As its name implies, Semana Grande (‘big week’ in Spanish) is a grand affair! The week occurs in the peak season, in the middle of August. The events begin with a symbolic canon blast and last all through the coming week.

The festival in San Sebastián is an event in and of its own. Concha Bay comes to life, as do the streets of the historic quarter surrounding the cathedral. Spanish families stay out until late at night, sometimes coming from very far away to participate in the festivities. The bars and restaurants offer their best pintxos, which you can eat standing up. During the day, you can attend bullfights at the Illumbe arena, horse races, athletic competitions, and open-air concerts all around the city.

But the highlight of the week is the international fireworks competition. Since 1964, pyrotechnicians from the world over have been competing in this spectacular, high-level show. Every night at around 11, the sky explodes with colour and joy in the streets of San Sebastián.