Are you looking for the best beach holiday destinations in Spain? Having a hard time finding one? I could claim: the entire Spanish coastline is like one endless beach – and one of the best vacations spots ever. 😉
Even though Spain has A LOT to offer in terms of a holiday destination – when thinking about the culture, the history, delicious food. But what tourists most often look for are the best beach holiday destinations having the sun, the perfect beach and the ocean to enjoy.
As much as we are interested in history and consider ourselves ‘active people’, not lying on the beach (for more than 5 seconds), we ultimately look for the sunny warm weather whenever we go on a holiday.
In addition, we want the hotel or the apartment to be close to the sea, so that we can easily go for a walk or jog on the beach, look for the seashells or build a sand castle (or a sea turtle). 😊
We sat down and thought long and hard before we came up with our list of 12 best beach holiday destinations in Spain we have come across during our visits to this wonderful Mediterranean country. Our perfect and best beach holiday destinations in Spain are much more than just the beach!
Table of content
- Facts about beaches in Spain
- Our favourite 12 best beach holiday destinations in Spain
- Learn 5 easy words of Spanish
- Did you know this creepy fact?
1. Facts about beaches in Spain
Spain really can boost its tourism by having some of the best beach holiday destinations and resorts in the world. Blue flag -rewarded beaches can be located all around Spain’s coastline: in Andalucia 81, Valencia 120, Murcia 31 and Catalonia 89.
How long is the coastline of Spain?
Having almost 5.000 kilometres of coastal line, there are LOT OF beautiful beaches in Spain. Therefore I would recommend you to choose your holiday destination not only according to the beach, but what else would you like to do or experience after the sun has set, and your day by the beach is over?
Though Spain has many beautiful islands, like Mallorca, Rhodes, The Balearic Islands & The Canary Islands (no reason why not visit the islands as well!), I decided to concentrate on finding my favourite inland beach holiday destinations.
BTW – do you wish to know a little family detail? If not, skip this section 😉
We have a little family habit related to our holiday planning (totally in vain but what can you do). Each year we each pick our favourite beach towels.
Usually, we pick humorous pictures on the towels, but last year I made an exception for us adults. I bought us light microfibre towels like this from Amazon, and that was perhaps the most successful purchase of the year.
2. Our favourite 12 best beach holiday destinations in Spain
12. Marbella – Costa del Sol
Where to find the most popular holiday resorts in Spain?
Costa del Sol – the Sun Coast in Southern Spain has many of the most popular and best beach holiday destinations in Spain as well as in Europe. The city of Málaga is in the middle, and the area is located from the Granada region all the way along the Mediterranean coastal line to La Línea de la Concepción.
Costa del Sol is famous for its perfect beaches and climate (approximately 300 days of sunshine a year – hard to beat that one!).
In Marbella area, the high mountains of Andalucia make the environment interesting. There are many delightful little towns to visit, and Marbella itself is a holiday resort for anyone who would like to have a little piece of (luxurious) heaven on earth!
Marbella is an exquisite combination of beaches and city life.
Playa del Cable – Bounty beach is very popular, especially among younger tourists. It’s very trendy, DJs playing music, relaxing atmosphere… and beach parties on Sunday nights
Playa Fontanilla – Fontanilla beach is an urban beach from a walking distance from the city centre. One of the busiest & popular beaches in the area. But the golden fine sand and services along the Paseo Marítimo, makes you wanna go there again. And again. And again.
» Read more about my thoughts about Marbella.
11. Benidorm – Costa Blanca
Costa Blanca – the White Coast has drawn more & more tourists all year round to enjoy the superb beaches and villages in the area. The North side of Costa Blanca is close to the mountains and has many beautiful cliffs. The Southside is like a paradise of palm trees and sandy beaches.
The area offers something for everyone. Busy nightlife in Benidorm, wonderful beaches in Alicante and lots of history in the Moorish villages.
Benidorm is an excellent choice: busy nightlife for couples, activity parks for families travelling with children (Aqualandia waterpark, Terra Mitica amusement park, and Terra Natura park), numerous golf courses etc.
