San Sebastian in the Basque Region of Spain is a safe, beautiful part of the world. Renown for its gastronomic experiences, scalloped around a beautiful bay, there is something to find all year round.
Whilst there are many options travellers often become overwhelmed and may miss the beauty and random joyful moments substituting it for stress.
This guide is to remove that stress so you can focus on the day and making this day, this destination on of the best in your lifetime.
This is a suggestion and any order can apply but understand, exercise is often better in the morning (then it is done). Food and wine feels less like a guilty pleasure when exercise has been done.
It is fun to wander around with no commitments and explore.
This is not to steal the serendipitous moments but to give you a fall back plan and one that will make you look in control not lost.
- Walk to the Castle
On the hill behind the old town is the Castle. Also known as Castillo of La Mota.
It is on top of the hill surrounded by a big park (Parque de Urgull).
The walk up can be dramatic and step (there are stairs leaving from behind the old town near the boat harbour, or gradual if you follow the boat harbour round past the aquarium and head up.
Just follow your nose – heading up is the main goal and you will find many little tracks.
There is a secret bar that is open in Summer.
Once up the top you will have amazing views of San Sebastian and the surrounding hills.
Alternative options to climbing the hill
These are some other walking options that are more flat terrain for those with injuries or unable to climb a hill.
If climbing is too tricky there are many walks around San Sebastian.
You can head to the left of the bay towards the south and find the amazing art sculptures of Spanish Artist Eduardo Chillida called Peine del Viento. Also a romantic beautiful spot.
Or you can walk around the Parque to Urgull and head over to Zurriola beach and head back along the river with the trees and shade.
2. Pinxos in the Old Part of Town
This gastronomic delight should be on every foodies global tour.
Apparently San Sebastian has more michelin awarded restaurants than anywhere else in the world – but I think their pinxos are the stand out.
There are two famous cheese cake shops here.
Saint Telmos is my favourite has the best foie gras, blood pudding and iberian pork cheeks and grilled octapus.
Tintos (red wines) are awesome everywhere.
3. La Perla
This day spa (thermalogica) water treatment retreat is fantastic.
Right on the beach at Playa De La Concha, this magnificent building has great views from the far infared chairs. If you go between 130 – 4pm you can get a reduced rate for the two hours.
You can hire a towel and everyone has to wear the sexy blue cap.
Hot steam room, hot sauna, multiple spa pools, relaxation zones and a cold plunge pool. Definitely worth it if you like water and day spas. No need for bookings unless during busy season. Click here for more information.
4. Santa Maria Cathedral
This iconic landmark is found in the old city.
It is 3 euros to pass through but worth it if this is the only church you are going to. There is another up near Saint Telmo which is equally breathtaking and of a different era.
5. Ferry trip
For a small fee (7 euros when we went) you can jump on the ferry and go to La Concha. Here you can disembark for exploring, or in summer swimming and a drink at the bar.
Otherwise you can stay on the ferry and do the round trip.
It’s a great way to get a different aspect from the water.
There are so many sporting activities to do. Stand Up Paddling, swimming, sailing, bush walking, bike riding and more.
Simply walking along the promenade later in the day is wonderful as buskers line the wide pavement entertaining children and tourists. Grab an icecream and slowly meander long.
There is an art gallery, library with an exhibition hall beneath it, museum, aquarium and more.
It is the perfect place for a weekend or a week. Relax, drift and enjoy.