San Sebastian

San Sebastián is located in the mountainous Basque country of Spain and surrounded by beautiful beaches. It is a surfing and foodie paradise.

San Sebastián has three airports, two are international, within about 100 kilometers of the city. Bilbao Airport has connections all over Europe and is 105 kilometers from the city. Biarritz Airport is about 50 kilometers away and served by French and low-cost international companies. San Sebastián Airport is 20 kilometers from the city centre and has connections to major Spanish cities Madrid and Barcelona.

Before traveling add Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises to your reading list. The novel takes place largely in this region of Spain.

EAT & DRINK

There are many bars and restaurants sprinkled throughout the city, all varying in quality. Take a stroll through Parte Vieja Old Town and try to find your favorite. Our recommendation for exploring the city is to combine both eating with drinking! Have a zurito (mini beer) and a pintxo (tapa) per bar, not sticking to one spot for too long.

Atari Gastroteka Fun, trendy vibe. Great Old Town stop for pintxos.

La Cuchara de San Telmo Still dreaming of this meal. Try the grilled octopus.

La Rampa Seafood lunch at the Port.

Fuego Negro A modern take on pintxos. We went for a full course lunch.

PLAY

Monte Igueldo On a clear day, we recommend taking the funicular to the top of Monte Igueldo for the best viewpoints over the stunning Concha Bay and surrounding mountains.

Monte Ulia Coastal hike from San Sebastian to Pasaia. This 7 kilometer hike starts behind Zurriola beach (look for red and white trail markers and climb up towards Monte Ulia). Follow the signs to Pasaia. Once you arrive, you can take the local bus back to San Sebastian. Proper shoes are essential.

Monte Urgull Easy walking trails in the middle of the city. Burn off some pintxos and enjoy the views.

Playa de la Concha Right in the midst of the city, this urban beach attracts both visitors and locals and is the perfect spot to cool off in the afternoon.

Parte Vieja Explore the Old Town streets and visit the many boutiques, pintxo shops, and bars.  Don’t miss the Santa María and San Vincent churches.

Zurriola Beach The go to spot for surf-lovers.

STAY

We stayed in the Old Town and loved it. We were right in the midst of the food and nightlife scene but, depending on your location, it can be very loud. Looking for something quieter? Try an Airbnb near the beach in the Centro (city center) area.

LOCATIONS NEARBY

Bali

HAPPINESS. This one word sums up the general feeling of being in Bali. The island has been a popular destination for beach-goers, surfers and yogis since the 1980s. The west coast and its surrounding islands are more chill than other areas that draw crowds of tourists.

With many options, it can be difficult to choose a base-location in Bali. We planned our travels around culture, relaxation and surfing. The best time to visit is during the dry season from May to September.

Fly into Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar just south of Kuta. Take a private car or taxi (Blue Bird Taxis) to your base location. Note that traffic can be very congested!

JIMBARAN & Seminyak

EAT

Cuca Restaurant Tapas-style dining using local ingredients. Highly recommend.

Kayumanis Resto Modern, traditional Indonesian dishes.

Sea Circus Bali Go to brunch spot in Seminyak sporting a colorful, vibrant atmosphere.

DRINK

Finns Beach Club Trendy beach club in Canguu.

Rock Bar Bali Scenic sun-downers in Jimbaran.

PLAY

In both Nusa Lembongan and mainland, we recommend renting a scooter to check out the hidden beaches and restaurants. Our must-dos are below and other ideas pinned to the map:

Badung Beach

Bingin Beach Hidden swim and surf spot near Uluwatu.

For a little retail therapy, check out Jalan Petitenget street (From the W to Potato Head) or Jalan Kayu Ayu in Seminyak or several contemporary, beach wear boutiques selling unique prints.

Uluwatu Temple A Balinese Hindu temple on a steep cliff offering beautiful views of the Indian Ocean. Experienced surfers can catch a break here, but there are strong tides.

STAY

Kayumanis Jimbaran Private Villas & Spa this tucked away gem is five minutes from the beach and offers a five star experience. Think private pools, spacious (super comfy) rooms and outstanding service. It does not get any better! 

Blue Karma Seminyak A boutique resort and spa in the middle of Seminyak. Note: Seminyak is a bit more commercial than other locations.

NUSA LEMBONGAN

EAT

Hai Bar and Grill Dinner near Mushroom Bay.

Indiana Kenanga Restaurant For a change of taste from the local cuisine, this European, waterfront spot will not disappoint.

DRINK

Sandy Bay Beach Club Waterfront beach cafe.

The Deck The BEST views in Nusa Lembongan. We can promise no Sunday scaries here; the bar has live DJs and craft cocktail specials on the weekends.

PLAY

The island is best toured by scooter and offers surfing, swimming and beautiful beaches. It is a bit less crowded than mainland Bali.

Klungkung Beach

Dream Beach Swimming and relaxing.

Lacerations and Shipwreck For experienced surfers.

Manta Rays Hire a local boat and captain to explore the islands, snorkel and swim with these gentle giants.

Monkey Surfing Beginners can head to Monkey Surfing for lessons.

Mushroom Bay Another day, another white sandy beach.

STAY

This island is southeast from Bali and best reached via boat from Sanur (45 minutes). Our recommendation is to stay at the Batu Karang Lembongan Resort.

UBUD

EAT

Fair Warung Bale Casual restaurant in Ubud where 100% of the proceeds support the local community.

DRINK

Smiling Coffee Bali refreshing stop after a visit to the Tegalalang Rice Terraces.

PLAY

Mount Batur For some physical activity, opt for the sunrise hike. We organized this excursion through our villa.

Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary It’s touristy but who doesn’t like monkeys? Go during non-peak hours to avoid the crowds and don’t feed the monkeys!

Tegalalang Rice Terrace Scenic views of rice paddies featuring traditional Balinese irrigation. Go early to beat the heat and crowds.

Ubud Palace Iconic landmark in Ubud and a lovely example of traditional, Balinese architecture

STAY

We highly recommend Purist Villa, a luxury boutique resort with a relaxing atmosphere, great food, and friendly staff.