If you’re searching for some Spanish sun, there’s no better place to find it than Costa del Sol, or Coast of the Sun. With sunny weather almost every day of the year, it’s the perfect destination for those searching for an epic beach vacation spot.
No matter what time of the year you plan on visiting, the warm sands and clear waters will be awaiting your arrival. Here are the best beaches in Spain’s Costa del Sol!
- Quick Answer: Best Costa del Sol Beaches
- Playa de Maro
- Playa de Burriana
- Calahonda Beach
- Playa de la Rada
- Playa del Cristo
- Playa del Padron
- Playa de Torre del Mar
- Playa El Faro
- Real de Zaragoza
- Playa Nagueles
- Playa de Cabopino
- La Malagueta
- Playa de la Caleta
- Playa de la Carihuela
- Alamos Beach / El Canuelo
- Playa del Bajondillo
- Carvajal Beach
- Playa Los Boliches
Quick Answer: Best Costa del Sol Beaches
- Playa de Maro, Nerja
- Playa de Burriana, Nerja
- Calahonda Beach, Nerja
- Playa de la Rada, Estepona
- Playa del Cristo, Estepona
- Playa del Padron, Estepona
- Playa de Torre del Mar, Torre del Mar
- Playa El Faro, Marbella
- Real de Zaragoza, Marbella
- Playa de Cabopino, Marbella
- Playa Nagueles, Marbella
- La Malagueta, Malaga
- Playa de la Caleta,Malaga
- Pedregalejo, Malaga
- Alamos Beach / El Canuelo, Torremolinos
- Playa del Bajondillo, Torremolinos
- Playa de la Carihuela, Torremolinos
- Carvajal Beach, Fuengirola
- Playa Los Boliches, Fuengirola
Playa de Maro
Highlights: Sea kayaking, snorkeling, diving, beautiful views
A gorgeous little cove, Playa Maro is certainly one of the best beaches in Nerja. The beach is surrounded by cliffs, creating a wild atmosphere as the Mediterranean Sea laps against the shore.
Playa de Maro is truly stunning. Its crystal clear turquoise water and abundance of marine life make it perfect for snorkeling and diving. It’s also a great area for sea kayaking as the waves will gently move you around the little cove.
Even if you’re not curious what lies below the surface, Playa de Maro is a great choice as you can rent a sunbed or simply spread your towel out and enjoy the views.
You’ll want to drive to Playa de Maro as it’s not really accessible any other way, but you’ll sure be glad you did.
Playa de Burriana
Highlights: Water sports, lounging, paella
Nerja’s most popular beach, Playa de Burriana is a good choice if you’re looking for a beach in this area that has it all.
This 800-meter stretch of golden sand is dotted with plenty of chiringuitos (aka little beach bars serving up yummy grub), volleyball nets, sun beds, and toilet stations, making for a comfortable day in the sun.
For adventurous beach-goers, consider renting a jet ski to zoom around the nearby waters or a kayak to explore other beaches in the area!
Whatever you do, make sure you stop by Restaurante Ayo for some of the best paella of your life!
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Highlights: Beautiful views, easy access from city center, good facilities
While Burriana is the most popular beach in Nerja, Playa de la Calahonda is the most iconic.
This is the beach you see on all the postcards, with good reason too. It’s just next to the Balcon de Europa and surrounded by rocky masses covered in palm trees, creating quite the contrast as the stone formations jut out into the Mediterranean Sea!
You’ll find everything you need at this beach, from lifeguards to toilets, sunbeds, and more! There are also loads of restaurants, so you won’t have to worry about going hungry.
This beach is known to get crowded so if you’re headed to this urban paradise, be sure to arrive early to secure a prime spot!
Playa de la Rada
Highlights: Clean environment, good facilities, good for families with kids, disabled access
Right in the center of Estepona sits the town’s most popular beach: Playa de la Rada.This gorgeous stretch of sand spans more than 2,600 meters, giving beach-goers plenty of space to spread out and enjoy the Costa del Sol sun.
This is a Blue Flag beach, meaning it has met strict standards regarding quality of the water, safety, and environmental management, so you know you’re getting something good here.
There are toilets and showers on the beach and plenty of sunbeds to rent, as well as play areas for kids complete with trampolines. There’s even wheelchair access!
When you get bored of lying on the sand, consider renting a pedal boat, wandering through the nearby town, or snacking on a traditional meal of fried fish.
