Monte Urgull Hiking San Sebastian Spain by

Monte Urgull: Hiking San Sebastian to Castillo de la Mota

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The San Sebastian Old Town sits steps away from the crescent-shaped La Concha Bay, with two hills rising at each end of the cove: Monte Urgull and Monte Igueldo. While Monte Igueldo is popular for the San Sebastian Funicular that transports visitors to the amusement park at the top of the hill (both of which are top San Sebastian attractions), we were drawn to the green space and meandering paths on Monte Urgull (or Mount Urgull) that lead to Castillo de la Mota San Sebastian. 

Isla de Santa Clara and Monte Igueldo on La Concha Bay in San Sebastian, Spain

Hiking San Sebastian: Monte Urgull

On our second day visiting the city (and after another night of consuming too many Basque tapas), we decided to head in the direction of San Sebastian Monte Urgull to stretch our legs and take in San Sebastian views. The forested park is just a short stroll from the Old Town, with several trails for San Sebastian walks. As we wound our way around the San Sebastian hill to the hill-topping castle, Castillo de la Mota, we were shaded by large trees and welcomed by the strong scent of earth. 


Sights on Monte Urgull San Sebastian

While many people are most interested in hiking San Sebastian trails on Monte Urgull, there are a few not-to-miss sights while exploring the hill. 

Castillo de la Mota

The 12th century fortress, Castillo de la Mota, was built to defend the city. Today, a museum offers a glimpse at San Sebastian history. 

Cemeterio de los Ingleses San Sebastian

The Monte Urgull Cemeterio de los Ingleses (or English Cemetery) is a bit of a mystery. Headstones stand on the sloping hill, but it is uncertain who exactly is buried there. Many believe it is either English or French soldiers that died in the city during one of the many wars. 

San Sebastian Statue of Christ

A 40-foot-tall San Sebastian Christ statue, Sagrado Corazon (or Sacred Heart), stands at the tallest point on Monte Urgull. At the base of the statue is a small chapel. 

San Sebastian Viewpoints

From the top of Monte Urgull – and in various places along the paths – there are excellent viewpoints. From the lookout points, trekkers are treated to San Sebastian Old Town views, stretching sea views and a picture-perfect sight of La Concha Bay. We think that taking in the stunning views from Monte Urgull is one of the top things to do in San Sebastian!

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San Sebastian Old Town Map



Top Tips for your Trip to San Sebastian

San Sebastian Food and Drink

Indulging in Basque-style tapas is a San Sebastian must-do! Read about our San Sebastian Tapas experience

Day Trips from San Sebastian

Popular San Sebastian day trips include Bilbao, Hondarribia and St. Jean de Luz, France. Check out organized San Sebastian, Spain tours on Viator

Where to stay in San Sebastian

There are many San Sebastian hotels in – or close to – the San Sebastian Old Quarter. Start your search for the best hotels on

See More of Spain

Read our detailed guide to other top Spanish cities in our Spain Itinerary!


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The path to Castillo de la Mota JetSetting Fools

    The path to Castillo de la Mota JetSetting Fools

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