Because of its diversity and cultureSpain is one of the most attractive destinations in the world. A country boasting good living, its people enjoy outdoor life and with family and friends.
Spain is diverse, with each region having its own traditions and cuisine. A land of wines and joy, of flamenco, dances and traditions. Spain always surprises those who visit it.
On top of its amazing and varied culture, and along with the warmth of its people, you will discover a country of contrasts, of alluring cities and incredible natural scenery. Travel to the centre of this bountiful peninsula to discover Castilian Spain. Unearth Northern Spain's magical locations that include amazing grasslands and green forests, watered by the Atlantic sea.
Or its Mediterranean coast and islands, fresh and green, where the sea breeze will give you an unforgettable stay. Without forgetting the richness of Andalusia, famous inspiration artists like Hemingway.
Spain, an enchanting country whose inspiration is truly intoxicating.
Description of the area
San Sebastián is an explosion of knowledge, art, tradition and modernity available for everybody.
A fishermen’s quarter, an elegant district for the well-to-do townspeople and the modern districts all combine to make this city one of the most attractive to be found on the Cantabrian coast. Examples like the San Telmo Museum or the Kursaal show how tradition and modernity live side by side in this great little town. In addition, its international cinema and jazz festivals as well as its select cultural programming make San Sebastian a town with a first-rate cultural agenda.
Sea and mountain come together to offer visitors interesting monuments, fantastic landscapes, a wide choice of sports and fantastic gastronomy. Famous for its pintxos (tapas) and a restaurant cuisine that boast a total of 16 Michelin stars.
In San Sebastián gastronomy is considered an art and part of its identity. The 16 Michelin stars endorse the good daily offerings of the culinary artists of San Sebastian.
Basque Nouvelle Cuisine is based on its traditional foundations, employing fresh, top-quality produce in each season to come up with new textures, cooking techniques, colours and flavours, raising cookery to an art form.
The typical sea-food restaurants of the coast of Guipúzcoa province offer delicious fish dishes cooked to retain all the fish flavour and open-air grills out on the street. The farmhouses and spit-roast houses of the rural districts remain true to Basque cooking at its most traditional, offering a wide-ranging selection of vegetable, fish and meat dishes.
In addition, an original way to get to know what is being termed "miniature cuisine" is to go on a trip around the traditional bars of San Sebastián's Old Town (Parte Vieja), where you can sample the succulent pintxos ‘tapas’ and cazuelitas ‘mini-casseroles’ lined up on the bar within easy reach of the clients, for them to select as they please.
San Sebastián is a clear example of cultural richness. Here are some of the unforgettable places to visit:
San Telmo Municipal Museum. This museum, which opened its doors in 1932, has three storeys. The ground floor being home to the church, the cloister and the archaeology section, with exhibits engraved tombstones, baptismal fonts, shields and one of the finest collections of discoid stelae The art gallery has works by El Greco, Corot, Ignacio de Iriarte and Sorolla, amongst others. The top floor is devoted to contemporary Basque paintings, with works by Antonio Ortiz Echagüe, Ignacio Zuloaga, Rafael Ruiz Balerdi and Vitxori Sanz.
Miramar Royal Palace. This palace, dating from 1888, was designed by the English architect Selden Wornun, though the work was carried out by Benito Olasagasti under the direction of the architect José Goicoa.
Buen Pastor Cathedral. Built in the neo-Gothic style, it is the largest church in the city.
La Concha. This is the sandy beach of the Basque capital. The pleasant, well-known seafront promenade there always attracts people, just as the bicycle lane that runs the length of it always attracts cyclists. The sand runs all the way along the bay, taking in the beaches of Ondarreta and La Concha on the way.
Route through Orio-Zarauz-Getaria-Zumaia. This route will take you through some the most famous Basque fishing villages, delighting any traveller.
Route through San Juan-Hondarribia-San Juan de la Luz-Biarritz. You shouldn't miss visiting Hondarribia: its old fish market, old cross, the Saindua chapel, Santa Maria de la Asuncion and the Castle of Carlos V.
Route through Zestoa-Azpeitia-Santuario of Loyola. On this route, enjoy stunning landscapes and discover emblematic places, like the temple of San Sebastian (which is said to have been the church of the Templars) or the Loyola Basilica (near the place where the founder of the Jesuits, San Ignacio de Loyola, was born).
Travellers visiting San Sebastián will find wide-ranging specialist shops ideal for purchasing very special gifts: Antique shops, bookshops, jeweller's, perfumeries, confectioner's, gift shops and many more besides all form part of an extensive and diverse range of shops for visitors.
Going shopping in San Sebastián, where distance doesn't exist and where the attractive surroundings encourage rambling and contemplation, is truly a pleasure.