San Sebastian Travel Guide

Spain  #1 in Best Beaches in Spain
Credit

Courtesy of Krzysztof Baranowski/Getty Images

Best Times to Visit San Sebastian

The best time to visit San Sebastian is from May to July. While the majority of this time period falls during peak tourist season, these months offer the best temperatures. San Sebastian is generally a cooler destination, with spring and fall temperatures seldom topping 65 degrees. Not only that, but summer sees the least amount of rain compared to the rest of the year. Night owls should plan their visit during August and September, when the city plays hosts to numerous cultural events, including Europe's longest running classical music festival. October is a sweet spot where visitors can experience the last of fall's lukewarm temperatures without sharing the street with too many tourists, however, October sees some of the heaviest rainfall of the entire year. If deals are what you're after, a winter visit may be worth the chilly temperatures. What's more, regional Txakoli wine and cider season start to rev up in February. 

Weather in San Sebastian

Switch to Celsius/MM
Average Temperature (°F)
52
43
53
43
56
45
58
47
64
52
68
57
71
61
72
62
70
59
65
54
57
48
53
44
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Average Precipitation (in)
5.55
4.33
4.45
5.43
4.72
3.54
3.39
4.61
4.37
6.26
6.65
5.94
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center

May to July 

May is the only time in spring when temperatures in San Sebastian top 60 degrees. This might not be ideal for lounging on the beach, but it's a great time to explore the seaside town before the summer crowds roll in. While San Sebastian doesn't have as much international recognition as Barcelona, Madrid or Granada, the city is a vacation hot spot for southern Spaniards in search of cooler summer climes. Daytime temperatures in June normally hang in the high 60s while July highs rise to the low 70s. Showers are also least likely to occur during this time of year, with June and July both seeing a little more than 3 inches of precipitation (on average) each.

Key Events:

August to September

If there was one word to describe this travel time period it would be "crowds." August sees the warmest temperatures of the entire year, with highs reaching just a pinch above the 70-degree mark. August in southern Spain experiences oppressively high daytime temperatures (think 100 degrees), leaving Spaniards to abandon their homes for as long as a month to cool down in the northern part of the country. Beaches, Monte Urgull and Monte Igueldo, and pintxo bars will be filled to the brim with Spanish tourists. And if you think visiting once the summer has ended is a good strategy, think again. In September, the popular, weeklong San Sebastian Film Festival hosts big-time celebrities and takes up multiple locations around the city.

Key Events:

October to January

If you don't mind the cold or rain (or sometimes even snow, this is the best time to score travel deals in San Sebastian. Once the film festival crowds have cleared, hotel room rates drop. Unfortunately, October and November see some of the year's heaviest rainfall, with an average of 6 to 7 inches of precipitation per month. December and January feature similar rainfall patterns, in addition to temperatures ranging in the low 50s during the day and low 40s early in the mornings and at night. However, if you're a surfer, this time of year offers the best conditions for waves. From November to February, swells reach as high as 6 feet (just make sure you're equipped with a thick wet suit to withstand the frigid waters).

Key Events:

February to April

Rain tapers off a bit in February, dropping to 4 inches on average for the month. Temperatures start to let up a little bit in March and April, with highs jumping from the low 50s in February to the mid- to high 50s during the day. April may not experience as much rain in comparison to the fall and winter months, but it does have the most rainy days of any month of the year (17 days). While the weather isn't ideal for the beach,  it does yield lower hotel room rates. And if you're the type of traveler who seeks out foodie experiences, this is definitely the best time to visit since it is peak season for local cider and Txakoli wine. Even though both are accessible year-round, cider houses and wineries host special events to showcase the season's offerings.

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