San Sebastian, Spain; Mount Urgull and Mount Igeldo

Photo of San Sebastian's Mount Urgull and Mount Igeldo (Navarra, La Rioja, Basque Country region)

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Visit San Sebastian's Mount Urgull and Mount Igeldo

San Sebastian has a beautiful curved beach with the hills of Mount Urgull at the eastern end of the beach and Mount Igeldo at the west. More hills rise up behind San Sebastian and ahead in the water is the small island of Santa Klara. It creates an absolutely beautiful whole. To make it even better you can climb up to the top of the two hills, or take the funicular in the case of Mount Igeldo, and look out on the beautiful views of San Sebastian and the bay down below.

Explore Mount Urgull

It is possible to walk right round the edge of Mount Urgull on a path above the sea shore and from here you get some excellent view of the surf beach of Zurriola to the east which is backed by the Gros District of San Sebastian, a vibrant district which attracts surfurs and younger visitors to San Sebastian.

Continue around the point and you get a view out to Santa Klara island in the bay and back to the La Concha beach and the city of San Sebastian. These views are very pretty but if you take one of the various paths up to the top of Mount Urgull the views are even more impressive and in fact you can see all three of San Sebastian's beaches; La Concha, Zurriola and Ondarreta, all at once.

Monte Urgull in Donostia-San Sebastian

One of the paths up to the top starts at the San Telmo museum and after a ten minute climb you get to the romantic English Cemetary. Continue upwards from here and you arrive at the Mota Castle that was built to defend San Sebastian from attack. You can also see up close the Sagrado Corazon, or Sacred Heart monument that you can see from all over the city.

From here you can head back down via the Paseo de los Curas, or Priest's Promenade to the charming harbour at the bottom of Mount Urgull.  As well as simply admiring the pretty harbour and its colourful boats you can eat in one of the ancient fishermens houses that have been converted into bars and restaurants, or you can take a boat to Santa Klara island where there are no cars and you can enjoy the beach or various walks.

The Aquarium is also here and has a 360° tunnel you can walk through and have fish swimming all around you - including sharks! The Aquarium is one of the most popular attractions in the Basque country every year and has over 300 000 visitors a year.

Explore Mount Igeldo

Walk to the other end of the Bay and you arrive at Mount Igeldo. Walking along the seafront you will pass through the decorated tunnel that leads from the La Concha promenade to the promenado of Ondarreta beach. If you continue beyond the beach at ground level you come to the Peine del Viento, or Wind Comb sculptures. These massive sculptures were created by Eduardo Chillida, a local sculptor.

From near here you can take the funicular up the steep slope to the top of Mount Igeldo. At the top you get the iconic views of San Sebastian that you will see on all the postcards with the bay and the city and the island and the coast beyond all in one beautiful view.

 

funicular on Monte Igeldo in Donostia-San Sebastian

There is also an amusement park at the top which was built at the begining of the 20th century.  Small children will enjoy the vintage-style rides whilst adults savour the views.

Places to visit nearby

 San Sebastian is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. As well as Mount Urgull and Mount Igeldo explore the vibrant old town which is the best place to head for in the evening for drinks and pintxos and admire the beautiful Belle Epoque architecture of the Romantic and Centre districts.

See also:

Photos of San Sebastian's Mount Urgull and Mount Igeldo

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Map of San Sebastian's Mount Urgull and Mount Igeldo and places to visit

San Sebastian's Mount Urgull and Mount Igeldo places to visit