With over 5,000 miles of coastline and an average of 300 days of sunshine a year, it is no wonder that the most popular Spain attractions are its magnificent beaches.  From gorgeously pristine white sand of many to amazing black sand of  others such as La Fontanilla and everything in between, they are all right here.  You can visit the very famous beaches in Spain such as Costa Blanca, or opt for others that are more secluded and quiet.

There are many trendy beaches right in urban areas where you can enjoy the sun, sand and surf at the same time you are taking in all of the other wonderful places to see in Spain.  Included here is a list of some of the Spain beaches that you will definitely want to visit while traveling in this wonderful country.  Not all of them are the most well-known, but they are all well worth visiting as they each have their own unique qualities.

 

1. Islas Cies is located in Galicia

 

best beaches in Spain

Flickr Credit: Ruben Sanchez

Islas Cies is located in Galicia on the northwest side of the country, and certainly has several of the best beaches in Spain for anyone wanting a quieter, more secluded day at the beach.  It is a more remote island that is made up of three islands, collectively known by the locals as the “Galician Caribbean”.  They can be reached by ferry from the town of Vigo or a nice boat ride from Baiona, a nearby fishing village.

The islands have been made an uninhabited national park, which has left it a very pristine and wonderful place.  No hotels or other residence has been allowed to be built here, but there are several campsites that can be rented.  The two main islands, Illa do Monte Ayudo and Illa do Faro, are connected by Rodas Beach, which has to be the most beautiful of all the beaches in Spain!  There are some amazing rock formations all along the area that make for some fantastic snorkeling and scuba diving.

On one side of the islands is the Atlantic Ocean.  Here there can be some amazing waves that any surfer would love to take on.  On the other side of the islands it is a much more tranquil setting.  Facing the quiet Ria de Vigo and having a beautifully protected lagoon, this range of beaches is more suitable to those that want to swim or enjoy water sports in the calmer waters.

There is a restaurant and a shop where you can get needed supplies and food, as well as a few beach bars that will serve up some great refreshments for you to enjoy while sunbathing and taking in the beautiful scenery.  Overall, this is one of the best Spain beaches to spend the entire day at, or your entire holiday if you want a great place to camp.

 

2. Playa de la Concha

 

best beaches in Spain

Flickr Credit: Angel Valencia Sanchez

Playa de la Concha sits at the edge of the city of San Sebastian, and is considered by both tourists and locals to be one of the best urban beaches in Spain and even in all of Europe.  Just a 10 minute walk from the city, this is a majorly fun place to get away from the chaos of the city without having to go far.

It is also just a short train ride from both Barcelona and Madrid as well, so there are ample opportunities to see many French and Spain attractions while your vacation is based here.  The beach is terrific for enjoying the music, volleyball games and having a party, or joining one of the other ones going on.  With full facilities and many shops and food vendors, you can get all of the equipment and supplies you need to make the day perfect, no matter what activity or water sport you want to do.

If it gets too crowded and crazy for you, there are two other wonderful Spain beaches very nearby, connected by a waterfront boulevard. Playa de Ondarreta has more shallow, calm water that is perfect for swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding, while Playa de la Zurriola has stronger waves that makes it ideal for surfing.  So for the perfect combination of fantastic sand, sun and surf while having the convenience and excitement of the city close at hand, this is one of the best places to see in Spain.

 

3. Costa del Sol

 

best beaches in Spain

Flickr Credit: archaeologist_d

Costa del Sol is one of the most famous beaches in Spain. The name means “Coast of the Sun”, which is appropriate as it averages over 300 days of sunshine a year. Located on the Mediterranean coast on the southern portion of the country, this beach is the holiday destination for tourists from all over the world.  It has also become world famous for its beautiful gold courses that are nearby.Stretching along the coast from Malaga to Gibralter, this magnificent golden coastline with spectacular mountains in the background is one of the most popular tourist destinations of all of the Spain beaches.  Ideal for whatever water sport you want to take part in, this is the place to be.

