San Sebastian is located on a beautiful bay
with about 4kms of high-walled seafront
promenade along the Playa de la Concha and the Playa de Ondaretta. The high-walled Rio Urumea makes for pleasant walking too. The walls make sense when the tide goes out – a daily tidal variation of some two metres. When the tide turns, the depth of the water changes very rapidly and most of the beach disappears.
The Isla de Santa Clara gets its own tiny beach when the tide is out.
Steep hills surround the bay, making for Monte Igueldo at 800m makes for a challenging walk if you don’t use the funicular. The views are superb!
The wealth of the city is reflected in stately buildings, tree-lined boulevards, manicured gardens, public sculpture and very few empty retail spaces. The financial crisis is not apparent here – very high end stores have substantial retail space. People are fashionably dressed (from elderly couples – the hombres always in a suit and tie, the senoras carefully coifed and suited up – through to families with their children looking like they’re off to a fashion shoot); and the bars and restaurants are mostly filled with local families having a good time.