Ondarreta beach, San Sebastián Donostia, Spain

View over La Concha and Ondarreta beaches from Monte Igueldo, San Sebastian - Donostia, North Spain

A view of the rocky link between La Concha and Ondarreta beach, below Queen Isabel’s modest summer residence, Palacio Miramar (the red tower building backed by trees).

Why use Ondarreta beach in San Sebastián Donostia?

Ondarreta beach and Monte Igueldo, San Sebastian-Donostia, Spain

Ondarreta beach seen from the La Concha crossover with Monte Igeldo (aka Igueldo) on high.

Playa de Ondarreta is smaller but a little elevated so retains more dry sand at high tide. It also offers more pay facilities like sun beds, parasols, canoe, kayak and paddle board rentals but does have some stony patches.
At the far west end of the beach there is easy access to the inexpensive funicular running up to the top of Monte Igueldo for access to a small and rather juvenile theme park as well as to a (free) terrace viewpoint and a café/bar that serves reasonably priced drinks with an outstanding panorama.
On the far right side round the bay are the choppy, colourful rocks and the three heavy metal sculptures that compose the Comb of the Winds (photos below).

High tide in La Concha Bay, paddle-boarders in front of Palacio y Jardin Miramar, San Sebastian - Donostia, Spain

High tide in La Concha bay and the paddle-boarders are out in force in front of Palacio y Jardin Miramar. Beach access from La Concha to Ondarreta beach  is underwater at this time.

Ondarreta beach jungle gym, San Sebastian - Donostia, Basque Country, North Spain

Ondarreta offers good facilities along with a jungle gym area for kids – showers, drinking water, toilets, first aid, nappy-changing place, warning flags, lockers and apparently a café, though we failed to find it.

Ondarreta beach somersaults, San Sebastian - Donostia, Basque Country, North Spain

More things to do on Ondarreta beach.

Dad buried a large and bouncy ball in a hole in the Ondarreta sand and encouraged his kids to hit it at speed and perform a somersault. This perfectly illustrates the Spanish and especially Basque attitude of ‘give the kids a challenge’ rather than the UK’s ‘ooh, mustn’t do that, it may be dangerous’, a regrettable nanny-state reaction to adventure.

Comb of the Winds installation,Paseo del Peine de los Vientos, San Sebastian - Donostia, Basque Country, North Spain

Part of the Comb of the Winds installation (Haizearen orrazia in Basque language) at the far end of the bay past Ondarreta beach and at the base of Monte Igeldo on Paseo del Peine de los Vientos.

Eduardo Chillida, the most famous Basque sculptor

This ex-goalkeeper retired injured, who was known for his monumental abstract works. Born in San Sebastian he died in 2002.
According to critics Chillida’s works, although monumental, suggest movement and tension.

Chillida said, “My whole work is a journey of discovery in space. . . I do not believe so much in experience. I think it is conservative. I believe in perception, which is something else. It is riskier and more progressive. ”

Major works by Chillida can be seen in Barcelona, Berlin, Paris, Frankfurt. Perhaps his best-known work in the United States is in front of the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas. De Musica is an 81-ton piece that features two arms that reach out but do not touch.

The funicular from Ondarreta beach to the summit of Monte Igeldo, San Sebastian - Donostia, Basque Country, North Spain

The ancient funicular running from the far west end of Ondarreta beach up to the summit of Monte Igeldo.

The inexpensive funicular to the top of Monte Igeldo gives access to a small and rather juvenile theme park as well as to a (free) terrace viewpoint and a café/bar that serves reasonably priced drinks with an outstanding panorama. This must be the most romantic spot in the city and a must-do.

Bikini women Crossing from Ondarreta beach onto Playa de la Concha, San Sebastian - Donostia, Basque Country, North Spain

Crossing from Playa Ondarreta onto Playa de la Concha, at mid-tide. This route is not possible at high tide.