San Sebastian

A Gastronomic Paradise in Basque Country

San Sebastian - or Donostia, as it’s known in Basque - has been ranked as one of the most beautiful capitals of Spain. This coastal city was once the holiday destination of the Spanish monarchy (Queen Maria Cristina established her royal summerhouse here), and the palatial, Belle Epoque-era architecture is a reminder of its grand past and can still be seen throughout the city.

Nestled around an idyllic bay, in a natural amphitheatre facing the sea and protected by mountains, with La Concha as the most beautiful urban beach in Europe, the elegance city of San Sebastian offers a unique scenery and it is impossible not to fall for its Basque charm.

This beach town has turned into a Michelin hotspot with 11 restaurants in Michelin Guide and 18 Michelin stars within a 25-kilometre radius. Donostia-San Sebastian has been named ‘Best Food Destination in the world’, establishing itself as a world-class gastro-paradise. Another indicator of the city’s fine dining is the fact that it is home to the first faculty of gastronomy in the world, the Basque Culinary Centre.

In addition to its reputation for culinary excellence, the 2016 European Capital of Culture, has begun to reinvent itself, this time as a cultural destination, with a remarkably high level of cultural activity for its size, with its international film and jazz festivals.

With its stunning landscapes and world-class cuisine, San Sebastian is a must on any traveller’s itinerary. You can either choose to stroll the Belle Époque promenades to experience the splendour of the city’s aristocratic past. Or surf the waves in any of the city’s three urban beaches. Whatever your option is, just pack your appetite and embrace all this small but perfectly formed city has to offer.

Roberto Marijuan is a content writer from Bilbao and also an active member of BilbaoGreeters.
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