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The Ratón de Getaria: A Family Hike on Monte San Antón

The "Ratón de Getaria," or Getaria's Mouse, is the popular name for Monte San Antón. We highly recommend traversing the slopes of this natural lookout point.
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The “Ratón de Getaria,” or Getaria’s Mouse, is the popular name for Monte San Antón. This nickname derives from the mountain’s distinctive silhouette when viewed from afar—it remarkably resembles a mouse! If you plan to explore Monte San Antón, we encourage you to visit Zarautz to witness this mountain’s shape firsthand. It truly does look like a mouse!

Monte San Antón is one of the most characteristic features of Getaria. If you’re considering a visit to Getaria, we highly recommend traversing the slopes of this natural lookout point. It’s an attractive way to enjoy the different panoramic views that the Ratón de Getaria offers. Are you ready?

Ratón de Getaria Information

  • Name: Monte San Antón (Ratón de Getaria).
  • Altitude: 113 meters.
  • Trail Length: Approximately 2 kilometers.
  • Location: Ratón de Getaria, Getaria, Gipuzkoa.

 

Hiking Route on Ratón de Getaria

Currently, motor vehicle access to Monte San Antón is prohibited, making this area a perfect recreational spot for hiking. In fact, there’s a Local Trail (circular) that runs through Monte San Antón, marked with white and blue signs, as is customary for local trails. We encourage you to follow these signs.

The route we’re presenting today is straightforward. Simply follow the road that starts from the end of the port. It’s an easy and beautiful walk that attracts thousands of people to the Gipuzkoa coast. The winding curves in the initial section of the route lead you to our first destination, the Getaria Lighthouse. Although you can’t access it, you can enjoy various viewpoints surrounding it.

From this point, you have the option to choose between stairs and the road. We recommend continuing along the road. It will take you directly to a square where you’ll find an old steamroller from 1931.

From here, turn right and keep climbing. During the ascent to the summit, you’ll encounter several viewpoints with breathtaking views. After walking about 200 meters, you’ll reach the summit. Here, you’ll find the building known as “Katxapo” and the geodesic vertex marker.

As you know, this is a circular trail that allows you to explore the Ratón de Getaria from various vantage points. We recommend starting your descent on a different route to discover places like Aldamar Park, which you may have missed during the ascent. If you find this route too short, consider other options like the trail between the towns of Getaria and Zarautz. And don’t forget to savor the cuisine of Getaria!

Ratón de Getaria

History

Before the construction of the seawall in the 15th century, Monte San Antón, or Ratón de Getaria, was not connected to the mainland. It was an island—the highest island in all of Euskadi. This geographical feature protected Getaria from various meteorological adversities for centuries. Humans took advantage of this quality and fortified it with the different dikes we still see today. Historically, this area was occupied by fishermen’s docks. Even after the construction of various docks in 1919 led to the relocation of this activity to new facilities, some docks remain at the foot of Monte San Antón.

 

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On the old docks, on the mountainside of Monte San Antón, stood historic buildings such as the hermitage of San Gregorio and the hermitage of San Pedro Ugarte. Today, none of them stand. During the different wars that Getaria endured, Monte San Antón was heavily fortified. In fact, remnants of various structures that were part of the Carlist Wars have been discovered. Among them are the spaces where batteries were located, pointing towards the town. Nature has reclaimed these spaces, creating fantastic viewpoints from which you can admire Getaria’s historic district.

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San Sebastian and Coastal Route


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Panoramas

Monte San Antón was once the highest island on the entire Basque coast—a natural lookout point from which you can observe a significant portion of our coastline. It was like this in ancient times, and it remains the same today. This strategic location was used to monitor approaching storms, ships, and whales. Even today, it remains a spectacle. On sunny days, you can enjoy views of the Basque Country’s French coast, all the way to the majestic hermitage of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. We encourage you to enjoy the battery emplacements that were used during the different Carlist Wars. Nowadays, they have transformed into spots offering beautiful panoramas. 

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Getaria Lighthouse

The Getaria Lighthouse is one of the main attractions of the Ratón de Getaria. Located at a medium height, near the cliffs, this structure was built on the remains of the hermitage of San Antón between 1813 and 1862. This 21-meter-high lighthouse has guided thousands of sailors on their journey home. Next to it, you’ll find the old lighthouse keeper’s house, which is currently uninhabited. Unfortunately, access is restricted, but you can get close to its vicinity.

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Watchtowers of Ratón de Getaria

The Ratón de Getaria has two watchtower buildings located in different areas. There’s the aforementioned Getaria Lighthouse and a small hut popularly known as “Katxapo” (20th century). Both of these served as lookout points to monitor approaching storms (or pirate ships) and the appearance of coveted whales. In the former case, fishing boats sought shelter in the harbor, while in the latter, sailors set out to capture these colossal creatures, which had been the primary economic activity of Getaria for centuries. Although storm surveillance, pirate ships, and whales were some of the main concerns and responsibilities of the lookouts, they weren’t the only ones. They also monitored the arrival of foreign ships, raised the alarm in case of any shipwrecks, and supervised the coming and going of boats from neighboring ports. Isn’t that fascinating?

People asked…

 To climb Ratón de Getaria, start from the end of the port in Getaria and follow the road leading to the summit. The trail is approximately 2 kilometers long and offers fantastic panoramic views along the way.

Ratón de Getaria is located in the town of Getaria, in the Gipuzkoa region of the Basque Country, Spain.

Ratón de Getaria is a natural mountain formation that resembles a mouse when viewed from certain angles. It is a popular hiking destination and offers stunning views of the Basque coast.

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Irene was born and raised in Bilbao. She has a deep rooted passion for her country and culture. She has a Bachelors degree in education and has traveled to over 85 countries throughout the world.
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Zachary was born in Michigan, USA. He has lived in the Basque Country for over 10 years, and fell in love with the natural beauty and quality of life found here. He earned a Bachelors degree in economics from DePaul University in Chicago.

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