Collected by Jocelyn Kearl
Santa Korda Kalea, 4, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
At La Cuchara de San Telmo, on the corner of the plaza Valle Lersundi in San Sebastian, the specialties were hot pintxos, quickly prepared to order--from the menu or the specials board, or by pointing to what your neighbor was eating. This was one...
48291 Axpe, Bizkaia, Spain
Michelin-starred restaurants sometimes appear in the unlikeliest places and have the unlikeliest views. That's the case with Etxebarri, a gem of a Basque restaurant -- it received its first star a couple of years ago -- where grilled food takes...
Termino Lekanda, s/n, 01139 Sarria, Araba, Spain
Located in Parque Natural de Gorbeia, the Itxina massif is full of features to ignite your imagination. With over 500 caves, jagged limestone cliffs and labyrinths, beech forests, and stone huts - it's hard not to create stories of some mysterious...
20170 Usurbil, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Kalimotxo is a drink made of equal parts red wine and cola. When I first heard of the drink, I had to check the source - I thought someone was playing a trick on me. When I found out that people have been drinking kalimotxo in Spain for quite some...
Igeldo Ibilbidea, 187, 20008 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
It was raining when we arrived in Donostia-San Sebastian, but the skies cleared on our second day, and we rode the funicular railway up Mount Igueldo to take in the view back on the city, La Concha Bay, and the empty beach. The "low" travel season...
Itzurun Hondartza, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Some days, things just magically fall into perfection. It's not often do I stumble upon a hidden gem like Itzurun Beach, let alone a town like Zumaia. We were tooling around Basque country on a bluebird July afternoon when we saw, or I should say...
Praza do Obradoiro, s/n, 15704 Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain
After mysterious lights led a 9th-century hermit to St. James’s remains, King Alfonso II ordered that a chapel be built on the site. Since the Middle Ages, the magnificent cathedral has been the destination of pilgrims walking the Camino de...
La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
As you enter Barcelona's famous Mercat de Sant Josep de La Boqueria from La Rambla, one of the first stalls you encounter is Tocineria Marcos, purveyors of Iberico ham and a stunning array of other cured, cooked, and fresh meats. It's just one of...
Carrer del Poeta Cabanyes, 25, 08004 Barcelona, Spain
Forget Google Maps: You’ll quickly locate this venerable tapas bar in El Poble-Sec by the line out the door. With standing-room-only space for just 20 people, this sliver of a spot fills up fast—and stays that way until closing time....
Provença, 261-265, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
The mysterious rooftop of Casa Mila both charms and haunts visitors. The glorious October sky above frames the organic forms, each sculpted face watching as I creep up and down the rolling ramps. Children can't resist playing here, and fortunately...
Calle Mayor, 18, 20003 San Sebastián, Guipúzcoa, Spain
Everyone knows a pintxo hop is a must-do in San Sebastián. What everyone doesn't know is that Atari Gastroteka, located in the shadows of the old town's beautiful Santa Maria church, is the perfect last stop on the tour. Their artisan foie is...
Fermin Calbeton Kalea, 12, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
"Aquí, Se Guisa" is the motto at Borda Berri, one of the Old Town's best pintxo bars. The star of every pintxo is a braised critter: beef, octopus, rabbit, you name it. There's no pintxos on the bar at this spot, but don't let that keep you from...
Reyes Catolicos Kalea, 20006 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
No one is the wrong age for Reyes. This pedestrian street, which stretches south from the cathedral, is lined with bars. They range from classic pintxo spots to a craft beer pub to late-night drinking holes. Perfect for anyone, at any time of day....
Kolon Pasealekua, 15, 20002 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Bar Hidalgo 56 is probably one of my top three pintxo bars in the entire city. With a bar stacked full of equally delicious pintxos, a menu of hot pintxos that is incredibly varied and delicious, and an attention to product that you simply don't...
Karkizano Kalea, 9, 20001 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
I've eaten possibly more pintxos than any American ever. And in all my small plates adventures, I have not found this dish anywhere except for Bidea Berri. I am a passionate omnivore, and vegetables get me more excited than anything. These...
De la Brecha Enparantza, 2, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Want to know what's in season? Wonder past La Bretxa in the Old Part of San Sebastián and glance at the stalls of the local farmers that sell their produce every day on the side of the building. You might glimpse leeks, porcini, peppers, squash,...
Calle Pescaderia, 10, 20003 Donostia, Bizkaia, Spain
Expect creative riffs on the classic pintxo at this ultra-modern spot. Everything from the colors to the flavor combinations are unique and draw in crowds from the street. Not everyone is a fan of their style—for instance, the old guard who remain...
San Francisco Javier Kalea, 32, 20002 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Casa Senra is a staple of the pintxo scene in the San Sebastián neighborhood of Gros. They have an ample menu, with an interesting selection of croquetas (one that is clams in salsa verde) and some great raciones (fried txopitos, or baby squid)....
Bilbao, Biscay, Spain
The drive along the Northern coast from San Sebastian to Bilbao was amazing, filled with windy roads through the mountainous passes overlooking the gorgeous cliffs leading to the ocean. The main reason for going to Bilbao was to see the Guggenheim...
Urgull, 20003 San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa, Spain
August, 2010. 9:30pm I was taken with how the setting sun shocked a small cluster of buildings as the mountains behind brushed up against a cloudy roof. Looking across the bay where we tried to locate the spot where we had been sunbathing until...
c/ pescadería, 5, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
When Christopher Hall reported his "57 Small Bites of Spain" story about tapas in four Spanish cities, he visited Bar Txepetxa in San Sebastian's old quarter. We brought the December/January 2010 issue of AFAR with us and shared it with the pintxo...
3 Rue Raymond Roger Trencavel, 11000 Carcassonne, France
With its medieval walls, the Cité de Carcassonne is among the most picturesque, and most crowded, sights in all of Europe. But when the sun sets and the tour buses leave, the stone-paved streets actually grow quiet; mid-week—even during the summer...
Cadaqués, Girona, Spain
The Costa Brava of the Mediterranean is truly a magical place and there is no wonder why so many notable artists frequented the small town of Cadeques, Spain over the last century. This old fishing village is the epitome of picturesque with its...
Platja Portlligat, 17488 Cadaqués, Girona, Spain
After falling in love with Salvador Dali at his museum in Figueres, we caught one of three buses out to the cliffside town of Cadaques where you can get to know Dali a bit more intimately by touring his house. Full of odds and ends, including mini...
Okendo Kalea, 1, 20004 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
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...
Allende Salazar Kalea, 1, 48300 Gernika-Lumo, Bizkaia, Spain
Going to Guernica is a powerful reminder of the horrors of war but an encouraging sign that cities can recover and grow again. This is an easy 45 minute bus ride from Bilbao and makes a nice day trip, where you can also visit the...
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