This year we decided to spend our holiday in the Northern part of Spain, where we wanted to explore the coast and countryside. And so we started our road trip in the most beautiful city of the Northern Spanish Costa: San Sebastian (Basque name: Donostia). Years ago I visited this place for one day during a surf holiday in the South of France. Very close at the border of Spain and easy to get there by busses. This time I would explore the city with my family from another point of view.
This quirky city is adorned by the old district Parte Vieja, with its typical balconies, little boutiques and the large amount of pintxos bars. But also the surrounded mountains, surf beaches and buildings such as Iglesia de Santa Maria del Coro and Kursaal are absolutely landmarks of this Spanish hotspot.
The city has a beautiful bay. Appropriately called ‘the bay of San Sebastian‘ with the island of Santa Clara in the middle. In the summer, this bay is full of yachts of all sizes. The city is therefore known for its relatively rich guests.
If you’re a big food lover, then San Sebastian is an unmistakable base in you’re travel route.
Famous for its molecular Basque cuisine, the northern Spanish city is internationally known for the quality of its cuisine and has one of the highest Michelin stars per square meter in the world.
In the middle of the old centre you’ll find Plaza de la Constitución, the central square where many festivals and performances are given. The annual San Sebastian film festival is perhaps the best time to visit the city. There are a lot of parties, festivals and other activities that make the city even more fun than it actually is.
After a long day of walking through the city, it’s time for Pintxos. Which seems a lot like tapas. In the old center of San Sebastian you’ll find a lot of pintxosbars, often not much bigger than a café. The fisrt thing you see when entering the bar are plates full of different treats from the local kitchen. Just take a seat, order a good glass of wine and choose what you want.
Surfing in the Basque Country is also an absolute must. Because of the strong wind and natural wind tunnels, the waves in this area are fantastic. The region around San Sebastian is therefore a magnet for surfers from all over the place.
Unfortunately for us the weather wasn’t that good as we hoped it was, so we couldn’t spend a lot of time in the sea. However San Sebastian and its surroundings have plenty more to offer, so you can still have a great time in this beautiful city.
The days passed by, but for us perfect to move forward to our next destination. After spending five days in San Sebastian we got also the feeling we had seen and tasted enough of this city. We will definitely return once again, hopefully with a little more sun, but you never have that certainty on the Basque coast. So keep that in mind when you want to book a trip to this part of Spain.
Time to explore the rest of the Basque country and continue our journey towards the countryside, the wine region of Rioja.
For more information about San Sebastian you can take a look here.