14 Most Amazing Churches in Spain

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14 Most Amazing Churches in Spain

Tags :

Category : Europe , Spain

Spain is known for many things, just some of which includes Flamenco dancing and paella. Spain is also a country with a strong Catholic background, and some of Spain’s churches are among the best in the world. Whether or not you’re religious, your next trip to Spain should definitely include a few stops at the nation’s most beautiful and historic religious structures. This list includes the top churches in Spain and what makes each unique.

14. Malaga Cathedral

Malaga Cathedral

 

The Malaga Cathedral was constructed between the 16th and 18th centuries, using Renaissance plans to create what is now a focal point of the city. Originally located within the Moorish walls of Malaga, the cathedral is filled with an amazing art collection. Enter through the Baroque facade, which is different from the rest of the cathedral, and admire medallions carved from stone, an enormous Gothic altarpiece and countless sculptures and paintings. Surprisingly, the south tower is still unfinished, because the congregation used its funds to support the United States in its war against the British back in the 18th century.

13. Zamora Cathedral

Zamora Cathedral

 

On the banks of the Duero River is Zamora Cathedral, a 12th century cathedral built in the Romanesque style. Over the last 900 years, several additions have been made to the structure, including Gothic apses and a Herrera cloister. The exterior of Zamora Cathedral is incredible, but what is within is just as fascinating. A large art collection is open to visitors to admire, including embossed images right on the architecture.

12. Avila Cathedral

Avila Cathedral

 

Avila Cathedral stands out from other religious structures on this list because it did double duty as a fortress. Construction began in the 11th century, with one of the turrets of the city walls serving as the apse to the church. The style has strong influences from French cathedrals built in the years prior, and it serves as the earliest example of Gothic architecture in Spain. Since the cathedral is still connected to the walls surrounding Avila, it is a stunning destination and a picture-worthy attraction.

11. Santa Maria la Real de Covadonga

Santa Maria la Real de Covadonga

 

Looking more like a palace from a fairy tale than an ordinary church, the Basilica de Santa Maria la Real de Covadonga is truly a unique and impressive structure. The neo-Romanesque cathedral was built toward the end of the 19th century, and it is entirely pink thanks to the natural hue of the limestone used in its construction. With towering twin spires and a background of green hills, the Basilica de Santa Maria la Real de Covadonga is definitely a bucket-list destination in Spain.

10. Segovia Cathedral

Segovia Cathedral

 

The final Gothic-style cathedral built in Spain was Segovia Cathedral. Construction on the church began in the 16th century, according to the plans of the architect Juan Gil de Hontañón. The cathedral is located right in the center of the Plaza Mayor in Segovia, making it an iconic part of the city’s history and identity. There are three major vaults and entrances to the cathedral, but the highlight is the incredible altarpiece from the 18th century that is made with bronze and marble.

9. Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma

Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma

 

On the island of Mallorca, just off the coast of Spain, is the stunning Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma. Known to locals as La Seu, the cathedral was started in the 13th century but only finished in 1601. The cathedral was built on the site of a Moorish mosque, and it stands as one of the tallest cathedrals in all of Spain, and indeed even in all of Europe. The design is a distinct combination of Catalan and Gothic, but in the early 20th century some cosmetic changes were made by Gaudi, refreshing the style.

8. Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor

Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor

 

The magnificent Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor, known in English as the Expiatory Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is found in Barcelona, right at the summit of Mount Tibidabo. This is one of the newer cathedrals in Spain, and it was only consecrated in the 1950s after a lengthy construction process. The church is made from stone in a Romanesque design, although there are plenty of embellishments and neo-Gothic touches worth admiring as well.

7. Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar

Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar

 

In Spanish tradition, it is said that the Virgin Mary appeared to the Apostle James as he was praying at the Ebro River in Zaragoza. For that reason, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar has long been a historically significant structure, and one that is revered both throughout Spain and throughout the Christian religion. The architectural style of the basilica is a blend of rococo, Baroque and neoclassical styles, and the interior is home to a staggering display of works by painter Francisco Goya.

