San Sebastian

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WorldNorth_AtlanticSpainNW SpainSan Sebastian
San Sebastián
43°19.319'N, 001°59.390'W Chart icon.png
lat=43.32198 | lon=-1.98983 | zoom=15 | y
The bay of San Sebastian looking NW (the small harbour is to the right)

San Sebastian (Donostia in the Basque language) is the capital of the Basque province of Guipúzcoa in NW Spain. Originally bestriding the River Urumea which enters the sea just east of the bay, the town has expanded over the centuries into a metropolis of over 400,000 souls. Most of the architecture is 19th century, rebuilt on a grid pattern in the years following the town's virtual destruction in the Peninsular Wars. Today, the town is best known for its superb beach of La Concha, its excellent tapas bars, the international film festival which takes place here every September and the jazz festival held towards the end of July. There is no real marina here, but there are numerous moorings in the bay and a small pontoon belonging to the local yacht club to the left of the entrance to the tiny fishing harbour, which can accommodate a few yachts if there is space.


C42 - La Rochelle to Santander
British Admiralty
1291 - Santona to Gijon
1145 - Santander


Local weather conditions?

Sources for Weather forecasts:

  • See main page for Spain.


Popular passages/routes, timing, etc.


The Isla de Santa Clara lies just west of the entrance to the bay of San Sebastian.


Add here VHF channel for the coastguard, harbor masters. etc.

Also see Cruiser's Nets


No dangers in the approach, although strong onshore winds kick up a swell in the entrance. A gale could make it potentially dangerous. Isla Santa Clara should be left to starboard on entry.


San Sebastian Marina

San Sebastian Marina/wiki/San_Sebastian#San_Sebastian_Marina
Harbour icon San Sebastian Marina [[San Sebastian#San Sebastian Marina|San Sebastian Marina]] 43°19.348'N, 001°59.320'W

The bay is full of mooring buoys, one of which may be available. The best bet is to contact the very friendly Real Club Nautico prior to arrival. If necessary, go through the narrow harbour entrance and tie up on the pontoon to port opposite the Museu Naval and ask at the Club. The fishing harbour (San Sebastian Marina) is full with local boats, but it provides full facilities (water, electricity, toilets, showers), lLaundry, A fuel station, and a 5 T crane.

[email protected]; Tel: +34 (943) 000 464, +34 (943) 004 185; VHF channel 09
Address: 1 La Lasta Kaia, 20003, Donostia, San Sebastian, Spain
Prices: For the latest prices see [XXX Price Listing]

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

Real Club Nautico

Real Club Nautico/wiki/San_Sebastian#Real_Club_Nautico
Marina icon Real Club Nautico [[San Sebastian#Real Club Nautico|Real Club Nautico]]

The Real Club Nautico is very welcoming. The club manages the moorings in the bay and has a small pontoon in the outer harbour where a few yachts may be allowed to moor up alongside. Toilets and showers. A bar and a restaurant in the clubhouse.

[email protected]; Tel: +34 (943) 423 575; Fax: +XX (XXX) XXXXXX; VHF channel 09
Address: Ljentea 9, 20003 San Sebastian, Guipuzcoa, Spain


Muelle Isla Santa Clara

Muelle Isla Santa Clara/wiki/San_Sebastian#Muelle_Isla_Santa_Clara
Anchorage icon Muelle Isla Santa Clara [[San Sebastian#Muelle Isla Santa Clara|Muelle Isla Santa Clara]] 43°19.171'N, 001°59.853'W
A yacht can anchor in the lee of Santa Clara island in the event of onshore winds, clear of the many moorings. It would be wise to buoy the anchor in view of the numerous moorings. Holding is average to good. A swell creeps in, with strong N/NW winds but it is uncomfortable rather than dangerous.


Water In the harbour
Electricity In the harbour
Toilets In the harbour and the club
Showers In the harbour and the club
Laundry In the harbour
Garbage Bins in the habour
Fuel In the harbour
Bottled gas ?
Chandlers N/A (Not Available)
Repairs N/A
Internet WiFi at the club
Mobile connectivity ?
Vehicle rentals Rental outlets in the town


Several small supermarkets in the town.

Eating out

San Sebastian is known all over Spain for its excellent tapas bars, which are virtually everywhere in the old town. Try a plateful with a few glasses of txacoli, the local white wine which is poured into the glass from a height to make it effervesce. Admire the waiter's performance, but don't attempt to imitate - it's an acquired skill!


  • Ther is a small airport 20 km from the town centre
  • Bus to the airport: i2 (€2) departs from Plaza Gipuzkoa nearly once an hour, takes 30 min
  • Buses arrive and depart at the San Sebastian bus station, at Plaza de Pio XII in Amara Nuevo


The town was practically demolished towards the end of the Peninsular War in 1813 during battles between French and British/Portuguese troops and sustained further damage during the Spanish Civil War in 1936. There is thus not much that is architecturally interesting other than a few baroque churches. Even the walls surrounding the old town were demolished in 1863.

However, an evening spent trawling San Sebastian's legendary tapas bars is an experience not to be missed. To walk off the effects, a climb up to the fort and Christ statue on Monte Urgull is rewarded with stunning views over the wide sandy bay.

In balmy weather, you can also join the hordes on the superb beach that runs the length of the bay.

Yachts on the club pontoon
The tiny fishing harbour
Tapas galore
A typical side street


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)



See Spain.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit. The Real Club Nautico here is exceptionally friendly and hospitable to yachts in transit. We stayed on their pontoon for two nights during a howling gale in July 2000 and they could not have made us more welcome --Atheneoflymington.

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Names: Atheneoflymington

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