San Sebastian, Spain a great destination for walking, dining, surfing and shopping.
I recently spent 4 nights at the end of August in San Sebastian. The town is tucked in the North West Corner of Spain roughly and hour south of the French border. The terrain is semi mountainous yet set against the ocean so both the topography and architecture were unique from much of other destinations in Spain. We originally decided to visit this city to experience the amazing dining that they are known for however we were taken away by the beauty of the landscape, the old world feel for the town and the great beaches.
Dining options are endless and there are a host of Michelin rated restaurants with both local and fusion cuisines. Needless to say, if you are a “foodie” you probably know about San Sebastian. This is a must visit destination for anyone driven by cuisine and particularly if you have an adventurous palate. (Pigs feet, boars ear, sardine prepped 20 different ways, spider crab pies….it’s all there). They also have Pizza, burgers, sushi, pasta and more mainstream dishes beautifully prepared if you are not so adventurous. One of the best experiences we had was doing a walking food tour where you stop in various restaurant/bars for a small tasting portion called De Pintxos paired with a glass of wine. There are a number of tours and guides that help tune you in to the best offerings at each place. It’s a fun and interesting way to dine and I suggest you do it early in your trip as you may just dine that way each and every night.
We sort of heard about surfing in San Sebastian before we arrived but it is a bigger component of the local vibe than we thought. There are dozens of surf schools (very affordable) with waves for all levels of surfers. My 10 year old son took three days of 90 minute private surf lessons (70 Euro for the session) and was catching waves and getting up within a half hour of his first lesson. The school generously allowed him to sign out a board and wet suit for free when he was not working with their instructors. The beaches are expansive but unlike most other destinations in Spain don’t really offer lounge chair and umbrella rental. But don’t let that deter you from a day at the beach.
All in all San Sebastian exceeded my expectations and I highly recommend as a “go to” destination when considering Spain.