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Monte Ulia, San Sebastian - Donostia

4.5
#5 of 6 in Nature in San Sebastian - Donostia
Mountain · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
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Mount Ulia is a minor ridge located east of San Sebastian 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 Mount Ulia into a significant leisure and romantic area in the early 20th century, a condition in which it has remained until now, despite the pressure of urban development.

Ulia was 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, 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 so named 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
88 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Although this was a bit of a ballache to navigate around I really enjoyed my walk through nature and seeing incredible views was icing on the cake. It wasn't busy at all and I only saw locals which... 
    Although this was a bit of a ballache to navigate around I really enjoyed my walk through nature and seeing incredible views was icing on the cake. It wasn't busy at all and I only saw locals which...  more »
  • 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
    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 »
Google
  • In this mountain for several centuries oteadores were placed in the rock of the highest part of the mountain to warn of the presence of whales to the fishermen of the port of San Sebastian. Excellent for hiking (or running!), it has wonderful sea views. The path is well demarcated. The maximum height of the mountain is 243m.
  • Trekking level is medium

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