the best beaches in Spain

The best Beaches in Spain – 17 magical beaches for a perfect beach holiday

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While in most places in the Northern Hemisphere, fall is approaching, in Spain, the summer is clearly not over yet. No wonder that this great country is one of the most popular travel destinations worldwide. In addition to incredible architecture, absolutely delicious food, and unique culture, Spain’s beaches are particularly famous. For us, it’s definitely not surprising, because the best beaches in Spain can even compete with some of the stunning beaches in the Caribbean.

For this reason, we have taken a closer look at the most popular and most beautiful beaches in Spain for you. We not only looked at the picturesque beaches on the Spanish mainland but also compared some of the paradise beaches located on the Spanish islands. You can find the results in this fantastic list of 17 of the most beautiful Spanish beaches.

The 17 best beaches in Spain

The most beautiful beaches in the Iberian Peninsula

Cala Estreta, Palamós, Costa Brava

Cala Estreta, the most beautiful Costa Brava beaches

I could fill this entire list with only beaches on the Costa Brava. Because for me, this is simply one of the most beautiful stretches of coast in the entire country. And not only because it is practically right on the doorstep from my hometown Barcelona. No, the Costa Brava has so much to offer – fantastic landscapes filled with cliff coasts, hiking trails along pine-covered paths with a view of the Mediterranean sea, and crystal clear water, as we know it from tropical locations, such as the Caribbean.

Anyway, finding a favorite from this unique offer is actually not that easy. However, the Cala Estrata in Palamós has everything an unspoiled beach could possibly need. To reach the somewhat hidden bay, you have to walk about 20 minutes. Consequently, it is precisely for this reason that this beach sees far fewer visitors than other beaches in the area. Hence you can bathe peacefully in the crystal clear water or go snorkeling without having too many people around.

You can visit this wonderful beach best during your vacation on the Costa Brava or as a day trip from Barcelona or Girona.

Playa de Melide, Isla de Ons, Galicia

Playa de Melide, Isla de Ons, Galicia, beach
© Praia de Melide by draculina_ak, Creative Common License

The island of Ons is part of the Parque Nacional de las Islas Atlánticas de Galicia (National Park of the Islands of the Atlantic Ocean of Galicia). In addition to great hiking opportunities in the national park, there are five wonderful beaches located here. Melide Beach is considered to be the most beautiful of those beaches.

A fairytale white sandy beach and the crystal clear waters of the Atlantic await you here. Even if the water might be a bit cool here, as it’s typical in the Atlantic, you can refresh yourself perfectly. Most of the time, the water on this beach is calm and, therefore, perfect for swimming.

The island, similar to the even more popular Islas Ciés – one of the beaches has also made it onto this list – can be reached by boat from the nearby towns on the mainland, e.g., Vigo.

Cala Cortina, Cartagena

Cala Cortina, Cartagena, best beaches in Spain

Another beautiful and top-rated beach is Cala Cortina in Cartagena. With its 250 meters length, this Mediterranean beach offers a wide range of activities for its visitors. In addition to clear water, which is protected from jellyfish due to its location in the bay, fine sand and palm trees provide the ultimate holiday feeling.

There are plenty of restaurants and cafés where you can enjoy some delicious snacks with a view of the sea or refresh yourself with a cold drink. There is also a picnic area if you prefer to bring your own food.

The beach is considered to be the closest to Cartagena (approx. 4 km) and is, therefore, particularly popular with the locals. But unfortunately, that also means that it can get quite crowded during the summer. So it is worth coming early to catch the best spot. You can either go there by car, on foot, or by bike on the bike path that connects Cartagena with Cala Cortina.

Playa de los Muertos, Carboneras, Almería

Playa de los Muertos, dusk, Almeria
© Panorámica Playa de los Muertos by Juan Mercader, Creative Common License

While Marinicas beach is the most popular beach in the region due to its easy accessibility, we have decided to include another beach in this province on this list: La Playa de los Muertes (The Beach of the Dead). Unlike its name, the beach is nevertheless filled with vitality and holiday vibes.

However, since La Playa de los Muertos is connected with a somewhat time-consuming footpath, you should leave early enough and plan sufficient time for your way back. On the other hand, this poor accessibility is precisely what makes this beach so unique. Its remoteness and location in the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata-Níjar make it one of the best beaches of Spain.

However, in windy weather, the walk and swimming on this beach can be dangerous, which is why you should only visit Playa de los Muertos when the weather is good. In good weather, however, this beach is particularly suitable for snorkeling, as you can spot a large number of marine life in the clear water. Because the water here is considered to be one of the clearest and cleanest stretches of sea in Spain.

Playa El Bombo, Mijas, Málaga

Playa el Bombo, Mijas, photographed against the sun

Playa El Bombo is one of the best family beaches on our list. Due to its easy accessibility and its mostly shallow waves, it is perfect for families who have planned a day at the beach with (small) children. With its length of more than 1 km, there is enough space to relax, romp around or build sandcastles in the dark sand.

