Top 6 Beaches in Spain

by Nellie on May 20, 2010

by Nellie | May 20th, 2010  

From white stretches of sandy coves to trendy, jam-packed city beaches, there is a plethora of beaches to choose from along the sun-kissed coastline of Spain. For decades, Spain has been known as the sun-and-sea destination in Europe thanks to its 300 days of sunshine each year and cheap airfare to other European destinations. As a playground for holidaymakers, the Spanish coastline is strewn with miles of gorgeous turqoise waters and world-class resorts. With summer just around the corner, it’s time to put on your bikini and take the plunge with us as we unrevel 6 of the best beaches in Spain. Shhh… let’s just keep this to ourselves, shall we?

islas cies1. Islas Cies, Galicia

Forget about the overcrowded Costa del Sol, this remote island along the gorgeous Atlantic Coast of Northern Spain is sprinkled with quiet and untouched beaches. Thanks to the conservation efforts of Spanish authorities, the isle is now an uninhabited national park. No hotels are allowed to be built yet, but the budget traveler will be happy to find a campsite with a million-dollar view. Just a 40-minute boat ride from the fishing town of Baiona in Galicia, the island is opened to public only in summer.

2. Cabo de Gata, Almeria

Andalucia’s biggest coastal nature reserve, Cabo de Gata-Níjar, has a plenitude of wild and jagged coastal beaches to top the list of Southern Spain’s best beaches. The landscape here is starkly different from the rest of Spain, with dry, desert-like terrain reminiscent of the wild west.  One of the most well-known beaches is Playa del Mónsul, where parts of the Indiana Jones movie were filmed. In the middle of the turqoise waters stand a massive rock that act as a plunging board for the daredevils.

ibiza3. Cala Tarida, Ibiza

If you think Ibiza is all about raucous parties and all-night-long clubbing, think again. You’ll be surprised to find stunning and pristine playas here tucked behind rocky sandstone cliffs. Cala Tarida is just one of the many hidden bays that are remote enough for a solitary sunbathe and to escape the crowds. The bay extends over a stretch of rugged outcrops, so expect to find secret coves of crystal clear waters and marine life perfect for snorkelling.

4. Playa Papagayo, Lanzarote

Another personal favorite of mine, Playa Papagayo borders between an isolated wild beach ideal for the relaxed traveler and a thrilling adventurer’s playground. Although the hiking trail that leads to this bay is far from being challenging, the entire area is a national park pimpled with terrain best for mountain biking and hiking. This national park is only accessibly by car or bike, but it is still within a 5-minute drive from the closest beach town.

Menorca5. Cala de Algaiarens, Menorca

Blessed with picture-perfect landscapes, Menorca is an island chocked full of isolated coves and virgin beaches. Unlike its neighboring islands in the Balearic, it is far quieter – and with far lesser tourists in summer. Powerful waves have given its shoreline that unique and rugged look. At Cala de Algaiarens, the adventurous ones will have a ball of a time scouting out its craggy coastal cliffs. The water is sparkling clear, so bring your snorkeling gear along to explore the underwater caves.

6. Playa de la Concha, San Sebastian

Voted by many (including the Spaniards) as the top city beach in Spain, Playa de la Concha sprawls over the outskirts of San Sebastian city. As one of the quintessential things to do in San Sebastian, the sandy patch of oasis is just a 10-minute walk from the city.In summer, it can get difficult trying to find an empty spot for some sunbathing. Connected to adjacent beaches Playa de Ondarreta and Playa de la Zurriola by waterfront boulevards, you can easily hop from one beach to another to enjoy different landscapes and ambiance. Ondarreta beach is slightly smaller, with shallow waters that are perfect for kayaking, while Zurriola promises some strong waves great for surfing.

Photo credits: Pablokdc, lonesnapper, MontanNito.

Read more about:

>> Beaches in Spain
>> Ibiza Beaches
>> Tenerife Beaches
>> Mallorca Beaches


rich May 26, 2010 at 5:05 am

great list , was aware of a couple but not san sebastain, which is strange if it’s considered to be the best in spain.Have enjoyed a few nice beaches in menorca, and will be visiting marbella and gibraltar this summer, see what they have to offer.

Nellie May 27, 2010 at 3:32 am

Thanks Rich, enjoy Marbella and Gibraltar! Let us know if you need any tips or advice. We’ll be happy to help. ;)

Carlotta May 27, 2010 at 3:40 am


My name is Carlotta and I am from Spain. Nice article about the best beaches in Spain but if you have time please check out Formentera. Is a small island near by Ibiza. One of the best places I have ever seen. I send you the link to Formentera’s tourism official site
You have the “english” option on the top of the page. I really hope it helps your blog :)
Best regards

Nellie June 11, 2010 at 6:21 am

Carlotta, appreciate the suggestion. I’ll definitely check out Formentera and hopefully get to visit the island soon. Thanks for the info!

maison espagne August 24, 2010 at 5:40 am

Nice list and absolutely right…Spain is such a beautiful place to visit. its a place of beautiful beaches. I love night life of Spain..majorque, mallorca, ibiza are really beautiful places to visit…I visited Spain many time and always stayed at rental villas as these are in my budget…Out of allmaison espagne thwe most, experience it…

villas majorca September 17, 2010 at 3:24 am

Spain is the finest holiday destination all over the world for all group of age,there are many places like Costa Brava, Costa Blanca, Costa Maresme, Ibiza and Mallorca (Majorca),where you can enjoy luxurious villa’s life with long white sand beaches and also late parties night.

Chris January 19, 2011 at 9:50 am

You missed a real gem, a still un-known jewel, which you most probably have all seen in your favourite Steven Spielberg movie: Indiana Jones… Click on my name and follow me >>


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