I visited San Sebastian a while back, but never got the chance to put up a post about our trip. So here it is now, better late than never!
San Sebastian (or Donostia, as the locals call it) is set on the beautiful Bay of Biscay in Spain’s Basque Country. It really is a pretty part of the world. We visited in May and flew into Bilbao, for us the handiest airport. We got a coach from the airport to San Sebastian which took approximately 1½ hours. The coach brought us right into the bus station in the centre of the city.
The weather was absolutely gorgeous and sunny. On our first day we wandered around the streets to get a feel of the place. There were lots of lovely medieval lanes, but I noticed there was also a lot of graffiti on the buildings. Sadly, this made the streets look scruffy.
Santa Maria church
This is a Baroque building from the 1700s situated in the Old Town. It is lovely and we, along with other people walked in to take a look and admire what we imagined would be a thing of magnificence. Alas, once inside, a woman came running down the aisle, rattling keys at us, shouting and shoo’ing us all out! I looked behind me wondering what was going on. Who was she shouting at? Then realised it was us! Then after pushing us out, she locked the door! This annoys me that in Spain, you can’t just walk into a church without it a) being locked b) being threatened with large keys by a mad woman! I have never encountered a locked church in Ireland or Italy. However, the bit I did see was just lovely.
Lovely marina – very close to the Old Town, there are restaurants all along the Marina and you can take a boat trip if you are interested or just sit and enjoy looking at the boats there.
The Concha beach
cited as one of the best beaches in Europe, this beach is fabulous and is placed right in the centre of the city. There is over 1,500 metres of white sand and I believe is the most photographed beach.
Beautiful beach – beautiful sunset
Old town – Its streets have lots of bars offering pintxos. They are laid out in the bars and is the basque type of tapas. Borda Berri was a Tapas bar we visited where I enjoyed (a first for me) Veal cheeks and Pig’s ear, this place does not have the pintxos on the bar like other bars in San Sebastian, but is cooked to order. Guaranteed freshness. This bar is small and gets very crowded but for me one of the best pintxo bars in town.
Plaza de la constitución
is in the heart of the Old Town and is a large square surrounded by colourful buildings, that was once used as a bullring but is now used for major local festivals
has the best views of the Concha Bay.
We took the funicular up to the top. This is just too cute and what a great ride up Mount Urgull at only a few euros each.
If you are going to walk up this, take a pair of good walking boots or runners.
We walked up and it was very rocky at times and very steep, but great when you reached the top.
At the top sits La Mota Castle, you can see the canons arrow slits that were used to defend it.
There is then of course Cristo de la Moto, the Sacred Heart statue, which stands 12 metres high guarding the city.
Overall a pleasant trip to San Sebastian with beautiful sunsets and really lovely beaches. Personally, I wasn’t a fan of the pintxos sitting on the bar (not sure for how long). I decided I prefer the tapas in other parts of Spain. The graffitti on the streets makes it look scruffy and that’s a pity. Another annoyance is that it seems you can’t just walk into churches. They lock them up, a thing I am not used to. However it is a nice place to visit if you have never been.