An elegant city sparkling under several Michelin stars, San Sebastián is on the shores of the Bay of Biscay in the Basque region of northern Spain.
This waist-expanding gastro hub takes food very seriously. The finest feasts in Europe come either Michelin-starred or in miniature – pintxos (Basque tapas) are served in every bar and if it’s not market-fresh that morning, you’re not in San Sebastián. The dazzling coast is home to La Concha bay, a curved shore backed with lush green hills – Montes Igueldo, Urgull, Ulia, Pasaia and Adarra. This city with two names (it’s also known as Donostia) has a Belle Epoque charm, and lots of graceful architecture – the sandstone columns of the Victoria Eugenia Theatre and the shuttered balconies of the Plaza de la Constitucion in the old quarter, at the base of Monte Urgull. And it plays annual host to San Sebastián International Film Festival – so in September, you’ll get film stars with your fine food.
For the most buzz (and the chance of a celeb spot), go in September when the film festival brings the A list to town. Winters can get quite wet; the best weather is between May and August, but the population swells during June and July.