An Itinerary for the Food lover – Travel food diaries
With the current spontaneity of travel on a hiatus, it’s only natural to dream of where to head to next once the angst of Covid19 is over. My good friend Rachel from the Travel Food Diaries has set me a task of planning an itinerary for her as a distraction from the current pandemic, who knows, maybe once this is over she’ll take my suggested trip. So welcome to an Itinerary for the Food Lover.
Travel Food Diaries…
The thing I love about Rachel (Travel Food diaries) is that she is never afraid of an adventure, she loves to travel and is a foodie through and through. Although she works in the food and packaging industry she has a certain Je ne sais quoi about the art of food. Rachel is an epicure who finds certain joy when eating a delicious meal. Her love of food varies from Salty seafood to farmhouse meats and I know she appreciates an adventure with a sprinkle of gourmet. An Itinerary for the Food Lover is definitely one for The Travel Food Diaries.
Where to travel to…
For an Itinerary for a food lover, I know the place to go has to be the city of San Sebastián. San Sebastián is known for its old-world charm, astounding beaches and its appeasing palette, it’s a perfect three-day adventure for the food lover.
San Sebastián is a coastal city located in the Basque Country, Northern Spain. The official title is Donostia-San Sebastián and the locals call themselves Donostiarras. There’s a foodie buzz in the city, it’s Pintxo culture has been ingrained into society and the smells of fresh delicacies lace the streets. Which is why San Sebastián is the perfect location for an Itinerary for the food lover.
The Pintxo way of eating is similar to Tapas with snack bite-size delights served inside the bars of San Sebastián. The locals usually have these as a snack or appetiser before dinner at home or a restaurant. But, tourists indulge on Pintxo throughout the evening in several restaurants to get the real taste of San Sebastián. San Sebastián is also one of the cities in the world to hold the highest number of Michelin stars per square metre.
- To suss out a place for quality, take one pintxo at a time that way you can visit multiple places in one night.
- The great pintxos are almost always made to order, ask the waiter for what is available.
- Cider houses are a must! The season is from January – April, there are a few that stay open all year round.
- Try txakoli (a local white wine) it’s poured from a height to gain effervescence (served in the same way as the cider)
Where to Stay – Far out collective
‘Far Out Collective’ is a homestay with a mix of bohemian and eclectic but with a cosy / family feel. Staying at a Homestay means that you can experience life staying with a local, you can find out the best-hidden secrets through them. It’s affordable and in a great location right on the bay, close to all of the attractions.
@Courtesy of FarCollective
Spend the morning walking around the Basílica de Santa María del Coro
This 18th-century church located in the old town is considered to be the oldest in the City. The Church was built over an old temple which is why it is considered the oldest church. Its interiors make it one of the most beautiful churches in the area.
Monday to Saturday: 9:00; 11:00; 19:30
Sundays and holydays: 9:00; 10:00; 11:00; 12:00; 13:00; 20:00
Address: 31 de Agosto Kalea, 46, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
It’s never too early for Dessert – Especially cheesecake
Indulge in legendary deserts as you wander to La Viña, it’s never too early for dessert! A bar renowned for not only delicious pintxos but also it’s legendary creamy baked cheesecake. This cheesecake is prepared daily and one slice is enough for two!
Address: La Viña, 31 de Agosto Kalea, 3, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Spend the afternoon wandering through the Old Town (Parte Vieja)
The old town is the second oldest neighbourhood in the city after Antiguo. Have a mooch within the old fashioned lanes in the many bars offering the best pintxos. This city is the city of senses, immerse yourself in the cuisine and culture of San Sebastián.
Enjoy a drink in the Constitution Square (Plaza de la Constitución)
Plaza de la Constitución is the main square in the city that used to be a bullring. Remnants of it’s past still stand with numbers etched below each of the balcony windows denoting to the former bullring boxes that were rented by spectators.