6. Toledo Cathedral

Toledo Cathedral

 

Perhaps the most famous Gothic church in Spain is the Toledo Cathedral, a fairy tale building that represents the height of Spanish design and architecture. Built with white limestone, the cathedral is almost otherworldly, reflecting light and impressing even those without an interest in religion or architecture. Natural light streams in through open vaults, adding to the effect. The Cathedral Treasury is a must-see part of the structure, thanks to its impressive collection of precious stones far larger than any you could ever see in a jewelry store.

5. Burgos Cathedral

Burgos Cathedral

 

Although the Burgos Cathedral was commissioned in the 13th century, it wasn’t completed until the 16th century. That long construction and design process was worth the wait, however, because the final result is a magnificent Gothic cathedral. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, Burgos Cathedral boasts unusual octagonal spires, setting it apart from most other Gothic churches in Europe. From the exterior, you can admire the facade and its hundreds of sculptures of saints and Biblical figures.

4. Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

 

The site of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is steeped in history. Legend tells of the Apostle James having his remains brought to the site by angels, and then in the eighth century this burial place was discovered by a hermit. A small church was built to mark the site, and by the 11th century there was an enormous cathedral. The Romanesque architecture of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is remarkable, and marks the traditional end on the Way of St. James pilgrimage since the Middle Ages.

3. Seville Cathedral

Seville Cathedral

 

Also known as the Cathedral of Saint Mary by the Sea, Seville Cathedral is a stunning Gothic structure that is currently also the largest Cathedral in the world. Built in the 16th century, the cathedral is sprawling and occupies a prime position in the center of the city of Seville. Along with the gorgeous spires and embellishments, Seville Cathedral is worth a visit because it is the final burial place of famed explorer Christopher Columbus.

2. Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

 

The Sagrada Familia is without a doubt the most famous church in Barcelona, thanks in part to its creator, Antoni Gaudi. Begun in 1882, this cathedral is still an ongoing project, although it is nearing the end of construction. Different from many of the classic Spanish churches, the Sagrada Familia is built with elements of the Art Nouveau style. Today, the Sagrada Familia is one of the most popular tourism attractions in the city of Barcelona, and it is open to the public for tours as well as religious services.

1. Mezquita of Cordoba

#1 of Churches In Spain

 

The Mezquita, also known as the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, has one of the most fascinating history of all the churches in Spain. Parts of the structure date back to the seventh century, when it served as a Visigoth church. Later, the Mezquita was a Muslim mosque, and only in the 13th century did it revert back to Catholicism. The building is a prime example of Moorish architecture, boasting countless arches and tall domes. A Renaissance nave was added in the 16th century, blending architectural styles and showcasing harmony between design ideas as well as religions.

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10 Best Places to Visit in Spain

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Category : Europe , Spain

 Splendid beaches, delicious cuisine, vibrant nightlife and lively fiestas all make Spain one of Europe’s best getaways. Because Spain encompasses several autonomous regions and islands, the country boasts one of the most widely diverse cultures and landscapes on the continent. An overview of the top places to visit in Spain:

10. Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela

 

The capital city of the Galicia region in northwestern Spain, Santiago de Compostela is famous as the final destination of the traditional pilgrimage known as Camino de Santiago. This pilgrimage is important to many Christians because it is believed that Santiago de Compostela is where St. James, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, is buried. Today, the city attracts thousands of visitors every year for both its religious tradition and history. The arriving point for most pilgrims is the main square, Praza do Obradoiro. Situated in the heart of the city, this bustling plaza is the scene of many important landmarks, particularly the Santiago Cathedral where the tomb of St. James is located.

