As mentioned in our previous post about Bilbao’s Best Beaches for nature lovers, we would also like to introduce you to the shores of Gipuzkoa (the region encompassing San Sebastián) which offers a large number of beaches to enjoy, relax on and practice different activities.
One of these beaches, La Concha in San Sebastian has even been part of the filming locations used in the Game of Thrones series. Read on to find out more about the bay, island, town and travel opportunities that the San Sebatián region of Spain has for you to explore.
Many would say that La Concha beach is the best and most beautiful beach in Spain, drawing thousands to San Sebastián all year round.
Best beaches in Guipuzcoa for nature lovers
La Concha Beach is probably one of the most picturesque beaches across the Basque Country. A crescent of golden sand joins water to land, in the city of San Sebastian, where locals enjoy their favorite spot to go swimming, even during the winter.
La Concha is a vivid city beach widely admired because of its spectacular views. In the summer the beach is always full of people, enjoying its soft sand and brilliant blue waters. San Sebastian’s lovingly painted and characteristic iron balustrade has become one of the most iconic marks of the city and you will find its popular portrait on almost every postcard.
Above all, this beach offers you the opportunity to take a relaxing walk along the seashore and discover other regional city beaches that embellish the beautiful city of San Sebastian (‘Donostia’ in the Basque Language).
From the beach of La Concha, the amazing views of Santa Clara Island and Igueldo mount alone are worth the trip. Among other attractions, Igueldo’s amusement park prides itself on its unique Swiss rollercoaster.
We would be remiss not to mention La Perla Thermal facilities, a thalassotherapy (using seawater) center at the foot of the promenade that brings to mind the time when San Sebastian was a spa city. A time when it was also declared as the official summer residence of the Queen Maria Cristina.
This is another beach that makes San Sebastian the perfect place for people who love to play beach sports such as volleyball, beach tennis and even beach football.
Ondarreta is linked to the beaches of La Concha and La Zurriola by a 7-kilometer promenade that ends in the Chillida’s Peine del Viento or WindComb, a magical spot where a remarkable iron sculpture sits on the rocks challenging the crashing waves of the sea.
The second beach of San Sebastian is called La Zurriola, close to the urban area it is usually occupied by both surfers and bathers who share amicably this spot in the heart of the city.
It is known for big waves which stay constant throughout the year. There are plenty of facilities such as surf schools and rental places, where you can get surfing lessons and try riding some waves if you’re up for it!
ITZURUN – ZUMAIA
Although it is not very well known, Itzurun beach could not be absent from our ranking of beaches for nature lovers in the Basque Country. This beach in the town of Zumaia has a sequence of vertical cliffs that conquer all those who visit. The formations known as Flysch, are formed by the erosion of the sea waves over thousands of years and thus offer the visitor not only a great day out, but also an interesting geological field trip.
The most impressive view is from San Telmo church at the top of the cliffs, where you can witness one of the most spectacular sunsets of the Basque coast. This is such an amazing spot for nature lovers, that even the Game of Thrones’ producers decided to shoot some of the sequences for its last season in this incredible landscape.
This video belongs to @Gaizka_Izagirre
Note that in this final assembly scene, not only does Zumaia beach appear in the shot, but also San Juan de Gastelugatxe and Barrika beach, which are located in Vizcaya (Bizkaia).
This is the longest beach in the Guipuzcoa province. Less than 30 minutes away from San Sebastian, it is a vast beach that measures two and a half kilometers in length, making it one of the largest beaches in the Basque Country.
With plenty of space for all who travel here and the perfect organization of each area: families and sunbathers congregate at the western end, playing in the shallows; surfers catch the waves in the center and wide dunes sit at the eastern end, providing a home for many species of wildlife, a true delight for nature lovers.
This beach is also considered to be one of Europe’s surfing hot spots and hosts a huge number of world surfing championships.
As you can see, the coast around San Sebastian provides everyone with the opportunity to visit picturesque old fishing villages that invite us to learn more about our tradition and history, while giving us an authentic taste of the Biscay seas. Undoubtedly, a unique experience that can only be lived in the Basque Country.
There are still more amazing beaches to be mentioned and quaint towns, located both in the Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa provinces which we will try to show you in upcoming posts. We don’t want you to miss out on any of them!
Wouldn’t you love to discover the Basque Country with a group of your friends? Search for our bespoke travel programs and have a guide take you to all of the best sights, hotels and restaurants in San Sebastián in 2018. We would be delighted to share the natural hidden gems of the San Sebastian area that we love so much with other nature lovers.
Don’t forget the next time you travel to Spain, that San Sebastián, La Concha, Santa Clara island and the Bay of Biscay await to be discovered.