sense of history. Filled with sturdily attractive medieval mansions, it centres on the Plaza de Armas, where the pick of the crop, the Castille de Carlos V, dates all the way back to the tenth century, and now houses an irresistible parador. The town beach, Playa Hondartza, lies a short walk north of the newer part of town.

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