Spain has over 8,000 km (5,000 miles) of coastline and 60 islands making the country a beach lovers’ dream. Millions of travelers enjoy Spain holidays every year. From pricier cities like Barcelona to less expensive Malaga to the Spanish Islands (the Balearic Islands to the east and Canary Islands in the far southwest), there are all kinds of Spain beaches. Spain tourism shows no sign of slowing down and with all the amazing beaches, food, history, and architecture here, there is no wonder why so many people love Spain. These beautiful beaches vary from rocky to sandy to powder-like. Some have sand dunes and others are flat for miles. You can find light brown sand to black sand beaches. From northern Spain to southern Spain, these beach destinations make Spain one of the best places to visit in Europe. It is very hard to pick which are the best Spain beaches, so I’ve asked some others what their favorites are and here is what they said.
Playa de los Genoveses, Cabo de Gata, Almeria
Written by Izzy Kelly from The Gap Decaders. Follow The Gap Decaders on Facebook here.
Playa de los Genoveses is a stunning long, deep stretch of fine sandy beach backed by small dunes dotted with cacti and agaves, in the glorious Cabo de Gata natural park. This is a ‘virgin’ beach, unspoiled by buildings, car parks or facilities; what you get here is nature in the raw, incredible deep blue waters and clean golden sands.
Playa de los Genoveses is so-called because in 1147, 200 ships of the Genovean fleet amassed here to support Alfonso II in his bid to liberate Almeria from the Moorish invaders. In 1571, the Spanish Armada dropped anchor in the wide bay before departing south.
Nowadays, this is a holiday beach where Spanish families come in the hot and dry summers. Surrounded by the arid landscape, volcanic rock, and eucalyptus groves, this is a perfect place to while away a day or two. The shallows stretch out into the Mediterranean Sea for some distance, so paddling and messing about in the water is a must if you visit! You’ll also find lots of laid-back surfers enjoying the ideal conditions and making the most of the evening sun in this chilled and relaxed spot.
Head south towards the striking white rock and you’ll find a small cove, separated from the main beach. Here you’ll find a Spain nudist beach, offering privacy from other beach users.
In keeping with the natural environment, there is a strict limit to the number of cars allowed to park close to the beach; once that limit is reached you must walk from San Jose, the nearby village. Follow the dusty paths through the agave fields until you emerge at the northern end of the beach, into your very own slice of paradise!
To find out more about motorhome and road trip travel in Spain, head here.
Written by Nadine Maffre from Le Long Weekend.
You may think that the Costa Brava is bustling with tourists all year round. But even in the busy season, there are pockets that are still mainly frequented by locals-in-the-know. One such place is Sa Tuna beach. This oasis, perched between rugged cliffs on one side and whitewashed houses on the other, is truly stunning. A place that looks like time has stood still for decades, and one where you can really relax into Mediterranean life. It’s a doable day trip from Barcelona, but the road to get there is winding and long. You won’t remember the drive once you settle into this piece of paradise for the day though!
Parking is limited in the village, so arrive early in the day if coming in summer. There are a few restaurants in the surrounding streets that will take care of any hunger pains. Swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing will keep you happily occupied for most of the day. If the sand is getting busy, just pop along the coastal trail to the hidden Cala S’eixugador around the corner. Or explore the headlands for your own spot to shake out your beach towel. Don’t forget to leave some time for exploring the small winding streets that snake up the hill too. The petite lanes with their bougainvillea adorned houses are undeniably charming too.
La Concha in San Sebastian
There are so many reasons why the stunning resort town of San Sebastián is a popular place for a beach vacation. The Basque city’s beaches are a picturesque sight with vibrant beach promenades and a mountainous backdrop. Of the three beaches in San Sebastian, the most famous is La Concha Beach. This beautiful beach has graced the pages of travel magazines and been named as one of the best city beaches in the world.
The beach is a short walk from San Sebastian’s cobblestoned Old Town, which is packed with pintxos bars, where local bite-sized delicacies are paired with excellent wine. Pintxos is the delicious Basque version of tapas. Being a city beach, La Concha is always packed with fashionable beachgoers, and La Concha Promenade is a vibrant beachside walk that’s always busy.
While the beach is the smallest of San Sebastian’s beaches, it has some of the best facilities, including dressing rooms, showers, lifeguards, restrooms, and sunshades for rent. Relax in a beach chair and gaze at Santa Clara Island in La Concha Bay.
Malagueta Beach, Malaga
Written by Joanna from The World In My Pocket.
Malaga is not only the gateway to Spain’s Costa del Sol, but also a fantastic city to explore. Malaga has something for every type of traveler, be it a culture lover, a foodie, history and archaeology fan, or a sun seeker.
Going to the beach is one of the free things to do in Malaga, with Playa la Malagueta being the most central in the city. Located just next to the Marina and the touristic promenade where you will find many restaurants and bars serving different cuisines, Malagueta is a large sandy beach, stretching for over one kilometer.
Being inside the bay, Malagueta is a great beach for families, as the water is warm and unless the weather is bad, the waves are almost non-existent. In summer the beach is overlooked by lifeguards. There are plenty of loungers and umbrellas to rent, usually for around 5 to 10 euros per day. Additionally, pedal boats (for up to 5 people) are available to rent for around 20 euros per hour.
Alongside the beach, there are plenty of local beach restaurants called chiringuitos, which serve the traditional epsetos and fritura Malagueña. Espetos are skewers of sardines grilled over an open fire and served with lemon, a favorite alongside a cold pint of beer when the temperatures go over 30 degrees. Fritura Malagueña is a mix of fried fish and seafood, traditional from Malaga, a perfect lunch to share among friends.
