The last few years I’ve explored quit a bit of Spain. Last week it was Basque country time or better San Sebastian. This region/city has been high on my (and my wife’s) list for a while now and in the end met up to all our expectations!! I might even say it is/was one of our favourites if not the favourite in Spain until now. I immediately felt home in San Sebastian!! The only tricky part upon arrival was to get to our hotel as it seemed they had restructured some of the streets and our GPS didn’t know that yet 🙂 … But we got there alive 😉
For a long time before our departure for San Sebastian we were not 100% sure that we wanted to go after all… not because of the destination in itself, but rather because of the weather. Apparently San Sebastian or North Spain in general is known for its unpredictable weather and rather in the bad way… either we have been very lucky last week or the talk that is spread around the weather is not true?! We had 7 days of wonderful sunny weather aaaaand got to see Denzel Washington (he was there for the San Sebastian Film Festival) which made the sky even brighter 🙂 :-). We love Denzel!!
Walking through San Sebastian feels like you are waling through a city you’ve lived your whole life, it feels like home and in contrast to for example Barcelona felt much cosier. Of course San Sebastian is a lot smaller and has a much more beautiful beach (or even beaches) without big boats and ships passing. The whole time I was also trying to figure out how will I be able to put into words how beautiful this city is and convince everybody go at least go there once in their lives… True I might try to do this in all my blogposts, but that’s just to make it harder for you guys to decide to plan your next trip 😉 no no, when I’m enthusiastic about something there’s no stopping me to try to convince people… usually the first victims I try to convince are my parents 🙂 . This is also why I only write posts about what I liked…
I’m not sure with which city I would be able to compare San Sebastian though. The first ones that pop into my head would be for the home feeling of Antwerp, the beautiful buildings like Torino, a beach that reminds me of Costa Nova (Portugal) or Conil de la Frontera (Andalusia) and the life at night like in Seville. A unique place and a combo of some of my favourite places!!
The city of San Sebastian can be subdivided in a few parts with the most “important” (or at least the ones where we spend all our time) Gros (where we stayed), Parte Vieja (Old town), Centro, Amara Viejo and Amara Nuevo(In case you want to know all the parts of town). There are 3 city beaches La Concha, Ondaretta and our preferred and in our part town beach Zurriola (also well known with the surfers). It would take you a bit more than 1 hour walking (for me at least) to get from Zurriola to the end of Ondaretta beach… just FYI 🙂 this way you know the distances are not enormous is San Sebastian
La Concha Beach
During our trip we stayed at the Pension Ondarra in the as mentioned Gros part of town which is the less touristy part of town (so basically a bit calmer and the way we like it 🙂 ). The big difference between a pension and a regular hotel would be that at a pension you can only sleep, so there is no breakfast possibility. Besides that everything is the same. Some might see it as a disadvantage that you can’t have breakfast, but we just had to cross the street for a bakery where we could eat… and if that one wasn’t of our liking (but it was) there were at least 10 bakeries where you can have breakfast in the near area 🙂 . We also saw it as a way to mingle with the locals and do s the locals. It really didn’t bother us. Before I forget I must thank Tom and Veronique for giving this tip!! The fact they only had 5 rooms made it again cozier (and we had a car parking 2 minutes from it only for 10EUR a day) then a regular hotel with +100 rooms. For people who want more luxury and a wonderful breakfast I would advice to go to the Maria Cristina Hotel.
To be continued ….