A Spanish beach among the best in the world

Towards the north of Spain is located the autonomous community of the Basque Country, and in this area there are several cities, including San Sebastian, located on the coast of the Bay of Biscay and capital of Guipuzcoa. It is also very close to the border with France; about 20 km away. 

San Sebastian, a city well known for its 4 beaches. Among them we have Ondarreta beach, which seems to be the most familiar; there is also Zurriola beach, with a youthful atmosphere and more suitable for surfers; then the beach of Santa Clara Island, a little small; and finally La Concha beach, with calm waters. Each has its own charm and special characteristics.

The latter is the most famous, ranking 16th among the 25 best, according to the comments of the Spaniards themselves. In addition, it is located in the center of the city and in the middle of the bay that bears the same name, which facilitates the transfer to get there. Its shape resembles a shell, which is easily appreciated in an aerial view.

La Concha Beach was also preferred by royalty:

Between La Concha beach and Ondarreta beach is located the Miramar Municipal Palace or also called the Royal Palace, which has an English style. Queen Maria Cristina of Austria, who was the mother of Alfonso XIII, spent her summers in San Sebastian; and it was as a result of this fact that the idea of building a Royal House for this purpose arose. So, in 1893 this palace was built, thanks to the request of the queen. 

In the 19th century, the city of San Sebastian was the summer residence of members of the royal families of some European countries. For example, in this beach of La Concha, Queen Isabel II, by medical indications, received her bathing therapies. This served as a starting point to promote, in the early twentieth century, the relationship of the Spanish Kings with San Sebastian, until the 30s.

This palace still exists and is a great tourist attraction. You can visit its gardens and enjoy the beautiful views of the entire bay. It also serves as the site of the University’s summer courses. 

What other features does this beautiful beach of La Concha possess?

This beach and bay of the coast borders the Cantabrian Sea, with an extension of about 1350 m and about 40 wide; although these measures may vary somewhat depending on the different tides of the Bay of Biscay. Its waters are calm and very crystalline, with golden and very fine sand; it is recommended for small children and elderly people.

At the end of the beach is located the Pico de Loro, which is a set of rocks that can be seen depending on the tide, if it is high or not, and separates this beach from La Concha and Ondarreta; ideal for bodyboarding during high tide.

It is the most visited beach not only for its beauty and access, but also because it is perfect for swimming, paddling or sunbathing, due to the protection from strong winds and waves, because it is surrounded by Mount Urgull on one side. There is located both the port and the City Hall, and on the opposite side is Mount Igueldo, which marks the boundary of the other beach of San Sebastian, called Ondarreta beach. 

A different aspect of this beach is that, in the center of the bay, there is an island called Santa Clara, which can be reached by different ways from the beach. It is about 5.6 hectares in surface level and about 48 m high. It is populated by a subspecies of lizard called the Podarcis Hispanicus Sebastiani. 

It also has a beach, although small, which can only be seen at low tide, and has showers and lifeguards. It also has a pier, a lighthouse at the top and campsites with many tables; since in the summer season it is very visited because boats leave every half hour from the port of San Sebastian. In ancient times this island was a peninsula that was attached to what is today the beach promenade.

In 1968 the Spanish State granted the municipality of San Sebastian the ownership of this island, as a public property. It should be noted that in the sixteenth century Guipúzcoa was ravaged by the famous plague; then, the infected were transferred to this island of Santa Clara. 

What other elements can we find in La Concha Beach?

In low season the beach is used to play soccer and also offers kayak rental services, very useful to know both the bay and the island of Santa Clara. The water is very clean at all times, since night parties are not allowed on the beach, as there are bars and clubs along the promenade for this purpose. You only get groups of young people on the night of San Juan, but it is still quiet.

In summer, platforms are placed in the sea with water slides for more fun. Likewise, the beach offers the service of umbrellas and loungers of white with blue color, for the shelter of the Sun. You can also practice some sports such as windsurfing, bodyboarding, canoeing and volleyball. 

Usually the beach offers security service, showers, wifi, wheelchairs, lockers, changing rooms, toilets, pedal boats, canoes, beach bars, surf courses, diving, bicycle storage, hammocks, fishing, parking, among others. Also, from the beginning of June until about the month of September, Red Cross services are offered.

 Finally, we have the promenade, with its famous white railing and its beautiful lanterns; so original and with different figures. These separate the promenade from the Concha beach, which has become the symbol of this city of San Sebastian. 

Posted in Europe, Spain.