Sunday, February 7, 2010

Shhh, San Sebastian

One of the joys of living here, is the close proximity to some amazing places, it takes us three hours to get to the Mediterranean, an hour to get to Spain and two hours to get to the Atlantic coast.

San Sebastian (Donostia) is a firm favorite, this glamorous Basque city sits quietly in north west Spain, at the foothills of the Pyrenees, looking out over the Bay of Biscay, when you visit, one get's the impression that this is where the Spanish come to holiday.

San Sebastian is a mecca for anyone who is into food, shopping, architecture and culture, with the added bonus of fabulous beaches, spectacular scenery and great surfing nearby.  It is said to be the food capital of Spain and possibly Europe, so it is no surprise that it has four restaurants that have been voted into the top fifty best restaurants in the world.  If Michelin starred restaurants are not your thing, head to the old town, which is oozing with character and an abundance of pintxos (tapas) bars/restaurants.  You can't help but bar hop here, so many establishments, specializing in different types of food: seafood, local specialties and patisseries, all washed down with great local wine. And there is the old port area which has excellent rustic, seafood restaurants, all serving freshly caught produce.

San Sebastian comes alive in the evening, the locals all come out in their finery to promenade, shop, eat and hang out, you find yourself dodging large groups of families and friends, all talking animatedly.  The atmosphere is great and it won't take long before you feel part of it.

Shops, did I mention shops? Well, the wide Haussman inspired boulevards are full of shops from big names to small independents and the old town is stuffed full of the interesting and unusual.

Accommodation wise, there is something to suit all budgets from the palatial Hotel Marie Christina to characterful hostels.

for more info on San Sebastian go here .

San Sebastian, Concha Bay

  Old Town

Old town at night

Concha bay at sunset

Night walk at aseo de la concha

Hotel Marie Christina


  1. What a lovely looking place!

    I love being so near to so many places and being able to travel around the continent so easily.
    30mins from the Med, 2hrs from Spain, 4hrs from the Atlantic, 4hrs from Italy.

  2. This place looks amazing - thank you so much for sharing... I love Palma in Majorca and also Barcelona and Valencia so I am going to add this to the list for a visit when next we are in Europe... wonderful.
    SE x

  3. That's my next holiday sorted then! Looks wonderful especially seen from a cold, snow-forecast-Britain.

    Helena xx

  4. Oh what perfectly beautiful street lights. In fact every picture makes me want to go there.

  5. Sarah, I agree, It's great to be on the continent and just to be able to get in the car and go, without the hassle of aeroplanes or crossing seas.
    SE, I hope you manage to get to San Sebastian, I think you will love it.
    Helena,I hope the cold is not getting you down too much,it will soon be Spring.
    FF,It is as nice as looks on the photos.

  6. Loved reading about S.S - have never been there but it looks gorgeous - on the list for our next visit - just found your blog through semi-expat......warm wishes, Susie x


Thank you for visiting French Sampler, I hope you come back soon. I love to read your comments and will reply as soon as I can.