San Sebastian, Spain
San Sebastian is one of those coastal towns you may have heard of in passing. But unless you’ve stepped foot on this beautiful town, you won’t realize that such a dream spot can be reality. San Sebastian reminds me of falling in Love, or Lust for that matter. It’s the type of paradise you can retire in. A place fitting for both the young and the old, the budget traveler and the wealthy. A spot for beach bums, surfers, dreamers and creatives who yearn for a place that inspires. It’s a place you’d want to rent a beach house and chill for months on end. Where you can take off and start over, perhaps spend months just writing, painting, start a coffee shop, bar or art gallery of that sort.
The town lies along the shore of Bahia de la Concha. It’s laid back and is not a town that’s been run down by tourism. It’s small though with enough to do to last you months. But chill enough if you want to hide out in one of the castles or small neighborhoods to hibernate. San Sebastian is chic but not pretentious. There’s an old-town, a thriving fishing port, and best of all for foodies like us, San Sebastian is known as a culinary capital with 13 Michelin stars which in itself was a reason for me to take that trek.
San Sebastian is a part of “Basque Country”, located on the very northern tip of Spain. It sits along the coast of the Bay of Biscal, bordering 20 km from the South of France (the next beach town over the border is Biarritz, France). We booked the “Surfers Paradise Donostia” hostel, in a quieter residential area away just 15 minutes walk into town (clean, simple, I’d recommend it!). San Sebastian is known for great surfs, although we didn’t get a chance to, many backpackers from around the world come just for that.
When you’re not busy trying every restaurant, you can find yourself at one of the beautiful public beaches along the coast. Although packed to the max, we didn’t mind it. We enjoyed having the option to drink on the beach, observing beautiful topless Europeans, children and families wading through the water. San Sebastian represented the very stereotypical European Culture that so many of us adore. Just a short swim or boat ride away takes you to other secluded beaches.
What particularly intrigued me is that San Sebastian is hilly with views of Mountains and castles and Cathedrals. San Sebastian is also known for its arts. Look out for the San Sebastian Jazz Festival and International Jazz Festival next time!
How to get to San Sebastian, Spain
You can take a 5 hour train (or drive) directly from Barcelona or from anywhere in Spain. You can check RailEurope for their schedule and pricing. Or inexpensive short flights from Barcelona for 1 hour 15 minutes.