Enjoy native some of the many native dishes you will find at one of the many “chiringuitos”, or open air restaurants that you will find along the beach.After a full day of playing in the water or playing a rousing game of beach volleyball, grab you favorite drink and sip it while watching an amazing sunset.  You can also take part in the Spanish tradition of “Ir de Tapas”, or tapas tour, where you make the rounds of the beach bars drinking and eating tapas.  This is certainly one of the best beaches in Spain for that total cultural experience that you will not want to miss.

 

4. Playa El Bajondillo

 

best beaches in Spain

Flickr Credit: tarmo888

Playa El Bajondillo is one of the most beautiful beaches in Spain and is one of those that lies along the Costa del Sol coastline. It runs for over 100 meters along the Mediterranean and is covered in beautiful warm, dark sand that is kept in impeccable condition. Located near Malaga, it is one of the urban beaches in Spain that is very popular with the locals and tourists alike.The water is spectacular, and you can enjoy any water sport you could think of.  There are many shops that rent all sorts of equipment, such as jet skis, kayaks and many other types of boats, as well as paddle boards and so much more.  If you don’t have items for enjoying the sand, they have those items as well so you can have a chair and umbrella to make the day perfect.

There are several playgrounds and swingsets all along shoreline for the kids to play on when not swimming. There are also several volleyball courts where you can show off your athletic prowess with a rousing game with friends.  The promenade is very lively, with many restaurants, shops and beach bars.  You will want to taste some of the amazing local cuisine, especially the specialty of the area, “pesca’to”, or small fried fish.  They are simply fantastic!After a full day of playing hard in the water and on the beach, grab your favorite drink from one of the beach bars and enjoy the beautiful sunset while listening to the great Spanish music coming from the bars.  It is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable Spain attractions for anyone traveling in this wonderful country.

 

5. Cabo de Gata-Nijar

 

best beaches in Spain

Flickr Credit: Joann Gervilla

Cabo de Gata-Nijar is an amazing coastal nature reserve and is home to some of the best beaches in Spain. The name itself refers to the agate that was once heavily mined here. It is the largest nature reserve in the Andalusia region of Spain, and is surrounded by the Sierra del Cabo de Gata mountain range.  Part of this range is El Fraile, not only the highest point of the range but also the largest volcanic rock formation in the entire country. It is a spectacular formation with sharp peaks and crags in red to ocher colors and rocky slopes that fall right into the sea.  With these beautiful colors and rocks combining with the amazing white sand beaches and turquoise water, this is one of the most amazing places to see in Spain.

It is so picturesque here that parts of the Indiana Jones movies were filmed here.There is even one massive rock out in the water where the bravest of souls can be seen jumping off into the sea from.  It is also very unique in that it is also a true hot desert climate, receiving less that 8 inches of rain annually.  The nature reserve has been listed as a UNESCO site and is one of the Spain attractions that you will not want to miss.  The beaches themselves offer so much fun and relaxation.

There are many extensive coral reefs and tiny rocky islands that are tremendous places to scuba dive and snorkel.  There is so many amazing species of marine life that you will not be able to see it all in one dive.  For any nature lover, or anyone wanting a beautiful, relaxing and less crowded day while being able to enjoy everything the Mediterranean Sea has to offer, these are the beaches in Spain you will want to spend a lot of time at.

 

6. Cala Tarida

 

best beaches in Spain

Flickr Credit: Luigi Buzzi

Cala Tarida is one of the best beaches in Spain for anyone wanting a more quiet and secluded place to enjoy the Sea. It is tucked away in a hidden bay that is remote enough that you can sunbathe or play in the water all by yourself, yet it is only a short drive from the cities of San Jose and San Antonio. The bay has many rugged outcroppings of sandstone cliffs where you can find more secret coves that are perfect places to snorkel. There are also terrific scuba diving sites, and dive schools are nearby to assist those wanting to learn or further their diving skills.

The pristine white sand is ideal for sunbathing and building sand castles or having a great family picnic. You can even play beach volleyball at one of the many courts available for public use.While there are many hidden coves for secluded times, the main beach is much more urbanized, with beach bars, restaurants and shops for your enjoyment.  Whether you want to grab a snack or have a full 3-course meal or have a drink on the beach, at a posh club or at a lively bar with music, you can find it all at this, one of the most popular Spain beaches.

