Beaches and San Sebastian are an inseparable duo. Who can imagine our city without beaches? Impossible. In fact, although San Sebastian offers many attractions (gastronomy, cinema, sport…), its beaches are one of the main reasons why many people visit our city.
Whether it is a weekend break or a longer holiday, those who visit our city always have its beaches in mind. Even those who come to San Sebastian for a congress or festival reserve (or we recommend that they do) part of the time to enjoy its beaches.
Probably the most famous is La Concha, but San Sebastian has four beaches, each with its own special features that make them unique and allow everyone to enjoy whatever they are looking for: walks, peace and quiet, sport… Donostia has a “sandy area” for “everyone”.
The 4 beaches of San Sebastian
As mentioned, La Concha beach is probably the best known and most photographed beach in town. Chosen as the best beach in Europe (and 4th best in the world) in TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice ranking, it is a quiet beach protected by Urgull and Santa Clara Island. An ideal beach to enjoy a quiet swim, a canoeing session or spectacular views along a walk through the bay. A beach that our guests have a step away, because in front of it was built in 1866 the small French villa where today we find our unique hotel Villa Favorita.
In the last third of the 19th century, Queen María Cristina began to visit San Sebastián, and set up her summer residence in the city, precisely in front of this spectacular bay, in the Miramar gardens that separate this beach from Ondarreta beach.
Which beach to choose? La Concha’s strong points
- For those who seek tranquility, a dreamy sunset or spectacular views while strolling around the bay.
- For those who want to have the centre of San Sebastian just a stone’s throw away from the beach.
- It is the beach of the most Donostians.
Next to La Concha beach, separated by the “Pico del Loro” of the Miramar gardens, we find Ondarreta beach.
Although it is smaller than La Concha, Ondarreta is also equipped with all kinds of services. In addition, it is beautifully finished off by El Peine del Viento (The Wind Comb), the well-known sculptural work of Eduardo Chillida.
Which beach to choose? Ondarreta’s strong points
- Beach frequented by residents of the Antiguo and Ayete neighbourhoods, from other cities in the province.
- For those who are looking for a day at the beach without entering the city centre.
- You can always see people walking across from La concha beach, Ondarreta beach and even the Comb of the winds.
The youngest beach in the city and the surfing paradise in San Sebastian. It is located in the Gros neighbourhood, between the mouth of the Urumea River – next to the Kursaal cubes – and Mount Ulía.
In the area of Sagües, the closest to Mount Ulía, you can find the best waves for surfing. In addition, the uninitiated in this sport have the option of taking classes in one of the surfing schools on the beach.
Which beach to choose? La Zurriola’s strong points
- A place for surfers, for the young people of the city. Place of festivals and the best sunsets. Place of festivals and the best sunsets.
- At sunset time many young people from the city gather at “the wall”, which is located at the end of the beach.
Isla Santa Clara
Finally a very special little beach, located in the centre of the bay. The beach of the Santa Clara Island is a very small space, which even disappears when the tide comes in.
It can be accessed by private boats, or by the motor boats that carrying passengers from the port to the island and vice versa.
In addition to this small beach, Santa Clara Island offers other attractions, such as walking along its paths or contemplating San Sebastian from another perspective.
Which beach to choose? Isla Santa Clara’s strong points
- For those looking for a different perspective on the city, a different plan for where to spend the day, or a haven of peace and disconnection.
- Many groups of friends take advantage of Saturdays or Sundays in summer to take a picnic to the island and spend the day in this oasis.
Calm baths, walks, rowing, surfing, hiking… As you can see, whatever you are looking for, you will find your ideal beach in San Sebastian.