La Concha Beach (Playa de la Concha)
It would be tragic to visit San Sebastian without at least taking a stroll along this spectacular urban beach. Two floating pontoons out in the bay are just the spot for sunbathing; beyond them, the small, rocky islet of Santa Clara has a tiny beach that is a prime picnic spot and can be reached by motorboat or hired canoe. The beach is backed by a promenade lined with hotels, seafood restaurants, bars, and a brightly painted carousel. Most city tours, including walking and cycling tours, often stop at the beach, and sailing excursions through the bay offer stellar views from the water.
Things to know before you go
- La Concha Beach is free and always open, making it a must for spontaneous travelers or those on a budget.
- Lifeguards are always on duty, making it safe and easy for families to enjoy a day on the sand.
- Don’t forget to pack a swimsuit, beach towel, and sun protection for your day at the beach.
- Facilities at the beach include public restrooms, showers, lockers, changing rooms, and beach wheelchairs.
How to get there
La Concha Beach is within walking distance of San Sebastian’s old town. If you’re coming from further afield, plan to take a taxi or bus, as parking in the area can be difficult. Motorboats trundle back and forth to Santa Clara every half hour in the summer from El Muelle harbor at the east end of the beach.
When to get there
The beach fills to bursting in the summer when the bumpy waters of the Bay of Biscay are calm and pleasantly warm to swim in. The Paseo Nuevo promenade that runs the length of La Concha comes alive at night when San Sebastian residents and tourists alike dress up and go out on the town.
Beaches of San Sebastian
While La Concha is San Sebastian’s most popular beach, it’s not the only place for a day of fun in the sun. Ondarreta Beach offers a wide swath of sand popular for volleyball and other beach sports, and on stormy days, the waves attract surfers and bodyboarders. Zurriola Beach ranks as the most popular with surfers in the area and brings in a decidedly young, lively crowd.
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- Miramar Palace (Palacio de Miramar)
- Buen Pastor Cathedral
- San Sebastián Aquarium
- Ondarreta Beach (Playa de Ondarreta)
- Santa Clara Island (Isla de Santa Clara)
- San Sebastian Old Town (Parte Vieja Donostiarra)
- Constitution Square (Plaza de la Constitución)
- Monte Urgull
- San Telmo Museum (STM)
- Victoria Eugenia Theatre (Teatro Victoria Eugenia)
- Monte Igueldo