For Christmas I bought the OH cheap flights to Bilbao so I could whisk him to San Sebastián for our first child-free weekend abroad. Got the boys booked in with the in-laws, booked a nice hotel and a few months later… off we went!
Day 1 – arriving in San Sebastian and checking out Pintxos
We had a very smooth journey, left Bristol airport at lunchtime and when we landed in Bilbao an hour and a half later, we’d just missed the hourly bus to San Sebastián so we had our first alcoholic drink in the airport!
The bus took about an hour and when we got there, we walked the 20 mins or so to the hotel so we could start getting our bearings.
We checked in to our fabulous hotel, dumped our bags and headed straight out for a walk and food.
San Sebastian is famous for its’ ‘pintxos’ food which is a bit like tapas in terms of being a small snack, but the set-up is a bit different – you walk into a bar and all these ‘pintxos’ dishes are laid out on the bar for you to grab a plate and help yourself and pay as you go. So we did a mini bar crawl of pintxos and wine, it took us a few attempts to get into the groove of getting the pintxos but when we did, it was all so delicious!
Day 2 – a long walk, sunbathing and more Pintxos and wine!
After an amazing sleep in our hotel we ventured out to find some breakfast. We didn’t walk far, we found a little bakery/patisserie round the corner and ate a chocolate crouissant outside, with a coffee and fresh orange juice… bliss!
We then decided to embark on a walk to the other end of the beach/bay. It didn’t look that far but of course looks were deceiving! It was a lovely walk, and down at the other end we found a funicular railway that took you up to a hotel complex that had AMAZING views across San Sebastian bay.
After grabbing some lunch (al fresco pintxos obviously!), I sunbathed on our rooftop lounge, overlooking the bay with a book in hand, while OH caught up with precious sleep in our room. We were so lucky with the weather, we went in March and had 3 days of 20+ degree sunshine but it looked like before and after we left it was very rainy!
That evening, we hit the old town again for more Pintxos and wine – a proper bar crawl and some of them were heaving! Most were standing room only. It was such a great atmosphere as always with the more continental cities – really cosmopolitan and young families still out while we were heading back to bed!
Day 3 – exploring the new part of the city – more sunbathing, and tipsy shopping!
We went back for breakfast at the same place as day 2 and then decided to walk towards the other beach in the city which was also beautiful but more rugged and full of surfers and surf schools. We then meandered through the streets of the new town, walking across beautiful bridges and next to water fountains back in the old town and we stopped for a coffee next to the cathedral.
We had a proper meal for lunch – steak for the OH and a prawn platter for me (is that a proper meal?!) in one of the popular Pintxos bars.
More sunbathing and sleeping, then some tipsy shopping (I bought a zebra print water carrier for about 30 euros that I’ve never used, and some palm-print trousers for about 40 euros that started falling apart the first time I wore them) there are some really cute, quirky and trendy boutiques in the old town!
Day 4 – homeward bound
Back to our usual breakfast place for our final breakfast (sob sob) then it was time to slowly meander back to Bilbao airport, catching one of the hourly buses. There’s not much at Bilbao airport but luckily I had some free lounge passes with my bank account which came in handy for stocking up on lunch, drinks and catching up with news!
Then it was home and back to reality. We would definitely go back to San Sebastian, it’s a great place to spend a couple of days and has an unique combination of a really old quarter, a beautiful beach and world-renowned food! We’ll be back, maybe with the kids next time!