When you think of Spain, what comes to mind first? Tapas? Sangria? Pablo Picasso? Spain is
steeped in rich culture, fascinating history and delicious food. But it is also a top holiday destination. From the famous nightclubs of Ibiza, to the stunning architecture of Barcelona,
travellers flock to Spain every year in their thousands. And with more than 5,000 miles of
coastline to choose from, there are plenty of beaches where you can unwind and soak up the
endless summer sun. In this blog we’ll go through the best beaches in some of Spain’s most
The 5 best beaches destination in Spain
- Beaches in the Barcelona
- beaches in the Balearic Islands
- beaches in the Valencia
- beaches in the Canary Islands
- beaches in the San Sebastian
Best beaches in Spain
- Ses Salines, Ibiza
- Deia, Mallorca
- Cala Turqueta, Menorca
- Playa Las Arenas
- La Malvarrosa
- Papagayo, Lanzarote
- El Medano, Tenerife
- La Concha
The best beaches in Barcelona
When you’re done strolling down La Rambla and marveling at Gaudi’s magnificent Sagrada Familia, I’m sure you’ll be thinking of hitting the beach. But where to go?
Barceloneta may be Barcelona’s most famous beach, but Bogatell is quieter and preferred by
the locals. It is also cleaner, with better facilities – a legacy of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
Visitors can enjoy a game of basketball or beach volleyball if they get tired of relaxing on the
pristine golden sand. The waterfront is also home to several bars and restaurants, making Bogatell perfect for a relaxing day away from the bustle of the city centre.
Ocata Beach is something of a hidden gem in Barcelona. You’ll need to take a short train ride
out of the city to reach it, but the journey is well worth the reward. Regarded by some as Barcelona’s best kept secret, Ocata is as peaceful as it gets. Much less crowded than other beaches in the city, the flat white sands are the perfect spot to while away a day and avoid some of the crowds you can find at other beaches in the city.
The best beaches in the Balearic Islands
Lying off the eastern coast of mainland Spain, the Balearics comprise the popular holiday islands of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera, alongside many smaller islands and islets.
Found in the heart of the Mediterranean, the Balearics benefit from a warm sea and long
sunny summer days, perfect for relaxing beachside.
Ses Salines, Ibiza
Ibiza is famous for its nightlife, and the super clubs such as DC10 and Pacha, which attract
music lovers from the world over for their all-night parties. But Ibiza is also a great family
destination, with quaint villages and lovely rural countryside. Located just a 10-minute drive
from Ibiza Town, Ses Salines, on the southern tip of the island is the perfect place to wish
away your hangover or spend some quality family time. Its trendy bars include the famous
Malibu Beach Club and the Ibiza Wildlife Conservation Area nearby is great for a late afternoon walk. The water is crystal clear, and the steady breeze makes the beach great for
surfers. It’s also a popular summer hangout for celebrities, so keep your eyes peeled!
Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands, and has a number of famous beaches to choose
from. Coming out on top however, is Deia. The small town is charming in itself but following
the winding road down to the small pebbled beach is like stepping into a slice of paradise. A
swim out into the clear waters of the surrounding cove is a great place to spot small tropical
fish and beautiful coral, so remember to bring your snorkel! This beach is small and doesn’t
boast as many facilities as some of the larger beaches, but the picture postcard setting means
it simply has to get a mention.
Cala Turqueta, Menorca
Menorca is the windiest of the Balearics, making it popular with sailors. These conditions
aren’t always good for a day at the beach, but Cala Turqueta benefits from the best of both
worlds. Located on the southern edge of the island, the beach still has a nice breeze to keep
you cool in the sweltering summer sun, but the wind is not as strong as on the northern side
of the island. The beach is 100% natural, with fine white sand, hidden away by tall pine trees
and giant rocks. The word “Turqueta” translates to “Turquoise”, which is the colour of the
shimmering water, inviting you in for a swim. There are no facilities at the beach, so pack a
picnic and get down there early to enjoy the tranquility before the crowds arrive.
