Spain is one of the most popular European countries know for their ‘Beach culture’. It has an amazing assortment of different types of beaches offering unique experiences on both its eastern and western coastlines.
From the majestic Mediterranean coves, blue crystal clear waters and beautiful white sandy beaches, to the alluring Atlantic Ocean with rocky shores propped against picturesque landscapes and the sparkling black sand beaches with ash covered hills of the volcanic Canary Islands, Spain has it all.
Here is a list of the Top 10 beaches in Spain that will help you choose the perfect beach destination for your next escape.
Calo Des Moro – Palma de Mallorca
Mallorca (Majorca) is the largest island of the Balearic Islands in Spain. Just like the other islands here, the blue waters are crystal clear and the clean white sand invites you to soak in some spectacular views as you lay beneath the Mediterranean sun. Calo des Moro is a pristine piece of beach that remains protected and unspoiled by development thanks to a foundation that has been looking after it for the last 15 years. They claim that it is ‘One of the last paradises of Mallorca’. The beach is only about 30m long and 10-20m wide, situated 6 km from Santanyi in the southeastern part of Mallorca. You can reach the beach easily by following road signs; don’t be alarmed by the ‘Private Property’ sign, as this area is privately owned but open to the public.The seawater glistens between the rocky cliffs that are covered with pine trees. The sandy spaces are not that many and are interrupted by rough rock, which is ideal to sit and stare at the sea or you can leave your belongings here if you’re going in for a dip in the shallow waters. The weekends are busier with locals and travelers alike making a beeline to the beach, as it is also an excellent bay for snorkeling and diving. Due to its small size and lack of regular beach facilities you may need to plan ahead before heading here, taking with you all beach essentials. Also remember the beach is unguarded and there are no beach restaurants etc. like seen at other more commercial beaches on the island..
Playa de Comte – Cala Comte Beach, Ibiza
The island of Ibiza in Spain boasts of a multitude of beaches and popular among-st them is the beach of Cala Comte (Cala Conta) on the west coast. It is a relatively smaller beach, 800m long with several small coves. There are two stretches of sand, a rocky coastline on the western side and sand dunes on the other. A smaller cove at the far eastern end is an unofficial nudist area.
The beach has clear turquoise blue water mostly because of the constant flow of currents in the Mediterranean Sea. The shallow water and golden sand is perfect for children to enjoy, while another rockier ledge leads to a more private and sheltered cove where the sea is a little deeper and so it is advised that only experienced swimmers venture here. There are a few landmasses that stick out of the water just off the coast that many people like to swim out to and you can enjoy some snorkeling here as well.
Since the sand is limited here it can get very crowded especially in the summers, so either come early in the morning or later in the afternoon and then stick around for sunset. The beach has various amenities like loungers, parasols, restaurants, bars, toilets, showers, lifeguards, access for the disabled etc. The tide comes in around 7 pm and has been known to take with it people’s belongings if they’re not careful.
The beach is easily accessible by cars and taxis all year round; there are also public buses from San Antonio and ferries departing from the San Antonio Harbour throughout summer. Since Cala Comte is on the west coast it is one of the best beaches on the island to watch the sunset especially from the few beach restaurants that offer you a panoramic view; crowds of people gather here and boats too drop anchor just off the coast to catch the soothing sights of the sun setting over the western horizon.
Playa de Ses Illetes – Ses Illetes Beach, Formentera
Formentera is an island just off the southern coast of Ibiza and is one of Spain’s Balearic islands. The beautiful white sandy beaches and clear turquoise waters of this island are the main attraction here and is what contributes to that Caribbean feeling that the island is famous for.
Ses Illetes (Illetas) is the most popular beach located on the western side of the island and is sheltered by dunes. It is very close to the main port of the island called La Sevina where the ferries from Ibiza will drop you off and so it is also the most frequented beach. Getting there is as easy as following road signs and there is a free parking area for your cars, bikes or cycles, you can also use the public bus service from the port.
In spite of being located in a ‘conservation area’ the beach still has plenty of amenities, several restaurants and water sports. However the restaurants are few and it is advisable to have a reservation in peak season.
This beach attracts a pleasant mixture of people, families with young children enjoy the safe and shallow waters, day visitors from Ibiza flock to the sand here to unwind after a hectic party, the rich and famous stop by in their flashy yachts to savour some fresh seafood that the beach restaurants are famous for and the locals of the island who just want to make the most of their weekends.
The northern end of Playa Illetes is the most peaceful part of this long beach and is an official nudist reserve. As this beach faces the west, it is also a recommended spot to watch the sunset.
