Aside from Spain’s bustling cities and flavorful tapas dishes, there’s a whole range of beautiful beaches to explore. The perfect place to flop on the sand and listen to the sound of crashing waves, the coastline that hugs Spain offers soft sand, gorgeous views and beachfront accommodation. From snorkeling spots to picturesque coves, these are the best beaches in Spain.
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La Concha Beach, San Sebastian
La Concha Beach in San Sebastian is not only one of the best beaches in Spain but its also one of the prettiest in Europe. Nestled in the northeast corner of Spain, San Sebastian is a chic coastal city known for its gorgeous views and pintxos. While it’s not an isolated oasis, the dramatic cityscape backdrop makes the beach even more striking. Walk along the 130-foot-wide crescent of sand that curves nearly 4,500 feet around the tranquil Bay of La Concha, then explore the bustling La Concha promenade or nearby historic center.
Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera, Balearic Islands
While Ibiza is one of the prettiest isles in Spain, if you’re not up for the party atmosphere head to the quiet next door neighbor Formentera. Here, the crown jewel is Playa de Ses Illetes, which offers a stark white sand beach that is flanked by turquoise seas. It’s a popular hangout for the fashionable crowd who want to recover from a long night, and those looking for a cold beverage can enjoy the handful of beach bars and restaurants. From Ibiza Town, it’s only a short ferry ride away.
Playa de Las Catedrales, Galicia
Those looking for a remote beach with a quiet ambiance can head to Playa de Las Catedrales to bask in the sunshine. Noted as one of the best beaches in Galicia, you’ll be blown away by the area’s natural beauty that features sandy beaches and unique rock formations created by the sea. The closest city to the beach is Ribideo, while Foz is also not far away, and is a great place to go for a quiet day of admiring the coastline.
Playa de Bolonia, Tarifa, Spain
While the Andalusian territory is filled with tourists, if you’re willing to venture a little further to the fishing village of Bolonia in Tarifa you can be rewarded with one of the country’s most alluring beaches. Playa de Bolonia boasts over two miles of picturesque shoreline, which curves around the beautiful Bolonia Bay. Sit under an umbrella with a cold drink or try your hand at windsurfing, then visit the nearby Roman ruins of Baelo Claudio.
Es Trenc, Mallorca, Balearic Islands
Mallorca is home to some of Spain’s most notable natural landscapes, including its famous beach, Es Trenc. An isolated beach area away from large resort complexes, you’ll be lured in by the soft sands of the beach that nestle against the gentle waves. Are you traveling with the kids? The shallow, tranquil water makes it a great place to bring the entire family, while the beach itself has plenty of amenities such as beach chairs, umbrellas, lifeguards and bathrooms.
Playa del Silencio, Asturias
Consistently voted the best beach in Asturias, Playa del Silencio is a great place to enjoy Spain’s coastline. Sunshine is not as guaranteed as many parts of Spain, but its worth the effort to visit this destination to also explore the surrounding region and to enjoy its secluded location hidden behind the cliffs. Luring in younger crowds, you’ll find plenty to do in terms of live concerts, parties and special events. Let the kids swim in the waves or head to the viewpoint built on the cliffs along the trail.
Nerja Beach, Costa del Sol, Andalusia
Instead of venturing west from Malaga to Torremolinos and Fuengirola, go east to Nerja. You won’t be disappointed with the quality of beach here, as this pueblo blanco “white village” offers a beautiful landscape of picturesque beaches flanked by charming whitewashed houses. Once a sleepy fishing village, it has retained its original charm. After you’ve visited the beach, visit the Nerja Caves, hike up El Cielo or stroll along the Balcony de Europa.
Playa de Los Lances, Tarifa, Andalusia
You certainly won’t be bored in Tarifa, as it offers an array of activities to indulge in, from windsurfing and whale watching to a lively nightlife scene. More for active beachgoers than those who prefer to lounge on the sand due to its strong winds, you’ll find Playa de Los Lances bustling at its annual World Kite Surf Championships. Experience its surfer culture paradise that has been compared to the likes of Hawaii and California, then explore the historic Guzman Castle, marvel at the beautiful Church of San Mateo and watch a sunset at nearby Playa Punta Paloma.
Illas Cies, Ria de Vigo, Galicia
Nicknamed “Galician Caribbean”, Illas Cies is comprised of three pristine islands in Spain’s northwest region of Galicia. These islands are exposed to the Atlantic Ocean, while the other part faces the Ria de Vigo, which is a beautiful estuary that is protected. Take a short ferry from Vigo to reach this paradise, where you can discover Rodas Beach with its sliver of sand and picturesque lagoon. While its mostly an undeveloped island thanks to its designation as a nature preserve, you can also find quaint beach bars, a campground and market.
Gandia Beach, Costa Blanca, Valencia
A visit to Costa Blanca offers the chance to explore small towns that boast quiet beaches, from the larger Denia and Benidorm to the tranquil shores of Gandia. More popular with local residents than tourists, you can experience a slice of local life by visiting this gem. A great place if you want a dose of culture, walk along the bustling boulevards to discover fantastic examples of Spain’s history at the Ducal Palace and Gandia Cathedral, then sit on a bench at the tree-lined Passeig de les Germanies to watch the world go by.