Novice surfer, Peter Cooley, 26, has returned from a second stint at surf camp and is attempting to pass himself off as a big deal in the waves. Cooley’s friend, Tom Jenkins, explains. “It started off innocent enough. He had a bit of a tan and his hair was lighter (we suspected he was squeezing […]
The deliciously decadent cherry on the cake that is the Basque country. Vistas galore, culinary delights, surfing heaven and litres and litres of cider. Oh hells yes!
Population: quite a few, especially in summer
Language: Basque, Euskerra, gobbledy-gook. A weird but beautiful language that is impossible to understand and hard to pronounce due to excessive use of consonants like ‘k’, ‘x’ and ‘z’
Nationality: Basque – the friendliest and warmest folk in Spain – but don’t call them Spanish
Surf report: Zurriola beach is pumping, but if you want less competition for the wave, head to Zarautz
Cookie-cutter must see’s: feeling serious? Here’s the serious sights:
Kursaal Opera House – the rather ugly but interesting music hall on the beach that was meant to be spectacular, but is really a bit of a spectacle
San Seb Cathedral – one of two beautiful churches in the city
La Concha Beach – a sunny, family-friendly beach where you’ll see the bikini- and boardshort-clad local babes
Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Coro – the other beautiful church in the old town
El Monte Urgull – a hike to this little peninsula peak will give you a good panorama of the bay
The alternative cool shit: feeling avant-garde? Here’s the Stoke choices:
Pintxos: the food of San Seb lures travelers back to its shores time and again. Try the Ox-cheek at Borda-berri and the Jimmy at Pinudi’s sports bar. You will be addicted for life and the mere thought of them will leave you salivating and feeling as if something is missing in your life.
Learn to pour a cider from a metre away – the key is to look at the glass…. and then wash a set menu dinner down with it at a local ciderhouse (sidreria). If the cider doesn’t get you all tingly in all the right places, the succulent steak certainly will.
Feeling religious? Jesus was a wine man, but had he lived in San Seb, we’re pretty sure he’d have been turning water into cider. Local cider & cheese picnic up the hill at the Jesus statue overlooking the bay of San Seb.
Surf lesson/free surf at Zarautz beach – a long beach with small and big waves for any level – complete with a jumping rock and a hill for sunset cider sessions
Under no circumstances does Stoke recommend…. ;)
Stripping down to your birthday suit and jumping in the harbour and swimming out to an empty boat to sun yourself. Why would anyone do something so daring and naughty and freeing? :D
No seriously, Stoke does not recommend: tourist traps
Going to McDonald’s. This is sacrilege in a town so stuffed to the brim with gourmet grub at a pauper’s price.
Any ice cream shop except Boulevard. If you want to get to creamy heaven, there’s only one stairway leading to the boulevard you need.
Editor’s note: Ryan “The Chosen One” Whitaker just finished up his three months embedded with Stoke Travel, seeing a summer from the perspective of both a traveller and a volunteer. Here is some of the wisdom he picked up over the course of this life-changing experience. We’ll be looking for a new Chosen One for […]
A guide to surfing in San Sebastian to get you ready for your first lesson. JOSEPHINE RYAN MURPHY San Sebastian is famous for its beautiful beaches and its pumping waves. Here at Stoke, we enjoy both of those things and so we set up the San Sebastian Surf Camp. From beginners to shredders, we’ve managed to […]
The Basque Country isn’t just famous for its sun and waves, it’s also home to some of the best cider in the world and a cider house is definitely the best place to drink it. JOSEPHINE RYAN MURPHY A Basque Country cider house is a special place. They are a tradition that has been going for […]
A helping hand from Stoke to make sure you’re prepared for what this summer has in store. JOSEPHINE RYAN MURPHY Summer really is finally, almost here. Flights have been booked, knuckles are white from clutching Stoke passports for weeks, the thought of another second spent without a big ol’ jug of sangria is almost unbearable. […]
That’s it! Oktoberfest is wrapped, folded, washed and hung out to dry, and along with it Stoke summer 2017. What a blast! A record-breaking summer of atmospheric highs very often followed immediately by brief, soul-crushing lows. So as the accumulated hangover of three months’ worth of solid boozing washes over us like a fog made […]
Festival season is on. The grapes have been stamped, the tomatoes are just about ripe, underwear is being cleaned and the beer is almost brewed. And although all these festivals are a wonderful clusterfuck of fun, it’s important to get some down time to recover if you’re gonna make it the whole way through. With […]
A guide to get you started on your trip to San Sebastian. To download Stoke Maps view this page on your mobile device. Once just a fishing village and now incredibly modern and popular, San Sebastian is a beachside city in the Basque Country. It’s famous for its surfing, its architecture, its nightlife and its […]
A brief introduction to the weirdos you’ll meet at your surf hostel. JOSEPHINE RYAN MURPHY Surf camps are great. One of the best things about them, is the group of like minded people you’ll meet there. You’ll eat together, surf together, party together and sleep together and you’ll leave with a love of surfing and lifelong […]
Surfing is pretty great and even better when it’s in The Basque country’s San Sebastian. If you’re planning on heading over for a surf trip you may be having a bit of trouble finding budget accommodation and surf lessons. During the season prices are increased and finding budget anything can end up being pretty difficult. […]