Time  8 hours 23 minutes

Coordinates 3087

Uploaded September 22, 2019

Recorded July 2019

1,776 f
0 f
17.34 mi

Viewed 13 times, downloaded 0 times

near Puntalea, País Vasco (España)

This excellent coastal walk with magnificent views and three interesting towns is highly recommended. The hike takes you across Jaizkibel mountain down to Pasaia Harbor, up across Ulia mountain and down into bustling Donostia/San Sebastian with its great beaches, popular old town, and magnificent pintxos bars. Apart from the way down to Pasaia which is on a narrow path along a precipice with some scrambling and metal ropes to hold on to, the hike is not difficult, and I rated it ‘average’. Large stretches are on the Camino to Santiago. You need to take a pedestrian ferry in Pasaia across the harbor (70 cents in 2019). From San Sebastian there are very good bus connections back to Hondarribia (e.g. E21 line, ~27 minutes, once every hour). You can find plenty to eat and drink in Hondarribia, Pasaia and San Sebastian, but nothing in between. The hike starts at a free parking lot directly south of the old center of Hondarribia.
Hiking times Hondarribia-Guadalupe Church 1h10; Guadelupe Church-Jaizkibel Summit 1h10; Jaizkibel Summit-Pasai Donibane Ferry 2h10; Pasai San Pedro Ferry-Zurriola Beach 2h00; Zurriola Beach-Bus stop Plaza de Gipuzkoa 0h40 (total 6h10 without breaks).

From the starting point you directly walk into the old town of Hondarribia via Puerta de Santa Maria. You walk around the church and then onto Arma Plaza. Via Gipuzkoa Plaza you continue towards Calle/Kalea San Pedro and Santiago. At the end of Kalea Santiago are outdoor elevators taking you to a viewpoint above Hondarribia. You then walk through the outskirts of town to a street (Akartegi Auzoa) taking you up the hill past the cemetery, with views of Hendaye across the Bidasoa River. You continue on minor roads into an area with forests and houses obscuring the views. There is a shortcut on a minor, steep path, and a bit further you take a path to Guadalupe fortress. You walk along the moat and then to the Guadalupe church. You cross the main Jaizkibel road and continue on the camino. The path takes you onto the ridge of the mountain. Shortly after the church there is a very steep section, but it then flattens off, and views open up. The path takes you past a torre (tower), a dolmen and occasional cattle to another torre near Mirador Jaizkibel. The views across the valley here are great. You continue your final climb to the summit of Jaizkibel at 545 meters. Beyond is an area with communication towers surrounded by fences. You walk around the communication towers between such a fence and the precipice, and then continue on the path on the mountain ridge. This section offers less views, but a total of three towers. At the last tower (number 1), you go down to the road, cross it and take another path around Mitxintxola Mendia hill. In this area there is some pasture and I saw a griffon vulture. The path continues on the ridge from Mitxintxola Mendia down to Punta Artxina. This ridge becomes very sharp with precipices on both sides, and occasional scrambling (not difficult unless you have fear of heights). The views towards Pasaia harbor, a natural harbor between two mountain ridges, are great. At the end of the path a steep road brings you down to the water and continues along it to Pasai Donibane. This village with a strong Basque identity is situated beautifully between harbor and Jaizkibel mountain. In the middle of the village is a pedestrian ferry (also for cyclists) taking you across the harbor to Pasai San Pedro for 70 cents. On the square here you can find a water tap. You walk towards the sea along the road taking you past among others a heritage Basque shipyard. At the end of the road is a pier, and steps take you up past the lighthouse onto Ulia mountain. You get to a road, follow this towards another lighthouse, and then take a path along Ulia mountain towards San Sebastian/Donostia. This path also offers great views, but also leads through green coastal forests. Close to San Sebastian you walk out of the forests and views of cliffs and San Sebastian (Igeldo Mountain) open up. A bit further you start your descent into town. At the start of the descent you have a great view of Zurriola beach. Once down into town you walk along the beach to Puente de Zurriola and then into the old town. The old town consists of a grid of narrow roads with high buildings and an occasional square. The old town is full of pintxos bars and it is really worth it to sample some with e.g. a glass of local Txakoli wine (you are almost at the end of your hike!). Your route through the old town takes you past the Basílica de Santa María del Coro and Plaza de la Constitución. You then walk towards the La Concha bay at the Parque de Alderdieder. Here you have a great view of the bay with the great sandy beach. Finally, you walk to Plaza de Gipuzkoa where you can find the bus stop for your ride back to Hondarribia.

