A Foodie Weekend in San Sebastian
We had a late arrival into San Sebastian on Friday evening, and given that this region tends to eat more on French time rather than Spanish time, most places were closing. We were lucky enough to still have time to enjoy Pinxtos at Gandarias, where the bar was bustling and the food was terrific.
We had a lazy start to Saturday, and enjoyed a nice brunch on the restaurant terrace of La Perla (rather than the café’s terrace). It was bang in the middle of La Concha beach, and the fried eggs “broken” over potatoes, garlic and truffle paired with a glass of rose was the perfect way to start the day. We really wanted to try to carmelised french toast, but the eggs were just too filling and we still had a 14-course Michelin star meal ahead of us that evening!
So it was time to walk off brunch. We walked along the beach until we reached the old town, and had a chance to take in the 18th century Baroque façade of La Iglesia Santa María behind the Parte Vieja, and then continued meandering down the old town streets until we reached Iglesia San Vicente, which has gorgeous stained glass windows that reflect along the walls when the sun is shining. We also passed through the Plaza de la Constitución, where the numbers on the building still mark the bullring boxes that the houses formerly used to be.
After stopping for a coffee, we made our way up Monte Urgell to see the 39-foot statue of Jesus, erected in 1950. The statue itself is a small church at the top of the hill, but its more the views from above that make it worth the walk uphill.
As we walked back to the hotel before dinne, we went via Calle Loiola and the shopping district to enjoy some window shopping as well as a few purchases, and then it was time for the highlight of the day – dinner at 3 Michelin Star, Martin Bergasui.
It was 32 degrees and sunny so this was our lazy beach day. Prior to that though, we walked along the oceanfront promenade and made our way to the 100-year-old funicular to check out the views from the top of Monte Igueldo, the bay’s western headland. It is definitely the best view across the bay. At the top is a turn-of-the-century amusement park. We were excited to check out the tame roller coaster, Montaña Suiza, and the log ride, but unfortunately, the rides were closed from 2-4 due to siesta time!
Following our visit, we enjoyed some sangria pinxtos at Pepe, before heading to the beach. It was too hot for sunbathing, but perfect weather for a nice swim in the ocean.
And all the swimming made us thirsty, so we stopped at Hotel Londres for a few drinks before heading out to the Old Town for dinner that evening.
In order to get a different perspective of San Sebastian, we took a 10-minute boat ride to Isla Santa Clara, just across from the bay. As it was low tide, there was a small beach (known as San Sebastian’s fourth phantom beach), a café, and a nice view and a different perspective from the top of the island.
We then ended our visit with an amazing lunch with Atari, before heading out to catch our flight.
A lovely, long weekend in San Sebastian!