Visit San Sebastian, Spain; a travel guide to the lovely coastal resort of San Sebastian

Photo of San Sebastian (Navarra, La Rioja, Basque Country region)

San Sebastian Hotels


Visit San Sebastian

San Sebastian is in the Guipuscoa province in the Navarra and La Rioja region of Spain.

Probably Spain's most fabulous beach resort and one of our favourites. Good beaches, great shopping , lovely town, San Sebastian Film Festival, San Sebastian Jazz festival, and good food all add up to make this a great destination for a summer holiday or an out of season short break.

Visit San Sebastian

San Sebastian is set in the bay of La Concha. The lovely circula bay even has the small island of Santa Clara to add interest to the view. A hill with a tower at each end of the bay and rolling hills behind all make San Sebastian an idyllic setting. The beach of La Concha was one of the top twelve 'Treasures of Spain' in a national TV and radio competition in 2007. It was one of only two natural treasures to make it into the top twelve.

The old town was largely built after 1813 when a fire destroyed many older buildings but it has been well restored. The Plaza de la Constitucion is the attractive main square. There is an eighteenth century church with a Baroque facade, the Santa Maria, and a sixteenth century gothic church, the San Vincent.

A convent houses a very good museum, the Museo de San Telmo.

The town is vibrant and packed with restaurants and tapas bars. The hills at each end of the bay can be climbed to reach the great views of the bay. Monte Urgull is a 45 minute walk to reach the summit with its statue of Christ. At the bottom of the hill there is an Aquarium. The views are even better at the top of Monte Igeldo which can be reached by a funicular .

The main beaches at San Sebastian are the Playa de la Concha, Playa de Ondarreta (the most fashionable), Playa de la Zurriola and Playa de Gros. Playa de la Conche is the largest and most central and has diving platforms. The island in the bay, Isla de Santa Clara can be reached by a boat trip in the summer. Don't forget to take a picnic! On a rocky outcrop near the La Concha beach there is the Palacio de Miramar which was built for Queen Maria Cristina. The gardens are open to the public.

The San Sebastian Film Festival takes place in late September and its Jazz Festival in July. In August there is a festival of Basque culture. San Sebastian was the European City of Culture in 2016.

Being in the north you can escape the often too scorching heat of Southern Spain in July and August.

Places to visit nearby

Hondarribia has a stunning old town and a lovely parador and is well worth a visit. Pamplona of bull-running fame is also nearby.

See also:

Map of San Sebastian and places to visit

San Sebastian places to visit