Akartegi Auzoa

Road past the cemetery uphill out of town with views towards Hendaye

Along Zurriola Beach

From here you walk on the boulevard along Zurriola Beach towards Urumea River and the Zurriola bridge across that river

Arma Plaza

Central square in Hondarribia

Basque Shipyard

Basque shipyard with a heritage
Sacred architecture

Basílica de Santa María del Coro

Basílica de Santa María del Coro in the old town of San Sebastian


Nice orange cliffs

Coastal Path to San Sebastian

You follow the way-posted coastal path from here to San Sebastian/Donostia through Ulia nature reserve with nice coastal views and forests.

Coastal Pilgrim's Way to Santiago

From the Guadalupe church on you follow the Camino across the Jaizkibel ridge. Shortly after this waypoint, there is a steep section, but it is a mostly gentle climb.

Continuation ridge path

After you passed the communication towers on the summit of Jaizkibel, you continue on this path on the ridge. This section has a bit less views than the section before the summit.

Dolmen Jaizkibel III

A large stone on Jaizkibel ridge

Elevator stairs

Open air escalators to a viewpoint above the old town start here


Passenger ferry from Pasai Donibane to Pasai San Pedro across the Ría de Pasaia. Fee was 70 cents.

Final climb to Jaizkibel

The last stretch of the climb on the ridge to Jaizkibel summit

Fortress of Guadalupe

You walk along the moat of the fortress of Guadalupe to the entrance and then on to the Guadelupe church on the main road.

Gipuzkoa Plaza

Square in Hondarribia
Sacred architecture

Iglesia de la Asunción y del Manzano

Church in the center of Hondarribia

Kutralla Source

Water source in a forest on Monte Ulía

Mirador Jaizkibel

Viewpoint across the valley

Monte Ulía

From here you walk a while mainly in forests on Monte Ulía

Old Town of San Sebastian

Here you enter the old town of San Sebastian with a square grid of narrow roads with high buildings and a lot pintxos bars and restaurants

Parque de Alderdieder

Parque de Alderdieder on the edge of the La Concha bay with the city hall (Ayuntamiento) next to the park

Pasai Donibane

Pasai Donibane is a town wedged between the Ría de Pasaia and Jaizkibel with a strong Basque identity.

Pasai San Pedro

Pasai San Pedro is on the other side of the Ría de Pasaia

Paseo de Bonanza

Paseo de Bonanza is a road which initially steeply descends to sea level and then follows the Ría de Pasaia to Pasai Donibane.

Path along Azariondo ridge

Path on the ridge from Mitxintxola Mendia down to Punta Artxina

Path along communication towers

Path between fence around communication towers and the precipice

Path around Mitxintxola Mendia

Path around Mitxintxola Mendia (mountain) through pasture and little woods, and a bit further views of the sea.
Bus stop

Plaza de Gipuzkoa

Here you can take the bus back to Hondarribia. The E21 line to Hondarribia Airport with onward connection to Sabin Arana Kalea is most convenient. It ends up only 100 meters from the starting point, and it only has a few stops on the way. See http://www.lurraldebus.eus/

Plaza de la Constitución

Plaza de la Constitución in the center of San Sebastian

Puerta de Santa María

Entrance gate to the old town

Cresterio de Punta Artxina

Sharp ridge with precipices on both sides, and occasional scrambling (not difficult unless you have fear of heights). At a few places cables are provided to hold on to. You have a great view of the entrance to the Ría Pasaia with the lighthouse.

Steep shortcut

You cut short a serpentine of the road by going up a steep path through the woods

Steps past lighthouse

Here you enter steps that take you up past the lighthouse with good views of the entrance of the Ría de Pasaia

Summit Jaizkibel

Summit of Jaizkibel mountain with excellent views and communication towers close by.

Torre de Errazmuko

Torre de Errazmuko is one of a series of old observation towers on Jaizkibel ridge

Torre de Santa Bárbara

Torre de Santa Bárbara is one of a series of old observation towers on Jaizkibel ridge

Torre Jaizkibel I

Torre Jaizkibel I is one of a series of old observation towers on Jaizkibel ridge. This is the first one counting from Pasaia, but the last one on this trip

Torre Jaizkibel II

Torre Jaizkibel II is one of a series of old observation towers on Jaizkibel ridge

Torre Xangaxi

Torre XangaxiT is one of a series of old observation towers on Jaizkibel ridge

View of Hondarribia

View across Hondarribia and towards Hendaye

View of Zurriola Beach

Here you have a good view of Zurriola Beach and San Sebastian center beyond. If you go further down, there are no views any more (obstructed by buildings).

Viewpoint along coast

When you get out of the forest on Monte Ulía, you have nice views of cliffs and towards San Sebastian


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