El País Vasco Cider Country
The El País Vasco Cider Country lies largely between the villages of Astigarraga and Hernani in the apple-orchard hills south of San Sebastián. El País Vasco has a long tradition of cider brewing and a unique way of enjoying it. Here, for a few months every spring, beginning with the earliest harvest in January, cider flows freely at the local taverns and cider houses which are known as sagardotegiaks in Spanish or sidererías in Basque. In these taverns, for a fixed price of around €15 to €20, diners are seated at long wooden tables and treated to a traditional cider-house meal that begins with a tortilla de bacalao (a Spanish omelet with cod), followed first by a juicy chuleton (T-bone steak) and then a dessert of walnuts, cheese and membrillo (an iridescent orange quince-like jelly). Along with the meal, you can drink as much cider as you can accommodate. Typically, the cider is poured in a long stream out of spigots from large wooden casks (kupelas) that ring the dining room. The stream, or txotx, is important to a proper cider pour, for it aerates the drink which is then imbibed in one big swallow. You’ll know you’ve had your money’s worth when the waiter shouts Mojón!, meaning it’s time to uncork a fresh cask.
There is a regular bus service between San Sebastián and both Astigarraga and Hernani. Also in San Sebastián you can obtain a listing of the sagardotegiaks or cider houses from one of the tourism shops, which is good to have. If you're driving, go south from San Sebastián through the hills on the GI-131 and look out for the signs which are seemingly everywhere once you reach Astigarraga.
© Indian Chief Travel Guides
Ischgl is a small mountain village turned hip ski resort, with massive appeal among the party-hearty young crowds. It is... Read More
Andorra la Vella is its own little world, and not just because it’s a 290-square-mile independent principality (a fifth the... Read More
Bariloche (officially San Carlos de Bariloche) is the place to be seen. It is to Argentina what Aspen is to the... Read More
Aspen is America's most famous ski resort. And that's an understatement. For, as a ski complex, Aspen is unsurpassed. Its... Read More
Zermatt is a small but glamorous mountain resort town, with a population of approximately 5,700. It is one of Switzerland's... Read More
St. Moritz is a glitzy, alpine resort town in the celebrated Engadin Valley of Switzerland, with huge notoriety as the... Read More
Lake Tahoe is the premier lake resort of America, and the largest alpine lake in all of North America. It is an absolutely... Read More
St. Anton, Sankt Anton am Arlberg in German, is Austria's premier ski-bum resort! It's actually a small village cum... Read More
Kitzbühel, a small, Tyrolian resort town in the Kitzbüheler Alps, comes with international renown and huge snob appeal, and... Read More