Top Ten Beaches in Spain

Beach in Nerja
••• Nerja, Spain. Manuel Hurtado / Getty Images
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    La Concha Beach, San Sebastian

    La Concha bay and beach in San Sebastian
    ••• Gonzalo Azumendi / Getty Images

    Spain has over 5,000 miles of coastline, much of which is graced with beautiful beaches. Though the tourists flock to the Costa Blanca and the Costa del Sol, there are gorgeous beaches all over Spain (well, where there's coastline, anyway!). See below for the best beaches in Spain.

    More Spain Beaches

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    1. La Concha Beach, San Sebastian

    La Concha is one of the best city beaches in Europe, let alone Spain. Situated in the north-east corner of Spain, near the western end of the border with France, San Sebastián is a chic coastal city with excellent Pintxos (the Basque name for tapas) and one of the nicest beaches you'll ever get in a city.

    Read more about San Sebastian

    Viator has  a list of activities on and around La Concha, if you're looking for even more adventure. 

    How to Get to San Sebastian

    There are trains from...MORE both Madrid and Barcelona to San Sebastian. Madrid is actually closer to San Sebastian than Barcelona, despite the fact Barcelona and San Sebastian are in the north of Spain.

    You can book trains throughout Spain from Rail Europe.

    The nearest airport to San Sebastian is Bilbao Airport.

    See also:

    San Sebastian Accommodation

    Next Beach >> Playa de las Catedrales, Galicia

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  • 02 of 10

    Playa de Las Catedrales, Galicia

    Spain, Ribadeo, Playa de Las Catedrales, Sunny morning at beach
    ••• Westend61 / Getty Images

    The best beach in Galicia, hands down. The rock formations created by the sea are truly exceptional. The nearest town is Ribadeo, while Foz is nearby.

    Note that Galicia, in the north-west of Spain, is not the place to come for winter sun, or even for guaranteed sun in the summer. Read more about Weather in Spain or North-West Spain.

    How to Get to Ribadeo

    Ribideo is on the narrow gauge railway run by FEVE, which runs along the north coast of Galicia and Asturias. Read more about Narrow Gauge Trains in Spain.

    To get from Santiago de Compostela, there's a three-hour bus journey run by ALSA.

    For mainline trains serving the rest of Spain, check out Rail Europe.

    Accommodation in Ribadeo

     

    Next Beach >> Playa del Silencio, Asturias

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  • 03 of 10

    Playa del Silencio, Asturias

    Coastline in Asturias
    ••• Andreas Weibel - www.imediafoto.com / Getty Images

    Voted the best beach in Asturias by 20minutos.es. Their readers also voted Asturian beaches in general to be the best beaches in northern Spain, narrowly beating those of Galicia.

    As with Galicia (see previous page), sunshine is not as certain here as in other parts of Spain. Read more about Weather in Spain or North-West Spain.

    Next beach >> Ses Illetes, Formentera

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  • 04 of 10

    Ses Illetes, Formentera, Balaeric Islands

    Ses Illetes beach, Formentera, Balearic Islands, Spain
    ••• Marco Simoni / Getty Images

    According to viajar.com, Formentera is the best Balearic Island for beaches (beating Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca) and Ses Illetes is the best beach in Formentera. They also rate nearby Cala Conta highly too.

    Though the beaches are better on Formentera, the nearby (and larger) island of Ibiza tends to be more active. Formentera is an easy day trip (by ferry) from Ibiza Town. See also: Ibiza Practical Information and Things to Do in Ibiza.

    Next Beach >> Sitges, Catalonia

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  • 05 of 10

    Beaches of Sitges, Catalonia, near Barcelona

    Sitges, Spain. Beach and church.
    ••• Ken Welsh / Getty Images

    Sitges has the best beach near Barcelona and a storming nightlife to go with it. It is certainly a lot better than Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona. Sitges is a well-known gay resort, but the main beaches are mixed. There are also nudist beaches in Sitges.