Playa del Cristo
Highlights: Beautiful views, good facilities, walking distance from town
A family-friendly beach in Estepona, Playa del Cristo is a gorgeous place to spend a day in the sun. There’s very calm water and lifeguards watching over everyone, as well as plenty of amenities like bathrooms and showers.
You can rent sunbeds and umbrellas here, and even a boat if that’s what you’re looking for! The beach is an easy walk from the center of town, meaning great restaurants, shops and just about anything else you could need are within walking distance.
the best part about Playa del Cristo is that when the tide comes in, it creates a gorgeous little cove in the Mediterranean Sea, free from wind with plenty of sun… how dreamy?
Playa del Padron
Highlights: Marine life, shaded areas, water sports
Sitting outside of Estepona’s city center, you’ll find Playa del Padron, a popular place for local fishermen due to the abundance of marine life here.
Besides the little fishies swimming below the surface, the beach here is superb and perfect for families. You can either walk or drive from the city center, and there’s plenty of amenities nearby like restaurants and even a shopping mall.
Along the 1.5 kilometer stretch of beach, you’ll find lots of shaded areas thanks to the abundance of palm trees, as well as toilets and showers. If you’re feeling like doing something special, rent some water sports equipment and take to the sea!
Playa de Torre del Mar
Location: Torre del Mar
Highlights: Clean, walking distance from town, many families
Sitting on the coastline of Malaga, just 40 kilometers from the city, Playa de Torre del Mar is another Blue Flag beach known for its clean, high quality water.
Splash around to your heart’s content before heading to a nearby bar for an ice cold cerveza and some fried fish.
This beach is central to the surrounding resort area, putting it within walking distance if you’re staying in Torre del Mar. It’s also a great beach for kids so you’ll see plenty of families here.
You can easily visit this spot on a day trip from Barcelona, Spain.
Playa El Faro
Highlights: Easy access from city center, seaside restaurants
The hub of beach life in Marbella, Playa El Faro is central to the city and busy year-round.
It’s only 200 meters long, but that doesn’t deter crowds from the sandy shores and clear water at this Blue Flag beach.
El Faro is great to stop by if you’re out exploring Marbella. You can easily reach it from the center of the city, making it great for an afternoon in the sun after a long morning of sightseeing. Just remember to pack your bikini!
The beach is just next to some of Marbella’s most luxurious shops and a hop and skip away from Constitution Park. There are also plenty of restaurants just off the beach that overlook the sea and serve up delicious Andalucian fare.
Playa El Faro is a must-visit while in Marbella.
Real de Zaragoza
Highlights: Quieter area, clean, good facilities
Another amazing beach in Marbella is Real de Zaragoza which offers amazing sand quality and exceptional services.
Real de Zaragoza spans for a whopping 1,700 meters, and since it’s 13 kilometers from Marbella’s city center, it’s frequently quiet, perfect for a day at the beach on your own. There are still sunbeds to rent and umbrellas to hide under, just without the madness you may find at other beaches in the area.
Some people actually say that this is the best beach in Marbella as it doesn’t attract crazy crowds even in the summer, is cleaned regularly, and there are responsible lifeguards on duty during peak season.
There are also tons of places to eat and drink around the beach, as well as toilets and shower facilities for your convenience.
Highlights: Luxury feel, yacht rentals, celebrity sightings
A beach of a different kind, Playa Nagueles gives you the ultimate taste of luxury in Marbella. It’s an exclusive beach that draws the rich and famous in from all over. Don’t worry, regular tourists are allowed too — just keep your eyes open for any celebrities on the shore!
The sand here is a beautiful golden and is cleaned daily. Yes, you read that right, someone comes to clean the beach every single day.
The possibilities are endless at Playa Nagueles; besides the option to rent a sunbed or parasol, you can also rent a yacht for the day!
Since this beach caters to the wealthy, prepare to pay some high prices, especially for food and drink. If you’re looking for less expensive options, you can find a few, just so long as you walk further away from the beach.
Editor’s Note: Don’t forget to check our Beach Packing List to make sure you have everything you need!
Playa de Cabopino
Highlights: Water sports, nudists/LGBT, easy access by bus
Playa de Cabopino is a real Marbella crowd pleaser, with its warm golden sand and clean shallow water.
With a stretch of 1,500 meters, there’s plenty of space for all at this urban beach and plenty to do, too. At Playa de Cabopino, you’re able to hop on a boat or jet ski, or take off on a dolphin-watching excursion!
