San Sebastian Donostia Spain

San Sebastián is on the Bay of Biscay in Spain’s mountainous Basque Country. It’s known for Playa de la Concha and Playa de Ondarreta, beaches framed by a picturesque bay front promenade, and world-renowned restaurants with by innovative chefs. Find upscale shops, vibrant pintxo bars that pair local wines with bite-size regional specialties.

San Sebastián is one of the world’s great dining destinations. This city celebrates the art of eating well – whether snacking on fresh oysters and txakoli at a seaside cafe or lingering over a multi-course meal. Pintxos  bars are all along the streets of San Sebastián, and showcase first-rate ingredients with the culinary creativity of Basque chefs. If you are a foodie, then you will love San Sebastian. Read on and plan your San Sebastian Donostia Spain vacation!

San Sebastian Donostia Weather – When to Visit

The best time to visit San Sebastian is from May to July. Summer has the least amount of rain compared to the rest of the year. If you are a night owl, plan your visit during August and September, when the city hosts numerous cultural events, including Europe's longest running classical music festival. October is another great time when visitors can experience lower temperatures and less crowds, however this is a time of heavy rainfall. If you are looking for the best deal, winter (with its chilly temperatures) will provide you with lower rates.

Best San Sebastian Donostia Beaches

Zurriola Beach, San Sebastian Donostia Spain, Best San Sebastian Donostia Tours & Activities, Best San Sebastian Donostia restaurants, Best San Sebestian Donostia bars, Best San SebaStian Donostia hotels, best San Sebastian Donostia beaches, Top 20 Beach Destinations
Zurriola Beach

Zurriola is the surf beach of the city and belongs to the surfer neighbourhood Gros. Every day you will be able to spot some surfers here. You can also try to surf yourself, by taking some classes at one of the several surfing schools. There are more young people attracted to this beach and you can find several cool beach bars here.

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Concha Beach, San Sebastian Donostia Spain, Top 25 Beach destinations, Best Beaches in the world
Concha Beach

This is one of the biggest and most central beaches in the Concha Bay. It has been recognized as the most beautiful beaches in Spain. It is also listed as one of the Top 2o Beach Destinations in the world. It is protected by the bay and the island making it very peaceful with calm water, making it a great swimming beach.

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Ondarreta Beach, San Sebastian Donostia Spain, Top 25 Beach destinations, Best Beaches in the world
Ondarreta Beach

The Ondarreta beach is also located in the Concha bay. The water is calmer close to this beach with Santa Clara Island offering protection against the winds.  It's a great beach for families with children. You'll find playgrounds, a beach bar, and a rental service of canoes during summer.

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Santa Clara Island Beach, San Sebastian Donostia Spain, Top 25 Beach destinations, Best Beaches in the world
Santa Clara Island Beach

This beach on Santa Clara island is usually called the “4th beach” of San Sebastián. You can only reach it by the water, either by canoe or by swimming to it. There are beach facilities to include showers and a beach bar.

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Best San Sebastian Donostia Tours & Activities by Viator

Half-Day Way of St. James Hiking Tour from San Sebastián

Experience San Sebastian’s highlights and lesser-known delights on this small-group electric bike tour. Hop on an easy-to-ride bike and see more than you ever could on a walking tour as you travel along the city's large network of bike lanes. Discover La Concha, the Boulevard, and Monte Igueldo for bird’s-eye views, and explore often-overlooked districts such as the university and sports quarter. Ideal for first-time and short-on-time visitors, with a choice of departures. Visit Here to learn more about the Half-Day San Sebastian Hiking Tour.

Ultimate San Sebastian Pintxos & Wine Tour

Discover the tradition of pintxos (Basque tapas) during this small-group food tour in San Sebastian. See the city through a local’s lens and visit six pintxos bars meeting the families behind them along the way. Taste a variety of snacks and Spanish wine as you stroll through San Sebastian in a group limited to just eight people. Visit Here to learn more about the San Sebastian Pintxos & Wine Tour.

