This blog post was originally posted on June 29, 2018 and was updated on June 3, 2019.
July may just be the best time of the year to visit San Sebastian!
Summers here are much more mild than in most of the rest of Spain—throw in the fact that we’ve got some of the best beaches in Europe, and you’ve got all the makings of a perfect summer destination. If you’ll be visiting San Sebastian in July (and we certainly hope you do!), there’s plenty going on that you can’t miss. Pack your bags and get ready to enjoy an unforgettable summer.
1. Enjoy smooth sounds at Heineken Jazzaldia
Every year, one of the biggest jazz festivals in the world takes over San Sebastian. Heineken Jazzaldia is a must for any music lover visiting San Sebastian in July—having taken place for more than 50 years, it’s welcomed international icons such as James Brown, Liza Minelli, Diana Krall and B.B. King to its stages. This year, dozens of artists from all over the world will perform across San Sebastian at venues ranging from beachfront terraces to grand concert halls.
2019 dates: July 24–28
2. Enjoy one of Europe’s most iconic beaches
Here in San Sebastian, we’re quite proud of the fact that Playa de la Concha is considered one of the best city beaches in all of Europe. Flanked by lush green mountains and lined with a pristine white promenade, this classic seaside destination is a must, but don’t forget about the other lesser known but equally impressive beaches in San Sebastian.
To the west of La Concha, you’ll find Ondarreta Beach, a relaxed, laid-back beach that makes a great starting point for visiting the Peine del Viento sculpture as well as Monte Igueldo. Also worth visiting is Zurriola Beach, east of La Concha and just north of the Gros neighborhood, which boasts some of the best waves on Spain’s northern coast and is especially perfect for surfers!
3. Take in a local sporting event
Some things are universal—among them the simple pleasure of enjoying an athletic event on a warm summer day. Luckily, if you’ll be visiting San Sebastian in July, you’ve got plenty of those to choose from.
Soccer fans will want to check out the Donosti Cup (July 7–13, 2019), which is akin to the Little League World Series of soccer. More than 200 talented youth teams from around the world will take over 15 fields throughout the city in a series of intense tournaments until a winner is crowned.
More of a watersports fan? Save the date for the San Sebastian Regatta (July 13 & 14, 2019) taking place off the shores of the bay in mid-July. And of course, there’s always horse races at the local racetrack if you’d like to try your luck this summer.
4. Cook like a local at a unique culinary workshop
It’s no secret that San Sebastian is home to some of the best food in Europe, if not the world. Get hands-on with the city’s incredible cuisine when visiting San Sebastian in July! Throughout the month, the Basque Culinary Center offers several unique cooking classes and workshops where you’ll learn the secrets of Spanish and Basque cuisine from the locals who know it best. We’re particularly interested in the intensive Basque Kitchen workshop taking place from July 1–5, 2019.
5. Enjoy terrace drinks
Summertime is all about sitting outside and enjoying the fresh air, and the only way that could possibly be better is with a drink in hand. Luckily, there’s no shortage of stunning outdoor terraces in San Sebastian where you can do just that. Enjoy the good vibes, beautiful weather, and great drinks at one of the many patios around town—it’s a simple but perfect formula for an idyllic summer night.
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Life is too short to speak one language and stay in one place. In 2015, this philosophy took her from familiar Ohio to sunny southern Spain. Usually drinking tinto de verano, reading Lorca, or attempting to dance flamenco (not all at once). Follow her blog, Viatic Couture, for more.