Playa de Cofete – Morro del Jable , Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura, the second largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, sits in the Atlantic Ocean closest to the African coast of Morocco. Even though this almost desert like island has dry barren land of mostly rock and stone, it has some of the most impressive beaches in all of Europe with over 50 km of white and golden sand. There are over 150 beaches, enormous sand dunes and a subtropical climate with cool island breeze all year round makes it a great holiday destination.
The beach of Cofete located on the coast of Jandia in the southern part of the island is a stunning 5 km stretch of soft white sand and crystal clear waters. Getting there can be a little tricky as there is a 20 km long track that only allows for single file traffic in some places. This narrow path has some steep drops to the side in some areas and the journey is best done in a jeep or four-wheel drive vehicle.
Since this is one of the wider beaches on the island and because it is not very easily accessible you should be able to find a relatively secluded spot for yourself even in peak season. It is a popular beach with naturists who remain undisturbed while they are here.
Even though tourism on the island picked up only recently, the island already has a well-developed infrastructure. So when you’re here you can look forward to Golf Courses, a Zoo, a Water Park and various Marine Excursions. You can go surfing, windsurfing, kite surfing as well as diving and recreational fishing which is known as ‘Big Game Fishing’ off the coast of this island. So if you’re a sports enthusiast, adventure lover or traveling with kids you will be guaranteed one of the best island experiences with something for everyone.
Papagayo Beach, Lanzarote (Playa de Papagayo)
Lanzarote is the easternmost island of the Spanish Canary Islands located in the Atlantic Ocean just off the southern coast of Morocco in Africa.
It is known as the island of eternal spring because it enjoys perfect weather all year round making it a popular holiday destination. Like the other Canary Islands, Lanzarote is Volcanic in origin but despite this there are several beautiful white-sand beaches such as those at Papagayo.
The beaches of Papagayo are a collection of smaller, fine white sand that are separated by high cliffs, forming a number of sheltered bays and it is tucked away in the ‘Los Ajaches Nature Reserve’, which is an area of volcanic hills on the island.
Papagayo will mesmerize you with its still, crystal clear, emerald green waters. It is the perfect place to swim, sunbathe and snorkel as you can enjoy the beauty of the depth of the sea. It is protected from winds by the volcanic hills that are characteristic of this island making it one of the safest beaches here to go swimming. Naturists (nudists) also favour these sultry sandy shorelines and can enjoy areas that are reserved exclusively for them.
The beach of Papagayo can be accessed by a rather bumpy dirt road or by the coastal pathway that charges a small fee per person. You can also get there by a Water Taxi from the harbour of Playa Blanca, which is the more popular and commercial beach area on the south of the island. Approaching the Papagayo beach from the water is a spectacular way to drink in the beauty of this beach.
Since it is far from any of the main tourist spots on the island and offers very few beach services, you are advised to pack what you may need in advance to enjoy an uninterrupted day on these pristine shores.
Playa de Cavalleria, Menorca
Minorca (Menorca) is one of Spain’s Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. This is a more laid back island as compared to the others and is known for its long, endless beaches made up of sandy crescents, rocks, bays called “calas” and dark green pine trees that fringe this coastline. Playa de Cavalleria is a 500 m long beach in the central north coast of the island and is 9 km from Es Mercadal, located between Punta des Vernís and de Ferragut. The sand here is a golden brown and gets its dark hues from the red rocks surrounding the beach. In the northwestern corner of the beach the colour of the sand is darker, almost red and many people rub their skin with this sand because of its rich mineral properties. The water is relatively shallow with a sandy bottom, good for snorkeling and the nearest seabed is of great interest to divers. The northernmost tip of the island is where you will find the lighthouse ‘Cap de Cavalleria’ that stands 94 m above sea level. The cliffs here rise to 80 m above sea level and promise spectacular panoramic views and is the best spot to enjoy the sunset; there is a trail from the beach that you can use to get to the top. This beach is located in an area subject to nature conservation restrictions and hence there are no restaurants or beach bars and water sports here. The parking lot is a 15-minute walk from the beach. Even though the beach is not very commercial people from all over the island come to visit, so it is very popular despite its remote location. Besides the beach and the lighthouse when you’re here you can also visit the ‘Port de Sanitja’ an area colonized by the Romans. You can also visit the Eco-museum.
Playa de Rodas – Rodas Beach, Cies Islands Pontevedra
The Cíes Islands are located off the coast of Pontevedra in the northwest region of Spain’s Galica province and just north of Portugal.
The beach of Rodas on the northernmost island of Monteagudo is 1200 m long and is regarded as one of the best beaches in the world. The landscape you will notice is almost picturesque; framed with tall pine trees, pale sandy shores, backed by small natural sand dunes and the majestic beautiful emerald coloured, crystal clear seawater.
