Monte Ulia, San Sebastian - Donostia

4.6
#5 of 6 in Nature in San Sebastian - Donostia
Mountain · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Mount Ulia is a minor ridge located east of San Sebastián in the Basque Country, territory of Spain, reaching 243 m at its highest point. The ridge stretching out to the east along the coastline sinks in the strait leading to the Bay of Pasaia. The chain overlooks San Sebastian to the west, with the Zurriola beach and the district of Gros lying right at the foot. This privileged location turned the place into an important leisure and romantic area in the early 20th century, a condition that has remained up to date, despite the pressure of increasing urban development.

Ulia is recorded as Mirall (a Gascon name and term) in 1530 after the whale observation point or rock still to be seen at the top of the ridge, while it was called Uliamendi as it approached the Zurriola inlet. The rock was used to watch out for migratory whales passing off the Basque coast before they became extinct in this area, with the watchers notifying the whalers from Donostia of their presence by means of a bonfire.

Later the westernmost tip of the ridge standing out onto the sea, i.e. Monpas, took on a strategic value for a short period after 1898 and became a stronghold with hidden corridors, military facilities and batteries, ready for an attack from the ocean.

The Park of Nurseries of Ulia is at the beginning of the road going to Mount Ulia from Donostia. It is also named Park of Nurseries of Ulia since the nurseries situated inside the park were the provider of plants for the public gardens of Donostia-San Sebastián during all the 20th century and until 2008. The park is of great value because it includes two ancient water-tanks, because of its architectonic elements, and because of its flora and fauna.
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Monte Ulia reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
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TripAdvisor
  • We hiked the 7km trail and there were some spectacular views. The first thirty minutes or so was a relatively intensive climb but then it levelled out for the rest and there were plenty of places to.....  more »
  • On a lovely, sunny day in San Sebastián, we decided to walk to the top of Mount Ulia and across the cliffs to Pasaia. This was a beautiful, fairly strenuous hike and (despite what others have said in....  more »
Google
  • Ikusgarria! Very Nice walk and better views
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  • Just above the beach of Gros rises majestically, above the sea, Mount Ulía. Lovely place full of trees and with a magnificent picnic area restaurant. There are still remnants of a tower from which whales were spotted. From the viewpoint next to the picnic area you can see all of Jaizkibel to the French coast. A spectacular panorama.
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