9. Toledo

Toledo
Rerched on a mountaintop in central Spain, Toledo served as the Spanish capital until the 16th century. Because it was inhabited by Jews, Christians and Muslims for many centuries, the city is sometimes called the “City of Three Cultures.” Today, Toledo is a popular destination for its wealth of historic art and architecture that dates back to the Roman Empire. The best thing to do in Toledo is to get lost amid the medieval streets and admire the old architecture that includes a stunning cathedral, synagogue and mosque.

8. Cordoba

Cordoba

 

Cordoba is the capital of the Cordoba province in the Andalusian region of southern Spain. The historic quarter of Cordoba is a maze of tiny medieval streets, plazas and whitewashed courtyards all situated around the star attraction, the Mezquita. Initially built as a mosque, the Mezquita is now a glorious cathedral retaining most of its original architecture. Its forest of columns topped with Islamic-style red and white striped arches serves as a reminder of the glory and importance Córdoba held in medieval times. Other places of interest include the Fortress of the Christian Monarchs, the Street of Flowers, and the Old Jewish Quarter with its charming patios and souvenir shops.

7. San Sebastian

San Sebastian

 

San Sebastian is the capital of the Gipuzko province, located in the Basque country of North Spain off the coast of the Bay of Biscay. This beautiful seaside city is well-loved for its excellent beaches and outstanding culinary tradition. The Old Town features many historic buildings reconstructed in the 19th century after the city was nearly destroyed during the Napoleonic Wars. San Sebastianboasts also some of the best beaches in Europe with the most popular of these being Playa de la Concha, which offers sunbathing and water activities like swimming, kayaking and water skiing.

6. Valencia

Valencia

One of the largest and most important cities in Spain, Valencia is located in the eastern part of the country in the region of Valencia. After redirecting the Turia River, the city constructed its most impressive landmark, a massive cultural and entertainment complex known as the City of Arts and Science. Contained within this complex are several buildings such as a science museum, planetarium and aquarium that are each artistic marvels in and of themselves. Every March, Valencia hosts the Fallas Festival where each neighborhood displays papier-mâché figures of all sizes and colors. At the end of the week, the figures are ceremoniously burned, and the communities party into the night.

5. Seville

Seville

 

Exceptional tourist attractions, lively festivals and buzzing nightlife all make Seville one of the best places to visit in Spain. As the capital city of Andalusia, Seville is also the region’s financial and cultural capital. The city is home to many beautiful and important historic landmarks, chief of which is the grand Cathedral of Seville, where it is believed that Christopher Columbus is buried. Another significant building is the Real Alcazar, an extravagant Moorish palace with luxurious gardens.

4. Madrid 

Madrid

 

Spain’s capital and largest city, Madrid, is widely known for its sizzling nightlife scene. The city constitutes a diversity of ethnic groups, making it one of Europe’s most colorful cosmopolitan cities. Located within the city center are most of Madrid’s most popular tourist attractions such as the Royal Palace, the residence of Spain’s monarch. The heart of Madrid (and Spain) is Puerta del Sol, a large plaza serving as the scene of festivals, important gatherings and street performers as well as a hub for the public transportation network. Another important square is Plaza Mayor, known for the lively San Miguel Market.

3. Spanish Islands

Spanish Islands

 

Spain has some of the most beautiful islands in Europe. The largest Spanish Islands are equally divided between the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands. East of the Spanish mainland, the four chief Balearic Islands (Ibiza, Formentera, Mallorca and Menorca) maintain a character distinct from the rest of Spain and from each other. Mallorca is the largest and best-known Balearic island while Ibiza is famous as a party destination. The Canary Islands, also known as the Canaries, are located just off the southern coast of Morocco in the Atlantic. They are popular for their beautiful beaches, mild climate and important natural attractions, especially the Maspalomas Dunes in Gran Canaria and the Teide Volcano in Tenerife.

