Coastal Bliss in San Sebastián – Hiking to Pasaia


I recently returned from Spain, and hiking a leg of the Coastal Route of St. James Way was one of my favorite experiences ( I recommend starting in the mid to late morning in San Sebastián and ending with lunch in Pasaia (as I did).

You can find the trailhead from the intersection of Navarra Avenida and Zemoria Kalea right in town. Head north on Zemoria Kalea from Navarra Avenida, find the stairs on the right, and start climbing. The stairs will lead you to the trail, and away you go. Reviewing a map beforehand will be helpful, but you need not prepare significantly. Friendly signs indicating both distance and travel time dot the trail, and basically anyone should be able to feel his or her way through to the end.

For additional help, look out for trees and rocks marked with green, red, and white to lead your way.

SS Hike 3

I felt at peace through my entire journey. The day I hiked this trail, the weather cooperated, offering a warm (but not hot!) mostly sunny day. I began just before noon and reached Pasaia by about 2:00 p.m. Depending on exactly where you start and end, the distance will be somewhere between four and five miles.

The trail winds along the coast and in and out of the hilly forest. The trail is an easy hike to begin with, but hikers are aided by the forest cover; shade covers most of the trail.

Along the way, remember to look up and enjoy the ongoing ocean views and old aqueducts.

Down a few stairs at the end of the hike, and you will be able to see Pasaia.

SS Hike 20

An adorable fishing town lies across the water. Walk along the water, and look out for a small green boat going back and forth across the harbor; this is your ride to the other side.

I lunched at Restaurante Txulotxo ( upon arrival around 2:30. It was perfect. The restaurant was full, and we had not made a reservation. Undeterred, a lovely waitress propped up a foldout table outside, and we were set. The food was delicious – one of my favorite meals in Basque Country. Our lunch lasted until 5:00.

To return to San Sebastián, I wouldn’t mind hiking back the same way as taken in; however, we decided to explore the city route, and walked back along Alcalde J. Elosegi Hiribidea. The walk is flat and easy, with a distance of about five miles.