Platja de la Ribera in Sitges
Written by Mar Pages from Once in a Lifetime Journey
Platja de la Ribera is probably the most popular beach in Sitges, the small town near Barcelona known to be the LGBTQ travel capital of the country. The reason why this beach is so popular is due to its location which is a stone’s throw from the town’s center. You could, therefore, get a sun lounger in the morning, leave your towel to mark your spot in the afternoon, and go have a meal at one of the most popular restaurants during lunch. Then take a slow stroll back to your place in the sun.
Due to its popularity, you can imagine how busy the beach gets during weekends, especially in the summer season. If you don’t mind the crowds, this can actually be a blessing as it provides an opportunity for some great people watching. Beyond the sun loungers, there are also tents and umbrellas for rent as well as massage points along the strip to get some physical relaxation along with your vitamin sea.
You can pop into any of the chiringuitos (beach kiosks selling drinks and snacks), support the local street vendors or do some boutique shopping. The beach is always clean and well maintained and is constantly happening. This is probably the best beach in Sitges for extroverts who would rather not visit the nudist beaches which Sitges is so well known for.
Barceloneta Beach, Barcelona
Written by Kieren from Got My Backpack.
It’s easy to see why Barcelona is Spain’s most visited destination, with the extraordinary mountains, a ton of great city attractions, and over 1km of sandy stretches at Barceloneta beach.
Previously an unattractive industrial area, Barceloneta was transformed when the city hosted the 1992 Olympic Games and is now a popular spot to soak up the sun. The beach sits just a 10-minute walk from some of Barcelona’s top attractions including Parc de la Ciutadella and the Arc de Triomf.
As well as an opportunity to sunbathe or swim in the Mediterranean, Barceloneta beach is one of ten connecting beaches that also hosts outdoor gym areas, swimming lanes, volleyball courts, and an array of bars and restaurants, ensuring there’s something for everyone. It’s also a popular spot for cycling or skating along the Passeig Maritim de la Barceloneta towards Port Olympic.
El Saler Beach
Written by Laura from Travelers Universe.
El Saler Beach near Valencia is considered one of the best beaches in the region. Its quality is certified by both the Blue Flag badge and the Q for Tourism Quality.
This wonderful beach is formed by soft white sand, small dunes, clean and transparent waters, and an almost constant, gentle breeze. It is situated at the southern end of the city, just 15 minutes by car. Upon reaching the beach there is a large parking area to leave the car, or if you prefer you can take the bus. It’s only 30 minutes away!
El Saler Beach is one of the favorite beaches for residents and tourists. The main attraction is its great size – more than 2,600 meters. It also has a beautiful and tranquil natural environment. The beach is bounded to the north by Pineda Beach and L’Abre del Gos Beach. To the south by the beach of the Devesa and the Garrofera. And to the west by the lagoon and the Albufera Natural Park, the birthplace of the famous paella.
This beach is protected from the wild winds of the west, thanks to the dunes and the huge expanse of pine forests, which create a great natural environment.
The three watchtowers installed on the same beach house several lifeguards responsible for monitoring and helping any swimmer in need. In addition, it also has three first-aid posts.
Since it is a beach with a blue flag, there is access to the beach for people with reduced mobility, via ramps and wooden walkways. As for the toilet facilities, there are public baths, showers, toilets, and drinking water sources.
You can rent sunbeds or sun loungers and umbrellas. The area also has coffee shops, beach bars, and restaurants where you can eat local and international food.
Written by Linn from Brainy Backpackers.
Some of the best beaches in Spain are found in Cabo de Gata Nature Reserve where the desert sand turns into beaches. One of my absolute favorites is Barronal Beach. It is next to the more famous Monsul Beach but you can’t see it from the road. You need to hike about 10 minutes across the desert on a path leading to the secluded beach.
Barronal Beach is a nudist beach, but you also find a lot of people with swimwear, so you can dress or not dress as you please. Just show respect.
The other way you can get to this incredibly beautiful piece of nature is by hiking from San Jose. This is a coastal hike that covers all the hidden Cabo de Gata beaches on the way, ascending steep, dry, rocky landscape with breathtaking views along the way so you need good footwear if you opt for this route. It will take a couple of hours unless you stop at every beach for a swim.
At Barronal Beach there are no facilities as it is a virgin beach so make sure you bring a parasol for shade and enough water and snacks for the day. What I love the most about this beach is that it is not on the tourist radar and not as accessible as other nearby beaches so there are usually not that many people.
Calella de Palafrugell
When we were in Barcelona, we did a few day trips, one of our favorites was to the beach at Costa Brava to Calella de Palafrugell. It was an afternoon of basking in the sun, enjoying the views and eating some Spanish food, and drinking Sangria. Calella de Palafrugell is one of three coastal towns belonging to the municipality of Palafrugell in the Province of Girona, Spain. The other two being Llafranc and Tamariu. It is popular among locals but not as well known to tourists.
Calella de Palafrugell is perfect to spend a day away from the city. The coastline of the town stretches about two kilometers south to the El Golfet beach which is part of the Cap Roig headland. You will find some beautiful Botanical gardens there. Plan a visit here, you are sure to love the beaches of Calella de Palafrugell. There are several small coves with boats docked and children playing on the rocks and families enjoying the sun and the sand. You can choose to do an organized tour to get here or take the train. The nearest railway station to Palafrugell is in Flaçà, which is 25 km away, from there you can take a bus to Palafrugell.