About Scott K
Lives in Madrid, Spain
Since Apr 2015
Beach & Pool Clubs, Beaches
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Architectural Buildings, Conference & Convention Centres
The foremost beach in San Sebastian, La Concha is a long stretch of sand, extending from the city's Parte Vieja west to the Miramar Palace. It is accessible only during the mornings or early afternoons during low tide: At night, the tide rolls all the way up to the concrete wall that separates the beach from the bustling boardwalk on Kontxa Pasealekua. La Concha is a truly lovely sight: pleasant, urbane, picturesque, and is a must-see on any trip to San Sebastian.
Ondarreta Beach is a 600-meter long lane of oceanside sand located in the extreme west of La Bahia de La Concha (La Concha Bay.) Known as a family-friendly version of its more famous neighbor to the east, Ondarreta is a perfect place for active families to go for a day under the sun. Public facilities like bathrooms, showers, and lockers are all available — but be warned, Ondarreta is also notorious for its large crowds.
Miramar Palace delivers visitors exactly what it promises — San Sebastian's most stunning seaside vistas — and for this reason it deserves a mention in any comprehensive guide for beach-lovers. This former summer palace for the Spanish royal family is notable for housing acres of ornate gardens, most of which hold a magnificent view of La Concha Bay. Constructed in 1893, Miramar Palace was built for Queen Isabel II and her family. Now the palace serves a number of civic functions for the city of San Sebastian, from an auxiliary building for the University of Pais Vasco to a staging area for ritzy parties during the San Sebastian Film Festival.
The beach on Santa Clara Island, open only during the summer months, is a unique alternative for the avid beach-goer. Santa Clara Island, which is located smack-bang in the middle of La Concha Bay, is home to only two buildings: a lighthouse and a small dock. The latter is the destination for cheap boat rides to and from the rocky landmass. Once on the island, visitors can explore the small beach nestled on the side of the dock's narrow landing.
Known as the beach for the younger crowds, Zurriola is a wide stretch of sand located to the east of La Concha Bay, between the Kursaal Convention Center and Monte Ulia. Come here to have a lively — sometimes rowdy! — seaside experience filled with sand and sports. Zurriola Beach is especially popular with surfers, but you will also find people playing beach football or volleyball here as well.
Monte Igueldo is a large mountain that overlooks the western edge of the La Concha Bay. Particularly after a day at the Ondarreta Beach, a trip up to the summit of this leafy hill is a perfect way to experience the majestic scenery of San Sebastian. To get to the top of Monte Igueldo, visitors can either use private transportation or a funicular. The latter will drop you off at a small amusement park that is great for families and young kids.
The 'Combs of the Winds' sculptures, the brain child of San Sebastian-born sculptor The three steel sculptures by Eduardo Chillida, blend naturally into the rocky landscape of the western shore of La Concha Bay. Located a short distance away from Ondarreta Beach, these sturdy iron structures capture, according to a description by San Sebastian tourism officials, 'a profound dialogue between art and the landscape.'
The Aquarium of San Sebastian, with its 31 tanks and more than 40 different species of fish, is certainly not as large as other similar ocean-related museums around the world. But for the first-time visitor to San Sebastian, it is an absolute must-see. Beautiful, ornate tanks stretch through the length of the aquarium, which is located on the eastern shore of La Concha Bay. The aquarium is perfect for groups or families, particularly after a long day out under the sun on the beach. It is an affordable and fascinating journey into the aquatic life that comprises so much of San Sebastian's seaside character and culture.
The Kursaal convention center is the epicenter of San Sebastian's most important cultural events. Movies featured in the city's annual late-summer film festival are premiered and featured here, and throughout the year it also hosts myriad events, parties, conferences, and concerts — including performances from world-renowned orchestras and ballet troupes. Located next to Zurriola Beach, it's the perfect place for the beach-goer to explore after sundown.