Zarautz is a coastal village located in Gipuzkoa Province in the Basque Country in Spain. The town is a popular tourist destination with the population swelling from its usual 22,056 to around 60,000 in summer. The Palace of Narros, located adjacent to Zarautz's 2.8km long beach, is where Queen Isabella II and Fabiola of Belgium once spent their summer holidays. The beach is known for being the longest in the Basque Country and one of longest of the Cantabrian cornice. At the end of the 19th Century and beginning of the 20th Century, the popularity of Zarautz as a luxury tourist destination grew, and many well known people began to holiday there. A number of lavish houses and mansions sprung up, particularly along the beach.
Nowadays many of these buildings have become public buildings. During the 70s and 80s Zarautz became a more affordable destination, and is now perhaps best known for its surfing and water sports. There are two museums in Zarautz, the Photomuseum and the Art and History Museum of Zarautz. In "Dorre Luzea" there are frequent art exhibitions. The town also has many other picture galleries. Zarautz has first class sporting facilities, such as an old and elegant Golf Club. But Zarautz is renowned worldwide as a surfing destination. Over the last few years, it has become incredibly popular between surfers, and a number of surfing schools have even been established in Zarautz, Pukas.
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