The Cíes Islands are a part of the ‘Galician Atlantic Islands National Park’ that protects the land and the surrounding sea, and is only open to the public in summer. There are no hotels on the island only a campsite, a few restaurants and many hiking trails. There are no cars or bikes allowed here either. Visitors are limited to 2,200 a day in order to preserve the area and people often come here to go hiking or bird watching.
During Easter week, at weekends in May and throughout the summer, there are regular boat services from Vigo, Baiona and Cangas de Morrazo. If you plan to stay the night at the campsite prior booking is essential and can be easily be done on their website, do read carefully and follow their instructions in order not to be disappointed.
When you’re at Rodas you can avail of all of their services like beach bars, restaurants, toilets, lifeguards, healthcare facilities etc. to ensure that all your needs are taken care of. Scuba diving and sailing are also permitted but prior authorization and documentation is required.
The Romans referred to the Cíes islands as ‘the islands of the Gods’, and even today their beauty remains unchanged so you can enjoy a paradise-like experience when you visit.
Playa del Cañuelo in Bolonia, Cadiz (Bolonia Beach)
The beaches in the south of Spain are a popular choice especially among Northern European tourists. The province of Cadiz in the southernmost part of Spain has its coastline directly opposite the northern part of Morocco which lies on the African continent.
The beach of El Cañuelo in Bolonia (Bolonia Beach) is close to Tarifa, which is a small coastal town in the province of Cádiz on the Atlantic shore. The beach is near the Camarinal Lighthouse.
This remote kilometer-long stretch of golden sand, crystal-clear waters is rich in marine life, making it an excellent spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. The strong winds from the east make it a popular choice for water sports such as windsurfing, kite surfing, fly-surfing etc. There are also areas reserved for naturists (nudists).
A popular choice for weekend getaways and relatively quieter during the week the beach is relatively a traffic-free haven with no thoroughfare to the beach and so it is literally off the beaten track, something most modern travelers are increasingly in search of.
The large sand dunes to the north and military land here ensure that it will always remain unspoiled by commercialization. When you’re here you can also visit the ruins of the ancient Roman town of ‘Baelo Claudia’, considered to be the most complete Roman town ruins in Spain.
You can also avail of the regular beach amenities including hip juice bars, beach bars and restaurants that serve fresh seafood all of which can be enjoyed against a beautiful and dense mountain range, which makes it all the more appealing.
Playa del Silencio – The Silent Beach Asturias
Asturias is located in the northwest of Spain between Galicia and Cantabria on the Atlantic coast and is known for its rugged coastline.
Del Silencio beach in Asturias is renowned for its landscape of rock formations, cliffs and meadows. It is 330 m long and 32 m wide when the tide is out and the beach is made up mostly of boulders and gravel. The water in the bay here is calm and very good for snorkeling.
The beach aptly named ‘Silencio’ promises silence and tranquility, as it is not commercial or easily accessible; it may also be referred to as Gaviero. You can get to the beach from the village of Castañeras on foot or by car following the road signs; however there isn’t much place for parking at the beach and hence it would be a better bet to park in the village nearby. It’s a long walk uphill but will be well worth it to see the coastline of Cudillero with its high cliffs and spectacular islets that will take your breath away quite literally.
The beach frequented by naturists is non-commercial with none of the usual beach amenities available. At high tide the beach completely disappears and you will have to admire it from the top of the cliff, while the rocks on the western side of the beach make good fishing spots.
This isolated beach is very popular and gets quite crowded in summer when families come to enjoy the sea as the waves here are not very rough. However there is no sand and mostly gravel and tiny pebbles on the beach so do come prepared.
Playa de Laga – Laga beach, Pais Vasco
The Basque Country (Pais Vasco in Spanish) is an autonomous community in northern Spain known to have their own distinct cultural identity independent from the rest of the country.
Laga Beach located in a town called Ibarrangelu is in the province of Biscay on the west coast of Spain. The beach is near the ‘Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve’ and is framed in the shade of the green mountains of Atxarre and Ogoño on either side.
It stretches out to about 574 m of fine golden sand and is the most famous beach on the Bay of Biscay for water sports and windsurfing. There is a surf club and a surf school here as it is the main beach for surfing in this area; the waves are short and intense with both right and left-hand peaks.
The beach offers a wide enough sandy expanse to accommodate plenty of sunbathers and there are also many secluded areas that you will find between large rocks and tide pools where you can get away from the crowds. The eastern area of the beach is the most crowded.
You can also indulge in other water sports like sailing, canoeing or kayaking when you’re here. Many adventurous people also go paragliding from the Ogoño rock near by. The Beach has many facilities like showers, an open-air bar, a first aid post, drinking fountains and a large car park that makes it very popular amongst travellers and locals alike.
The natural colours of the deep blue sea, golden yellow sand and emerald green mountains and hills translate into a picture-perfect backdrop for a beautiful day at the beach.