The Urumea at San Sebastian
Country Spain
Main source Basque mountains
1,136 m (3,727 ft)
River mouth Cantabrian Sea (Bay of Biscay)
Basin size 279 km2 (108 sq mi)
Physical characteristics
Length 59.4 km (36.9 mi)
  • Average rate:
    13.63 m3/s (481 cu ft/s)

The Urumea (pronounced [uˈɾumea] or [uɾuˈmea], stemming from Basque "ur" 'water' + "me(he)a" 'thin') is a river in the Basque Country at the north of the Iberian Peninsula. It's one of a series of Basque rivers flowing into the Bay of Biscay (Atlantic basin) and best known for being the river flowing to the sea on the city of San Sebastian.

Course of the river and water data

The river is 59.4 km long from its source in the Navarrese municipality of Goizueta, 33 of them running through the province Gipuzkoa. The average temperature is 13.5 °C (56.3 °F) and the seasonal and year-to-year variation in water flow is less marked than in other basins of Gipuzkoa, the natural regulation of the basin proving very high.

The quality of the water is fairly good, despite a slight deterioration downstream on nearing the mouth (moderate-good condition), where the city of Donostia lies. However, lately works have been done for the treatment and cleaning of water, resulting in an outstanding environmental recovery.


The current water quality allows for a stable fish fauna, with five species populating the river, namely salmon (extinct in 1940 and restored thanks to the re-population programs of the 1980s), trout, ezkailu (Phoxinus phoxinus), loach and eel.


The lower stretch of the river has wide and flat banks fit for crops and urban development, which has resulted in the most inhabited drainage basin in Gipuzkoa, numbering 212,564 inhabitants. The main towns on the river are Hernani, with the first industrial estates upstream locating on its banks (paper and chemical industry, an aluminium mill, lift manufacturing, etc.), Astigarraga, renowned for its cider houses, and a final long stretch snaking through different parts of Donostia. The main focus of cider houses concentrates on a strip along the left bank in Hernani and on a minor road sloping up from the right bank at the limit between Astigarraga and the outer lands of Donostia.

See also

Coordinates: 43°19′34″N 1°58′56″W / 43.32611°N 1.98222°W / 43.32611; -1.98222

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