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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Travel itinerary, San Sebastian, Spain

SAN SEBASTIAN - ( DONOSTIA ) Basque Region of Spain

Donostia - San Sebastian -  Donostia is Basque for San Sebastian. Euskera (Basque ) is a language of unknown origins and is spoken by around 35% of Donostiarras (San Sebastian's residents).

San Sebastian is the undisputed queen of Basque resorts, with its chic La Concha Bay resort. The deep and sparkling still aqua of the bay and beautifull beach area bounded by lush, rolling hills has drawn celebrities and sun lovers to the mild winters and hot summers for generations.

We are planning to be in San Sebastian in late June, so I hope we don't have to have to push our way through the crowds.

The picturesque island of Santa Clara is situated closely offshore in the centre of the La Concha Bay and can be accessed from the pier located on the eastern side of the isle. It is home to one of the areas prettiest beaches in the area, although due to the tides it can only be used for part of the day. The island can be accessed by boat or why not join some of the locals and swim across !!

One of my commenters on the A - Z Challenge said I have to do this swim so I have packed my gear with this in mind!

Zurriola Bridge also known as the Kursaal Bridge , proudly showing off its original lamps of expressionist and futuristic style light up the mouth of the Urumea. The bridge was built on the site of the old Kursaal Casino.

I love bridges, do you? This one looks lovely.

The San Sebastian Town Hall is now a famous landmark which was inaugurated in 1897 as would you believe it, a casino although due to gambling prohibition laws in 1924 the Casino was closed down to be renovated and opened as the Town Hall of the city and continues to be used for that function to this day.

San Sebastian has three beaches: the Playa de la Concha, Ondaretta and the Playa de Gros. La Concha is probably the prettiest, with a wide crescent of sand stretching around the bay, but it's also the most crowded. Ondaretta is less packed and almost as pretty, and most consider Ondaretta to be the best beach for swimming. The atmosphere here is more calm than La Concha's bikini party atmosphere.

Once you're off the beach, you'll probably want to hit the old quarter for a go at the bars and waterside restaurants crowding the narrow and noisy streets. Tapas are laid out at all but the fanciest bars for delectable bites of special treats, and shellfish merchants hang out by the harbor to hawk the freshest of fish. I'm looking forward to this tapas party.

We have booked a gorgeous little hotel perched on a cliff, so we should have a lovely, albeit short, stay in San Sebastian before heading up to Bordeaux and the Dordogne Valley of France.

Have you been to San Sebastian? Do you have any recommendations of what to see?


  1. I do love bridges. My sister has a mortal fear of them, but I love them, as you do. Please take plenty of pictures and post after your voyage!

  2. Suze: You can be sure I will.

    azarimba: Thanks!


  3. Sorry, I can't offer any helpful advice about northern Spain.

    Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

  4. Oh, it looks heavenly, Denise. I love Spain but don't the Basque region. I'm looking forward to hearing all about this trip, lucky you!

  5. San Sebastian in the Basque country of Northern Spain is the true treasure of Basque resorts, setting itself afar from the boilerplate beach resorts. A summer capital of Spain, it is here where the Belle Epoque lives on.

    travel recommendations


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