As many people know, San Sebastian has 3 beaches, the best known of which is La Concha, of course. But in the bay of the same name there is another beach, which sometimes goes unnoticed, Ondarreta beach, which is at the end of the bay of La Concha, at the foot of Mount Igeldo.
This beach is the furthest from the Centre, although in reality it’s only a 20-minute walk from it. For the inhabitants of El Antiguo neighbourhood, however, it’s their beach. And it’s also for anyone who wants to get away from the crowds of La Concha and swim without the dangers of La Zurriola.
Ondarreta beach is a very quiet beach, whose waters are very safe as they are protected by the island of Santa Clara, just a 15-minute swim at low tide.
What do you see near to Ondarreta beach
The beach has the usual services of lockers, showers, etc., but also a children’s playground, making it ideal for families; a kayak rental service and a couple of beach bars that open in summer and serve food and drinks, both to take away and to eat on their terraces. Ondarreta is undoubtedly a great beach to enjoy the good weather.
Ondarreta is also a good beach because there are many places to visit nearby, some of which we visit with our Classic Electric Bike Tour, so if you want to discover this area better, don’t hesitate to come with us!
At the end of the promenade, for example, is Eduardo Chillida’s famous Wind Comb, one of San Sebastian’s most important monuments. These sculptures can be seen from the beach, so it might be a good idea to go and see them before or after a dip in the water on the hottest days.
Very close to the Wind Comb, behind the Royal Tennis Club (where you can also rent paddle surfboards and canoes), is another Donostian must-see, the Mount Igeldo Funicular. This little train retains the original 1912 structure and delights children and adults alike. It’s also the best way to go up to the Igeldo viewpoint, from where you can enjoy the best views of the city.
On the other hand, at the opposite end of the beach is the Miramar Palace. Surrounded by gardens, this palace was inaugurated in 1893 as a summer residence for Queen María Cristina. Today the building cannot be visited, but the gardens can, and they are a perfect place to relax looking out to sea. Although they are not very big, they have spectacular views of the bay, so it is well worth a visit.
And speaking of gardens, along Ondarreta beach are the gardens of the same name, and it’s a very pleasant area for a stroll. In addition to the gardens per se, here you can admire a sculpture of Queen María Cristina.
Another sculpture you can find in the gardens is A través (Through) by José Ramón Anda, three concrete columns placed where the monument to the fallen of the Franco regime once stood and which was removed in 1980. Just a few metres away, there is also a monolith in memory of all the prisoners in the old Ondarreta prison, now completely demolished, where hundreds of people passed through during the Civil War and Franco’s dictatorship.
Finally, next to Ondarreta beach is El Antiguo neighbourhood. An extremely local neighbourhood, whose main street, Calle Matia, is full of bars, restaurants, shops and businesses of all kinds, in other words, everything you need to go about your day to day life. And the fact is that the residents of El Antiguo are very much from El Antiguo and are happy not to have to leave their neighbourhood for anything, in fact, the tunnel that passes under the Miramar Palace is commonly called “the border”, as it separates the rest of Donosti from this neighbourhood.
If you’re hungry or thirsty, or just feel like seeing a different part of San Sebastian, El Antiguo is the ideal place to do so, as not only is it full of everything, but it is also one of the city’s most charming neighbourhoods.