"Succumb to Hedonism in San Sebastian" Basque Country Things to Do Tip by DanielF

Basque Country Things to Do: 21 reviews and 26 photos

  La Kontxa, Donostia
by DanielF

San Sebastián, or Donostia in the local language, (pop. ca. 200 000) is an irresistible city: the beauty of the shoreline is beyond description; the atmosphere that it oozes is sophisticated and aristocratic; and last but not least, Donostiarras have cultivated the art of gastronomy with so much fervour and devotion that they have turned their city into one of the culinary capitals of Europe.

Be it haute cuisine in the numerous Michelin-starred restaurants in the city and its surroundings (San Sebastián has the highest concentration in Spain), the popular pintxos, elevated in the capital of Gipuzkoa to the category of gastronomic jewels, or in the sociedades gastronómicas (eating clubs where men gather to cook, eat, and discuss on virtually anything), gourmet food is always present in San Sebastián and one of the main draws for the tourist.

Luckily, it is easy to burn out all these calories in San Sebastián, and hardly possible to imagine a more pleasant way to do it than taking long promenades along the pretty urban beaches, particularly along the shell-shaped La Concha Bay, and the small Urumea river, which meets the Bay of Biscay in the centre of the city. Apart from the beauty of the 19th and 20th century architecture, the natural backdrop is among the finest in Europe.

Climbing one of the two hills that flank La Concha, Urgull and Igeldo, is a much more demanding challenge (well, the latter has a funicular which will take you to the top), but the views of the bay with the rocky Santa Clara island in the middle, are well worth the effort.

Directions: On a small peninsula between the shell-shaped Concha Bay and the Urumea river mouth, with the Urgull and Igeldo mountains as guardians.

Review Helpfulness: 1.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jun 23, 2008
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