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San Sebastian, or another little town nearby?

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Aug 11th, 2012, 02:00 PM
  #1
GKS
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San Sebastian, or another little town nearby?

We're looking at visiting Spain in either late May or June, most likely, and our primary focus is wine tasting. That said, we'd like to spend a few nights in San Sebastian or area. I'm not too keen on major cities though - if given the choice I would always go for small villages or at least the old parts of towns where you really feel the history - and would actually love to find a not-so-crowded waterfront city/village to stay in while in the area. Any suggestions? Or, if San Sebastian is really where we should stay (we want to eat and hang out there, how much I'm not sure), is there a not too expensive hotel (under 150 euros) in an old part of town you could recommend?
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Aug 11th, 2012, 04:54 PM
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At least 3 nites in SS--it is magical.

Given 2 more nites, go up in the hills to St. Jean Pied du Port----the definitive Basque village with great wine.
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Aug 11th, 2012, 05:41 PM
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We stayed at a hostal on the main pedestrian street a couple of blocks from the wonderful beach in Oct.. Alameda it was called and the cost was pretty good. Exceptionally handy, clean and a great owner/hostess. It is a 2 star but that was because it is on the 2nd floor and doesn't have a dedicated street door...You ring the bell and go up to the 2nd floor. There is an elevator. Lots of good hotels that are resonable. S.S. is fantastic. Daughters stayed in Deba in July, right on the beach and loved the beach but were not overly impressed with the hotel. They had a car and the hotel had a reasonable car park. A car will be a pain in S.S. however..Have a wonderful time.
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Aug 12th, 2012, 12:49 AM
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San Sebastián is wonderful and not that big (pop 170 000). I've visited almost every year since the late 80's, and for peace and tranquility with easy access to the city center and old town, we've been very happy staying at family owned Chomín in the laid-back and upscale Ondarreta area. 50 meters from the Ondarreta beach, 25 min walk along the beautiful La Concha beach promenade into the city center and old town (Parte vieja). Buses all the time and taxis are some 4€. Also two minutes from the vibrant and local feel Antiguo area where there are few tourists. http://www.booking.com/hotel/es/chomin.en.html
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Aug 12th, 2012, 01:55 PM
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Look at Hondarribia, on the French border. It has a medieval section up on the hill and an historic fisherman's area below. Charming. .Not a village, around 10,000 pop, but not a city like beautiful San Sebastian. FYI:The San Sebastian airport is in Hondarribia.
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Aug 12th, 2012, 03:10 PM
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And direct bus to San Sebastián in 70 mins from much larger Bilbao airport with many more and usually much more affordable flights.
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Aug 12th, 2012, 03:48 PM
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Also, we would take the little ferry, the navette, across the river to France. Both sides of the river, Spain and France, have nice beaches. Hondarribia is easy to use as a base if you have a car to explore the Pais Vasco and Pays Basque.
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Aug 12th, 2012, 04:47 PM
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We are currently in San Sebastian after three days in Bilbao. It's a little hard to judge what the town might be like during "normal" summer season. It's Semana Grande (a once a year, week long festival), and the town is just packed. The food has been extraordinary though.

We enjoyed Bilbao a lot as well. It is smaller and quieter. We found it closer to the Rioja wine region, if that is one of your destinations.

You might enjoy a few days in each place.
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Aug 13th, 2012, 02:42 AM
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Bilbao is a great and vibrant city, and about twice the size of San Sebastián with a pop of more than 350 000. San Sebastián is now 186 000.
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Aug 13th, 2012, 05:59 AM
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SS is wonderful. It would be my first choice. We stay at Hotel Codina, 250 meters from Ondoretta Beach, and approx. 25 minute walk from old town along the bay. Approx. 110 euros. Ask for a room with a view of the beach. There is a bus in front of hotel for 1.45 euros if you don't want to walk. We also love Hondaribbia but it would be second choice.
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Aug 13th, 2012, 03:11 PM
  #11
GKS
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Thank you all so much! This is amazing, great info. THANK YOU!!!
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Aug 15th, 2012, 08:58 AM
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There's no place like San Sebastian. If I were to stay somewhere smaller it might be Lekeitio or Hondarribia, but I never like to leave town.
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