San Sebastián (Donostia in Basque) is located in the northern coast of Spain, just 20 Km away from the French border, in the Basque Country. This charming small city has a lot to offer, especially in 2016. We shortlist only the most important aspects that will encourage you to spend some time here (photo: www.deviajeporeuskadi.com)
European Capital of Culture
European Capitals of Culture are one of the most recognised EU projects. In 2016 San Sebastian (Spain) and Wrocław (Poland) have been granted this honorable title. Festivals, museums, galleries, cinemas, theatres, sculptures, cultural and leisure activities …Donostia will breathe culture for the next months. This is a unique opportunity for the city to show all the prime spots
that it has to offer and to become a top destination in 2016 for lovers of cultural tourism.
Art in open spaces, which can be easily admired by everybody, is one of the most representative aspects of San Sebastián. A stroll through the city will permit you to enjoy the work of great artists like Eduardo Chillida and Jorge Oteiza, compositions that blend with the urban surrounding and make San Sebastian a unique place.
The innovative Basque Cuisine has made San Sebastian famous worldwide. Cooking is an art here. And there are a lot of proves: amazing pinxos (Basque tapas), wines and ciders among them the typical white wine Txakoli and both modern and traditional dishes has contributed to Donostia’s gastronomic heritage.
This has turn the city into a gourmet paradise where we can find three of Spain’s ten Michelin star restaurants. No wonder San Sebastián is one of the cities of the world with the highest number of Michelin stars per square meter (even well ahead of Paris!). The Basque Culinary Center is also located in San Sebastián. This academic center provides undergraduate degrees in the Culinary Arts with the aim of generating advanced knowledge and training skilled professionals. Thanks to the agreement of the Basque Culinary Center with our partner language school we offer the possibility of combining high quality cooking classes with Spanish language course. Here you will find more details.
Each year in outumn the capital of Gipuzcoa province hosts San Sebastián International Film festival, an event that has been held every year since its began in 1953.
The festival is one of the most prestigious and internationally recognised in Spain one of the most important cinema festivals in the world.
Many well-known names in film, both actors and directors, have attended to present their films for example Audrey Hepburn, Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, Richard Gere, Michael Douglas, Mel Gibson, Demi Moore and Brad Pitt only to name a few. It has hosted several important events of the history of cinema, such as the international premiers of Vertigo, by Alfred Hitchcock (who attended the Festival) or Melinda and Melinda by Woody Allen and the European premier of Star Wars. (photo: www.sansebastianturismo.com)
This year the Festival is held from 14th to 24th of September so start looking for your plane tickets to San Sebastian already!
Amazing beaches in urban environment
San Sebastian is proud of its 3 amazing beaches which by many are considered the most beautiful urban beaches in the world.
La Concha: Its typical shell shape (concha means shell) is easily recognizable and probably one of the most important symbols of the city. Harmoniously integrated with the city centre it turns the beach into a very special spot. Next to it, we can find the town hall and frequented by stylish people La Concha Promenade, always crowded on sunny weekends.
Ondarreta beach is located right next to Playa de La Concha. Another fabulous urban beach located in the old quarter next to famous sculptural work by Chillida Peine de los Vientos. Ondarreta is not as long as La Concha but it is much wider.
Zurriola: This is the most known surfing beach in the reagion. Big and full of young people, it is a very active and sporty beach, with excellent waves for surfing and nets to play volley ball at its eastern part.
Surf playes a major role here. Thousands of surfers from all over the world make their way to mentioned before Zurriola beach and other nerby beaches to catch some waves (photo: sansebastianholidays.com).
The city hosts many national and international championships which are mainly held from spring to outumn. Nevertheless the winter here are very mild and some say that this is the best period to enjoy really big wavees.
San Sebastian´s urban beaches has the best and more consistent waves throughout the Bay of Biscay. Its features are excellent for those who start their adventure with surf. On the other hand, its long-haul waves and different sea conditions on the same day depending on the area of the beach where you surfees makes it ideal for any level.