2. Granada

Granada

 

Located at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains of southern Spain, Granada is the capital of the Granada province. Granada offers a perfect blend of traditional cultures, an animated nightlife and spectacular attractions including the world famous Alhambra, a pinnacle of Moorish art that encapsulates Andalusian history. This medieval complex overlooking Granada is one of the great architectural sights of Europe, with many visitors coming to Granada expressly to see the Alhambra. The last Moorish stronghold in Europe, the Alhambra offers the visitor splendid ornamental architecture, spectacular and lush gardens, cascading and dripping water features, and breathtaking views of the city below.

1. Barcelona 

#1 of Best Places To Visit In Spain

 

Located in northeastern Spain, Barcelona is one of the country’s top travel destinations because it offers everything tourists look for in a European city from historic architecture to lively shopping, vibrant culture and buzzing nightlife. Unique to Barcelona are the architectural marvels of Spain’s famous architect, Antoni Gaudi, which include the Casa Batllo and the famous Sagrada Familia church. Both of these extraordinary structures feature combinations of fascinating designs, shapes and colors. Popular activities in Barcelona include strolling along La Rambla, a tree-lined pedestrian avenue, and sunbath on Barceloneta, one of the city’s most popular beaches.


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Italy vs Spain: Which Trip Should You Take?

Tags :

Category : Europe , Visit Europe

Sun, sea, siestas, mouthwatering food, unspoiled landscapes, beautiful towns and easy Mediterranean living is what you can expect on a holiday in Spain and Italy. Both of them make for wonderful getaways from the daily hustle thanks to their idyllic styles of living. But if you can only visit one it can be hard to choose between Italy or Spain so allow us to make this easier for you.

Both Italy and Spain are Food Heavens

Let’s start with the food as this is one of the main reasons why people travel to Italy and Spain. They are food paradises, each different but equally delicious!

Italy

Everyone loves wine, pizza and pasta and Italy happens to be the world’s headquarters for these delicious culinary experiences. Italian cooking is an art that we try but fail to replicate at home. Pure, basic ingredients such as fresh tomatoes, basil leaves, oregano, pine nuts, pesto and parmesan cheese are used to serve up high-quality Italian cuisine, cooked to perfection. It doesn’t get better than this!

pasta

But wait, we can’t forget dessert! Chocolate mousse and Italian homemade tiramisu will make those with a sweet tooth go wild. Of course, any good meal deserves a good glass of wine, which will be no problem in Italy. Don’t forget to try the local aperitivo as well; classics like a glass of the almond-flavored amaretto, limoncello or the world-famous sambuca are can’t miss liquid treats. Do remember, that it is a no-go to order a latte or cappuccino after dinner – this is something you only drink for breakfast. Mamma Mia!

Spain

No one can resist the tapas heaven that is Spain. Take a seat at one of many charming Spanish restaurants (but not before 8:00pm) and spend a lovely long evening tasting all of the delicious flavors of Spain. Your table will be filled up with little bowls of delicious traditional food such as patatas bravas (potatoes), albondigas (meatballs in tomato sauce), deep-fried calamari rings, garlic shrimp, stuffed olives and bread served with aioli.

Also be sure to try the Spanish gazpacho soup, best enjoyed for lunch with a carafe of homemade sangria – the delicious fruit punch wine that was invented here. Or how about a big portion of home cooked paella with freshly caught gambas, topped off with some squeezed lemon juice? For breakfast, you can have a slice of tortilla de patatas, the traditional Spanish omelet. Yes, it is all mouthwatering and you won’t get enough of it!

spanish food

Spain is a very large country with many things to see and do, so I recommend focusing on a specific region rather than ‘doing’ the whole country in a couple of weeks. Galicia, Costa Brava and Andalusia are some of my favourite parts of Spain, perfect for road-tripping and enjoying foodie experiences!

Food is definitely a highlight of any Spanish experience – for instance, Costa Brava has some of the best restaurants in the world and lots of exciting local eateries, while the seafood in Galicia is second to none. Spain also has some wonderful nature – hiking in the Pyrenees is one of my favourite activities.

