This article was translated by John R. Bopp

The website European Best Destinations has organized a vote among its visitors for the past eight years to find out what is the most popular destination for the current year.  It’s a prize organized by a private company which holds this vote as a way to increase the awareness of a city.  In 2017, there are twenty destinations available, among which is San Sebastian (but not with its Basque name).

We don’t doubt that being chosen as the “best” in anything always creates a positive image, nor do we believe that the fact that this is being organized by a private company is a bad thing.  The great gastronomic prizes, among which Basque chefs and restaurants are always chosen, are organized by private companies, which doesn’t take away even a bit of their value.

That’s why we think it’s a good idea to vote in this event to get San Sebastian to be chosen, so it can be crowned with the title “Best European Destination 2017”.

Just one thing caught our attention: in their “About Us” section, they explain:

European Best Destinations  is a European organisation based in Brussels and developed to promote culture and tourism in Europe. In partnership with the participating tourism offices and the EDEN Network we promote a better understanding of the wealth, diversity and quality of European destinations.

After reading this, we were surprised that the explanatory texts about what to see and do in this Basque city did not make one single reference to the Basques, their language, their culture, not even their gastronomy!  We found this strange, given their basic objective of “promoting culture”.  They do, however, mention the La Concha Bay, which the royal family fell in love with in the last century.

Now, what we’re talking about here is not politics, not at all.  From our point of view, it’s hard to explain what San Sebastian is and what a visitor can find there without making a single reference to its being a Basque city. That fact is something that can be seen everywhere, in its culture, history, gastronomy, traditions, and way of life.

In any case, we believe that it’d be great if San Sebastian won, so we encourage everyone to go vote. Given how widespread this award is, being chosen would allow the representatives of this city to make clear what the visitor will find: Basque culture, which is what defines this city, like all the others in the Land of the Basques.

Voting is open through February 10.

European Best Destinations – 2017 – Europa


European Best Destinations 2017 from European Best Destinations on Vimeo.

For the eighth consecutive year you will be the ones to determine the ranking of the most trendy European destinations to visit in 2017. Your votes, coming from everywhere in the world, will be decisive during these three weeks of competition.  Which destination will be awarded the title of Best European destination of the year? We have pre-selected 20 incredible destinations that all deserve to win the prestigious title. Discover them and vote for your favourite!


European Best Destinations – 2017 – Europa


Any excuse to visit San Sebastian is good. Besides the unequalled beauty of La Concha Bay, ( a shell shaped bay) which the royal family fell in love with at the start of the last century and continues to captivate anyone who comes to see it, the city is the place to come to for innovative cuisine that has made it famous across the world, a wide range of festivals that have made it a genuine cultural phenomenon and an active and healthy lifestyle that is very much in touch with the natural resources on offer. All these reasons have made it a top tourist destination over the last two centuries.



Last Updated on Dec 20, 2020 by About Basque Country

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