 

7. Playa Papagayo

 

best beaches in Spain

Flickr Credit: lucianopadin

Playa Papagayo is one of the fantastic Spain beaches that is a little more off the beaten path. It is only accessed by a hiking trail or a dirt road. which makes it a quieter, more relaxed beach to visit. There is a set of stairs from the car park to the beach which further adds to making it less desirable to the regular public so it is a quiet place to spend your time.There are many hiking and biking trails in the area so you have ample opportunities to do more than just play in the water and on the beach.  The entire area is a national park, which adds to the beauty in so many ways.  The water is so clear and perfect for playing in that you will not want the day to end.  Some beach bars and restaurants make it a very enjoyable place to spend the day and on into the evening.  This is one of the most desireable beaches in Spain for that perfect vacation.

 

8. Cala de Algaiarens

 

best beaches in Spain

Flickr Credit: David McLaughlin

Cala de Algaiarens is one of the best beaches in Spain and is located on the small island of Menorca. It is situated in a wonderful large, wide cove with many craggy cliffs that drop into the water. The entire island is much quieter than others in the area, with far fewer tourists.  It is also known as La Vall to the locals.  The cove is split into two smaller beaches, Playa de Bot and Playa de Tancats, which provides more shoreline which enables you to easily find that perfect spot to yourselves.The rich, soft golden sand is absolutely wonderful for sunbathing, picnics or a game of beach volleyball.  The water is shallow for quite a ways out into the sea which makes it ideal for families to play in.  There are strong waves further out, which is a surfer’s dream as well.  Snorkeling and scuba diving are also very popular here, with several underwater caves to explore.  With the magnificent landscapes of the island and the many hidden coves and shoreline combined with the crystal clear water and beauty of the beach, this is one of the favorite places to see in Spain.

 

9. Formentera

 

best beaches in Spain

Flickr Credit: Nacho Pintos

Formentera is one of the small islands that has been rated by many as having the top beaches in Spain. It can be reached by ferry from Ibiza Town, and makes for a perfect day trip for anyone staying in that area. There are small villages on the island where you can taste some fantastic local cuisine and pick up some souvenirs.  There are also four Martello towers on the island that are some amazing Spain attractions you will want to see while here.The beaches are amazing, with over 20km of pristine white sandy beaches that are less crowded than you will find most anywhere else.

There are places that are tucked away in more hidden coves and others that are very picturesque.  The most famous, or infamous if you will, fact about this area for all Europeans is that most of the beaches of the island allow nude sunbathing.  While this might not be a real family-friendly place to enjoy the Mediterranean, the natural landscape surrounding the entire island along with the crystal clear water of some amazing shades of blue makes it one of the most ideal places to see in Spain.

 

10. Sitges

 

best beaches in Spain

Flickr Credit: CovBoy2007

Sitges is another one of the Spain beaches that has areas that allow nudists. It is also world reknowned as being the most gay-friendly beach for gay and lesbian ocean goers. The main beaches are mixed and everyone is made to feel welcome.  Located just 35km from Barcelona, the town of Sitges is also known for its art culture, historical sites and night life that is second to none.  There are several festivals held here every year including the International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia, Carnival, the Fiesta Major, Theater Festivals, The Barcelona-Sitges Vintage Car Rally,  and the Harvest Festival.There are also many concerts and other events that will entertain everyone.

The area is surrounded by the Garraf mountains and many bike trails go through the Garraf Natural Park.  The 4km of magnificent beach is such a terrific place to enjoy any water sport you want to take part in as well as a great place for sunbathing and swimming.  The promenade features many shops, restaurants and beach bars where you can get anything you need to make your stay absolutely perfect.

PIN IT FOR LATER!

best beaches in Spain
best beaches in Spain
Justin Carmack on sabtwitterJustin Carmack on sabinstagramJustin Carmack on sabfacebook
Justin Carmack
Justin is a dive master and world traveler on a mission to dive and document the top 100 dive sites in the world. In doing this he hopes to bring love for the marine environment to the world!
scuba diving

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from Art of Scuba Diving! We will send a monthly(ish) update of awesome posts you might have missed. No spam ever!

You have Successfully Subscribed!