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Itinerary Suggestions - 3.5 days in San Sebastian

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Paris, France
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Itinerary Suggestions - 3.5 days in San Sebastian

I feel a bit silly creating an itinerary for such a short stay when the whole point of my visit is to relax, walk on the beach and eat amazing food. I'm probably overthinking it but thought I'd share my (very) rough plan to see if I'm missing anything significant.

Visiting La Perla is a possibility - but for some reason doesn't excite me a lot (maybe I'm missing something?)

I arrive on Friday 18 May in the afternoon. Obviously I'll be tired from traveling and plan to just settle into Pension Itxasoa and explore the area.

Saturday - explore San Sebastian, some shopping, walk on the beach and eat lots of Pinxtos.

Sunday - Guggenheim Bilbao - any interesting small towns to see on Sunday late afternoon using public transportation?

Monday - day trip to Hondarriba or similar - any other suggestions?

Should I go into St. Jean de Luz and work my way back to Hondarriba? Lunch in St. Jean & Dinner in Hondarriba?

Tuesday - bus to Hendaye 12:35 TGV to Paris.

Am so excited - leave one month from today!!!

Thanks for your help.

Toronto, Canada
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1. Re: Itinerary Suggestions - 3.5 days in San Sebastian

Kaixo F1racegirl!

You know I love itineraries but for 3.5 days and a 1st visit to San Sebastian, I would not go far away. At the very most, visit Bilbao. You can take the bus from the bus station near Hotel Silken Amara (bus tickets are sold in the little office on the main street and the hotel is very gracious about letting non-customers use their toilets).

If you look at a map, you'll notice lots of little towns dotting the coastline. I was thinking of visiting Getaria and seeing the new Balenciaga museum. Unfortunately, public transportation from Bilbao to Getaria is NOT great. If I am not mistaken, it might be faster to return to San Se and THEN take a bus back out to Getaria. (Eu51 bus from Amara Plaza - Zumaia - Donostia Por Autopista A-8, Bus towards Txomin Agirre, 34 mins, 9 stops) You can use Google maps to plot the transportation and check bus schedules. Double-check of course on the bus company websites.

I love Hondarribia but again, I'm not sure it's a good idea if you have only 3 days and you want to relax. Here's some info about taking the bus from San Se:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g616235-i11133-k49…

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Have a wonderful time in the Basque country! Wish I were going at the same time! Here are a few things I hope you do in San Se:

1) Enjoy the fantastic sunset from the breakwater in front of your hotel. That's how I found it in the 1st place. :-) We went to see the sunset and I noticed the sign for the Pension.

2) Ride the sightseeing bus around. It'll cover a lot more ground than you possibly could on foot.

3) See Chillida's beautiful Peine del Viento.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g187457-c158295/San-S…

4) Take the funicular up to Mt Igeldo and see the picture postcard view of La Concha beach.

sansebastianturismo.com/info/…

5) Shop for funny t-shirts and souvenirs at the Kukuxumusu store in the Parte Vieja.

www.kukuxumusu.com/index.php/es/tiendas

6) Stop for ice cream or pastries!

Northampton, MA
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2. Re: Itinerary Suggestions - 3.5 days in San Sebastian

I would stay in San Sebastian and not worry about trying to see anything else. The Guggenheim is ok but that will take one day off of San Sebastian. If you must leave than I would go to Getaria for lunch, maybe walk back to Zarautz along the ocean and get on the train back to San Sebastian.

Paris, France
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3. Re: Itinerary Suggestions - 3.5 days in San Sebastian

Wow! 2 responses - it's a busy day on the San Sebastian forum :)

Gigis_mum - thanks so much for your detailed reply. I would have never considered taking the tourist bus but that sounds like a great idea.

On Sunday I was going to head to Bilbao early to be there when the museum opens. I love modern art and architecture. And surprisingly a company from my home town of Kansas City is responsible for the sheet-metal surfaces of the building.

Was thinking of the Monday day trip just because there's so much to see in the area. And, for me a short trip to a nearby town is my idea of relaxing.

