San Sebastian, Spain: A Haven of Slow Living and Culinary Delights

The Comb of the Winds by Eduardo Chillida in San Sebastian, Spain
The Comb of the Winds by Basque Artist, Eduardo Chillida
Photo courtesy of S. Lee Wright

Hello, fellow travelers and seekers of a more balanced lifestyle! Welcome to Suitcase in SPAIN, where we bring you inspiring stories and experiences from expat guests who have found their haven in different parts of this beautiful country. Today, we are thrilled to introduce you to S. Lee Wright, an expat who has discovered the wonders of San Sebastian.

Join us as we delve into S. Lee Wright’s journey and her deep connection to this captivating city that has become her home. Eight years ago, she made the brave decision to leave behind the hustle and bustle of New York City, seeking a slower pace of life and a renewed sense of joy in San Sebastian’s charming seaside setting.

Get ready to be inspired as S. Lee Wright takes us on a delightful exploration of the wonders that have captured her heart. From the pleasures of slow living to the delectable homecooked meals at her favorite restaurant, Ama-Lur, we’ll discover the hidden gems of San Sebastian through her eyes. So, fasten your seatbelts, open your hearts to new experiences, and embark on this unforgettable journey with S. Lee Wright and Suitcase in SPAIN.

Embracing Slow Living: S. Lee Wright’s Journey to San Sebastian

It’s a pleasure to share with you the hidden gems and cherished secrets of San Sebastian, the captivating seaside town that has become my beloved home. It took some time for me to truly feel like a local in this enchanting city after moving to Spain eight years ago. But now, I’m thrilled to unveil some of my favorite discoveries and experiences in this lovely corner of the world.

In 2015, after spending years immersed in the bustling energy of New York City, running my own boutique design firm called Holistic Interior Designs, I made a daring decision to step off the relentless treadmill of the rat race. Yearning for a more sustainable and balanced lifestyle, I set my sights on Spain, with San Sebastian as my destination of choice. Here, amidst the soothing rhythm of the sea, I sought to rediscover that elusive equilibrium and wholeheartedly embrace the concept of slow living.

Today, my life is a harmonious dance, weaving together the joys of coastal living, my passion for writing about holistic design and sustainable living, and the fulfillment I find in helping clients reimagine their homes and offices through the principles of holistic living. San Sebastian has been the perfect backdrop for this transformative journey, and I’m excited to share with you the essence of this remarkable city.

So, join me as we uncover the hidden treasures, savor the flavors, and immerse ourselves in the beauty of San Sebastian. From my favorite restaurant to the captivating Three Beach Walk and beyond, I invite you to embark on an adventure that embraces a slower pace, celebrates sustainable living, and discovers the true essence of this extraordinary city.
Together, let’s embark on a voyage of inspiration and appreciation for the art of living well in San Sebastian.

My Favorite Restaurant – Ama-Lur

After settling into life in Spain, I found myself rediscovering the joy of cooking. Having more time on my hands, I embraced the art of preparing delicious meals. However, there are moments when a comforting, homecooked meal prepared by someone else is exactly what I crave.

Enter Ama-Lur, my go-to place for a feel-good dining experience. This charming restaurant holds a special place in my heart, as it never fails to deliver an incredibly satisfying meal. When I’m in the mood for something truly comforting, their amazingly juicy roast chicken with all the fixings hits the spot just right. The consistency of their delicious roast chicken, available for both dine-in and take-away, never ceases to amaze me.

Ama-Lur is a traditional rustic Basque restaurant with minimalist décor that exudes warmth and authenticity. What makes it even more special are the lifetime waiters, who have been serving patrons with the same efficiency and charm for years. 

So, if you find yourself in San Sebastian and longing for a taste of home, I highly recommend heading to Ama-Lur. Indulge in their delightful roast chicken and let it transport you to a place of pure culinary satisfaction.

