Although most people come to San Sebastián for the food and the beaches, there's more on offer than just pintxos and wave-frolicking. You can go for scenic hikes in the surrounding area, take a surfing class or spend the day at the spa.

Surfing In & Around San Sebastián

The opportunity to get into the waves is a major attraction for beginners and experts alike travelling along the Basque coast. The variety of surf spots along this coast is impressive and ranges from gentle beach breaks, scary slab reefs and, of course, the barrelling river mouth lefts of Mundaka. On a good day, there’s no doubt that Mundaka is one of the best waves in the world. However, it’s not very consistent, and when it’s on, it’s always very busy and ugly. Zarautz is the next big Basque surf spot. It’s best on smaller swells and is a good place for beginners to take to the waters.

There are several good spots close to Bilbao with the best known being Sopelana. In San Sebastián, Playa de Zurriola is a good place to learn. Many of the region’s better waves, though, are fiercely guarded secrets. Despite the flow of vans loaded down with boards passing along the Basque coast in summer, the prime surf season is autumn through spring.