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Vista aerea de la Bahía de La Concha, San Sebastián.
20 March 2024

What to see in San Sebastián and its surroundings

Discover the Basque coast from sophisticated San Sebastián, crossing the border into the French Basque Country, cruising through charming fishing villages like Getaria, and discovering the flysch cliffs of Zumaia. This journey through San Sebastián and its surroundings offers an unforgettable experience with its combination of breathtaking scenery, vibrant culture, and exquisite gastronomy.

1. SAN SEBASTIÁN: BEACHES, GASTRONOMY AND CULTURE

Vistas sobre la Bahía de La Concha.

In a memorable visit to San Sebastián, you can not miss the 7-kilometer walk that runs along the three beaches of the city: Zurriola, La Concha, and Ondarreta. Do not hesitate to dive into the Old Town, where you can taste authentic gastronomy in bars and restaurants full of pintxos and recharge your batteries.

Don’t forget to climb Mount Urgull or Mount Igueldo – this one with its amusement park – to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views over the city and the surrounding natural environment. And, of course, organize a cultural visit to the museums: the San Telmo, rich in Basque art and history; the Kusaal, with national and international exhibitions; or the Aquarium, where there is no lack of details about the Basque maritime evolution.

If these brushstrokes have caught your attention, you can’t imagine all that awaits you in this city. Here are some recommendations on what to see in San Sebastián on a weekend to organize your next getaway.

2. FRENCH BASQUE COUNTRY: A SHARED CULTURE

País Vasco francés, la costa de Biarritz.

If you are looking for a place that combines the beauty of the Belle Époque with the typical colorful houses of the Basque Country, you cannot miss the opportunity to cross the border to France. Between elegant coastal towns and charming inland villages, the French Basque Country guarantees an enriching experience.

Elegance and entertainment blend with a refined atmosphere along the coast in Biarritz. With its thermal spas, golf courses, and haute couture boutiques, you will feel the luxury that once enamored royalty in this city.

Fachadas típicas del País Vasco francés.

Close by is San Jean de Luz, with its charming fishing port and traditional architecture. This small town will captivate you with its beauty and cultural history. The Gambetta street will be your perdition, with local boutiques and pastry shops, where you will find a little crepes and waffles stand. Do not hesitate to stop and enjoy these little sweet delights!

Meanwhile, inland, villages such as Espelette, known for its colorful peppers and typical Basque houses, and Ainhoa, with its paved streets and half-timbered farmhouses, offer a window into authentic Basque rural life.

3. GETARIA: AMONG FISHING PORTS AND VINEYARDS

Viñedo de txakoli en Getaria.

Did you know that there is a small mountain in Getaria called “The Mouse”? And, depending on how you look at it, it can be a whale. Consider this when you visit this fishing village, where the gastronomy is also renowned.

Don’t miss the opportunity to taste grilled fish and fresh seafood and stroll among vineyards overlooking the sea while you discover the culture of txakoli. Many of its wineries offer guided tours and tastings where you can learn about the elaboration process and savor different varieties of this type of white wine.

If you are interested in fashion, you can visit the Balenciaga Museum in Getaria, dedicated to the famous couturier born in this town. Here, you will find a great collection of creations and an exhibition of his life and legacy.

4. ZUMAIA: AN UNESCO GEOPARK

Ermita de Zumaia.

Geology is the protagonist in Zumaia, one of the towns that belong to the Basque Coast Geopark. Here, the cliffs extend for 13 kilometers and show a rock formation called flysch, with more than 60 million years, and that keeps the Earth’s history.

Flysch de Zumaia.

These rock layers reveal the history of the planet, representing the pages of a large open book. Each layer describes a specific moment in the Earth’s geological history, from periods of global warming to glaciations and the formation of the Pyrenees. In addition, this geological phenomenon has even helped to determine the exact location of the meteorite impact that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago – which, in case you didn’t know, occurred in the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula –.

Undoubtedly, this captivating adventure will enable you to enjoy spectacular landscapes and explore the planet’s history as never before. Are you coming?

PERSONALIZE MY EXPERIENCE IN SAN SEBASTIÁN