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San Sebastian Vacations & Travel

San Sebastian Vacations

San Sebastian, aka Donostia-San Sebastian, is a beautiful Basque city on the Bay of Biscay. It is renowned for its beaches, bayfront promenade, Basque cuisine, and world-class restaurants. In fact, San Sebastian is widely considered the culinary capital of Spain and possesses the second-most Michelin stars per capita on Earth.

Region: Spain

Overview

San Sebastian's most famous dish is pintxos, which is similar to tapas, and pintxos bars abound in Old Town. Parte Vieja, as the locals call Old Town, is the city's most popular area and a labyrinth of narrow cobblestone lanes, at the heart of which beats Plaza de la Constitucion. Once a setting for bullfights in the 19th century, today Plaza de la Constitucion is home to arcaded buildings, shops and bars. Located near the plaza is the Gothic 16th-century Iglesia de San Vicente, the oldest church in San Sebastian. San Sebastian is renowned for its sandy beaches and no trip is complete without hitting the sand at the city's most iconic beach, Playa de la Concha. Beautifully located in shell-shaped Bahia de la Concha, this white-sand beach is regarded as one of the best city beaches in Europe and is bookended by Monte Urgull on one side and Monte Igueldo on the other. After basking in the sun on the beach, take in the seaside splendor of Bahia de la Concha by strolling along Paseo de la Concha, which has grand views of the bay and the island of Santa Clara. Isla de Santa Clara lies in the middle of Bahia de la Concha and is a Historical National Interest Site. This diminutive green island is home to a small beach, bar and lighthouse and can be reached by boat or by swimming from Ondarreta Beach, one of San Sebastian's most popular and picturesque playas.

When to Go

When it comes to temperatures, the best time to visit San Sebastian is from May to July. However, if you want to avoid peak tourist season crowds, visit during shoulder season, March to May and September through October.

What to do

Take a funicular to the top of Monte Igueldo where you will find commanding views of Bahia de la Concha as well as an amusement park. Head inland to Old Town and relax with a drink and pintxo in La Plaza de la Constitucion then learn about Basque history and culture at Museo San Telmo, a Parte Vieja museum located in a former monastery at the foot of Monte Urgull, which is crowned by Castillo de la Mota, a stone fortress dating back to the 12th century.