San Sebastian is a small chic resort with its beautiful bay called "La Concha" (the shell) and its beaches frequented in summer by local holiday makers and surfers.
It is renowned for being the capital of the "Pintxo", a kind of improved tapas. It can be enjoyed in almost all bars in the city. The historic San Sebastián district is by far considered the most typical and festive place to "tapas" with friends.
But San Sebastian is also a place where tradition and modernity meet around many events combining culture, gastronomy and celebration.
This festival, whose exact origin is unknown, takes place every year on the same date: January 20, for San Sebastian. During 24 hours, all the districts of the city resound with the sound of the drum parades.
Not to be missed, the hoisting of the flag at midnight on the night of 19-20 January and its lowering at midnight the following night on the Place de la Constitution.
In general, in early February, this festival is extremely popular.
The Carnival is preceded a few days before by "Los Calderos", a celebration commemorating the arrival of the Hungarian boilermakers in San Sebastián and the feast of Artziak (shepherds) and Iñudeak (nurses), which recalls the courting doing by the the shepherds to the nurses when they went downtown.
During the second fortnight of July, during 5 days the best jazz musicians take the scenes made available to them for free or paying concerts.
The week of August 15th is THE week of festivities in San Sebastian. During one week, concerts, shows, street activities, gastronomic events, dances will take place in the streets of San Sebastian with every evening the international fireworks competition. Not to be missed.
The week of August 15th, the greatest artificers in the world meet in San Sebastian and fight each night in the bay of La Concha for splendid pyrotechnic spectacles.
These typical boats of the Basque Country, composed of 13 crew members, 12 rowers and 1 helmsman, recall the old boats used for whaling. About 25 crews compete in different races on the first two Sundays of September.
At the end of September, the biggest directors, actors, screenwriters, technicians of the international cinema come to tread the red carpet of the Kursaal.
On the day of Saint Thomas, on 21 December, San Sebastian welcomes a large rural market where it is possible to taste many regional products including txistorra (sausage) and talo (corn galette).
On the 24th of December, Olentzero, the charcoal-maker, descends into the streets of San Sebastian, to meet the children.
But above all, we must not miss the magical parade of the Three Wise Men on the 5th of January each year. A moment that young and old are waiting impatiently.
All the animations : www.sansebastianturismo.com/fr/
In "Topo": the Basque metro.
The transport used by the "locals" that leaves you in the city center of San Sebastian: more parking and traffic problems. It is quiet mind that you can fully enjoy all the activities of San Sebastian.
Departure in the car park of the train station of Hendaye every 30 min, at 3 and 33 of each hour, for example at 10h03 - 10h33 - 11h03 - 11h33 ... The last weekday train starts from San Sebastian at 22:45. On Saturday night, there are trains every 2 hours from 2am.
During the Semana Grande and big events, the Topo circulates all night!
Price : 4,70 € per person round trip
Time : 36 minutes
All the hours:
By train :
From the stations of Saint-Jean-de-Luz and Hendaye.
Check schedules : www.voyages-sncf.com
By car :
25 minutes by car from Saint-Jean-de-Luz
Take the A63 motorway in France and continue in Spain on AP-1 / AP-8.
Take the exit 7 "Donostia / Erdia / S.Sebastian"
+ informations on:
Your cross-border travel: www.transfermuga.eu/fr