When thinking of a holiday destination in Spain, usually places like Barcelona and Marbella come to mind. Brimming with tourists, these destinations don’t offer much to those who seek a more serene experience. Perhaps you’re looking for a place that doesn’t get as hot as Marbella in the summer, or is not as crowded as Barcelona? Then you should certainly have San Sebastian on your shortlist. It is the best of both worlds – charming and historic, with plenty of delicious food and with a selection of beaches that are by no means inferior to those found in the country’s south. Here is what awaits you at this underrated and characterful destination.
San Sebastian is famous for having
something of a record when it comes to Michelin star restaurants – you’ll find
there are plenty of them. That means that if sampling exquisite cuisine is you
kind of holiday, you’d be hard pressed to find a better destination. If you’re
a seafood lover, you are in the right place, as there are many delicacies
abundantly provided by the Cantabrian Sea. World renowned anchovy dishes, salt
cod, roasted hake – San Sebastian restaurants will have it all. If fish is not
your thing, you’ll be happy to know that the Basque region is among the first
in Spain to enjoy a good steak, so you’re sure to find a prime cut of grass fed
beef cooked to perfection. Not to mention that you’ll be enjoying your meal
while gazing at some spectacular views, in restaurants such as the
Mirador De Ulia.
The city of San Sebastian dates back all the way to the XI century, which means you will have no shortage of aesthetic pleasure as you roam the streets. The city boasts a plethora of Belle Époque buildings that adorn it and attract tourists from all over the world. We would especially recommend to visit Victoria Eugenia Theatre, built in 1912; the Hotel María Cristina, which was thoroughly refurbished in 2012, maintaining its historic appearance; and Koldo Mitxelena Culture Centre, which first opened its doors in the year 1900. If you visit the Parte Vieja, the “old town” of San Sebastian, you’ll find yourself on gorgeous narrow streets that have a timeless beauty. Another notable landmark is the Iglesia de San Vicente, a Gothic 16th century church, which is also a must.
If you still want to have a classic Spanish sun-filled holiday amid all this culture, you will be happy to know that there are many beaches to enjoy. Among the most scenic is the La Concha Bay. The shoreline is surrounded by charming buildings and the bay waters are calm and clear, making this among the safest spots to swim in, and therefore perfect for families. And you’re never too far from civilisation, with shops and restaurants always within walking distance. If you’re looking for more action, then head down to Playa de la Zurriola. With far more lively waters, this is a location favoured by surfers.