San Sebastián Food Tour: Pintxos and Wine

Discover the esteemed culinary scene of San Sebastián on an evening tour to three award-winning ‘pintxos’ (Basque tapas) bars. Accompanied by an expert gastronomical guide, discover the history behind the miniature morsels known as pintxos and pleasure your palate with samples of some of the city’s best. Tantalize your taste buds with local delicacies like spider crab while sipping fine Basque wines and crisp locally brewed beers. Visit Here to learn more about the San Sebastian Food Tour: Pintxos & Wine.

Basque by Bike Small-Group Cycle Tour in San Sebastián

Explore the Basque history and quirky charm of San Sebastián on this bike tour. Cycle along beaches, rivers, battlefields, and bays with a savvy guide, passing by aristocratic palaces and avant garde pinxto bars along the way. With a relaxed pace and the flexibility to stop often, It's a great way to get acquainted with San Sebastián’s contrasting historic highlights and modern vibe. Visit Here to learn more about the Basque by Bike Small-Group Cycle Tour.

Walking the UNESCO'S Basque Coast Geopark in Zumaia

Discover some of the Basque Country’s most spectacular scenery on this small-group walking tour from Zumaia. Meet your guide in the town center, and set off on foot (walking sticks and ponchos are provided for your comfort). Your destination is the Basque Coast UNESCO Global Geopark, renowned for its extraordinary rock formations, many of which date back hundreds of millions of years. Learn about the region’s history as you go before winding down with a traditional pintxo and drink at a local tavern. Visit Here to learn more about the Walking Tour Basque coast Geopark.

Best San Sebastian Donostia Restaurants

Mugaritz $ 30 & Up

Mugaritz has a tasting menu that is a 20-course extravaganza. You might be presented with eggs that look like pebbles, a ‘macaroon’ made with pig's blood and almonds, or sautéed sea slugs with ‘vegetable charcoal’ and salad sprouts. Texture almost seems more important than taste. A meal at Mugaritz won't be forgotten. Telephone: 34 943 52 24 55 Web: Mugaritz

Rekondo $ 30 & Up

Enjoy the setting, in a former farmhouse on the way up to Mount Igeldo with views of La Concha bay; the wine cellar, long recognized as San Sebastián’s finest, overseen by world-class sommelier Martín Flea; and chef Iñaki Arrieta, a chef who takes Basque cooking to a higher level. You might find scallops a la plancha with a coriander cream, or carpaccio of carabinero prawns with pistachio vinaigrette, alongside the classic txuleta – a slab of ox grilled over wood embers. Telephone : 34 943 21 29 07 Web: Rekondo

Galerna Jan Eden $ 11 – 30

Creative and invigorating combos include: oysters with a with a hazelnut ajoblanco, roast octopus with spicy and coriander-based mojo sauces, and migas with smoked mackerel, beetroot and truffle. Telephone: 34 943 27 88 39 Web: Galerna Jan Eden

Zazpi $ 11 – 30

This downtown pintxo bar/restaurant may be noisy and brightly lit, but the food, by new-generation chef Paul Arrillaga, is stunning. Dishes, chalked up on a blackboard above the bar, are surprisingly upscale given the restaurant’s friendly down-home setting. Telephone: 34 943 50 67 67 Web: Zazpi

Convent Garden

Enjoy this modern eatery to include decorative trappings from the original convent, and a menu that’s into vegetable-centric eating. The dishes feel like modern comfort food: cabbage rolls with demi-glace, a chunk of pancetta over quinoa, roasted eggplant with miso — all served beneath antique candelabras. Telephone: 34 843 68 70 20 Web: Convent Garden

