April 24th, 2012
San Sebastian – or Donostia in Basque – can be found in the north of Spain, a friendly, accessible city with the added pleasure of stunning coves, beaches and bays. Art and culture collide with the fun of the surf and the sea to provide an unforgettable holiday with a difference…so come and explore San Sebastian…
On the southern side of the Bay of Biscay, and only 20 kms from France means that this lovely area is easily reached. If you are driving from France into Spain, then enshew the expensive motorway and opt for the scenic route instead, following the old route and the coastline. Hendaye, Fuenterrabia, miles of superb sandy beaches and views over the Bay of Biscay. A holiday in itself!
Calm down and cool down
Not many city centres can boast their own beaches, but right in the centre of San Sebastian´s Old Town you will find what has been described as the prettiest city beach in the world. La Concha – the seashell – is enclosed and sheltered, with shallow and calm warm waters and it´s own little island in the middle which you can swim out to – La Isla Santa Clara. The beach is fine golden sand covering 2 kms in a pretty arc.
Surfers from all over the world come to test out their skills on the beaches in this area of the País Vasco. Who would blame them? Some of the best surfing is honed to a fine art here, and just the other side of La Concha you can leave the calm waters behind and try out La Ondaretta. A walkway connects the two beaches which disappears at high tide. Less busy than some of the other beaches in the area, it has a relaxed vibe and great surfing. Lots of good facilities here such as showers, toilets and lifeguards, the same specification as La Concha.
The big one
La Zurriola is located just a 5 minute walk with your board under your arm from the city centre. A sandy beach jammed with cool kids playing volleyball, beach football, a sea with serious surfers. The waves here are monstrous and it´s really popular -so maybe not one for granny!
There´s a surf school if you want to brush up on your skills and also boards are for hire here if you would rather travel light! Apparently, a days surfing here is really Crankin´ – that means great, I looked it up…
A little further out…
By road that is. About 20 kms or so in the Bilbao direction you´ll come across Zarautz beach -yet another surfing haven. Big waves and fine golden sand making another perfect combination. A fine culinary spot too, there are some award winning restaurants in the area. In fact Karlos Arginaño the Spanish TV chef has a restaurant here.
And for lunch? …..Surf and Turf?? ! ……Sorry…..!
20 kms or so towards the French border you´ll come across Fuenterrabia beach. More fine, golden soft sand to dig your toes into…and it´s also a pretty Basque fishing village. More good facilities too, making this another good family beach. A view of France on the other side of the bay comes free – lots of nice places to eat right here too – now you know that Basque cooking is the best in Spain, don´t you?!
Small and perfectly formed
More small sandy beaches along the Bilbao direction will be less crowded, perhaps less facilities too but quieter, look out on the map for:
Back around town…
So, wax up your board and come and enjoy a Spanish Summer full of surfing fun in the sun – at San Sebastian!