El Bombo Beach is also very popular with divers. Hence, in its clear water, you have excellent visibility while diving.

But the offer on the beach is also impressive. In addition to restaurants and bars, there are showers, lifeguards, and much more.

The best way to get to this fabulous beach is by car. From Mijas, you’ll need about 15 minutes. But the journey is also worthwhile from Málaga. You can reach the beach after a 35-minute drive.

Playa de la Concha, San Sebastián

San Sebastian, Playa de la Concha, Shell Beach, Northern Spain

Playa de la Concha in San Sebastian is not only one of the most attractive, but also one of the most famous beaches in all of Spain. The name of the city beach can be translated as “shell beach” and can be traced back to its crescent shape.

If you visit the Basque Country and northern Spain, you should definitely plan a stop on this beautiful beach. The beach is even referred to as the most beautiful city beach in Europe. Not only its mild climate compared to other parts of the country, but also its easy accessibility make Playa de la Concha such a popular destination.

Due to its location in northern Spain, the beach is also one of the only ones in the country where you can experience a sunset over the sea. The beach can be reached easily and on foot from the city center.

Playa de los Alemanes, Tarifa, Cádiz

Playa de los Alemanes, in Zahara, Tarifa, Cadiz

It is considered to be one of the picture-perfect beaches of Andalusia, Playa de los Alemanes (German beach). With fine white sand and clear water, this beautiful beach awaits you. You can reach this stunning beach via stairs that lead you over the lush green vegetation.

Even if the beach seems to be very popular due to its beauty, it is usually not overcrowded. Of course, this makes it perfect for anyone looking for a day at the beach full of tranquility and relaxation.

But even those who prefer to be active will find what they are looking for here. A selection of various water sports is also waiting for you at Playa de los Alemanes. What you won’t find here, however, are great services such as restaurants and bars – it’s simply a beach to take it easy.

Playa de Torimbia, Llanes, Asturias

Playa Torimbia with green vegetation

This unique beach, which, by the way, is considered the most beautiful in Llanes, stretches for almost 500 meters. The Torimbia beach is mainly famous as a nudist beach and, therefore, popular with fans of the scene.

From the above, you have an incredible view of the beach, which is shaped like a shell. Besides, the green vegetation of the area, the white sand, and the deep blue sea make for an even more fantastic landscape.

Although cliffs and high stone formations surround the beach, it is still easy to reach on foot. On the contrary, the cliffs have another great advantage. Because of the shielding and the shape of a bay, usually, only small waves make it to the coast, which makes this beach perfect for swimming – also for families with children.

Playa de Rodas, Islas Ciés, Galicia

Playa de Rodas, Islas Cies, Galicia

Not far from the already presented Isla de Ons are the Islas Ciés. Some locals even consider it one of the most beautiful places in Spain. Also known as Praia de Rodas, the beach is also located in the Parque Nacional de las Islas Atlánticas de Galicia.

The beach has everything a dream beach should have to offer: soft white sand, crystal clear water, restaurants, and other services. With its pine forest in the area, the beach is still different from its brothers in the Caribbean.

While Playa de la Roda was initially only known to locals, it gained international attention after the British newspaper The Guardian named it one of the most beautiful beaches in the world in 2007.

To reach the islands, you can take a boat from the Spanish city of Vigo. From the harbor, a short hike is necessary to visit Playa de Rodas.

The most beautiful beaches in Spain – Island Beaches

Cala de Macarella, Menorca, Balearic Islands

Cala de Macarella in Menorca, turquoise water

With its fine-grain sand and turquoise water, this beach has something of a Caribbean beach. Cala de Macarella is one of the most beautiful and famous beaches on the entire island – hardly surprising given this unique backdrop.

Macarella Bay is located around 15 km from Ciutadella and can be reached by car or bus. Due to its sheltered location, there are hardly any waves here, which makes the water not only perfect for swimming but also for canoeing and snorkeling.

Although the bay is easy to get to, the beach still has an atmosphere of seclusion, which makes it even more paradisiacal. There is only one small restaurant here. Anyway, if the beach is still not isolated enough for you, you can also take a short hike to the neighboring beach of Cala de Macarelleta.

Playa Bajo Negro, Corralejo, Fuerteventura

Playa Bajo Negro, Corralejo in Fuerteventura, driving car

In the tourist town of Corralejo in Fuerteventura, all visitors will definitely get their money’s worth: whether it’s water sports enthusiasts, families, or relaxed beach vacationers. The place offers its visitors not just one, but several scenic beaches.

The most beautiful of them is arguably Playa Bajo Negro. With its proximity to the shifting dunes, it provides an absolute fairytale landscape. The beach goes directly into Playa Larga, which gives you even more space for a walk on the beach and relaxation opportunities.

Both beaches offer fine white sand and turquoise clear water that is perfect for a swim. If you walk a little further, you can even find a secluded spot all to yourself. Since the beaches here are part of the El Jable nature reserve, special attention is paid to the preservation of this area and its nature.

