The following extract is from A Basque Diary – Living in Hondarribia, which is available, in print and as an ebook, from Amazon.
August is not the best time to come to Hondarribia, as the French are on holiday en masse and at times Calle San Pedro is so full of people, it is hard to walk down the street, let alone find a spot to have a drink and a pincho. Getting the ferry to and from France means queuing and sometimes you have to wait for a couple of boats to fill up before you get on board.
If you are here, you can avoid the crowds and go to the calm town beach before 11 and leave as the crowds arrive at midday. I went to the surf beach in Hendaye by paddling across the river with my body board or stand up paddle board. But for the best swims, the locals head down to the far end of Hondarribia, at the port. Though this is a working harbour, with fishing boats offloading their catch for local stores, restaurants and beyond, you are still able to access the port wall (unlike other parts of the world where we have lived, where they have used the flimsy excuse of terrorism to make the port off limits to the public). People swim from the breakwater and the first year, I used to swim around the giant buoys that the fishing boats moor at. Or I would walk on to the rocky beach of Playa de los Frailes (beach of the monks), where the crystal clear water was very inviting on calm days.
You can read more about Basque culture, food and places by checking out
A Basque Diary – Living in Hondarribia.