The sickle-shaped Playa de La Concha sweeps elegantly from the old harbour of San Sebastian, overlooked by the majestic statue of the Holy Heart. It was from this beach that Jake Barnes, the protagonist of Hemingway’s 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises, swam to the diving platforms that still, to this day, bob in the surf, tempting modern-day swimmers from the shore. Beyond, the wooded Isla Santa Clara is pinched between the arms of the bay, sheltering the Basque Country’s best beach from the worst of the Atlantic swell.
Google map: bit.ly/W9BhcP
San Sebastian nestles in a shell-shaped bay where the 'Comb of the Wind', the jaw-dropping iron sculptures of Eduardo Chillida, cast huge, bold shapes from the water's edge. We enjoyed many strolls along the wide golden beaches, and avoided an afternoon shower in the Aquarium (Pza Carlos Blasco Imaz) with 5000 fish species and spectacular underwater tunnel. Harbourside restaurants abound, serving an enticing array of pintxos including tasty sardines washed down with the local sidra. For a truly memorable experience, travel 10 minutes to Zarautz, to the Karlos Arguinano, a fabulous on-the-beach restaurant with rooms. Delicious sea-bream for dinner, then breakfast on the sands at sunrise - magical!
San Sebastian, with the lush green hills of the Basque country all around, has the most glorious beach. It has fine golden sand, a shallow slope into the sea and best of all, the enclosed cove with an island in the middle means that the two beaches are completely sheltered from ocean currents and waves and thus totally safe for swimming. There is one ideal surfing beach too. It is kept impeccably clean, and there are also changing rooms, lockers, beach showers and cafes on the beach which is right by the buzzing and beautiful old city centre of San Sebastian.
Just go downhill til you get there! Possible by train from the UK in one day with Eurostar and TGV to the border and one connecting train.
Google map: bit.ly/hHbYEI
San Sebastian has fantastic beaches adjoining the city centre. It's a great city for food, not just at the Michelin starred restaurants. Cheaper restaurants offer fixed-price menus del dia, much cheaper at lunchtime than at night. Cafe Oquendo does an excellent three-course lunch, inc 1/2 bottle wine for €16pp. So fill up at a leisurely lunch, sleep it off on the beautiful Playa de Concho till 8 o'clock (Spanish style) then shower/change & hit the many excellent pintxos (tapas) bars in the adjoining old city (Parte Vieja).
Silver sand and turquoise sea right in the heart of the city centre.
This beach is a fantastic place to visit for breakfast, get a comfy spot in the sand and watch the city wake up. Spain's health conscious office workers arrive early to walk in the surf up and down the length of the beach. Join in, or just lie back and relax.
In between swimming and sun bathing, you will be perfectly located to head into the city for shopping and pinchos. This beach has retained a real Spanish feel and even in August, it is never too full of tourists
This has to be one of Europe's best urban beaches - by far!
Right in the centre of down town San Sebastian.
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