There is something magical about crossroads. Something attractive and almost mysterious in that combination of mixing and exclusivity, filling locals with pride and seducing visitors. This coveted symbiosis emerges in Urola Kosta, an enclave overflowing with enigmatic traditions and synergies, where nature and man have created fascinating bridges between the towns and villages of Zumaia, Getaria, Zarautz, Aia and Orio.
The course of the restored Oria river connects the villages of Orio and Aia. To reach Aia’s scattered neighbourhoods, first you must pass through Zarautz, with which Aia shares the 2,860-hectare Pagoeta Nature Reserve. Every day, Zarautz watches the sun set behind the San Antón hill, affectionately known as the "Mouse of Getaria" because of its distinctive shape. In years gone by these two towns competed to see who could harpoon more whales, but they are now linked by a picturesque path rising just above this sea that kisses beaches, whips cliffs and challenges sailors and surfers from all five towns. The path lies parallel to the N634 road, a spectacular route that also leads to Zumaia from Getaria. Its charming twists and turns mirror the swell of the waves, and are well-known to the most restless drivers: it is, with good reason, considered by experts to be one of the finest routes in the world to enjoy driving and the landscape. All this lies between the mouths of the Oria and the Urola rivers, and to lose yourself in the landscape they have carved is a true pleasure.
The spirit of the crossroads, as a place for meeting and sharing, is also present in the area’s gastronomy. Food is a world of images, aromas, textures and flavours in which the history of each place is carried by its own gastronomical ambassadors. And yet, there is also a common element, the grill, which has infused its gastronomical creations with character since time immemorial. The heat from the embers brings out the purest flavour, the aromas pervade the streets, announcing the food, and the grills even leave their mark on the urban landscape, with free-standing barbecues on the streets, on the pavements, for everyone to see, with no tricks or catches. And that is because there really is nothing to hide, when there is so much to show off in this Kosta Gastronomika.