With a great, golden bay and some of the best food in the world, San Sebastián on the Bay of Biscay in Spain is irresistible. The Spanish royal family started taking San Sebastián holidays in 1845, and its bubbling atmosphere, excellent beaches and mouthwatering ‘pintxos’ (small snacks) have kept it hugely popular ever since.
Despite this, it rarely feels overwhelmed by visitors. That’s partly down to its great sweeping beaches, which feature spots for both swimmers and surfers, and are great for going on seaside strolls. It’s also partly because, with its charming Old Town alleys and squares stuffed with numerous restaurants and bars, there’s always a new gastronomic experience to seek out on holidays to San Sebastián. The seafood is delicious, but there are plenty of other options on the menus to explore. Around town, museums, churches, an aquarium, a hilltop amusement park and a forested headland with great views give you the opportunity to work up an appetite.
Hit the beach
Playa de la Concha is a great, glorious curve of sand, perfect for swimming or sunbathing. The windier Playa de Zurriola, meanwhile, is popular with surfers.
Go on a pintxo crawl
It feels like there’s a pintxos bar around every corner in the Old Town. An evening sampling them with beer or wine is the definitive San Sebastián night out.
Climb Monte Urgull
A wooded park climbs the hill above the sea just north of the Old Town. You can stroll along the waterfront or walk up to La Mota Castle to gaze back across the city’s beautiful bay.