Located at the end of Ondarreta Beach, Monte Igeuldo is one of the most iconic places in San Sebastian (Donostia) for a number of reasons.
Firstly, sitting high above San Sebastian, Monte Igueldo offers some of the best undisrupted views of the city. It’s unique location provides a different perspective on the La Concha bay and the Island of Santa Clara.
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Closer to the mountain, you have impressive views over the Antiguo area and Ondarreta Beach. Whilst looking further out you can admire the waves crashing against Paseo Nuevo at the foot of Monte Urgull alongside the Old Town (Parte Vieja).
Day or night, it really is hard to find a view as impressive as that from Monte Igueldo. You can admire the landscape from one of the bars or terrace areas (where you can have a drink and pintxo). Or you can check out the views from the highest point at the top of the lookout. Either way, it’ll be worth your time making your way to the top of Monte Igueldo.
For the lookout opening times check out the following link.
Despite being just a 5 minute drive or 30 minute hike from the Antiguo area of San Sebastian, once you’re up Monte Igueldo, you’re kind of in the tranquility of the countryside.
There are a number of paths you can take from the top of Monte Igueldo to make the most of the views and explore a little. There are nice walks over to the town of Igueldo or simply around the top of the mountain.
Walking up to the top from San Sebastian may not be an option for everyone, but walking back down can be a nice pleasant stroll with some views that make it worthwhile.
Monte Igueldo Amusement Park
Aside from the views, Monte Igueldo is probably most famous for the theme park at the top of the mountain. It’s been a landmark of the city for over 100 years, having first opened its gates in 1912.
Today it’s a blend of history and fun, with the park being declared a Monumental Landmark. The theme park doesn’t have amazing rides, but it does have its own charm with many of the rides having been around for a number of years and fairly unique in today’s world.
The Montaña Suiza (Swiss Mountain) is the most famous in the park. It was opened in 1928 making it the oldest operating steel roller coaster in the world! If the roller coaster itself doesn’t scare you, the old wooden and steel construction may do as it rises high on the side of Monte Igueldo, offering some pretty epic views of the coastline.
The Rio Misterioso (Mysterious River) is another classic at the park which is a “water coaster” looking out to the bay of La Concha.
Otherwise, you have plenty of other amusements that will keep you entertained. There’s the dodgems, the toboggan, fishing and shooting games where you can win prizes, alongside trampolines and a Terror House.
There’s an entry fee of €2.30 per person to the park, which is where the rides and lookout is located. All the rides and amusements are charged individually.
Canopy Zip Wire
Just down the hill from the amusement park is Canopy which is a zip wire experience. The park has a trail of 15 zip wires that weave through the trees in Monte Igueldo.
The zip wires range from 2.5 meters to 10 meters high, offering some nice views from the top, with the longest zip wire being over 80 meters long!
The trail takes around 45 minutes to complete and is a lot of fun if you’re a small group of people. You can find out more information on bookings and prices from the Canopy website.
How to get to Monte Igueldo
So now you understand the attraction to Monte Igueldo, but how do you get there? Well, there are a number of ways to make your way to the top. Beware, some are more taxing on the body than others!
Please note: However you choose to get to Monte Igueldo, there’s a charge to enter the park of €2.30 per person.
Funicular de Igueldo
The best way to travel up to the top of Monte Igueldo is by the funicular. An attraction in its own right, the funicular in San Sebastian has also gained Monumental Landmark status.
It originally opened in 1912 to transport people from the city up to the casino on Monte Igueldo (which is now a hotel). Today, the funicular still uses the same equipment and vehicles as the very first day. The two wooden carriages have been well preserved to make it one of the best preserved funiculars in Spain.
It travels a total of 320 meters from the base of Ondarreta beach up to the top of the mountain with some excellent views of the city on the way for its passengers.
You can buy tickets for the funicular (which runs every 15 minutes and includes entrance to the park) from the website here.
Walking or Hiking
If a bit of hiking doesn’t scare you then walking up to the top of Monte Igueldo can be a nice way to take in all the pleasantries of the mountain.
To get to the top you’ll have to climb a total of 181 meters from the base at Ondarreta beach and it’ll take around 30-40 minutes depending on which route you take.
You can either walk along the main road or you can take the more scenic route, which cuts through some of the forest area of Monte Igueldo and offers some impressive viewpoints on the way. The more scenic route actually forms part of the North Route of Camino de Santiago.
The number 16 bus which runs from Plaza Gipuzkoa in the centre of San Sebastian will take you to the top of Monte Igueldo.
The route passes from the city centre to Ondarreta beach, before making a stop at the funicular station. From there the bus climbs up Monte Iguedlo via the main road.
To visit the Amusement Park and lookout viewpoint, you’ll need to get off the bus at Hotel Leku Eder (bus stop Kristobal Balenziaga I). From there it’s just a short walk up the Paseo de Igueldo street until you reach the park.
If you’re interested, the bus does carry on further into the town of Igueldo which you can visit and enjoy some of the countryside on some of the nice walks nearby.
You can find more information (times, prices and route) on the 16 Igueldo bus here.
The final way to get to Monte Igueldo is by car. The easiest way to do so is to take the Paseo de Igueldo all the way from the Antiguo area all the way to the top.
There’s a big parking area at the top with more spaces near to the hotel, so you shouldn’t have any issues finding a space. There’s a barrier at the entrance to the park where you’ll have to pay the park entrance fee.