Enjoying the coast of northern Spain starting from San Sebastian
Many travelers think that visiting Spain means looking for the Mediterranean coast, or even better, the Baleares Islands and their constant flux of beach parties and concerts. But there are so many other places to discover. Spain is a country full of contrasts and of divergent landscapes, and that makes completely worthy to try out a different approach to visiting it. A great option is taking the northern coast of Spain as a discovering area. There are many charming places to find, and beautiful cities, built to look at the sea, that will certainly take our breath away.
Just as an example, we can take San Sebastian (also known as Donostia), as a starting point of our travels through the northern area of Spain. San Sebastian isn’t a huge city, but it is on its own merit, a beautiful spot that showcases the better items in Basque culture and gastronomy. San Sebastian is one of the main cities of the Spanish Basque Country, and so, we can find a rich cultural heritage and current life in its streets. It also has beautiful beaches with breathtaking landscapes that are amazing no matter the time of the year we choose to visit them.
Spending holidays in a charming apartment on San Sebastian most renowned beaches (like La Concha beach) will allow us to enjoy the city’s wonders, like:
1) The “Paseo Nuevo”. This path draws a line around the Urgull Hill (a truly Donostia landmark) from the old part of the city to the Santa Klara island, boarding the wonderful La Concha beach. Just pay attention to the tide: on high tide days, the risk of getting wet is really high.
Buen Pastor Cathedral
2) The “Buen Pastor” This massive neo-gothic church is a delight for the senses, since it’s highly decorated with gargoyles and stained glass windows. A must-see spot in this city.
Peine del Viento
3) The wonderful sculpture “Peine del Viento”. Eduardo Chillida sculpted three famous artworks at the end of Ondarreta beach. The amazing thing is how nature interacts with them, and when wind gently (or violently) blows through them, it makes a whistle sound. From original to emblematic, this art pieces are unique and they’ve become a focal point of the city landscape.
4) Old city. The “ciudad vieja”, meaning the historical neighborhood of the city remains a traditional basque city, and it’s full of bars that offer the delicious “pintxos” or tapas, wonderful appetizers that are also pretty and colorful. From here, it’s easy to arrive walking and climb the Urgull hill, enjoying a complete view on the city.
5) Miramar Palace. This exquisite building was one of the summer residences for the king of Spain. Nowadays it’s the siege of the local Music School, and it hosts concerts and cultural events. It also has a beautiful garden worth the visit.
These five spots are not even including the La Concha and Ondarrieta beaches, the Aquarium and diverse museums that Donostia has to offer. On top, thanks to the well thought transport system, San Sebastian can be used as a departing point to discover all the Basque Country and other charming places like Galicia or Cantabria.