Ama-Lur Jatetxea

+34 943 27 45 84

My Favorite Thing to Do – The Three Beach Walk

The Perfect Way to Explore the City

One of my absolute favorite things to do in San Sebastian is what I like to call the Three Beach Walk. It’s a splendid way to explore the city and soak up its dynamic atmosphere, all while enjoying the luxury of having pristine beaches right within the city center. Picture yourself in your bathing suit, slip on your most comfortable walking flip-flops, and let’s get started!

Discovering Zurriola Beach

We begin our journey in the Gros/Sangues neighborhood, at the magnificent Zurriola Beach. This beach, created by human hands, has worked wonders in revitalizing this area. It has now become one of Europe’s prime surfing spots, perfect for both beginners and seasoned wave riders. As we stroll along the shoreline, we’ll eventually reach a bridge that takes us across the river and leads us behind the old part of town.

Scenic Views and the Beauty of La Concha Beach

The path curves around the back of Mount Urgull, treating us to breathtaking views of the sea. On windier days, you might even witness the majestic waves crashing against the stone wall, creating a mesmerizing spectacle. We’ll follow this route until we reach the port, where the most magnificent view of La Concha beach awaits us. We’ll continue to walk along the curve of this spectacular beach, taking in its beauty.

Finishing up at the sporty & family-friendly Ondarreta Beach

As you follow the natural curve of La Concha beach, you come to a narrow point where you must either swim or climb the stairs to the street level to continue forward. Your walk then leads you to the final beach in the Three Beach Walk, where you can take a moment to rest your feet while enjoying a fantastic dip in the glorious sea. Alternatively, you can sip a beverage at one of the beach bars, watching the sunset and immersing yourself in the magnificent views of La Concha Bay, the island, and Mount Urgell.

Best Artistic Moment – The Comb of the Winds

One of the charming aspects that San Sebastian offers is its love for outdoor sculptures. My personal favorite is The Comb of the Winds by the famous Basque sculptor, Eduardo Chillida. It is situated at the furthest end of Ondarreta Beach, following the road to its end. By combining rusting steel with the natural ruggedness of the Basque coastline, these sculptures appear to grow organically out of the sea. It provides a perfect vantage point to soak in the beauty of both the city of San Sebastian and the endless seascape beyond.

Best View – Monte Igueldo Amusement Park

A Panoramic View of the City

To truly appreciate the splendor of San Sebastian, I invite you to visit the Monte Igueldo Amusement Park, where the old-fashioned funicular takes you to the top of the hill. Once you reach the summit, you’ll be rewarded with the most amazing view of the entire city sprawled below you. I highly recommend grabbing an ice cream cone and simply savoring the moment. And if you’re feeling curious, don’t forget to visit the fortune teller machine—just remember to have a translation handy!

Best Rainy Day Activity – Pottery Workshop with Lisa P

Unleashing Your Creativity: Even on rainy days, San Sebastian has something special to offer. Lisa P, a Canadian resident who has called San Sebastian home for nearly 15 years, has a delightful pottery workshop located at 36 Calle San Antonio. This creative sanctuary provides the perfect escape, allowing you to immerse yourself in the art of pottery under Lisa’s expert guidance. A short bus ride from the town center will transport you to this haven, where you can nurture your soul and unleash your artistic side.

lisa p.ceramica

Visit Their Website

+34 663 62 99 35


Sustainable City Tours

Exploring San Sebastian with a Focus on Sustainability

In collaboration with local culinary experts, I, S. Lee Wright, am thrilled to offer bespoke tour packages that allow you to explore San Sebastian’s culture from a sustainability perspective.

These immersive experiences delve into the vibrant food culture of the city, as well as its commitment to environmentally conscious practices. If you’re interested in learning more about these tours and how to participate, feel free to contact me for further details.


San Sebastian beckons with its harmonious blend of slow living, breathtaking landscapes, and a commitment to sustainability. Whether you’re savoring a mouthwatering meal, embarking on a scenic beach walk, capturing the city’s beauty from atop Monte Igueldo, getting your hands dirty in a pottery workshop, or immersing yourself in sustainable city tours, this enchanting destination promises an unforgettable experience for every traveler. So come and join me in discovering the secrets and wonders of San Sebastian, Spain!

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