San Sebastián

Here you’ll find travel reports about San Sebastián. Discover travel destinations in Spain of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

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  • Day2

    The waves were huge this evening on La Concha beach. As I enjoyed the childish pleasure of swimming into each one and being thrown around as if in a washing machine, I realised how lucky I am to get such enjoyment from the simple things in life. Swimming in the sea, walking all day, laughing with new acquaintances .... and a hot cup of tea when it's most needed. Thank you @Laurie Reynolds for introducing me to this wonderful little gadget that boils a cup of water in no time at all. Truly life-enhancing!Read more

  • Day2

    We got up nice and early this morning and took the 6.30am airport bus. Within 25 minutes we were hopping off just after Irun, ready to start walking. We met Heather from Canada who was hunting for the non-existent arrows and we all walked together for most of the day.

    As happened last time, I was determined to take the so-called Alpinista route, but we somehow ended up on the boring flatter one. We eventually decided to forge our own trail up the side of the hill, and ended up bushwhacking through some difficult terrain. It felt like a major achievement when we reached the top and saw the amazing views of the Bay of Biscay. Well worth the exertion and the badly scratched legs!

    We lad lunch in Pasai before taking the little boat across the river. After that, we took the GR alternatives to San Sebastián. A great day of walking, conversation and laughter. Time for a swim now!
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  • Day5

    I got up at 6 and left the hostel at 7.05. It was not raining and quite cool. I felt confident enough though lots of "what ifs" went through my mind last night.
    Most of the town was walking up the first hill to go to a mass in the Santuario . From there I briefly chatted with a young Polish man who had walked from Poland, 90 days,, and counting.
    We took the advice of two old men, to follow the left arrow, and then I got off track. I was not worried, at first, as I headed for the water., seeing that it is a coastal walk, I deduced. Bad choice, down, down and down the trail I went,.oops, big cliff, so up, up, up I went. Phew, then I was walking along a road and a man pulled over and said what are you doing walking here. Lost says I, lost says he. He set me on the path, which was just above the road, and it turned out I was back on track after an extra 2 hours of up and down a pretty long and rather steep hill. The walking sticks in the garage in Lincoln would be handy. . I felt much better seeing yellow arrows, let me tell you., and I kept tellinh myself that too, as I got a bit stressed when I was off track. I told myself to remember that they say the Camino takes care and provides. I am so glad to be able to talk, and ask for directions in Spanish. .
    The cliff walk was very scenic but when I got to the part where there was cables in the rocks to hold on too cause it was steep, I had a meltdown. I got stuck on grandfather mountain in SC many years ago, relating to a steep rock and cable. At that time I was terrified, so this time I was too. I did not appreciate the beauty of that part. I just put one foot in front of the other and went between fear, anger and telling.myself to just do it. So I did, and then had a tortilla and a coffee and a magnum. Ice cream bar in the little harbor. Rejuvenated and feeling fresh again, even though I had been walking for 6 hours, I set off for San Sebastián. I thought it was really far. I asked a walker who was at a bench on the prom if this was indeed San Sebastián. "Oui" he responded and then spoke at length to me in French. Hmm, says I, this is Spain now, so I am not as bothered that I do not understand. He had no English so we did a couple of Japanese type bows and I hit the beach. I was so happy to know I had a room booked, as that is the next leap of faith for me, to just walk and get a room when I am tired.
    After all that, going in to a bar full of people, ordering pinxtos and vino tinto was a piece of cake.
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  • Day1

    Super-easy journey today - a quick flight from Dublin to Bilbao and a bus from the airport to San Sebastián.

    We had a nice evening, wandering around the city and watching the huge waves. Quite mesmerising! Looking forward to walking tomorrow.

  • Day6

    Qthings I learned in San Sebastián today, which may be coloured rosy by warm sunshine and a magnificent setting :
    A large sugar raised bun partially sliced and filled with 3 inches of cream, along with "un cafe con leche" is a perfectly acceptable way to start the day.
    Going to the beach, with just a towel, no coolers, no
    beach equipment, no chairs etc seems the best and easiest way to go. You don't even need your bikini top,, no matter your age. (,however, I think, not good for the over 30 and up)
    People queue up to bet on boat races, coastal town against each other.
    Each town brings their little band, they March about.
    The dress is alive and well, across all generations, well not the teen girls. Their arse cheeks hang out of mini cut off shorts. .
    When you want to. "dar un paseo", on the promenade and the Nana or Grandpa can't walk then they go in a wheelchair.
    Cell phones are not generally visible.
    People talk to each other.
    It is not dark until 8.35 so you can go for a swim at what is called one of the best urban beaches.
    Middle school boys half bury a yoga ball in the sand, run and bounce off it and somersault or flip,. (, good idea).
    College students have "cidra", pouring contests. They hold bottle high, glass low, then pour and hope it hits the target. Hence the streets are wet and sticky as the aim gets worse after each bottle.
    If you go to two pinxtos bars and have two glasses of wine, 3 euro each, in quick succession, then you are glad there is a cathedral on the, same street as your hotel, so you can find it. (, 2glasses is max for me).
    People here have seem to enjoy the day, family is important.
    The coffee is good.
    The wine is cheap.
    Cidra tastes awful, but it is really cheap.
    I really like this city.
    Why does no one carve, paint or sculpt a pigeon?
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  • Day150

    32 miles after leaving St Jean de Luz we arrived in Spain, though there was no 'Bienvenidos' sign to tell us so, which was a little disappointing.