The best beaches in Valencia
Valencia is another popular city break destination for travellers to Spain. From the ancient
walls of El Carmen to the bustling Central Market, there is plenty to see and do in the port
city. There are also numerous beaches, and we’ve picked out the best ones to visit.
Playa Las Arenas
What makes Las Arenas famous, is the sand. Truly golden sand that sparkles in the sun, it has
to be seen to be believed. Valencia’s most popular beach is packed with things to do, from
paddle boarding to browsing the boutique shops along the promenade. It is also the perfect
place to try authentic Valencian paella in one of the many small restaurants found along the
beachfront. This famous Spanish meal was born in the city, so where better place to sample
it than at the city’s most famous beach?
La Malvarrosa is to Valencia what Ocata is to Barcelona. Quiet, less developed and preferred
by the locals. There are many facilities and a large promenade fringed with palm trees,
shading you from the sun. At the far end of the beach you’ll find a harbor packed with
expensive yachts, as well as an aquarium, which is well worth a visit. The beach is located in
the heart of city and is walking distance from many of the city’s main hotels, making it easily
accessible for visitors to this delightful city.
The best beaches in the Canary Islands
The Canaries comprise eight main volcanic islands – Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria,
Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa. Located around 1,300 kilometres
from the southern tip of mainland Spain, the Canaries are actually closer to Morocco! Every
island has its own appeal, with many popular beaches to choose from.
The most famous beach on Lanzarote and perhaps on the Canaries as a whole, Playa Papagayo is one of the must-see sights on any holiday to the region. The volcanic landscape makes you feel like you’re walking on the moon and the crystal-clear water is irresistible, especially with the brightly coloured fish darting around your feet.
The rocky landscape offers shelter from
the wind and reveals numerous secluded bays, whilst there are plenty of opportunities for
kayaking and catamaran sailing around the tip of the island.
El Medano, Tenerife
El Medano has everything a beach could need. It is one of the world’s top sites for windsurfing
and kitesurfing, hosting international competitions in these sports. The landscape is stunning, and the beach offers magnificent views of the Montana Roja volcanic cone, a great place for a hike. If you prefer a more relaxing day, there are numerous cafes, bars and restaurants along
the beachfront. We recommend you stay until dusk, because as the sun begins to set the sand
and rock dunes glow a fiery red, a truly breathtaking spectacle on a clear day.
The best beaches in San Sebastian
Our final Spanish holiday destination is the coastal city of San Sebastian, found in the northern reaches of the Basque Autonomous Community, about 25 kilometres from the French border.
San Sebastian is a relatively small city, but one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, and home to the world renowned La Concha beach.
Regarded by many as the best beach in the whole of Europe, La Concha is a perfectly crescent
shaped, mile long stretch of sand that is symbolic with Spain. It is also ideally situated in the
middle of the city, less than a minutes’ walk from the City Hall! A stroll around the coastline
is highly recommended to experience the majesty of the entire beach and the enormity
means there is always a free spot to sunbathe! The water is calm, sheltered by nearby Santa
Clara island and sunbeds are available to hire. There is also a special zone of the beach that is
reserved for watersports and beach games, including volleyball. The nearby Miramar Palace
is also well worth a visit, with wonderful views over the whole beach and an exciting royal
history to discover.
Less well known than its world famous neighbour, Ondarreta beach sits in the shadow of
picturesque Igueldo Mountain and is separated from La Concha by a rocky outcrop. The shallow water and flat sand of Ondarreta make this beach more family friendly than La Concha, with many of the same amenities including bars, restaurants and sunbeds. Miramar Palace can be reached from the beach by a hidden rocky path, only available at low tide – the perfect adventure to end a day of exploring San Sebastian.
Wherever you decide to travel in Spain, you’ll enjoy wonderful beaches alongside the great
food, culture, history and nightlife of this incredible European country. We hope this guide
helps you choose the destination that is best for you, and soon you’ll be sunbathing with a
cocktail or enjoying a spot of surfing at one of Spain’s top beaches.