SAN SEBASTIÁN A MICE CITY

San Sebastian or also known as Donostia, which is its Basque name, is a magnificent city of Basque Country, in Northern Spain. It is simply reachable by plane, train or even bus thanks for its perfect location near the border of France. There are direct trains from Madrid and Barcelona, moreover there are good connections with Paris, TGV. San Sebastian is only one and a half hour by bus from the international airplane of Bilbao. This wonderful place lies along a white sandy bay between the Urgull and Igeldo hills. Fishermen's houses, cider houses, its breathtaking beaches, a smart suburb and modern districts make it one of the most attractive city on the Cantabrian coast, not to mention its tasty Basque cuisine.

The history of San Sebastian began in 1181, when King Sancho VI Garcés of Pamplona gave a self-governing status to the city. In the 13th century, the King of Castile, Alfonso VIII took it, however, the autonomy of the city could still continue. Later on the municipality had to face with an invasion of the Gascon-speaking colonisers. This migration made its marks on San Sebastian´s character.

La Concha Beach is one of the most symbolic place in San Sebastian. It is so impressive that even the royal families around Europe chose this city as their summer holiday destination. After all, it is not a surprise that Queen Maria Cristina picked this outstanding coast to build her summer residence, the Miramar Palace in the 18th century. After the royal families made the city popular among the people around the world, its luxury hotels, casinos and theatres started to flourish.

There are plenty of activities for companies in San Sebastian that can help to make the bonds between colleagues even stronger along with improve the effectiveness of the group. If arriving to Bilbao airport we can organize a walking tour in Bilbao, which is the largest city of this region, what it will give us an insight into its mouth-watering gastronomy and impressive architecture that the Guggenheim Museum perfectly represent.

In the meanwhile, they can learn a lot about the culture of the Basque countries.Sports are one of the best way to build a successful team. Pelota court is a famous ball game in the region, it is played with a small, hard ball using one´s hand a racket, a wooden bat or a basket against the wall. However, traditionally it is a team sport. Another possible physical activity, which is based on a simultaneous movement among the rowers, is called trainera regattas. Trainera is a conventional boat of the Bay of Biscay, thanks for its special form it can resist the waves very well. In the past, it was used to catch fresh anchovies and sardines from the sea in order to sell them in the market. By now, it has become a favoured pastime.

After these exhausting but enthusiastic activities, let´s talk about what the dehydrated and hungry team can drink and eat. San Sebastian has a unique tradition regarding to cider. There are cider houses, where the group can get an insight how the experts make this tasty beverage and even try it out surrounded by the spirit of those houses. The Basque has a unique cuisine which includes plenty of mouth-watering meals. Now, it is the big opportunity to take some special receipts with yourself from your travel. For instance, farmers will teach the members of the group how to make  Idiazabal cheese that costs thousands of euros. San Sebastian not just popular because of its magical atmosphere and interesting activities, but also its Michelin stars restaurants from which it has a lot. In these restaurants you can experience the special Basque cuisine amid a panoramic view of the sea or the city. Furthermore, you can not leave Spain without going to a bar and eating Pintxos, which is actually a tapas but is made in the Basque way.

After talking about the leisure activities and nourishment let´s have a look at, where the team members can relax to boost their energy for the following days. San Sebastian has several accommodations from which you can choose. To mention one of the most characteristic and historical one, Hotel Maria Cristina is an impressive 20th century luxurious hotel where even Coco Chanel, Mata Hari and Leon Trotsky stayed. It is located in the city centre so the guests can enjoy the beautiful view of either the sea or the city. It is easy to get there from the train station which is only 600 metres far away. There are plenty of other sort of hotels where the group can stay and even take a meeting in their well-equipped conference rooms.

If you are ready to discover other engaging facts about the Basque culture in order to reinforce and build your team, write us an email to info@across-spain.com to get more information about our packages for companies.