So why would I travel by train, all the way up north to go to a little place called San Sebastián? Well… my trusty Eyewitness Travel guide refers to it as “the most elegant & fashionable Spanish seaside resort” and as if that wasn’t enough to sell you on the place, it’s also known as being a bit of a gastronomic hub, with their tapas or pinchos as they call them, known to be out of this world.
So there you have it – awesome beach time & awesome food. What’s not to like?
I was staying about a 15min walk from their “old town” area and about a 5min walk from their Playa de la Zurriola beach. I would have preferred to stay on the old town side, but when I was looking for a hotel, options were very slim. This is a very popular little place, so the earlier you book, the better. Also, it does tend to be a bit pricier accommodation wise.
My hotel was called Pensión Grosen, a small & basic 2 star hotel (another Booking.com reservation). There are only 5 rooms in total, all occupying the bottom floor of an apartment building. It cost me 90 euros per night, which I did feel was a bit steep, but my room was modern, neat & cosy and the lady working at reception was really lovely & welcoming. So I was quite content.
I also had the cutest restaurant just down the road, which I used as my “en route in/out” base for a quick snack or glass of wine. It was called Salt and it was really very pretty inside. Plus it had great views of the beach and friendly folks who could speak English (something you’ll battle to find in San Sebastián).
The Zurriola beach is referred to as their “surfers beach” – it is not the biggest, the most fashionable or popular, but it is the only beach that actually gets some waves from time to time. Not that you’ll be able to tell that from these pics I took on the evening I arrived (but I did at least see some waves in the days after):
I actually really enjoyed that 15min walk into old town. It was very relaxing… passing the beach, crossing the Puente de la Zurriola – a beautiful bridge dating back to the 1920s with its very stylish lamps which line both sides, and looking at all the beautiful old buildings…
Anyways, this was only a little introduction into San Sebastián. A teaser of things to come. I’ll definitely be going into more detail about their old town, their fashionable beaches & those famous pinchos.
This is quite a special little place.