When you visit San Sebastian in fall, you’ll miss the summer crowds and slip seamlessly into local life.
Crisp temperatures ranging from 12–18 degrees C (54–65 degrees F) make autumn feel much more present than in warmer, more southerly parts of Spain. Throw in some spooky festivities, and you’ve got all the makings of fall fun with a unique Basque flair.
If you’ll be visiting San Sebastian in October, be sure to add these activities and events to your agenda.
Get spooked at the Horror & Fantasy Film Festival
Throughout much of fall, San Sebastian is a cinephile’s dream destination. After hosting the internationally known San Sebastian Film Festival in September, the city continues the movie fun in October with the Horror & Fantasy Film Festival.
This year’s edition, the 30th, promises to be bigger and spookier than ever before. Horror fans visiting San Sebastian in October won’t want to miss this!
2019 dates: October 26–November 1
Eat your way around the world
If you thought San Sebastian was a top foodie destination throughout the rest of the year, you haven’t seen anything yet.
The annual Gastronomika festival brings some of the world’s top chefs and culinary experts together at one massive event. Here, they present gastronomic creations unlike any the world has ever seen before—and the best news of all is that you can taste some of them.
This year’s event, the 21st, commemorates the 500th anniversary Basque explorer Juan Sebastian Elkano’s circumnavigation of the globe. As a result, special emphasis will be placed on the cuisines and ingredients he encountered throughout his journey. Suffice it to say that we’ll be among the 13,000+ guests estimated to attend the event!
2019 dates: October 6–9
Run along 3 beautiful beaches
The bad news: it’s a little too cold to actually go swimming.
The good news: you can still enjoy the beaches in San Sebastian by running along them. The 30th annual Three-Beach Race runs the course of Ondarreta, La Concha and Zurriola Beaches. The 10-kilometer route, as a result, is probably the most breathtaking you’ll ever run.
2019 date: Sunday, October 13
Learn something new at a museum
As the unofficial start of fall, San Sebastian in October is characterized by crisp temperatures and greater rainfall than during the summer months. Don’t go canceling your plans just yet, though—the city still offers plenty of great things to do even when the weather isn’t cooperating.
One of our favorite rainy day activities is to duck for cover inside one of the many fascinating museums and spend a few hours learning something new. It’s win-win: you’ll get to experience the best of San Sebastian’s unique culture and history while staying dry!
Discover the city’s best bites
When it comes to food, we’re spoiled for choice here in San Sebastian. Rustic pintxos bars stand proudly beside innovative Michelin-starred restaurants. Markets and gourmet shops make it easy to pick up fresh, local products no matter where you find yourself in town. Simply put, we pretty much live in foodie paradise, and happily take advantage of any opportunity to enjoy San Sebastian’s many culinary wonders.Want our insider’s guide to eating in San Sebastian? Just add your email address in the form below!
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.