Playa de Famara, Lanzarote

Playa de Famara in Lazarote

At over 2 km in length, this beach is not only the longest on the island but also one of the longest beaches on our list. With its golden-yellow sand and deep blue water, it also looks a little different from many of the other beaches on our list. Surrounded by the Famara massif, this beach is not only picturesque but also truly unique.

Nevertheless, Playa de Famara cannot be called a family beach. Because at this coast, there are often strong currents that can significantly limit swimming opportunities. Therefore, the beach is more suitable for sun lovers and water sports enthusiasts. So it is hardly surprising that this beach attracts many surfers. Identically, the beach, with its windy nature, is also a real paradise for hang-gliders.

Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera, Balearic Islands

Playa de Sis Illetes in Formentera, Balearic Islands, crystal clear water

This beach has been voted one of the most beautiful beaches in the world several times. Regardless, anyone who has already admired its beauty will probably not be surprised by that. Playa de Ses Illetes is located in the Ses Salines de Eivissa y Formentera Natural Park in the north of the island.

The 450-meter long beach is divided in the middle into two parts by a stone formation. Since the beach is located in a nature park on the island, the protection of nature and the dune landscape is the top priority. Therefore, there are demarcated footpaths and parking spaces.

The beach itself is a dream beach as you know it from those picturesque postcards: a white sandy beach with turquoise and crystal clear water. By the way, the best way to visit the beach is by bike (there is an entrance fee for cars).

Playa del Inglés, La Gomera

Playa de Ingles en La Gomera bei Sonnenuntergang
© A Flock of Clouds by Jörg Bergmann, Creative Common License

Playa del Inglés (English Beach) is arguably the most alternative beach on our list. It is a popular destination on La Gomera, especially among fans of nudist-beaches. Located in the Valle de Gran Rey valley, not only the beach itself is beautiful, but also its surroundings.

The stretch of coast, which became famous as a hippie beach in the 1970s, is particularly popular for swimming. This is not only due to the clear water that is waiting for you here but also to the naturally very shallow waves. Nevertheless, this is the ocean, which is why you should avoid bathing here on days where the current is strong.

Since the beach has a volcanic origin, the sand is not as fine as on other beaches and is rather dark to black. Accordingly, the dark sand offers a great contrast to the blue sea.

Playa de Maspalomas, Gran Canaria

Playa Maspalomas in Gran Canaria, Sand dune

Let’s talk about the longest beach on our list of the best beaches in Spain: Playa de Maspalomas in Gran Canaria. With a length of almost 3 km, here you definitely have enough space for a long beach walk or to find the perfect place to relax.

The beach is located in the nature reserve Dunas de Maspalomas and is, therefore, very well maintained. The surrounding golden yellow dunes also contribute to the idyllic backdrop. The trademark of the beach is the large lighthouse, which is often used as a photo motif during sunset.

The beach is suitable for all types of visitors. While the beach near the city is more a family-type of beach, some corners are considered nudist beaches, while water sports enthusiasts mainly use others.

Cala Llombards, Mallorca, Balearic Islands

Cala de Llombards in Mallorca, white sand and turquoise water

Another beach on our list that genuinely seems like cut out of a picture book is Cala Llombards in Mallorca. Breathtaking crystal clear water and white sand make this bay what it is. Typically Spanish, the bay is surrounded by pine trees and cliffs, which makes a photo here even more beautiful.

Except for a beach bar and a few boathouses, you won’t find anything here. This lack of services, of course, ensures even more tranquility on your beach day. Since there are no water sport options either, the bay is all the more suitable for swimming. This also applies to families with children.

If you’ve had enough sun on the beach, you can switch to the surrounding hills to stay in the shade or dive into the refreshing turquoise water.

Cala de San Vincente, Ibiza, Balearic Islands

Cala de Sant Vincent in Ibiza

The beach of Cala de San Vincente in Ibiza is popular but mostly uncrowded. But the locals often refer to this stretch of beach as “Sa Cala.” The crystal clear turquoise blue water in the bay is perfect for swimming and refreshing on a hot summer day, while the light yellow sand provides a great contrast.

Sa Cala is not only one of the most extensive beaches in the north of Ibiza, but also one of the oldest beaches on the entire island.

The beach can be reached quickly and easily by car from the neighboring villages and is, therefore, very popular with residents and tourists alike. But not only the crystal clear water and the sun loungers on the beach attract numerous visitors to Cala de San Vincente every day. The wide range of activities is something worth mentioning as well: Stand-up paddling and pedal boats can be rented here. And even diving schools offer unique experiences.


Did you find your perfect beach? Or do you have a personal favorite that absolutely has to be on this list? Let us know in the comments below!

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About the AuthorVicki

Hi, we are Vicki & Eduardo, an international travel couple on a mission to help you save money for priceless travel experience. Follow us through the miracles of this world and you will be rewarded with a bunch of practical travel tips.

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