Address: Constitución Plaza, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Experience a bit of history at City Hall
Head to the old Casino and admire its grand exterior (built between 1882 and 1887), it is now the headquarters of City Hall. This prestigious building is located between the “Ensanche” area and the old part, if you look closely at the facade you will see bullet holes from the fighting from the Spanish Civil War. It’s located on the Bay of La Concha.
Address: Ijentea Kalea, 1, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Walk along La Concha Beach promenade
Enjoy a walk along the promenade overlooking the beach which is rumoured to be the most beautiful city beach in Europe. The 2 KM stretch of coastline is just a 20-minute walk with plenty of rest stops to watch the world go by.
Address: De la Concha Ibilbidea, San Sebastian – Donostia, Spain
Dinner at Borda Berri
There are so many establishments to enjoy, but following reviews I have chosen; Borda Berri.
Borda Berri can be crowded but is rumoured to be worth the wait, everything they serve is made to order – no food on the counter and the menu continues to change throughout the year. Highlights from the menu based on reviews are; Sopa de Ajo (garlic soup), Crab Ravioli, artichoke with Mushroom, Veal cheeks and cheese risotto. (It’s also on Lonely Planets recommended – so don’t miss out).
Closed: Monday & Tuesday
Address: Fermin Calbeton Kalea, 12, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Enjoy a view of the city from Monte Igueldo
Start your morning with the most beautiful view of the city, take the Funicular up to Monte Igueldo for panoramic landscapes. Take in the breathtaking scenes, there is also a cafe, play area and lovely hotel at the top. Enjoy drinks in the hotel bar with magnificent views from the huge lounge.
Address: Funikular Plaza, 4, 20008 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Time to relax and sunbathe at La Concha Beach
Relish the rest of the day at the beach of La Concha. San Sebastian has many beaches, but none compare to the La Concha beach. The name “concha” is derived from the shape of the bay, the golden sand and clear blue water invite many tourists to its shores. It’s among the best city beaches in Europe.
Ice-cream at Loco-Polo
Before dinner head to Loco-Polo for a state of the art ice-cream or a little slice of heaven in a dessert to cool down before returning to the homestay. It’s an Instagrammers dream! The mouthwatering ice-cream looks out of this world.
Address: Narrika, 10 bajo20.003 Gipuzkoa
Pintxo & Wine Tour
You can’t enjoy San Sebastian without a food tour. For dinner enjoy one of the many pintxos tours on offer. The Ultimate San Sebastian Pintxos & Wine Tour (Evening) has a five-star rating. Enjoy the six bars on offer for snacks and drink pairings, enjoy the intimate tour with a local guide.
Catch a ferry to Santa Clara Island
Catch the ferry and wander and relax on the island. The ferry leaves at 10:00 am and every half hour until 20:00 pm from Lasta Plaza, this trip usually costs €4.
Another ferry that offers a tour of the bay as well can also be provided for €6 each way, this ferry leaves at 13:00 / 14:00 / 15:30 / 16:30 / 17:30 / 18:30 / 19:30.
Santa Clara Island is a relaxed little island, in the 16th century the island was used as a quarantine zone to house people who had the plague. The small island has often been voted the most beautiful city beach bay of Europe. Explore views from the white lighthouse cottage and enjoy the chiringuito bar with a terrace at the pier. Instead of the ferry you can also swim or kayak to the island.
Explore Mota Castle
Take the ferry back from Santa Clara and explore the Mota Castle before dinner. The castle is one of the most famous constructions in San Sebastián and is located at the top of Monte Urgull. Learn about the history of this fortress and take in the beautiful views of San Sebastián on your final evening.
Address: Av. Castillo, s/n, 47400 Medina del Campo, Valladolid, Spain
Indulge in Basque Cuisine at Bodegón Alejandro
For dinner head to Bodegón Alejandro for authentic Basque cuisine. Experience an indulgence on one of the most famous streets in the Old Town. Enjoy the tasting menu, critics consider this restaurant to be on par with the Michlin star establishments. Enjoy your last evening in this wonderful city.
Address: nº 4, Fermin Calbeton Kalea, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
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