San Sebastian has more to offer than just beautiful beaches!
A stone’s throw away from the French boarder, housing the (almost as beautiful in my opinion) coastal resort of Biarritz, is the remarkable Spanish city San Sebastian. San Sebastian is home to some of the most spectacular views around and puts up a strong fight as one of the world’s best city beaches. And as wonderful as they are, the beaches most certainly aren’t the only thing the city has to offer…
The city entertains you at every turn. It’s lined with picturesque cobbled streets, monumental buildings and long standing traditional churches and cathedrals. Bars and restaurants scatter the city and bring with them a cheerful, vibrant buzz. Shopping is in abundance, there are tourist trains to tour you around the city, and of course, there are the beaches to enjoy some chill out time in the Spanish sunshine.
For me however, the highlight was climbing Monte Urgull and admiring the views. There are two Montes; both offering spectacular views from the top. Monte Urgull is situated right in the city centre and is just a few minutes’ walk from the main city beaches. We began our climb on the side of the ocean; admiring the sea views and enjoying the breeze that came with it. The climb was very pleasant and there are a number of historical spots along the route to look at. It is actually quite amazing to see how many battles have taken place within this small area!
When reaching the top you are greeted with some of the most outstanding views around. Of all my travels, I’m not sure many could top this! The water was a crystal clear combination of sparkling blues and turquoises that delicately lapped onto the soft, yellow sands of the Spanish mainland. Behind the beaches were the views of the city, which were equally as remarkable, and boasted the city’s tallest and largest monuments and religious buildings. And then beyond the city was the backdrop of the picturesque Pyrenees Mountains. The combination of all three created one of the most spectacular views I have seen to date-it was wonderful!
After sitting and admiring the fantastic view for many minutes, I explored the rather impressive historical museum, and paid my respects to the monumental Jesus Christ statue atop the Monte. For me, the statue seemed to perfect the Monte, it’s beautiful scenery, and it’s somewhat mystical feel. It was great.
From here I chose to walk back down on the side of the city, which was in fact a lot steeper, with less views (I would recommend climbing from the other side-entrance is by the aquarium). The rural feeling walk down the Monte was soon contrasted, with the exit being into the centre of the very pretty and busy old city.
By the time I had returned to the beach area (at around 5pm) people were crammed onto the sands like sardines. I guess people head to the beach later than they would back home? It was quiet when I had arrived around 1pm!
So all in all, San Sebastian is definitely worth a visit if you are travelling through Spain, or even as a solo destination! It simply has it all, with Jesus being ‘quite literally’ at the top.