    Read more about Beaches in Barcelona or go further afield and explore the other Beaches in Catalonia

    See also:

    Next beach >> Nerja, Costa del Sol

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  • 06 of 10

    Nerja, Costa del Sol, Andalusia

    Beach in Nerja
    ••• Manuel Hurtado / Getty Images

    If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. The Costa del Sol has a reputation that I'll never be able to tarnish no matter how hard I try, so I may as well advise you as to the best to go to in this overhyped, expensive concrete jungle.

    Rather than heading west from Málaga to the likes of Torremolinos and Fuengirola, go east to Nerja. Nerja is a pueblo blanco ("white village") with pretty houses and nice beaches, though it isn't free from the big hotels that blot the landscape all around this region. Alternatively, head a little further to Motril. Both Nerja and Motril are within 1h30 of both ​Málaga and Granada.

    TripAdvisor has great deals on hotels near Nerja, and if you do decide to stay in one of the usual Costa del Sol beach towns, you can take a private tour of their beautiful coastal caves

    Next beach >> La Barrosa, Andalusia

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  • 07 of 10

    La Barrosa, Chiclana de la Frontera, Cádiz

    People walking on beach
    ••• Marichu Roma Madrid / Getty Images

    Voted the best beach in Spain by elmundoviajes.com in a very tight contest (it got only 6.2% of the votes).

    If you'd prefer to be nearer to the city, Playa de la Victoria in Cadiz itself is also very nice.

    Other beaches high on elmundoviajes.com's list included Maspalomas (Gran Canaria), Jandía (Fuerteventura), Playa del Torreón (Benicassim, Castellón), Rodiles (Villaviciosa, Asturias), Concha in San Sebastián, Corralejo (Fuerteventura) and Genoveses (Almería).

    Read more about Cadiz or check out affordable hotels in the area. You can also take advantage of the region's gorgeous weather and book a bike tour of Cadiz from Viator

    Cadiz is also easily reachable from Jerez.

    Next beach >> Tarifa, Andalusia

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  • 08 of 10

    Tarifa, Andalusia

    Spain, Tarifa, kitesurfers on beach
    ••• Westend61 / Getty Images

    Tarifa has a lot going for it: the windsurfing scene, whale-watching and a fun nightlife, but it also has something very much against it if all you want is to sunbathe: the wind.

    If you don't mind getting sand in all your creases, Tarifa will do you fine, but the area is really for active watersport enthusiasts more than beach people. It is also situated at the junction between the Atlantic and Mediterranean, which adds some novelty value.

    Be prepared to be surrounded by people that say "...dude" a lot and think shark tooth pendants are cutting-edge fashion.

    Check out some of the affordable hotels in Tarifa on TripAdvisor.

    Next beach >> Gandia, Costa Blanca

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  • 09 of 10

    Gandia, Costa Blanca

    Gandia Beach, Spain
    ••• Eozikune

    The Costa Blanca is made up by a number of small towns with pleasant beaches. Some towns are bigger than others (Denia is one of the larger ones) while others are package holiday monstrosities (heard of Benidorm?). Gandia is one of the beaches that is more popular with Spanish rather than foreign tourists, so it must have something going for it. Have a look at these Costa Blanca Beaches for more details of beaches in the area.

    Here you can find a list of cool hotels in Gandia.

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  • 10 of 10

    Playa de los Peligros & Playa de la Magdalena, Santander

    Playa de Magdalena
    ••• Cristina Arias / Getty Images

    Santander is the capital of the little-explored region of Cantabria, located between Asturias and the Basque Country. Though Playa del Sardinero is more famous, I prefer these two. Playa del Sardinero looks out to sea (as most beaches tend to, fair enough), but Playa de los Peligros and Playa de la Magadalena are a bit different in that they look across the picturesque Bahía de Santander, a bay with ships sailing by and misty mountains in the distance.

    Peligros and Magdalena are also closer to downtown Santander.

    TripAdvisor has a list of affordable hotels in Santander. It's also possible to book a sight-seeing tour of the area to soak up its breathtaking views