    The Igueldo campsite, on Monte Igueldo just above San Sebastian, was to be our base for a couple of days while we visited the town. The views from above over the surrounding countryside and distant hills was lovely, especially as the sun was setting.

    With a bus stop right outside the site, we decided to leave the bike on the trailer and take the short bus journey down into town. We did this journey several times during our stay and marvelled at how confident the bus drivers were and how unscathed the buses were being driven a high speeds down narrow, twisting roads and back again. We thought we did well driving the motorhome and trailer through part of the city centre!

    We had high expectations for San Sebastian and were not disappointed. Having been under French rule for several centuries, it definitely has a French feel and reminded us of St Jean de Luz but on a much bigger, grander and sophisticated level. With a wide, sweeping promenade around the beaches, many classical, ornate buildings all in very good condition, and hilly parkland, it has been welcoming visitors in both summer and winter since the late 1800's. Back in those days, if you were upper-class and wished to go bathing in the sea, you needed to be suitably dressed and have the assistance of your own personal lifeguard, also suitably dressed in a long-sleeved shirt and baggy knee-length shorts, nothing too revealing. The locals never went bathing at the time, that was the reserve of the upper classes only.

    San Sebastian also has an outstanding reputation for being possibly the most exciting place to eat in the whole of Spain. Tapas (or pinxoes, as they are called locally) are to be found displayed in huge abundance on the counters of the bars and restaurants in the city. It would take months to do justice to all of these exquisite eateries but we did our best in the time we had and look forward to many more tapas as we travel south.

    Campsite 17 euros per night ASCI inc water, services and wifi. Plenty of hot water for showers. Camber at entrance makes for scraping! Pitches tight and can be muddy after rain.
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  • Day3

    O plano para jantar era fazer a rota dos pintxos em San Sebastian com 8 paragens obrigatórias. Infelizmente, chegar ao hotel, fazer check-in, encontrar um sítio para estacionar (pelos vistos lá só nos parques subterrâneos), aprontar-nos para a noite tudo isso demorou tempo e começamos tarde.
    Às 23h tudo fecha e só conseguimos fazer metade das paragens obrigatórias, em cada ponto uns pintxos e uma cerveja. Terminamos com a melhor tarte de natas em la vina:
    1. astelena (ropa vieja, foi-gras)
    2. la cuchara de san telmo (leitao)
    3. bar nagusia - ok
    4. bar borda berri
    5. la viña (5€ tarte de queijo) - ok
    6. bar goiz-argi
    7. la mejillonera- ok
    8. bar martinez - ok

    Já que estava tudo fechado fomos para o GU, um bar à beira da praia, mais para cotas e gays.
    Acabamos a noite no bataplan também a beira mar, mas para uma faixa etária muito mais baixa. Eu e o Valentim fomos para casa por "cedo", por volta das 5 porque queríamos surfar de manhã. Claro que antes das 6 os outros dois também estava na cama.
    Mas de manhã tivemos que ser arrancados a ferro da cama á hora do check out com uma ressaca gigante dos gins low cost das discotecas.
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  • Day4

    Com esta ressaca e depois de um bom pequeno almoço para tentar curar a ressaca, passamos pela Parte Vieja onde tínhamos bebidos os pintxos no dia anterior até chegar a praia de Zurriola.
    Estava um mar perfeito para surfar mas claro um mar de gente também a tentar apanhar as ondas.
    Eu e o Valentim alugamos pranchas e fatos, pelos visto eu só precisaria de um 3.2 porque a água segundo o vendedor estaria a 20 graus. Pensei que fosse muito mais fria que em Portugal por estar mais à norte, mas na realidade o fato estava-me largo e não tive frio, muito pelo contrário.

    Depois de comer uns pintxos íamos apanhar o fenicular para o Monte lgueldo, mas acabamos por subir de carro porque não encontramos estacionamento. É na realidade um parque de diversões para crianças, os adultos só apanham o fenicular para ver a vista e tirar selfies. Desse monte com vista desafogada conseguimos ver toda a cidade de San Sebastian.
    Seguimos diretos para Bilbau, demoramos uma hora para chegar e mais uma hora às voltas a procura de estacionamento. Que desespero e a fome a apertar, nem um único lugar estava vago por mais voltas que se desse! Acabamos por ligar ao proprietário da casa de rbnb que nos indicou um parque subterrâneo não muito longe.
    Deixamos as malas em casa e seguimos para um restaurante vegetariano, era a minha vez de comer bem. Na realidade toda gente aproveitou porque estava tudo muito bom. Ainda fomos beber um copo, beber uma cerveja artesanal acompanhados de um cão porque lá eles também entram nos bares, jogar matraquilhos e voltar para casa para dormir até as 11h.
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  • Day23

    Having just mastered the French language, now I have to start all over again with Basque. Compared to France, there are zero cycle paths here. Also finding it difficult to find routes that stay off the motorways.

  • Day49

    Today we went for a big walk around the area over 20000 steps! We walked through this amazing tunnel the colours were sensational. Then we decided to do a cheap dinner on the beach and watch the sunset at 9.45 haha and then called it an early night.

You might also know this place by the following names:

Donostia / San Sebastián, Donostia-San Sebastian, San Sebastián, Donostia, Saint-Sébastien

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