It is located on the coast of Gipuzkoa, in the centre of the Basque coast, at the confluence of the rivers Urola and Narrondo, surrounded by green mountains that descend to the sea in the form of steep cliffs. Many doubts and questions surround the origins of Zumaia, but according to writings from the year 1292 the place of Zumaya is mentioned, related to a monastery, that of Santa María, and with a donation of this monastery made by the king of Castilla Don Sancho IV in favour of the convent of Roncesvalles. In the year 1347 King Alfonso XI of Castilla granted privileges and privileges to those who populated and settled in Villagrana de Zumaia, the name by which the locality was originally known, which at that time they fortified, and whose church, located more than thirty metres from the shore of the Cantabrico Sea, also acted as a defensive bastion. Zumaia was one of the eighteen towns and cities in which the General Assemblies of Guipúzcoa were held. They were gathered here when San Ignacio de Loyola, patron saint of Guipúzcoa and the Virgen de Arritokieta, patron saint of Zumaya, were named on 27 December 1620. In the 18th century, a large part of the marshes between the Urola and Narrondo rivers dried up. The late 19th century and early 20th century Zumaia, with the arrival of the railway and the settlement of factories and industry, had an important industrial take-off. Artists, intellectuals, politicians...chose Zumaia to rest and even establish their residence. Among the different neighbourhoods that make up the municipality of Zumaia, the neighbourhoods of San Miguel de Artadi, Oikia and Narrondo stand out.
Zumaia has good attractions for the delight of its own and visitors. A modern marina, hiking trails that traverse its cliffs in search of Flysch. The Algorri Interpretation Centre describes the different ecosystems existing in this beautiful coastal village, thus giving the possibility of better understanding the nature that surrounds it; two beaches, each with its characteristic charm. The beach of Itzurun is the closest to the historic center of the town, it is said that in addition to being under the protection of San Telmo, whose chapel that crowns the cliff, was in the seventeenth century headquarters of the brotherhood of San Telmo mareantes, its sands and waters have beneficial properties for health by its high concentration in iodine. The Santiago beach, to the east of the town, is a beautiful sandy beach next to the marshes formed by the river Urola at its mouth. The Zuloaga museum is very close to this beach and also has a Romanesque chapel, from the 13th century, dedicated to Santiago Apóstol.
Walking through the narrow streets of the historic quarter, which still preserves its medieval layout, the tourist will find the parish church of San Pedro, a 13th-century Gothic church, a solid building that looks more like a fortress and rises above the rest of the buildings. In front of the church, the Zumaia Gamboa family built their ancestral home, possibly in the 15th century, a four-storey tower, and very close to it is the house of the Olazábal family. The Square of the Market, the Town Hall, the convent of San José de las Carmelitas. In Odieta street is the palace of Foronda, built in the early twentieth century by the Marquis of Foronda as a summer house and is currently used as a house of culture, exhibition hall ... In Oikia is the house Kondekua and the church of San Bartolomé, which attract attention and the neighborhood of San Miguel de Artadi, which rises on a hill surrounded by oaks, acts as a viewpoint over Zumaya, the river Urola and the sea.
Zumaia celebrates its patron saint San Pedro on June 29th. The festivities of San Telmo are the eighth day after Easter Sunday. The summer festivals, before Big Week, are in August. But also the different neighborhoods of Zumaia celebrate their festivities, in the neighborhood of the Station, San Pancracio is the last weekend in May. In June are festivals in the Alai. The festivities in the Narrondo district are on July 10th in honour of San Cristóbal. Oikia celebrates San Bartolomé on 24 August and Artadi on 29 September, San Miguel.
In the festivities in honour of San Telmo, patron saint of sailors, it is traditional to dress in the typical blue clothing of fishermen.
Zumaia was the summer centre of Spanish and European art and thought between 1914 and 1936, which it combined with an important industrial activity. This is reflected in the industrial estate neighbourhood, next to the factories and opposite the large shipyard and the old town, with the now inactive old merchant port.
Legend has it that the Virgin on her way to Itziar first stepped on Arriaundi, "peña grande" in the crest of Mount Garate in the locality of Getaría, leaving her footprints there and then in the space where the sanctuary of the Virgin of Arritokieta is located in Zumaia that in the year 1594, according to documents, also had a hospital "hermita and ospital de nuestra señora de Arrido quieta".
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Access to Zumaia is via the A-8 motorway that links it with Bilbao and San Sebastián; the N-634 road connects it with Zarautz, passing through Guetaria first and Deba in the other direction. The GI-631 road connects it with Loyola, Urretxu and Zumárraga.
Zumaia has bus services that connect it, daily and at different times, as well as with San Sebastián, Zumárraga, Azkoitia, Itziar, Deba, Ondarroa and Mutriku. The Zumaia bus station is located in Ignacio Zuloaga Square.
Zumaia has a railway station which is located in La Estación street and where the "Eusko Tren" narrow-gauge train stops. It connects Bilbao with San Sebastián and with several cities on the Basque coast at different times on a daily basis. To access the long-distance trains, the nearest station is in Zumárraga.
The closest airport to Zumaia is San Sebastian, which is located in the town of Hondarribia.
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