Best San Sebastian Donostia Pintxo Bars

Altxerri Bar

Altxerri Bar is located in the old city on 2 Calle Regente and is a must for music and jazz lovers. Altxerri is one of the best places for live music in the city and one of the most authentic Donosti atmospheres. Telephone: 34 943 42 16 93 Web: Altxerri Bar

Ondara 16 Bis

This bar is located close to beach and its bustling crowd and quality tunes have increasingly made it a popular spot. It has a relaxed vibe and the style of music varies. It also hosts a number of events from jam sessions to concerts and poetry readings. Telephone: 34 688 77 95 28 Web: Ondara 16 Bis

Le Bukowski

Le Bukowski has been around for over 20 years and offers a variety of music from electro to soul and pop. It also features a variety of gigs and plays, offering entertainment for almost every taste. The bar is located in the Barrio Egia and has great drink prices. Telephone: 34 943 32 11 42 Web: Le Bukowski

Akerbeltz

Akerbeltz is situated just on the port and you can take drinks outside take in the breathtaking views over the ocean. It is extremely popular among locals. The quirky interior and the music is dominated by rocky vibes or electronic beats. Telephone: 34 943 30 08 46 Web: Akerbeltz

Eiger Edaritegia

Eiger Edaritegia is one of the busiest places in the city on the weekend and offers a down to earth atmosphere and crowd. The playlist consists primarily of rock and will win over any guitar enthusiast. The bar itself is unpretentious and caters to a more relaxed audience. Telephone: 34 943 42 38 64 Web: Eiger Edaritegia

Best San Sebastian Donostia Hotels

24 Comments

  1. Payton

    Wow, San sabastian is a very beautiful place looking at all the beauties that it beholds. I must say that I have never thought of this place has a good beach destination. I like the different tours that is available and the fact that there are different beaches there too. I like what you have shared here and maybe after the Corona virus, I’ll be there.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, it is beautiful and they are ranked in the Top 20 best beach destinationsby TripAdvisor.  You would have a wonderful vacation here 🙂

      Reply
  2. BeyondCol

    Its good to read through this interesting article. It came at the very right time, I’m trying to gather a list of place to visit with my family later. I’m a big fan of travels, it enlightens my mood and it gives me time to build a stress-free bond time with my daughter. San Sebastian donostia in Spain is really a place to visit, I’ll let you know if it later tops my list.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Ok, sounds great.  Thanks for visiting beach travel destinations.

      Reply
  3. Joy

    hello awesome article you have here this really caught my  attention i just could not ignore it  you talked about beach travel destination i really think that this article is going to help a lot of people including me as i have been having difficulty in my choice of destination to spend time thanks for sharing this important information with us 

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Joy, thanks for visiting beach travel destinations.

      Reply
  4. Ismeglamour

    Hello there, thanks for sharing this awesome article I know it would be of great help to the public as it has been of help to me. I just like the place because of the Playa de la Concha and Playa de Ondarreta, beaches and world-renowned
    restaurants helmed by innovative chefs.But i must say it a very nice location for a vacation.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I couldn’t agree more!  Glad you enjoyed my San Sebastian Donostia Spain guide.

      Reply
  5. Sherry

    Wow! This is purely an haven of beauty and tranquil serenity. I just see that everything in here is just great to see. From the beauty that surrounds the beach to the simple cinematic view that is her. It is just the perfect package I must say. I love every bit of this here. I like this San Sebastian denostia in spain enough. Wow

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Sherry, I think anyone that loves the beach and beauty would love San Sebastian.  Thanks for visiting.

      Reply
  6. Jerry McCoy

    You have hit it  out of the park. You must have spent a lot of time to show so much detail about San Sebastian. The photography was extraordinary. You will never lack for something to do. There is so much culture and beauty for one to partake of that it would take one years to see all of the history and mystery within the city. The availability of such beautiful beaches so close is a treasure all by itself. 

    I have bookmarked this page for further exploration, closer to when my wife and I plan our next vacation.

