Donostia-San Sebastián, 10-12 December 2015
Donostia-San Sebastián is located in the northeast of the Spanish Basque Country: 110 km from Bilbao, 500 km from Madrid, and 800 km from Paris (see a map here).
It is a charming medium-size city set in a picturesque countryside, on the edge of the Gulf of Biscay and surrounded by mountains. A city of deep-rooted international tourist traditions dating back to the 19th century, San Sebastián offers quite a few attractions, a varied choice of hotels and, above all, what is now one of the most creative gastronomies in the world.
Further information about the city and the surrounding region can be found in the links below:
There are three main airports that can be used to reach San Sebastián (see map here):
Bilbao Airport, Spain (IATA: BIO, 100 km. from the San Sebastián).
Bilbao has an international airport about 1 hour drive from San Sebastián with connections to all major cities in Europe (London, Paris, Frankfurt, Brussels, Rome,...). It is the most convenient airport for overseas travellers in terms of connections and air fares.
A direct shuttle bus running every hour connects the airport with San Sebastián for about 17 euros. Buses leave every hour from Bilbao Airport and arrive in San Sebastián in about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Timetables are available at www.pesa.net (enter "LOIU AIREPORTUA" and "DONOSTIA/SAN SEBASTIAN" ).
You may buy your tickets on their website as well but we recommend not to do that, at least for your incoming trip. The reason is that tickets sold online are only valid for the specific bus service and time chosen when purchased, and cannot be used if, for whatever reason, your flight is delayed and you don't arrive to catch the bus on time. So it's is best if you just buy your tickets directly from the driver. You will need to pay cash, though (no credit cards are accepted in that case!).
San Sebastián Airport, Spain (IATA: EAS, 25 km. from the city center).
San Sebastián airport is next to the town of Hondarribia, about 30 minutes drive from the city center. This is a small airport with domestic connections to and from Madrid and Barcelona, mostly with Iberia Airlines. This is a ver convenient option if flying via Madrid.
Taxis can get you to the city center in about 20-30 minutes (fares are around 35 euros). There is also public transport to the city center. The best public transport options are bus lines E21, E23 and E28 operated by Ekialdebus. In particular, lines E23 and E28 will get you to city area where the Conference venue, university and accommodation are located. Timetables and routes may be found in their webpage (in Spanish and Basque only, sorry!): http://www.ekialdebus.eus.
Biarritz Airport, France (IATA: BIQ, 50 km. from the city center).
Biarritz airport is about 40 minutes drive from San Sebastián. Air France as well as some low-cost airlines such as Ryanair fly here. This is a convenient option if flying from France or London (with Ryanair).
Best way to get from Biarritz airport to San Sebastián is by bus. There are a number of services run either by PESA or CONDA/ALSA bus companies. Please check the airport website for details on the bus servicies availabale and timetables (scroll down the page to "Getting to and from Spain").
Finally, San Sebastián can also be reached from France by train.
Hendaye Railway Station, France.
TGV trains run from different locations in France to Hendaye, on the French-Spanish border.
If you are arriving by train in Hendaye, you may either take a cab to the city (fares should be pretty similar to those from San Sebastián Airport), or a local train operated by Euskotren. Euskotren trains leave right off Hendaye station to San Sebastián every half an hour and take you to the city center in about 40 minutes.