San Sebastian sits on the corner of Spain, France, and the Bay of Biscay, and hosts one of the busiest beaches in Europe. Similar to Sitges in Catalunya, San Sebastian is a resort town through and through. It first became a European vacation destination when the Spanish royal family set up their beach estate here – ever since, Europeans have flocked to the Playa de la Concha to dip their toes in the warm waters of the Biscay. While it is too early for sunbathers and swimmers, pre-Mardi Gras Carnivale brought thousands of people to San Sebastian for the parades and parties. The parade was a joy to watch – each Basque town sent a “team” of approximately 125 people to do choreographed dances through the parade routes; each team had a theme (in my pictures, jockeys/horses, masquerade, Norsemen, and clocks).
San Sebastian also features a critical feature that I was eager to discover: the most Michelin-starred restaurants per capita. Pinxtos are the primary cuisine in Basque country – 3-bite appetizers served on an array of plates at the bar. See something you like? Grab it! Then tally your toothpicks (“pinxto” = “sword”) to count your bill. Bergamo, a favorite, is perhaps the only 3-star Michelin restaurant where patrons are expected to throw their napkins on the floor!