    Jerry

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Ok Jerry, if you need any further assistance, please just ask.  Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  7. Shawn D

    What beautiful beaches and interesting restaurants! Concha beach is exactly the place that I would love to take a relaxing walk at. And to end the walk with a nice healthy meal at the Convent garden. Thank you for putting all the details in one site, including some great places to stay at while enjoying the views. 

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You’re welcome Shawn.  Glad you enjoyed the views 🙂

      Reply
  8. Tyrone WYNN

    WOW if i desired to take a vacation with the thought of resting this is not the place or I should look for another place that only has a hotel with a comfortable bed and no other fun things to do around it.
    So while i am packing my clothing and sandals I must make certain that all my credit cards have a
    zero balance so that i am prepared to change the number of days i plan to enjoy myself at any moment
    to make certain I eat at least twice at each restaurant and maybe change hotels and beeches just to
    get a change of pace and outlook of the different surrounds and the diversity of people in the different spaces. I can not think of not visiting this vacation resort a time or two.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Sounds like you have some traveling to do 🙂 You will love San Sebastian!

      Reply
  9. Selenity Jade

    WOW!  I didn’t know that San Sabastian or even Spain for that matter was so gorgeous!  The first picture is absolutely stunning! I really like Concha Beach out of the few you listed.  It’s no wonder it’s one of the world’s top 20 beaches.  It’s beautiful, white sand, and so wide of a beach that crowds of people can visit it and not be too busy.  It looks as beautiful as the Florida beaches I’ve been to.  Thanks for the article!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Jade!  I live in Florida and I have been to Spain.  I would have to say both are beautiful.  I guess the different is the culture, and the food.  You will find some amazing dishes in Spain that are just yummy!

      Reply
  10. Sunny

    Wow, this article is amazing. It came at the right time, to remind me that there are destinations waiting for me to visit them. I haven’t heard for San Sebastian Donostia Spain but looking at these photos seems to be a must-see destination. Or better say “must  experienced”
    Spain is the country I haven’t visited yet and I am not familiar with its coast. You really got me wanting to go! What do you think it’s happening right now? Do you think it’s open and free to enjoy? 
    You also mentioned that October is the best time to go but it has heavy rainfalls and that in the winter you will find the low rates. Do you think that during the winter you can actually enjoy the full time on the beach with no restrictions? 

    Thanks,
    Sunny

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I think that the pandemic is still affecting any travel anywhere.  I know there are some places with very few cases, yet every where is taking precaution.  I know that they are open, and the hotels and restaurants are taking precautions, along with the tour companies.  I am just waiting for everything to get better.  Yes, you can enjoy the beach in October.  I don’t know what you mean by, “with no restrictions” but it is the best time to travel to San Sebastian Donostia Spain.  Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  11. Darrin

    Beautiful website and wonderful information! I’ve yet to make it to Spain, but I hope to before too long. My daughter went last year and loved it! I forget where exactly she went, but the pictures were amazing and the landscape was breathtaking. As she told me, the pics don’t even do justice for what Spain really looks like in the area where she was. 

    San Sebastián sounds like a place I’d want to go. With the restaurants and other entertainment you mentioned, there seems to be a great nightlife scene for vacationers. Thanks for the insight and the recommendation. I will consider that location for my next trip.

    Darrin

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You’re welcome Darrin.  I would have to agree with your daughter.  Spain is beautiful and it has a LOT of beautiful beaches with plenty to see and do.  Not to mention all the food!  You’ll enjoy for sure.

      Reply
  12. Doug

    Thank you for posting this information.  This was a great read.  My wife and I are thinking about retiring in Spain in about 20 years.  But I think San Sebastian Donostia may have to be the first stop when we plan our trip.  The beaches look very enticing.  I would prefer a low tourist time frame and I think October would be a great time according to your recommendation.  Thank you again.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome.  Thanks for visiting my San Sebastian Donostia Spain guide.

      Reply

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