The sweep of La Concha bay and the hills overlooking it draw comparisons for San Sebastián with Rio de Janeiro. One of the peninsula’s most beautiful cities, it’s a place with a light and leisurely feel, and draws throngs of summer holidaymakers. With a superb natural setting, lovely sandy beaches, top restaurants, and a regular influx of international stardom during its film festival, it’s a relaxed and enjoyable place that has been invigorated by the addition of two excellent museums and a piece of world-class modern architecture in the Kursaal auditorium.
The pedestrianized Old Town lies at the foot of the Monte Urgull hill, and is unabashedly devoted to tapas bars; the pintxos are elaborate and as good as you’ll find anywhere. The main beach stretches west from here right around the bay to steep Monte Igueldo, the spot to head for if you want your holiday snaps to have that panoramic postcard feel. The hills behind town are green and studded with villages that seem totally oblivious to the city’s presence. This is where cider is made: in spring when the stuff’s ready, people descend like locusts on the cider-houses to drink it straight from the vat and eat enormous meals over sawdust floors. It’s amazing any cider’s left to be bottled.
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