Towering over the western edge of San Sebastian, Monte Igueldo takes you out of the bustle of the city and allows you to view Playa de la Concha’s curved sandy beach from an almost godlike position. As well as the bay, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the harbor, islands, town and a lighthouse.
Yes, you could get the number 16 bus from town to the foot of the hill and ride the rickety funicular train up the hill for a few Euros, or your could drive your way to the top of the hill. But as the old adage goes, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey that counts, and nothing could be more rewarding than climbing to the peak for yourself.
For the ultimate Monte Igueldo hike, start at the east end of Playa de la Concha, and follow the crescent shaped beach west, admiring the fantastical gothic architecture as you go. Upon reaching the end of the golden sands, take the stepped path up, or follow the slightly easier meandering pathway to the top of the 184 meter hill. You’ll know you’ve arrived at the apex when the foliage parts and you get that ‘wow’ moment of the beach and beyond. Arguably one of the finest beach views in Europe, it’s a moment to be cherished.
Spend a couple of hours lazily sipping a fresh coffee at the small café on the hill, drinking in those excellent views with it, before swinging by the charming amusement park just a few steps away. The amusement park opened its gates in 1912 and today offers a choice of retro and modern rides, ideal for kids and for those who haven’t learned to grow up just yet.
If you didn’t ride the funicular on your way up, now is your chance. Step aboard this brightly painted relic from the early 20th century and rattle your way to the bottom of the hill, watching the beach sink from the view as you go. A wonderful end to an unforgettable afternoon in San Sebastian.