San Sebastián, or Donostia in the Basque language, is a Belle Époque resort town built around the Bay of La Concha. Stroll the cobblestone Old Town streets in search of cozy shops, the city’s oldest church (San Vicente) and celebrated restaurants like Arzak and Akelarre. In the newer part of town, visit the Buen Pastor Cathedral and Spanish Queen Maria Cristina’s country home at Miramar Palace and Gardens, as well as a theater and luxury hotel named after her.
After coming off a five-hour train ride from Madrid, I decided to stroll around the docks at San Sebastian, near the edge of the old town and the aquarium. This is a bit quieter than the main walkway along the beach, though there are still swimmers and some passersby.
Breaking into the ridiculously tasty world of tapas in San Sebastian
Tapas bars - particularly in San Sebastian, which is known around the world for its incredible food - can be very intimidating, so I highly recommend doing a tapas tour, just to get comfortable and to try some delectable treats you would never otherwise know to order! While in San Sebastian, I went with a lovely group called San Sebastian Food and was led around the twisting streets of the city by a lovely pair of guides who were informative, but also very warm and welcoming without being pushy.
Perfect for solo travelers, couples and small groups alike, tapas tours offer a wonderful look into the world of these tasty treats and are a great introduction to any city you're visiting in Spain. I did three tapas tours in three different cities (with three different tour companies not affiliated with one another) so I was sure to get a taste of the local specialties. Regardless of where you are, these tours offer an evening of fun and food - you really can't go wrong.
What is the attraction to our oceans? Is it the purity and unknowingness of life below the surface? Is it the endless possibilities of darkness and light? The colours? The creatures? The complicated simplicity?
Seeing singular boats out in the ocean often freaks me right out. But when I was in San Sebastian, Spain. over the summer, I couldn't help but feel awfully peaceful at the same time. Out there in the deep blue and pink abyss sat a single white sail boat, with its mast coloured like a pastel painting, and yet I felt oddly serene. There was such beauty in that perfect isolation.
In 2009 I was traveling with my husband and daughter in Spain, when we decided on a whim to take a detour. We found ourselves in San Sebastian during their Semana Grande. We're just lucky, I guess. It's a weeklong party, with dancing in the street, Sangria at every corner, music pouring out of every door, and fireworks every night. The bay is stunning, and I could have just sat there on the beach all day, but there was so much to see and do (from old churches to the cable car ride to the top of the nearest peak). It's an amazing town, and if you can, you should go during their Semana Grande.
Santo Tomas is one of San Sebastián's most important festival days. The whole town is off work and wearing their peasant best. December 21, the day of Saint Thomas, was the day that rural farmers came to the big city to pay their year's rent, and it is celebrated nowadays with a day of enjoying the best of the products from nearby baserris, or country houses. This includes txistorra, a Basque pork sausage, and talo, a Basque corn tortilla. Drink, eat, and be merry.