Any time of the year is a good time to travel to Spain, depending on where you want to go. Summer is lovely in northern Spain, but it can be unbearably hot in the south – winter is a much better time to visit Andalusia. Fall and spring are wonderful pretty much anywhere! – Margherita & Nick, The Crowded Planet

Italy vs Spain: Culture

Both Italy and Spain have a rich culture that you will love!

Italians are all about food and family with the mother sitting at the head of the table – every Italian’s greatest pride. The heart is on their tongues and they speak with passion, both in their verbal and body language. It may not be surprising to discover that Opera originated in Italy?

Spain is all about sangria, siestas, and music. The Spanish guitar was obviously invented in Spain, you can enjoy Flamenco music and dances everywhere, food is shared with strangers and there are tons of colorful street festivals waiting to be discovered.

Italy vs Spain: Highlights

Enjoy the food every day during your stay, but be sure to see some of the highlights of these Mediterranean beauties as well:

Italy

Rome, Milan, Florence & Venice

Italy is the Roman epicenter and it is home to some of Europe’s most amazing cities with a rich history, archaeological sites, stunning architecture, and museums. You can expect to walk the streets of cities that exude an ancient charm and soulfulness as well as fashion and modern sophistication.

You can see world-famous places like the Colosseum and the Vatican, spot celebrities and get your Gucci shopping done all on the same day. Rome and Florence feature the most beautiful Roman architecture, while Milan is Italy’s fashion capital and Venice, the one and only ‘floating city’, is one of the most romantic tourist destinations of Europe ruled by endless canals, ancient bridges, and traditional Gondola boats.

Pompeii

Don’t miss out on a cultural trip to Pompeii – the sprawling Roman city that got struck by the devastating volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius 79 years AD, covering it in layers of ash. Pompeii is an impressive archaeological site, reminding travellers of ancient times and the unstoppable force of nature.

Pompeii

Adriatic coast and Italy’s Islands

We all love the sea and Italy’s rugged rocky eastern coastline, bordering the deep blue Adriatic is breathtakingly beautiful! With the golden sun shining down on you, go explore the picturesque coastal towns such as Lecce, Polignano a Mare, Trani, Rimini, and Alberobello and dive into the sea as much as you like. You can even go island hopping in Italy, visiting beautiful places such as Sardinia, Sicily, and Capri with their pristine beaches, towns and raw unspoiled landscapes.

Lake Garda 

This is the biggest lake in all of Italy and it’s truly scenic! A great place to spend a few days, relaxing with your loved ones, enjoying good food and swimming in the lake, taking a break from all the buzzing city centers.

For anyone looking to travel to Italy, be flexible about your city of arrival because it’s extremely easy to travel around the country once you’re there (the high speed trains are the best!). Also, remember to bring an empty stomach, an insatiable curiosity and comfortable walking shoes. There is so much to see, do and eat in Italy – and you will love it all!

What are the experiences one cannot miss? (foodwise, places to see, events, culture etc.) Everyone should visit Rome and Vatican City at some point. While in Rome, eat cacio e pepe and wander the streets without a destination in mind. For those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, my favorite destinations in Italy are the Amalfi Coast, Lake Como, Franciacorta, Tuscany and Puglia. Some of these places are on the beaten path and touristy for a reason, while others feel like hidden gems and are well worth discovering.

I have traveled to Italy at three different times of the year (January, July and September) and would say that September is my favorite time to travel to Italy. The restaurants are open again after closing down temporarily in August, the air starts to take on a crisp quality as the humidity goes down, and the sea is still warm enough to take advantage of in case you want to go for a swim. – Tausha, The Globe Getter

Spain

Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Granada and San Sebastian

Yes, Spain also has beautiful cities that make you stick around for their charm, liveliness and impressive architecture. Barcelona is a favorite city of Europe and is where you get to admire the stunning lifework of famous artist Antonio Gaudi. Madrid is a real artistic city and hometown of the Spanish painter Francisco Goya.

