The txotx season is here! Everything you need to know about the tradition of cider

Txotx 1From mid-January to the end of April, San Sebastian is looking forward to the txotx season. Cider is one of the defining elements of Guipúzcoa, especially during mid-January to April, when locals and visitors jump from cider house to cider house to taste the liquid delicacy. If you are planning to visit our city during this season and stay at our hotel in front of Bahía de la Concha, be prepared to relish in every corner and tavern with one of the most deeply rooted traditions on earth.


Most of the cider houses are located in the northeast of the province, which is why Donostia is the best possible starting point to visit the majority of them. Some of the highlights are Astigarraga or Hernani, two towns that are at a short distance from the capital of Gipuzkoa.

The tradition of cider in Guipúzcoa

The origin of the cider houses can be established in tastings organized by buyers and producers, where some of the tastiest ciders were to be chosen. Usually, in these places the customers could taste the cider of each kupela (barrel). To do this, they had to use a kind of toothpick called "txotx". Later on, "txotx" was used to refer to the action of opening the kupela. Moreover, nowadays, every time you open kupela in a cellar, it is usual for all diners to shout in unison: "txotx!".

The cider season, in addition, is accompanied by various traditional dishes like cod omelet, beef steak or cod with peppers. We can't forget the succulent dessert: cheese with quince (a fruit similar to the pear). Finger-lickin ́good!


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Where to enjoy txotx

The cider route is one of the best activities you can do when visiting San Sebastian during this season. There are countless places that await you with open arms and allow you to enjoy this wonderful tradition. The Basque Cider Museum is one of the fundamental places to visit. Located in the center of the town of Astigarraga, it is one of the major attractions of this event. The museum has three areas that visitors can mingle in: the apple orchard, the interpretation center and the tasting area. Visiting it will be an experience and you will be able to discover all the intricate details of the cider-making process.


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In Astigarraga, there are a few popular cider bars where you can lounge at, such as: Alorrenea, Etxeberría and Gartziategi. The municipality of Hernani is also another of the places included in the so-called "Territorio de la cider". Here the Zelaia cider house is a must-see attraction. If you would rather take a more relaxed tour, you should note that in San Sebastián itself there are traditional cider houses such as Barkaiztegi, a family restaurant founded in the 1930s.


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Wherever you may choose to go, we can be sure that your next visit to San Sebastian will be a pleasant experience!

I hope you enjoy an unforgettable stay in our Luxury Hotel in Donostia!

Do not hesitate to contact our staff if you require any information.


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Elena Estomba Garín, General Manager of Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra

Tags: Events, Tourist Attractions, Touristic Tours

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