San Sebastian – What Would You Say ?

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What would you say if I told you there was a cozy, little city tucked away in a crevice of Spain where you could find sparkling, pristine waters only yards from gourmet eateries and trendy clothing shops? A city with modern luxuries but a secluded atmosphere, a place where you can be snorkeling in the ocean in the morning and dancing on the bar by evening; this is San Sebastian.

Water Fun

San Sebastian is a beach city. In fact, it is said by many to have the best in-city beaches in all of Europe. The waters are clear and sparkling blue. The powdery sand beaches beckon sunbathers. There are several beaches in San Sebastian, three in the city itself and several in outlaying areas. Each offers an amazing experience in swimming and surfing are big attractions.

San Sebastian harbour
Photo By Oneras (CC) on Flickr

Zurriola Beach is especially popular with surfers because of its unpredictable and sometimes violent waves, Hendaia Beach is also a popular surf spot. Other beaches, like the Getaria Beach, are located near a fishing village and suitable for all ages. There are even lifeguards, restrooms, showers and restaurants nearby.

San Sebastian Attractions

The city has an amazing aquarium, El Aquarium-Palacio del Mar de Donostia-San Sebastián that boasts sharks and other marine life native to the area. It is an amazing feeling to look through the hazy glass and come eye to eye with a being from all the way across the world. There are many exhibits featuring modern marine life as well as artifacts and fossils of beings past. The aquarium offers educational lectures and courses to learn about the marine life of Spain and San Sebastian. Don’t leave without a walk along the transparent, underwater walkway.

When you leave the aquarium, travel along the Paseo Nuevo. The Paseo Nuevo is a wide walkway that goes almost completely around one of the two mountains that the city is nestled between. The Bay of Biscay provides a stunning panoramic view to this breathtaking ride.

There are several museums to visit as well. Each offers its own historic exhibits and educational portals to learn about the culture and traditions of Spain and San Sebastian. The San Telmo Municipal Museum tells the heritage of the Basque Country in multi-disciplinary centre’s set in an old 16th century convent. The three sections of the museum, Fine Art, History and Archaeology, are explored through exhibits in drawings, painting, sculptures, ceramics, music, metalwork and so much more.

San Sebastian Shopping

This city may be small but it’s mighty in the shopping arena. The culture of the Basque civilization is rich and colorful. Many of the stores and shops reflect that culture and its many traditions in the wares they stock. Much of the clothing sold in the city is traditional and meaningful to the culture.

Designer boutiques with major labels also dot the area and satisfy the discerning shopper. Louis Vuitton and Ferragamo share shelf space with local designers and handcrafted jewelry. No vacation is really complete without taking home a special souvenir.The busy Parte Vieja district is where you’ll find many boutiques and shops but don’t count out the smaller districts. Calle Narrica and Calle Puerto also have lots of great little locally owned shops along the streets.

San Sebastian Dining

The Basque culture of San Sebastian, Spain has its own very unique taste and flavors. This city on the sea offers seafood that goes far beyond expectations. It has often been said that San Sebastian has the best food you’ve never heard of. This is so because of the distinctive flavors of the Basque culture. It’s unlike anything from anywhere else in the world.

Statistics show the Basque community spends more than twice what Americans do on food and meals. Common sense tells us they also spend a lot of time preparing food and eating. With so much money and time being spent on food it is no wonder that so many amazing tastes are born here.

There are gourmet restaurants, and little sidewalk cafes. There are bars and taverns and locally owned pubs. There are breakfast, lunch and dinner places. There are places for coffee and places for cocktails. You won’t go hungry in San Sebastian.

This little ocean front city may seem like a dream but its real. Best of all, it is attainable. It has all the bells and whistles of the luxury hotspots but not of the pretention and arrogance of other beach destinations. The seclusion of the mountains on both sides of the city and the miles of clear water beaches gives the city a feeling of uniqueness.

The Basque culture and the exceptional landscape of San Sebastian make it a one in a million vacation spot. It’s surprisingly affordable but gives plenty of options for over the top luxury.

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