Picking up where San Sebastian’s main beach of La Concha stops at a rocky outcrop just short of Monte Igueldo, marked by the formal gardens and elaborate Palace of Miramar, Ondarreta Beach is another swathe of soft sand sculpted out of the Cantabrian coastline.
Backed by a promenade and stretching almost 0.5 km (0.3 miles), the beach is only slight less busy than La Concha in the summer, when it fills up with families huddled in the shade of blue-and-white striped beach tents and kids playing beach tennis or volleyball. It shares the same views of Isla de Santa Clara floating out in the bay, which is a lovely spot for a summer picnic lunch.
Less protected from the whims and winds of the Bay of Biscay than La Concha, Ondarreta is the place of choice for surfers when the waves pick up. At the end of the beach, at the foot of Monte Igueldo in the residential district of El Antiguo, there’s a spectacular piece of sculpture by Eduardo Chillida entitled Peine del Viento (The Wind Comb). Constructed of three interlocking strands of steel, it has been at the mercy of wind and sea alike since 1977.