Santa Clara Island is located in the middle of the bay of San Sebastian, just 500 meters from the coast, where a great natural wealth is concentrated in a small area.
It is a space of singular beauty, located at the point where land and sea converge, and situated in the middle of the bay of La Concha. Protected by the mountains, Igueldo and Urgull, with only 5.6 hectares and 48 m of altitude, it is one of the most representative spaces of Donostia.
The rocks of which the island is composed were deposited between 51 and 54 million years ago at the bottom of a submarine gulf more than 2,000 meters deep. However, during the formation of the Pyrenees, these materials rose, folded and were exposed to the elements. The continuous action of the waves formed a large bay, in which Urgull and Santa Clara existed. However, the natural accumulation of sand after the first one, and its subsequent urbanization, left Santa Clara as the only island in the middle of the bay.
It is known that in the fourteenth century there was a chapel dedicated to Santa Clara (hence its name) and that, in 1597, the year in which San Sebastian was ravaged by the plague, it sheltered the infected. It was also used as a powder and even a cemetery for heretics, excommunicated and suicides who could not be buried in consecrated ground. Today, the only building we find is the lighthouse. The lighthouse was inhabited for more than 100 years and was automated during the 1960s. It currently houses the work of sculptor Cristina Iglesias, Hondalea (for more information visit hondalea.eus).
It is worth mentioning that in 1974 it was declared a Historic Center of National Interest and during the summer season it has a bar-restaurant, bathrooms, showers, lifeguards…
The island is a very popular place for locals, as it is typical to spend the day on the island with the family or a group of friends. Take a swim, have a picnic at one of the many tables available, or disconnect from the city walking along the paths that open between meadows and woods, are just some of the pleasures that we can enjoy a few minutes by boat from the port.