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San Sebastian Airport Mini Guide
Why Should I go to San Sebastian?
It’s one of Spain’s undiscovered jewels and a little like a European Rio de Janieiro. The city is set around a beautiful bay backed by mountains and on one of them is a statue of Christ looking over the city. The city has what has been described as the best urban beach in the world and you can be sunbathing and swimming within feet of the city’s famous historical landmarks. Many people walk up Mount Igueldo to look down over the city at the view shown in most tourist guides. And if you get bored there, you can always hop on a train to Biarritz or Bilbao
or catch a local bus and explore the Basque country.
How do I get to San Sebastian?
The city has its own airport about twelve miles from the city. It only operates a select number of routes, mostly domestic, but with international routes to Belgium and Italy. To fly there from the UK, you need to get a connecting flight either to Madrid
or Brussels on a budget carrier and then fly on from there. There are a number of ways to get to the city from the airport including bus, car hire and taxi.
It looks large from the outside and the runway runs along the banks of a river. The airport is virtually on the border with France and so is often used by passengers going to Biarritz. Inside it’s a little dated with only basic facilities.
When I arrive, What can I Expect?
First, it’ll be a walk from the aircraft steps to the terminal as there are no air bridges. If you’ve told your airline about mobility issues, a member of staff will meet you there to help you into the terminal. Passport control is usually very quickly completed or non-existent if you’re arriving on a domestic flight. Baggage reclaim is equally quick as only small planes can currently fly into San Sebastian. The tourist information desk is straight ahead as you exit baggage reclaim and you’ll find the car hire companies there too if you want to collect a car from the airport.
For general information about the airport and its facilities you’ll need to follow the left hand wall of the terminal around until well into the arrivals hall. In the middle of the hall you’ll find a currency exchange facility together with an ATM. If you are using public transport into the city, the bus stop is on the airport approach road, thirty metres from the terminal.
What About on the day of my Departure?
This is going to be where you discover the lack of things to do in the airport. After checking in, there’s only a small kiosk on the side of the main hall selling snacks, newspapers and magazines. There’s a small cafeteria too with a limited range of cold and hot snack meals and drinks. After security there’s a duty free area with an adequate but not extensive range of goods.
- To expand, and even to survive, San Sebastian Airport needs to extend its runway to accept larger, more economical jets but local opposition, which has dogged the proposal for four years, means that the airport is in danger of slowly withering.
- Worries over the viability of the airport have been eased following the news that 5.5% more people flew to San Sebastian Airport last year, an increase put down to the efforts of the city to attract more cultural tourism.