The Best Beaches in Spain for the Ultimate Seaside Holiday

written by local expert Jane Elmets

Jane always knew she wasn't destined for a desk job... She has travelled all over the world and is passionate about noodles, sloths and her hiking boots! When she isn't busy adventuring around the world, you can find her reviewing travel gear and dishing out travel tips to all the places she's visited.

Well-known for priceless art, vibrant culture, and delectable tapas, Spain has a lot to offer. And Spanish beaches should be right up there with the most marvelous things to do in this country.

With more than 5,000 miles of sandy coast, there’s more than a fair number of beaches to choose from.

Instead of the same sand and sea over and over again, each beach in Spain offers visitors something different. Whether it’s a surrounding of rocky mountains and expansive greenery, or a sprawling city sitting just behind you, you can find pretty much every kind of beach imaginable in Spain.

Apart from having incredible beaches, you can also find tons of spots for surfing in Spain. If you want to improve your skills, you can even join surf camps in Fuerteventura and other destinations.

With so many options, it can be hard to know where to start on your hunt for the best beaches in Spain. To make your beach-hunting a little easier, here are 10 stellar options to add to your itinerary right away!

Quick Answer: Best Beaches in Spain

These ten beaches make our list of the best beaches in Spain. Read on to find out more about each location, and why it’s perfect for a seaside holiday.

  • Playa de Bolonia Tarifa
  • Maspalomas, Gran Canaria
  • Playa Gran, Tossa De Mar
  • Playa de Las Catedrales, Galicia
  • Playa de Rodas, Las Cies Islands
  • Playa del Silencio, Asturias
  • Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera
  • Cala D’en Serra, Ibiza
  • La Concha, San Sebastian
  • Burriana Beach, Nerja

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Traveling Around Spain

Now before I get into all the beautiful beaches-first things first: How to get to them! Spain is blessed with a great train system, connecting most major cities. With that being said, buses are also a great way to get around.

If you are driving and exploring different areas though, we recommend renting a car. Not only will this give you the freedom to explore and travel on your own, without any tours but will also save you some $$ in the end.

To the surprise of many, car rental isn’t actually that expensive and is pretty much a no brainer, especially if you are traveling as a pair or as a family.

Click Here to Compare Car Prices

Playa de Bolonia

Playa de Bolonia, spain

Location: Tarifa

Best Time to Visit: Between April and October

A true beachy paradise, Playa de Bolonia is an untouched strip of sand and ocean located in a traditional fishing village in Tarifa. It’s a favorite among Spanish locals, but it’s slowly catching the eye of eager travelers passing through Spain.

The beach is located in the Estrecho Natural Park which means you’ll have a pretty slice of lush green nature surrounding you instead of high rises. If you venture off far enough, you’ll even be able to discover the ruins of the 2,000 year old Roman city of Baelo Claudia!

Tarifa is one of the best places to kitesurf in Spain, but you won’t find too many water sports around Playa de Bolonia. Instead, you’ll get a chilled out atmosphere with the occasional surfers, soft white dunes, and an ideal place to relax on a sunny, warm day. 

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maspolomas spain

Location: Gran Canaria

Best Time to Visit: Between April and October

Maspalomas beach sits near the south of Gran Canaria and features a massive stretch of 6 kilometers of gorgeous golden sand. Looking at it from above, it appears to be a little piece of desert surrounded by the ocean, with a city set far back!

This dazzling piece of Spanish coastline that’s up to 100 meters wide at certain points draws people in from all corners of the globe. The contrast between the sand and ocean is really remarkable as there is so much of each; both seemingly endless when viewed from the shore. It’s no wonder Maspalomas is one of the best beaches in Spain!

Along the beach, you’re able to find lounge chairs filled with sunbathers, small cafes, and beach stands that are there to keep you well hydrated and fed while you sprawl about the beach.

There are even places to rent a jet-ski or you can book a stand-up paddle excursion if you’re looking for a little bit of active fun out on the ocean!

Playa Gran

playa gran spain

Location: Tossa De Mar, Costa Brava

Best Time to Visit: Between June and August

Another extremely special beach is Playa Gran, located in the little town of Tossa De Mar. It has everything a beach lover could hope for, like crisp golden sand and a stellar blue sea all located in a little cove shaped like a horseshoe. 

But there’s also a little slice of history that comes along with this place as well.

Sitting just above the beach lie massive defensive walls from the 14th century, designed to protect the city from enemies coming from land or sea. While there’s a total beach atmosphere in the little cove, you can’t help but think of medieval times as you gaze up at the giant, looming structures sitting on the rocky ledges above.

This is a great place to swim and soak in a little bit of history while taking in the Costa Brava rays: a perfect combination for a Spanish holiday.

Playa de Las Catedrales

beach with huge rock formations

Location: Galicia

Best Time to Visit: August (Check tide times to see rock formations!)

For some of the most insane scenery you may ever see, a visit to Playa de Las Catedrales is a must. Considered the best beach in Galicia, it has all the features most people look for in a beach like pristine white sand, a wide-open ocean, and rarely many tourists. 

But wait… there’s more!

The most remarkable part of this beach is that when the tide recedes and the ocean pulls back, you’ll get to see rocky arches that can reach up to 90 feet high! There are even sea caves that have been created by the ocean eroding the hillside and forming small openings. 

You’d never know it during high tide, but there’s an amazing geological wonder just waiting to be experienced by those lucky enough to make it to Playa de Las Catedrales.