And did I mention the beaches? To my understanding both Levante and Poniente are the most popular beaches in Benidorm, Levante being quite busy (and over 2km long), while in Poniente you can have a bit more piece & quite to relax and enjoy the sun.
10. Valencia – Costa del Alzahar
Valencia – the home of paella. The city is known for its moderate climate, tasty food and art. Though Valencia has many city attractions for tourists, it actually has splendid beaches.
Where are the best beaches in Southern Spain?
Not like in Costa del Sol, the beaches in Valencia are more authentic, ‘underdeveloped” but still offering an excellent chance to enjoy the Spanish sun with lounges along lively promenades. Hence taking Valencia to the list of best beach holiday destinations in Spain.
North of Valencia you’ll find La Malvarorrsa beach with absolutely finest sand ever. La Garrofera beaches are in a more natural state. El Cabanyal – Las Arenas beach is practically in the city centre.
9. Alicante – Costa Blanca
The Alicante city is located in between the mountains and the sea. History, architecture, shopping and the beaches have made the historical Alicante one of the best-known places on the Costa Blanca.
According to our experience, best beaches in town are located along the Alicante and Denia coastline. I loved the Les Rotes, since it was kind of “natural”, not as developed and crowded as Les Marines or Les Deveses.
8. Fuengirola – Costa del Sol
The busiest beach in Fuengirola during the high season is Playa San Francisco in the city centre. It is very well taken care of and full of services. It is a small beach (only less than 500 meters wide), hence it’s easier to manage your children there. 😉
You can find perhaps the most original beach in Fuengirola El Ejido – Playa del Castillo (the Castle Beach) further down when heading towards Marbella.
Unique lines of colourful boats along the beach are a perfect scene & opportunity for holiday pics! Definitely a place worthwhile to visit!
» Read more about my thoughts regarding spending time in Fuengirola.
7. Chipiona – Costa de la Luz
Costa de la Luz – the coast of light is the Southern point of Spanish coastline, named after plenty of sunshine. The coast is located in the border of Portugal, running all the way to Taguas.
Many tourist attractions, clean beaches and idyllic fishing villages attract more and more tourists to the area, but you’ll see it is quite authentic little town.
The weather in Costa de la Luz is somewhat milder than in Costa del Sol, so if the heat exhausts you, this is your destination! Chipiona is very popular among Spanish, too and is a perfect family vacation destination.
Cruz del Mar – Play del Muelle is a small beach in the city centre, next to the port of Chipiona. Fairly busy especially on weekends, but it has good facilities (changing rooms, showers, toilets, sunbeds for hire) and nearby bars & restaurants. Easy to access e.g. with strollers from the pedestrian promenade.
Las Canteras is a small blue flag beach, which you can easily locate by following your way towards the lighthouse. High tides cover the flat rocks and create beautiful pools. There’s a parking plot directly next to the beach, and the area has good services (toilets, showers, changing rooms, restaurants, lifeguards etc.).
Camarón is another blue flag awarded beach with personal surroundings. The beach has unique sand dunes and very good facilities as well. Perfect beach for sports activities like beach volley, football, windsurfing & sailing…
Definitely one of our favourite beaches! I cannot imagine having this list of best beach holiday destinations in Spain without mentioning Chipiona!
6. Almería – Costa Almería
Costa Almería is the coastline on the South-East of the peninsula, having unique environmental contrasts. Fine beaches, clear waters, rough mountains and dessert-like areas, as well as flourishing fields and natural reserves.
Playa El Zapillo is in the city centre of Almería. It’s a cosy beach, bordered by a promenade. A perfect get-away spot to relax in the city. Somewhat ignored and underrated to my opinion.
Playa las Salinas, a beach in the Cabo de Gata outside (but close to the Almería city) is not very special itself (though very family-friendly!). BUT the village itself is definitely worthwhile to explore & experience!
Why should you visit Almería?
The teeny village of Las Salinas is known for its salty ponds – the salinas. In addition, just outside the village, you can see wild flamingos on a large swamp. (No I’m not kidding – seriously, flamingos!)
5. San José – Costa Almería
San José is an idyllic seaside village in the heart of the Cabo de Gata Natural Park. Many beaches are outside the town in the natural park, but they are quite amazing.