In Granada, you get to enjoy tapas at almost every restaurant or café you stop at for drinks, really giving you a taste of the heartwarming Spanish culture. Seville is another magnificent city and the birthplace of Flamenco music while San Sebastian features a beautiful bay, charming restaurants, and impressive nature.

Do not travel to Spain with a set conceived notions about the country. Spain is much more than the sangrias and tapas. You’ll find out as you travel that Spain is also not all about Sun, Sand and Sea. Beyond the stunning Mediterranean coastline, Spain has a lot more to offer including historic heritage of the Romans in Tarragona, wine trails on the countryside, and plenty of hiking options in the norther mountains of the country.

Some of my most special moments in Spain, have come while walking the narrow alleys and exploring the hidden neighborhoods. Exploring street art of Barcelona, taking a walking tour and interacting with some of the artists on Las Ramblas, learning about the architectural god- Antonio Gaudi’s birthplace in Reus, watching Flamenco dancers at  one of Seville’s dancing schools are all must on itinerary.

Spain is good to visit all time around, but personally I would feel just after Summer (from September to late October), is the right time, when it’s not too cold not to warm. – Deepika, Feet on the Map

Costa del Sol
The lively and vibrant Costa del Sol is home to famous beach towns such as Salou, Blanes and Lloret del Mar, much-loved among youngsters because it is all about beaches, the sun, and parties.

Malaga Andalucia

The Pyrenees

The rocky mountains of the Pyrenees are a natural majestic border between France and Spain.  They are also home to amazing hiking trails, national parks, and ski resorts, thrilling any nature lover and adventure enthusiast.

The Islands

Spain boasts many beautiful islands, an attraction to travelers all year round. The Canary Islands, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, all are appealing for those seeking nature, as well as for those seeking cultural charm and a busy nightlife.

Italy vs Spain: Getting around

Both Italy and Spain are very tourist friendly when it comes to getting around. There are frequent buses, trains and even planes getting you from one place to another. Prices are affordable and you can get monthly public transport passes as well. Sometimes taking a plane from one city to another is even cheaper than taking the train.

italy trains

Italy vs Spain: Budget

Both countries have the Euro as their local currency. Spain tends to be a tiny bit cheaper than Italy when it comes down to food, accommodation, and alcohol, but overall both countries make affordable holiday destinations, allowing you to see many of the highlights Europe has to offer.

Ciao!
or
Adiós!


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A Perfect Day in San Sebastian

Category : Spain , Visit Europe

If you haven’t been to San Sebastián, or perhaps you’ve never heard of it, now is the time to add it to your bucket list. Whether you make it there during the peak of summer with the sun shining brilliantly, or on a quieter grey day, you will be equally blown away by its beauty and charm.

San Sebastián is an absolute Basque paradise, located on Spain’s northern coast in the dramatic Bay of Biscay, 20 km from the French border. Though small is size the coastal city boasts with culture, the arts, magnificent scenery and culinary delights. Situated along pristine beaches with rolling green hills setting the backdrop, the landscape and views here cannot be beat.

The city is laid-back during the day and hopping with excitement in the evenings. Whether you’re looking to unwind on the beach, catch some barrels surfing, indulge in Basque pintxos (tapas), or simply wander and marvel at its loveliness, San Sebastián has something for you. The city is easily walkable, perfect for exploring, chilling and indulging.

La Concha Beach

San-Sebastian-La-Conca-Beach

La Concah Beach, named after its resemblance to a scallop shell shape, is considered to be one of Europe’s hottest city beaches. The waters are warm, calm and safe, and the beach is expansive, with room for plenty of beach lovers. Off in the distance is a massive statue of Christ atop Monte Urgull as pictured below, watching over the city.

The beach is rather quiet and solemn when the clouds loom overhead, perfect for a stroll along the shore to soak in its beauty in peace. You may be lucky enough to catch a squash match on the beach, where the locals use the beach retaining wall as their opponent.