Playa de Rodas

white sand beach with clear blue water

Location: Las Cies Islands

Best Time to Visit: Between March and September

Any visitor to the Las Cies Islands will quickly realize that this is one of the most stunning places in all of Spain. Basically the Seychelles of the country, it’s amazing that this tropical paradise has stayed so pristine and tourist-free, making it a great find for all the lucky travelers who stumble upon it.

The best beach on the Islands is certainly Rodas, as it’s a strip of pure white, mile-long sand that connects the islands of Monteagudo and Faro. Just think, you can wake up in the morning, head to the beach for a walk and some sun, and end up on another island for lunch! 

The best part about this entire area is that it’s a national park, meaning there are no cars, high rises, or trashy resorts, leaving the area serene and natural for your enjoyment. 

Playa del Silencio

beach at sunset with lots of rock formations in water

Location: Asturias

Best Time to Visit: Between May and August

No stranger to the title “One of the Best Beaches in Spain,” it’s easy to see why Playa del Silencio often makes it to these kinds of lists.

Here, you have a gorgeous bay surrounded by dramatic rock formations, steep cliffs, and rugged wilderness. What a perfect backdrop for a day of relaxing by the ocean! While it may not be the best place to swim due to the rocks underfoot, you’ll certainly enjoy spending time digging your toes into the silver sand and exploring the surrounding nature areas. 

If you packed your water shoes (or flippers) and snorkeling gear, hopping in the water is a must because it’s clear and calm, giving you perfect views of life below the surface.

Read More: Best Snorkeling Gear

Playa de Ses Illetes

boardwalk to bright blue water on beach

Location: Formentera

Best Time to Visit: Between June and September

Another white sand beach that juts out into the surrounding turquoise waters, Playa de Ses Illetes is the best beach in Formentera — and arguably one of the best in the world!

Known as the “Caribbean in Europe,” you’ll get island vibes while hanging out here. The weather is beautiful, there’s plenty of room to spread out, and lining the beach are countless restaurants and bars to keep you well-fed (and tipsy) for your day in the sun. 

Salt-baked fish is the local delicacy, so be ready to find topless sunbathers munching on them up and down the beach, all day long. This is also an awesome place to go snorkeling in the warm, shallow water, or scuba diving a bit further out!

Just keep in mind that during the summer, this place gets super crowded, so be sure to head out early to get the prime spot to soak up those Spanish rays.

Cala D’en Serra

turquoise water with beach and surrounding greenery

Location: Ibiza

Best Time to Visit: Between July and August

While Ibiza may be the party capital of Spain, it’s also renowned for its breathtaking beaches set in gorgeous inlets. Cala D’en Serra is one such beach, and is certainly one of the best on the whole island!

Most beaches in Ibiza are absolutely crawling with hungover tourists or active beach-goers taking part in all sorts of water activities in Ibiza. Cala D’en Serra gives you some relief from that.

It’s much less well-known and the egg-shaped cove makes the perfect place to spend the day getting some much-needed R&R.

It’s a bit hard to find (you have to travel through old villages along a winding road until you reach a steep path that leads to the beach), but it’s completely worth it once you’re lying on the soft sand or a sunbed, sipping on sangria from the lone beach bar. 

This is the perfect place to escape the pounding music coming from beach clubs or the swarms of tourists that loom over the more popular beaches. Get out a little bit and you won’t regret it, I promise!

La Concha

beach surrounded by town and islands at sunset

Location: San Sebastian

Best Time to Visit: Between May and July

Sitting in a quiet little bay in Basque country, you’re sure to quickly fall in love with La Concha. Surrounded by stunning green mountains and islands dotting the sea, this is the perfect place to relax near the city while feeling a million miles away.

The beach is protected by the surrounding mountains and boasts a whopping 1350 meters of sandy expanses, so you shouldn’t have any problem finding a spot to yourself. The area also has calm waters, perfect for cooling off in or hopping in a kayak out to a nearby island.

Just because this beach is a bit secluded doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice a good meal. There are plenty of delicious restaurants a stone’s throw away to keep your belly full and happy while you basque (see what I did there?) under the sun’s glow.

And when you’re done soaking in the sun, there’s still plenty to do in San Sebastian itself!

Burriana Beach

empty beach with ocean and mountains behind

Location: Nerja, Costa del Sol

Best Time to Visit: Between May and September

One last stellar beach option for your travels in Spain is Burriana, located in Nerja on the Costa del Sol. The beach itself is 800 meters long — so basically as far as the eye can see. It features the crystal clear ocean on one side and a popping promenade on the other where you can find shops, restaurants, and bars galore.

Besides the sand, ocean, and promenade, you’ll be able to soak in truly unbelievable mountainous views. This is one of those places where you get ocean, mountains, and city all in one go. 

The sand is a little rocky at this beach, but there are plenty of sunbeds for rent. By way of facilities, Burriana is one of the best beaches as you’ll find showers, toilets, a lifeguard, and more to make your day as comfortable as possible.

For the active beachgoer, this is an ideal place to rent a jet-ski or go parasailing high above the sea. Talk about a glorious beach vacation, am I right?

best beaches spain

Isn’t it amazing the diversity you can find in Spanish beaches? Whether you want the sight of unique rock formations, enjoy complete seclusion, or be right on the edge of party town, there’s really a beach for everyone in Spain.

If you’re looking for a beach in Spain for surfing, check out our guide to the best surf spots in Spain. You may also want to check out the awesome beaches in Costa del Sol.

Hopefully, you found one (or ten) that suit your preferences, but no matter which you choose, you’re in for a serious, sandy treat. 

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