We have visited San Jóse during the high season, and it was full of art & craft markets.
Playa de San José – the urban beach in the town centre is next to the paseo. It was very busy at the time but we enjoyed our time relaxing on the sunbeds and playing in the water.
We wanted to explore and go a little further. We walked along the Calle Correo and found the “Tobacco Beach” together with Playa Calilla. The girls wanted to try snorkelling, and this was the perfect spot for that!
Follow Calle Ronda de San Jose to the west and you will come to a roundabout followed by a large dirt-track. A little further along this dirt track are the wild unspoilt beaches of Playa de los Genoveses & Playa de Mónsul, both within walking distance of San Jose.
4. Huelva – Costa de la Luz
Costa de la Luz area offers many wonderful beaches awarded with the blue flag. Quite many of them have white sand and dunes, surrounding pine forests offering both full service or desolated wilderness.
Mazagón is an urban beach, which is truly family-oriented, but yet it retains its natural beauty and value.
Playa el Cantil in Isla Cristina is outside the Huelva city, but the beach near the marina and the lighthouse have views over the peatland of the Natural Park to the Punta del Moral. Calm and warm waters are appealing to families travelling with children.
3. Torrevieja – Costa Blanca
I haven’t come across elsewhere the kind of natural swimming pools like in Torrevieja, Costa Blanca. They are charming and ideal for family fun time providing a safe place to play and snorkel in the water.
What is special about the beaches in Torrevieja?
The pools are created by a small breakwater and are surrounded by rocky areas and palm trees.
Two of our favourite pools you can find South of the Paseo Duque de Levante breakwater and the other one just some 50 meters further South.
Beaches Cala Ferris and Cala Piteras are small, quiet beaches in the Southern end of Torrevieja, are not so very well know. They both are beautiful getaway spots with dunes, palm trees and clear water.
2. Cádiz – Costa de la Luz
The city of Cádiz is divided into two: the old and the modern new.
Playa La Caleta is a small beach at the very end fo the Cádiz peninsula. The beach can be found in between two castles, Castillo de Santa Catalina and Castillo de San Sebastiána.
It is usually quite busy during high season since on top of everything else it is very idyllic scenery for photographs. The beach has superb facilities and services – no wonder it is a blue flag awarded beach.
The Playa de la Victoria is an urban beach, popular, especially among the locals. Promenade along the beach has very lively nightlife.
The beach is very well kept in shape, which makes it very attractive. You can enjoy the sun or various sports activities.
Beaches in Cádiz are very idyllic, pleasant and entertaining. They definitely have their rightful place among our listing of the best beach holiday destinations in Spain.
» Read more about things to do in Cádiz here!
1. Torremolinos – Costa del Sol – the ultimate best beach holiday destination
Am I wearing pink glasses?
The location is great: it is close to the city of Málaga and many tourist attractions. There’s plenty to do. The beaches are endless. Therefore I dare to state: when considering travelling as a family, in my opinion, Torremolinos is definitely among the best beach holiday destinations in Spain.
» Read more about our thoughts of Torremolinos and the ultimate guide how to spend your vacation in Torremolinos.
After spending so MANY holidays in Costa del Sol and Torremolinos, I somehow end up back there time after time. Both in my thoughts and literally. For our family, it has been the perfect beach holiday destination.
The LONG, never-ending beaches are made for strolling back & forth. The beachfront is packed with sports activities, tapas bars, beach lounges…
4. Learn 5 easy words of Spanish
No funciona (noh foonk see oh nah) – It does not work!
Palma – a palm tree
El mar – sea
La ola – wave
Peligroso – dangerous, life threatening
5. Did you know this creepy fact?
Shark attacks in Europe are rare, but the predators strike far more often than thought. The Sun reported after the 3rd shark attack in Mallorca in 2017, that “since 1900, there have been more than 200 attacks in the Mediterranean, and more than 50 people have lost their lives.” The figures related to Spain being 35 shark attacks and 7 fatal.
Hence, the best beach holiday destinations in Spain are safe. So, you should not cancel your bookings to Spain because of sharks. You are more than 3.000 times more likely to drown in the sea than get attacked & killed by a shark.