Barcelona & N. Spain

Day 08 - Monday, October 1, 2012 - Tour of San Sebastian with the Playa de la Concha and Old Town; 30 Minute Walk to Overlook of Monte Urgull with a View of San Sebastian, Trip to Biarritz, France

The sea breezes are cooling San Sebastian. This morning it was 54° with the humidity at 80%. After a very generous buffet we met our city guide Eduardo at 9:30. He had a great sense of humor and kept all of us laughing the whole tour.

We began our outing with a map of the city at the hotel. Eduardo told us the population was holding steady at 185,000 people as not many couples are having children. San Sebastian is a very cosmopolitan city with many tourists and people who reside here making their living from the tourist trade and from the sea.

We got off of the bus at the beach where we could see expansive views of the Bay of Biscay. Our first stop was Zurriola Beach, a nude beach. There were only surfers with full wet suits because of the cold wind.

Eduardo pointed out some of the most historical sites; the Victoria Eugenia Theater where the San Sebastian Film Festival is held and then to the city market, where Eduardo bought us a kilo of olives to share, yummy!

We also visited San Vincent, one of the oldest surviving buildings built in 1492. We saw the Main Cathedral of Santa Maria and the Casa Constitutional which was a former elegant casino and is now the seat of the local government. We made a 30 minute trek to the lookout at Mount Urgull and took many pictures.

The tour ended at noon and after thanking Eduardo we had time on our own. We started our personal search for the city’s best tapas.

Our first stop was the Txalupa Bar where we enjoyed bacalao croquettes, (salted cod) and brochette de sepia, (a cuttlefish related to squid and octopus). White wine and a Coke rounded out this course.

We listened to the music of a street artist and bought a CD by Urko Menaia who has also traveled and performed in the United States.

Course number two was at Aralar, another tapas bar on a little side street specializing in Basque dishes. We chose a crab salad croissant and a baguette with Iberian ham. Another small bottle of coke and we were on our way.

Gennie did a little shopping at one of the end of summer sales and then we sat in the park and watched people before our 2:30 meeting at the bus stop. About half of the group went back to the hotel or stayed in the city.

The other half (22) went with Laura and our day driver Thomas for an optional half day excursion to France. Laura rented a bus for the afternoon and we drove up the coast to Biarritz.

This coastal area of south west France is known as a former whaling village. This small fishing port was a favorite of Empress Eugenie (the wife of Napoleon III) and is now a very exclusive sea side resort and gambling town.

We walked for about 90 minutes around the coast and then met the bus back at the casino at 5:30. The trip back to San Sebastian was only about one hour and we were at the hotel by 6:30.

After working on pictures and starting the journal we went out for a light dinner of kabobs. We ate at Turco 3 only two blocks from our hotel. The kabobs were huge – and very delicious. We wish we could have seen the size before ordering.

We came back to the room at 8:30 to finish the journal and to pack for our travel day tomorrow.

Accommodations: Hotel Silken Amara Plaza - - - Meal: B

Please see our Trip Evaluation -- Click Here -- A Complete Review of Go Ahead Tours: Barcelona and Northern Spain


LOVE the photo you beautiful couple! I'm busy working each day so your travel journals are my highlight! Hugs!

Pat Segura   October 3, 2012 - 10:43pm

You both look great and the tapas. . . YUM! Rocks in Biarritz, France is amazing. Sounds wonderful.

Dee Sloan   October 2, 2012 - 9:20pm
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Vic and Gennie at Mount Urgull

Vic and Gennie at Mount Urgull

Tapas Bar

Tapas Bar

La Côte des Basque in Biarritz, France

La Côte des Basque in Biarritz, Fran...

Rocks in Biarritz, France

Rocks in Biarritz, France

Harbor, Beach and Casino, Biarritz

Harbor, Beach and Casino, Biarritz

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