For groups of of 2 - 6 people we
offer you a guided tour of some of San Sebastian's finest tapas bars. To
help you out we will provide you with an English translation of Spanish
food and cooking.....
This city, also known as
Donostia, lies along a white sandy bay between the Urgull and Igeldo hills.
Fishermen's houses, a smart suburb and modern districts make it one of
the most attractive cities on the Cantabrian coast. The Museum of San Telmo,
the Peine de los Vientos (Comb of the Winds) and the Kursaal are examples
of how the city brings together modern and traditional features. Meanwhile,
the province of Guipuzcoa, of which San Sebastián is the capital,
blends sea and mountains, offering the traveller landscape, sports and
cuisine, as well as interesting monuments. Basque cuisine has a recognised
The town centre streets of San
Sebastian unfold overlooking the La Concha Bay. Monte Igeldo marks one
end of it - a wonderful vantage point for enjoying views over the city.
At its feet is Torrepea Point, where the "Peine de los Vientos" ("Comb
of the Winds"), a sculpture by the famous Basque artist Eduardo Chillida,
is installed. Here Ondarreta beach begins, framed by a garden area and
by the Pico del Loro. This was the place chosen by Queen Maria Cristina
(18th C.) to build the Miramar Palace, her summer residence.
A lovely promenade with
elegant railings and street lamps runs along La Concha Beach, on whose
sands is the Perla del Océano Bathing Area, a former royal bathing
hut. Still looking at the sea, you arrive at the old Casino, nowadays the
City Hall. In this area, between the sea and the River Urumea, is the old
town and the way to Monte Urgull, the marina and the fishermen's district.
The summit of Urgull is dominated by La Mota Castle and a representation
of the Sacred Heart. One path takes you upwards while another skirts the
hill and takes you along the breakwater.
In the oldest part of San
Sebastián, the churches of San Vicente and Santa María del
Coro await you, the former Gothic and the latter Renaissance-Baroque. An
old Dominican convent is nowadays the San Telmo Museum, whose archaeological
and ethnographic collections, together with its paintings, are worth a
leisurely visit. These busy streets lead you to the porticoed Plaza de
Among its many balconies
- numbered and painted white, betraying its origin as a bullring - stands
the old Neoclassical City Hall, converted into the Municipal Library.
La Alameda del Boulevard
leads into the Romantic city, which emerged after the old walls were demolished.
One the banks of the Urumea you can make out the Victoria Eugenia Theatre
and the María Cristina Hotel, built in Neoplateresque style. Spread
through this rationalist street pattern, you can also visit the Plaza de
Guipúzcoa, with its gardens, the Provincial Government building,
the Koldo Mitxeleria Cultural Centre and the Post and Telegraph Office.
Also, San Sebastian Cathedral, el Buen Pastor, built in Neogothic style.
Once again on the bank there are aristocratic houses from the beginning
of the 20th century, leading to the María Cristina bridge, the most
monumental of those crossing the river. Four lamps by the sculptor Mariano
Benlliure light the way to the railway station, designed by Eiffel. On
this side of the river are the modern districts of Eguía and Gros.
On Gros Beach is the modern Kursaal structure, designed by the architect
Sebastián is a cosmopolitan city with a strong Basque character,
which is clear in its cultural events. The "tamborrada" or "Semana Grande",
with its fishing boat regatta, tells us something of the tradition; while
its prestigious film and jazz festivals say a great deal about its international
vocation. All these are occasions when it is well worth enjoying the city,
although you will need to book accommodation in advance.
One of the best ways of touring
its districts and approaching its culture is through the cuisine. Basque
cookery has international prestige thanks to its raw materials and the
skill of its cooks, who have both traditional and imaginative repertoires.
It must be said that some of the most renowned restaurants in Spain are
in San Sebastián. Recipes made with vegetables, fish and shellfish
must always be accompanied by chacolí from Guetaria/Guetariako Txakolina,
with its own Denomination of Origin.
province of Guipúzcoa satisfies the tastes of any traveller, offering
a long coastline of excellent beaches and fishing villages, while inland
there are natural areas where you can find important historic towns. Going
along the coast from France towards Vizcaya you will have the chance to
visit the historic centre of Hondarribia/Fuenterrabia, declared a Historic-Artistic
Monument, and to stay in its Parador de Turismo. Other towns that combine
interesting monuments with extensive beaches are Zarautz, Getaria, Deba
Rivers and valleys lead you
inland. Following the course of the Oria, the historic towns of Tolosa,
Ordizia and Lazkao preserve important legacies of monuments. The Urola
valley has the old town and spa of Cestona/Zestoa, the medieval streets
of Azpeitia and the Sanctuary of San Ignacio de Loyola, a Baroque site
that is the centre of Basque religious life. Bergara, one of the most smartest
towns in Guipúzcoa, and the lovely houses of Elgeta unfold along
the Deba valley.
In addition to this wealth
of monuments, this Basque province has a natural heritage which is perfect
for practising many low environmental impact sports. The Aitzkorri, Aralar,
Aiako-Harria and Pagoeta natural parks also show us the quality of their