donostia - san sebastián

Words often fail to describe to describe San Sebastian, the city with three mountains, three beaches, an island and a river. Gipuzkoa’s capital has enhanced its natural beauty with great architecture, a high quality of life and an unbeatable gastronomic reputation.

the basque coast

Gipuzkoa’s coast is dotted with a string of charming fishing villages that offer great fish and sea food in an idyllic setting, as well as extraordinary singular natural spaces.

green gipuzkoa

Gipuzkoa is a mountainous country. Human settlement has therefore adhered to the main rivers that cut their way through narrow valleys.


In the Basque Country, gastronomy is an everyday occurrence. You can take your choice from some of the world’s most exquisite Haute Cuisine dishes, take part in the Cider House culture ,.or enjoy “pintxos” (local tapas) in the myriad bars of the “Parte Vieja” (old town).

travelling with children

San Sebastian is a child-friendly city. A bike trail runs for fully five miles from end to end of all three of its golden beaches. There are also some interesting attractions, such as the (vintage) Igeldo fun park, the recently-renovated aquarium and the Science museum (Eureka! Zientzia Museoa).

race track

Backing a winner is enjoyable in any circumstances, but the thrill is enhanced at San Sebastian’s charming racecourse, situated at Lasarte, just outside of town. The summer season attracts big crowds of enthusiastic punters, and is definitely the place to be seen on Gold Cup Day (15 August), a unique and exciting afternoon when shepherds, taxi-drivers, philosophers, footballers, nurses, aristocrats and Jai Alai stars cheerfully rub shoulders as they cheer home their favourites.

festivals and traditions

The patron saint of the city, San Sebastian, is honoured with a special feast day on 20 January. From midnight to midnight on this day, a multitude of drumming processions parade around the town, with the participants dressed as either chefs or soldiers from Napoleonic times.

The children’s parade is especially enchanting, with more than 5,000 schoolchildren from all the city’s schools, charmingly arrayed in their Napoleonic costumes.

The world-renowned San Sebastian Jazz Festival is held every year during the second half of July.

The “Semana Grande” (big week) takes place during the month of August and includes, as one of its main features, a fantastic International Fireworks Competition, which nightly enthrals vast crowds as a veritable shower of colours lights up the bay.

Between 1 and 9 September, the “Euskal Jaia” (Basque Celebration) showcases the best of local folklore, with music, dancing and costume. Also in September, La Concha is scenario for the “Bahía de la Concha” traineras (rowing boat) prize, another traditional Basque sport.

San Sebastian’s unique Film Festival plays host to a stellar array of talent and glamour from the world of cinema during the second half of September.

further information