Brittany Hoekstra - March 6, 2022
10 Great Beach Holidays in Spain
Spain is a large country on Europe’s Iberian peninsula with 8,000km of beautiful coastline. There are countless beautiful beaches, pretty towns, a colourful culture plus great food and good wine – Spain has it all! Because of this, it is a very popular choice for holidays! Spain was the first destination for travellers booked on the new-style ‘package holidays’ in the 1960s and has remained a favourite and one of the top beach holiday destinations in Europe.
Here are 10 great beach holidays to enjoy:
Playa de la Concha, San Sebastián
Voted the best city beach in Europe, Playa de la Concha is a large sweeping bay situated on the northern coast of Spain, close to the French border and overlooking the Atlantic. This gorgeous crescent-shaped beach has fine golden sand and shallow water that is overlooked by the island of Santa Clara. The lovely town of San Sebastián with its chic shops and restaurants serving Pintxos- Basque style tapas- is within easy walking distance. The beach is the focus of the town as it has a broad promenade where everyone enjoys a stroll or jog together although local people often do their talking and strolling in the sea too, which is amusing to watch!
Situated in northern Spain between Astrias and the Basque Region is Costa Cantabria. It is overlooked by the beautiful and historic city of Santander, capital of the region of Cantabria. There are several gorgeous beaches to choose from and it is fun strolling along the long coastal promenade at sunset. Playa Primera de El Sardinero is the most popular, with Playa de la Magdalena and Playa de los Peligros always busy as they are closest to town. These two beaches overlook Bahia de Santander – the Bay of Santander- with its numerous moored boats and a mountainous backdrop. If you prefer quieter and more secluded beaches, Playa de la Virgen del Mar will suit you well.
One of the first tourist areas in Spain was the Costa Brava which is situated on the country’s east coast, north of Barcelona. It is a colourful mixture of old fishing villages and holiday resorts. Tossa del Mar is an attractive beach with strong Spanish character while Lloret de Mar is bustling by day and night.
Situated on the Costa del Sol, it is hard to imagine that 60 years ago, Marbella was a small fishing port backed by the Sierra Blanca mountains. Today it is a really well known place, popular for its 27 kilometres of beaches, beautiful villas, hotels, lively nightlife and excellent golf. The top beach in the area is Playa de Alicate with its fine white sand. The larger beaches have a choice of water sports and numerous chiringuitos- small beach bars. Just west of the town is ‘The Golden Mile’ with its prestigious boutiques and clubs plus the Puerto Banus Marina which is always filled with glamorous yachts
The Costa del Sol in Andalusia has been famed for its beach resorts since the 1950s. Just a short distance from the most popular, Malaga, is Nerja sitting at the foot of the Sierra Almijara Mountains. Nerja is a typical ‘pueblo blanco’– ‘white village’ and was once a fishing village, dominated by an ancient castle. With eight kilometres of beaches, it is now one of the country’s top tourist destinations. Having said that, Nerja has retained its traditional character. The water is clear and shallow and there is the choice between sandy stretches to laze on or rocky spots.
Situated not far from the dynamic city of Barcelona lies the town of Sitges which overlooks the Atlantic. This stretch of coastline is known as Costa Dorada and stretches from Blanes, north of Barcelona to Cunit – a distance of 100 km with 17 different beaches to enjoy. The beaches are all different and include large sandy beaches for families, plus secluded tiny coves with large rounded pebbles for those seeking peace and tranquillity. Many of the beaches can be reached on foot. Just beyond Sitges there are pine woods and mastic trees and the coastal path takes you through the woods and a tunnel under the railway to two small and pretty pebble bays – Playa de L’Home Mort and Platja Rosés - where bikinis are optional!
Playa Las Arenas, Valencia
This amazing sandy beach has a long history as the exclusive spa Balneario Las Arenas was opened there in 1898. it was a health centre for wealthy Spanish people who could bath in the gentle wave baths. Today, this huge sandy beach still enjoys calm, shallow waters. The promenade behind the beach has bars and restaurants that are perfect for lunch out of the sun. The one dish you must definitely order is Paella which was first created in Valencia!
Benidorm, Costa Blanca
The first tourists arrived in the Costa Blanca on the country’s east coast, in the late 1950s. They travelled by train from Alicante and soon fell in love with the Costa Blanca’s blue skies, soft sandy beaches and warm waters. Within 20 years, numerous holidaymakers were arriving to enjoy good food, Spanish wine, excellent beaches and vibrant nightlife. The beaches in Costa Blanca stretch for nearly 200 kilometres. Benidorm is the most famous of its resorts and is popular as it has lovely hotels, good shopping malls and loads of amenities. Benidorm has two good beaches too. Levante is incredibly popular and the second, Poniente, is slightly quieter
Bologna, Costa de la Luz
This is a huge sandy beach in Costa de la Luz that isn’t the easiest to reach, but the effort is well worth it! The beach is divided in three areas. The first is the southern stretch where there are strong breezes making it perfect for surfers. The large middle section has sunbeds and parasols and the shallow waters are perfect for families. As you walk northwards along the beach, you reach an area of 30 metre high sand dunes and this is always lovely and quiet! ( Take plenty of cold drinks and sun protection cream)
Tarifa in Southern Spain
Tarifa is right on the southern tip of Spain on the Costa de la Luz at a spot where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic. The beaches in the area are lovely and a long stretch of the coast is bordered by the Estrecho National Park. It is fun to sit and relax on one of the sand dunes at Los Lances at Tarifa, as you can look across the waters of the Strait of Gibraltar and just make out the north African coastline on the horizon. It is also a good spot for whale watching.
This beach is more than nine kilometres in length and has a good onshore breeze making it an ideal spot for windsurfing and kite surfing. There is a small tidal lagoon by the beach which is fun to watch fill and empty with the tides. As the sun goes down you will be in one of the best places to watch the sun set. The town has a fun nightlife too.
There are so many lovely beaches in mainland Spain where you can stretch out in your gorgeous bikini and relax while you enjoy a good book and long cold drink. As well as the mainland, there are some stunning beaches on the Spanish Balearic Islands of Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera as well as the gorgeous Canary Islands too but these are all definitely for another story….