There’s so much to do in San Sebastián – from surfing lessons to eating pintxos. But if you’re there for a while, you can also take advantage of its ideal location with easy day trips to other underrated cities near Basque country! World-class museums, restaurants, and views are just a few hours away! Here are some of the best day trips from San Sebastián:
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Day Trips from San Sebastián: Less Than 1 Hour Away
Spend a day strolling through another world in Zumaia, only 30 minutes from San Sebastián! This small coastal town has attracted geologists from around the world to take in the beauty of the famous Flysch Rock Formation. It’ll impress even non-geologists!
These rocks aren’t just beautiful–they also are home to thousands of octopi! Make sure you try their local dish: fresh-caught octopus cooked with tomatoes and garlic.
Only 30 minutes west of San Sebastian lies the small fishing village of Getaria. Spend the day at one of their two beaches, taking in the views from the rolling green hills, or strolling through Old Town.
Whatever you do, make sure you end the day sampling their local white wine, txakoli, paired with a fresh-caught fish from the port!
For a chill day trip, you have to check out Hondarribia. It’s only a 25-minute drive from San Sebastián (or 1 hour by public transport) and is chock full of delicious places to grab a bite or sip! Seriously, if you want to dine on some of the best dishes in the Basque country, Hondarribia is a no-brainer.
There’s also a gorgeous beach for laying on when your stomach gets too full to do anything else. If you haven’t eaten your bodyweight in Basque dishes, you can also hike to the top of Mount Jaizkibel for gorgeous views.
Day Trips from San Sebastián: 1+ Hours Away
Pop over to France to spend the day at the famous beaches of Biarritz. Rent a car and make the stunning hour-long drive through Basque Country’s rolling mountains.
Once you get there, you can surf the famous waves of Le Grande Plage beach. Or take a tour through one of their many museums–like the Museum of Ocean and Surf or the Asiatica Asian Art Museum. Don’t forget to grab a cocktail at the insane Hotel du Palais, where you can watch the sunset!
About an hour away from San Sebastián is Bilbao, the largest city in the Basque Country. With skyscrapers, lots of museums, and sports stadiums, it’s a fun place to spend a busy day.
One of the most iconic spots in the city is the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum, which is in a gorgeous building wrapped in wavy titanium plates.
Parque Natural de Montes Obarenes-San Zadornil
Spend the day in the mountains in Parque Natural de Montes Obarenes – San Zadornil, only two hours away from San Sebastián. With beautiful vistas, deep ogres, and lush vegetation, it’s an escape from the busy pace of city life.
You can hike, swim, fish, or just relax in the park. Or stroll through the ancient streets of the village of Frías! Made of stone with terracotta roofs, perched on top of a mountain, it’s one of the most beautiful, quiet places in Spain!
Only an hour and a half train ride away, you can find the magical city of Pamplona. It’s most famous for its annual running of the bulls, which you can take part in at your own risk. For a calmer afternoon, visit the lush Riverside River, Yamaguchi Parque, or Taconera Gardens.
While you’re there, dig into some classic Pamplona dishes like cordero al chilindron (lamb stew), pochas estofadas (a white bean dish), or estofado de toro (bull stew)! And don’t forget to wash it down with Pamplona’s local drink, a kalimotxo. It’s wine and cola mixed, which might sound weird, but don’t knock it until you try it!
Rent a car and take a gorgeous 2-hour drive to the capital of La Rioja wine country, Logroño! You can find some of Spain’s best red wines here, so plan for a day of sipping and relaxing. Pair that delicious red with some locally sourced pintxos on Calle Laural, Longroño’s foodie street!
In town, there are plenty of cobblestone streets to explore with lots of beautiful architecture. For a more active day, you can even take a short hike on the Camino de Santiago, a famous pilgrimage that thousands of people trek every year.
There you have it–the best day trips from San Sebastián, Spain! Whether you choose to spend your day hiking in Parque Natural de Montes Obarenes – San Zadornil or filling up on seafood in Getaria, you’re going to have an amazing time. As always, DM me on Instagram to let me know what you get up to or if you have any questions!
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