Vibrant Basque culture and one of Europe’s finest city beaches combine to make San Sebastian a highlight of Spain’s northern coast.
This European Capital of Culture has an irresistible mix of natural beauty, historic districts and a dining scene that rivals better-known Spanish cities. Enjoy a morning relaxing on the soft white sands of Playa de la Concha, one of the best city beaches in Europe. And an evening trawling the city’s atmospheric bars is a holiday must, so you can try some of San Sebastian’s famous pintxos – the Basque version of tapas. Plan your holiday in San Sebastian for festival time and join in the boisterous celebrations of jazz and film or San Sebastian’s patron saint.
During your holiday in San Sebastian, stroll through the lively streets of the old town, Casco Viejo, with its imposing Baroque churches and charming squares. Discover Basque Country’s rich history at San Telmo Museum, which is in a 16th-century former Dominican convent. Carry on to Monte Urgull, where you can enjoy panoramic views and impressive sunsets at the summit. Pop into the small museum in the 12th-century Castillo de la Mota to catch up on 800 years of San Sebastian’s history.
Take a holiday wander along the beautiful Playa de la Concha, where you’ll pass the English-style palace and gardens, once the holiday home of the Spanish royal family. You’ll soon reach the other headland which shelters the beach, Monte Igueldo. To save yourself the climb, hop on the funicular and take in the sweeping views at the top. Have a bit of old-fashioned fun in the amusement park perched on the headland.
With the French border so close, extend your San Sebastian holiday and take a bus or a train to some of France’s prettiest Basque towns, including the fishing village of St-Jean-de-Luz. Just beyond is Biarritz, a royal resort, which is also one of Europe’s most popular surf-holiday destinations.
San Sebastian’s historic streets, sheltered beaches, mountain scenery and buzzing restaurant scene make this Spanish coastal city an alluring choice for an unforgettable city break. It’s one of the most appealing places to soak up Basque culture – and fill up on innovative and renowned Basque cuisine.