But be prepared, as soon as the clouds part, within 30 seconds the beach goes from empty to completely filled with beach goers ready to get their relax and tan on. So have your beach bags packed, and be ready to bolt as soon as the sun reveals its pretty rays.

Monte Urgull

San-Sebastian-Monte-Urgull

When you’re ready to stretch your legs, put on some comfy shoes and make your way up to the summit of Monte Urgull where you’ll find a grand statue of Christ surrounded by the ancient castle walls of Castillo de la Mota and fabulous views of the city, beaches and surrounding hills. Monte Urgull is located at the east end of Concha Beach, accessible from the Parte Vieja (old town). Begin your trek along the sea boardwalk pictured below, and then wind your way up to the top surrounded by striking sea views and peaceful park land. The walk is a bit steep yet leisurely, and takes around 30 minutes.

Once you reach the top, have your cameras out and ready to capture the beauty that surrounds.

Monte Igueldo & Combs of the Winds

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Once you’ve explored the views from the east end, it’s time to make your way to the west end of the beach, and perhaps stop for a coffee or snack along the way at one of the beachfront cafes. From the peak of Monte Igueldo pictured on the righthand side of the photo below, you can find equally amazing views of San Sebastián, simply from a different perspective.

As you make your way along the west end of the beach before reaching the base of Monte Igueldo, you’ll come across Playa de Ondarreta on your left, a ritzy area which is home to fabulous holiday homes.

My favourite part of this trek is the Combs of the Winds statues which can be found at the base of the rocks along the far west end of the sea path. You may find yourself sitting and reflecting for quite some time, captivated by the contrast of the sea and iron combs created by Basque artist Eduardo Chilled Juantegul.

Playa de Gros

San-Sebastian-Beach-Spain

While less popular than La Conca Beach, Playa de Gros is a surfer’s paradise, found on the east side of the river in the Gros district, donning a chill surfer’s vibe. If you’re here on the right day, you may get lucky and catch an epic barrel rolling across the sea. If you’re extra lucky, you may catch a sculpture exhibit displayed along the beach’s promenade.

Parte Vieja

vieja (1)

The Parte Vieja (old town) district is the heart and soul of San Sebastián, situated at the base of Monte Urgull, east of La Concha beach. Get lost wandering through the maze of narrow streets, do a bit of shopping, check out the baroque Roman Catholic parish church Basilica of Saint Mary, and finally, scope out a restaurant or bar for some delectable pintxos.

 Pintxos & Gelato

Gelato-San-Sebastian

Over the decades San Sebastián has evolved into a food Mecca. It is considered one of the best gastronomic destinations in Europe and is home to half of Spain’s Michelin-star restaurants. But the city may be even more popular for its array of beloved stand-up tapas bar serving mouth watering pintxos (the Basque version of tapas). These are bite sized delicacies where you can find baguette slices topped with countless creative assortments of seafood, meats, cheeses and other treats. You may even find yourself drinking a gourmet soup out of a sea urchin.

The popular pintxos bars are lively and crowded. You order drinks and eats while you go, standing inside our out on the street. You’ll have to strike a nice balance between patience and assertiveness as you wait in line drooling. Be careful to hold your ground and don’t let anyone cut in front of you or you’ll be waiting all night! One of the deep rooted traditions of pintxos is to throw your napkin on the floor when you’ve finished. So you can basically tell which bars are well loved by the amount of napkins they accumulate on the floor. Many bars operate on an honor system, so when you are ready to go, you simply tell the bartender what you ate and drink, and pay accordingly.

Once you’ve eaten all the pintxos you can possibly endure, it is highly advisable to make your way to one of Gelateria Boulevard’s two locations and load up on the best gelato you will ever feast your eyes on. The flavours are labeled in both Spanish and Basque and the options are endless.

Grab your ice cream cone, walk to the beach, and watch the sun set behind sculptures and sailboats.