Santa Clara, Little Island off the Coast

Arrival on the Island

In the late afternoon hours of July 19th, our class of 12 set off on the Aitona Julian III ferry to Santa Clara Island. The ride was a mostly smooth one, and it was not too hot, since it was an overcast day. After a short trip, we arrived on the coast of the island. The small port where we docked was overlooking the island’s ghost beach, which would soon disappear with the high tide. After climbing off the ferry, our class walked up a stairless incline, where we found a grassy spot to rest. Gathering around the teacher, we recounted our experiences in San Sebastian thus far.

View of Mount Igeldo, San Sebastian, from Santa Clara Island, San Sebastian

Class Discussion

With a view like this, it was difficult to concentrate on what the rest of the class was talking about. Surrounded by flowers, trees, and the ocean, it was hard to focus on just one thing. We discussed our final projects, as well as what we’ve experienced here so far. This made me realize that there are still things I want to check off my list. There are so many things to see and absorb here in San Sebastian that it’s difficult to do absolutely everything, especially with such a short amount of time. We talked about the museums, the aquarium, the winery, Biarritz and St John de Luz, and our every-day routine classes. After our all-encompassing discussion, we decided as a class to stay late to explore the island.

The Path we Walked to Climb the Island

Exploring the Island

According to our teacher, we were the first group of students he had that ended up exploring the rest of the island after our class meet-up. The climb was a somewhat steep but short one, and I would say that the view was worth it. At the top, there were public restrooms and an old lighthouse. This island is one of the last places in San Sebastian that is mostly unchanged for tourists, despite the fact that it is only about 500 meters from the mainland coast. As a result of its short distance from the mainland, many people choose to kayak or even swim instead of taking the ferry.

Lighthouse on Santa Clara Island, Dating Back to 1864
View of Gros and Egia, San Sebastian, from Santa Clara Island, San Sebastian

After seeing these views, one can only wonder why no other classes climbed to the top of Santa Clara Island. With an overarching view of the city and the sight of the endless sea on the horizon, Santa Clara Island is worth it.

Leaving the Island

Once we came down the hill, it was clear that the tide had come in, and the ghost beach was no longer visible. I decided that I wanted to take a few minutes to enjoy the water before leaving. Despite the chilly and overcast weather, the water was not very cold. After exploring all there was to be explored, our class caught one of the last ferries to head back to the residence. Santa Clara Island truly is a little gem just off the coast of San Sebastian.

Ghost Beach on Santa Clara Island During High Tide
View of La Concha Beach, San Sebastian, from the Ferry Ride to and from Santa Clara Island