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Hernani is one of the most famous towns to visit during the Gipuzkoa cider season. From January to April, every weekend, the streets of the town fill up with people of all ages who want to enjoy this experience. This is known as the Txotx Season.

It is an opportunity to get to know and taste the cider produced from the harvest, and although there are cider bars that open all year round, this is the best season for discovering the real tradition that exists around it, as well as the rituals for how to behave in the cider bars.

One of them is the “Txotx rite”. Whenever the person in charge of the kupelas or barrels shouts “Txotx”, the diners who are in the cider bar at that time can go and drink cider from the kupela that has been opened.

Take advantage of this moment to have a chat with the locals and find out more about our customs.

Things to bear in mind:

  • During the txotx: stand in line and when it's your turn, put your glass under the stream of cider and let the cider hit one of the walls of the glass until it has filled up to the height of two fingers.
  • The temperature: a cider bar is a cellar and in the kupelas area the temperature is low; bear this in mind. This temperature is necessary for the cider to continue its maceration process.

The cider bar menu

The menu is another of the main attractions. While the atmosphere between the cellar and the dining room is building, the first platters of food with the cod omelette are served at the tables. In many cider bars you won't find plates to eat off; only cutlery for sharing a tray. This is another tradition.

The traditional cider bar menu consists of: cod omelette, fried cod with peppers or in a sauce, chops, walnuts, cheese and apple or quince jelly.

It is worth noting that the experience ends with dessert. Traditionally, coffee and drinks were not served in cider bars; nowadays, some cider bars offer the option, but you should ask in each case.

Timetables of the Txotx

The Txotx service starts and ends at certain times. Normally, you will see the timetable in the dining room, but we can tell you that it usually closes at around 5pm after lunch and around 11pm after dinner. So, a good tip is to be well organised about the timetables of the buses or other transport options you are going to use to get to the cider bar, so that you don't have any problems on your return journey.

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