Looks like I'll just need to plan another trip.

Gigis_mum, maybe we can meet in San Se next year!

Bilbao, Spain
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4. Re: Itinerary Suggestions - 3.5 days in San Sebastian

If visiting Bilbao, I´d take the metro to Getxo (Areeta stop) to see the extraordinary Hanging Bridge, Unesco World Heritage Monument, and the promenade to Ereaga beach...or to the last stop on the line, Plentzia, a beautiful unspoilt beach town. Good for a whole afternoon.

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5. Re: Itinerary Suggestions - 3.5 days in San Sebastian

Gigis_mum I was about to take a look at what to do for when I arrive in 3 weeks for 5 days, thanks :)

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6. Re: Itinerary Suggestions - 3.5 days in San Sebastian

F1racegirl,

If you like modern art and architecture, you'll get a kick out of the Guggenheim! Did you see the episode of Spain, On The Road Again with Gwyneth and Mario in Bilbao? They interview Frank Gehry. He's a bit boring (sorry, Frank) but the story of the museum is interesting, imho. Talk about being part of a global village! So a sheet-metal company in Kansas City did some of the surfaces for the museum?! That's so cool. You'll love the souvenirs in the gift shop too. I bought a titanium bookmark for one of my daughters (she's a mineral engineer).

The Guggenheim has 2 restaurants, btw. One is a fancy Michelin and the other is a casual cafe with a great menu del dia. Very nice food and good service.

I don't know if you like ice-cream but if you do, look for the gorgeous ice cream shop next to the San Sebastian Tourism Office on Alameda del Boulevard (aka Boulevard Zumardia). It has a big chandelier and glass windows. Tres chic! The store comes from Biarritz and the ice cream is really delish. They speak French too.

In case you don't make it to Hondarribia, don't worry. We'll plan to meet there next year! And take the ferry across to Hendaye! At the very boundary of Spanish and French territorial waters, we'll make a toast to friendship in 4 languages (Euskara, Spanish, French and English) ! :-) People will think we're nuts but we won't care. :-)

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Mikel,

Next summer, I think I should spend a month in the Basque country. Do you have 2 sofas available for couch-surfers? :-)

*

Caz8,

You'll have so much fun in 5 days. Don't miss La Perla spa. It's really fun. Even my 13 yo son loves it.

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7. Re: Itinerary Suggestions - 3.5 days in San Sebastian

Thanks :)

had a look at La Perla spa, my boyfriend would love it, I might even give it a try :)

Paris, France
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8. Re: Itinerary Suggestions - 3.5 days in San Sebastian

Mikelg - thanks for the info on Bilbao, I'll definitely explore when I'm done with the museum.

Was thinking of lunch in the Guggenheim cafe - any other suggestions for Sunday lunch in Bilbao?

gigis_mum - I'll be eating ice cream every day! And love the idea for next year!! Is there really a ferry from Hondarriba to Hendaye?

Then we can head here for lunch: http://www.aubergebasque.com/en/12-lesprit

I missed the On the Road episode in Bilbao. I remember trying to watch one - and thought it was boring....maybe I can find it on line.

Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: Itinerary Suggestions - 3.5 days in San Sebastian

I hope Mikel has some good ideas for Sunday lunch too. My original plan was to go on Sunday but I couldn't find much that was open for lunch. Instead, I went on a Monday and it turned out to be some kind of holiday due to the elections. We ended up having a nice lunch in the cafe after all.

Yes! there is a ferry. That's how many French daytrippers get over to Hondarribia.

The Auberge Basque sounds fab! I like the names of the menus and also their offer of babysitting. Do you think 14 yo is too old for babysitting? :-) Actually, my son will be fine as long as he is well-fed.

Here's the YouTube video of the Guggenheim and interview with Frank Gehry. Best to turn the sound OFF until Mr. Gehry starts talking in order to avoid Gwynnie and Mario. :-)

www.youtube.com/watch…

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10. Re: Itinerary Suggestions - 3.5 days in San Sebastian

Not quite a ferry really. :-)

hendaye-tourisme.fr/en/…index.html