If you want to #freethenip, there’s a nudist section of the beach where you can sunbathe topless to your heart’s content.
Don’t worry about packing your own food here as there are plenty of bars and restaurants just off the beach.
One of the best parts about Cabopino is that it’s accessible by bus and there’s plenty of parking if you drive your own car!
Highlights: Accessible from city center, sunbathing, shaded areas
Right in Malaga’s city center, you’ll find La Malagueta, the most popular urban beach in the area.
It’s impossible to miss La Malagueta as there’s a giant sculpture bearing the beach’s name just at the beginning of the 1,200 meter sandy stretch.
This is the perfect place to chill out for the day. There’s plenty of room for sunbathing (sun beds are available for rent) and great water for swimming. You’ll also find some much needed shade on the beach (a rarity at most other beaches), thanks to the palm trees dotting the sand.
When you get hungry, either hit a chiringuito for a grilled fish skewer or head into town for a full meal. You’re just on the edge of Malaga’s center, so you can find just about anything you’re hankering for.
La Malagueta is easily reached on foot but also accessible by buses that stop at Paseo del Parque.
Playa de la Caleta
Highlights: Quieter area, great for strolling, promenade
Just next to La Malagueta is Playa de la Caleta, another great beach in Malaga. It’s not really clear where one beach ends and the other starts, but if you continue walking away from Malaga’s city center, the crowds will thin and you’ll realize you’ve made it to Playa de la Caleta.
This beach offers visitors an entire kilometer of golden sand, with plenty of shade, just like at La Malagueta. When you’re finished at the beach, hit the promenade for a tall glass of sangria, greasy beach snacks or a full tapas meal. You’ll be able to find it all here!
Don’t bother bringing your car here, as it’ll be impossible to find parking, but if you’re staying in the city center, a walk here is a breeze.
Highlights: Local feel, local restaurants, many families, accessible by bus
If you venture out further from the city center of Malaga, you’ll be rewarded with the gorgeous Pedregalejo Beach. With 1,200 meters of sandy stretches, you’ll have an easy time finding a spot for yourself.
Pedregalejo is set in a more local neighborhood than the other beaches in Malaga. There are loads of really delicious local restaurants around for a great Spanish meal and even a playground if you’re beaching with kids.
The beach is broken up into small bays and surrounded by palm trees which offer much coveted shade. It’s really a perfect place to spend an afternoon!
You can reach this beach either by taking the long walk from the center of Malaga or taking a bus that stops at El Palo.
Playa de la Carihuela
Highlights: Good facilities, shallow waters, water sports, disabled access
For the largest beach in Torremolinos, head to Playa de la Carihuela, which has everything you could ever need.
With 2,100 meters of sand, there’s space for everyone at this beach. Plus,the water is nice and shallow, perfect if you’re hitting the Playa de la Carihuela with young ones.
There’s a promenade that runs along that beach that’s lined with bars and restaurants, ideal for a drink or a quick bite to eat. You’ll also find people running and cycling here, if you’d like to get up and stretch your legs.
Back on the beach, you have the option to rent sunbeds or equipment for water sports. There are also toilets, showers, and access for disabled people!
It’s a really easy walk to Playa de la Carihuela from the center of Torremolinos, making it a great spot for a Spanish holiday in the hot sun!
Alamos Beach / El Canuelo
Highlights: Watching planes, many young people, barbecuing, good facilities
A beach known by two names, you may hear this kilometer of sand in Torremolinos referred to as Alamos Beach or El Canuelo.
This beach sits between the city of Malaga and the airport, with frequent plane sightings overhead. Keep this in mind because the jet engines can get pretty noisy, so if you’re looking for a quieter escape you should choose somewhere else.
But even with all the racket, you’ll still find plenty of young people up and down the beach. There are places to barbeque and lots of picnic tables; just arrive early to stake out the perfect spot!
You’ll also find plenty of sports courts and people kicking soccer balls around, with loud music playing in the background. It’s quite a lively place.
Alamos Beach has plenty of facilities whether you’re looking for bathrooms, restaurants or bars so come one, come all and enjoy a fun time here!
Playa del Bajondillo
Highlights: Popular with local families, good facilities, always crowded
You’ll find all kinds of people at this Torremolinos beach, from locals to tourists and everything in between.
Playa del Bajondillo is 1,100 meters long and features dark, plush sand. It’s a really family-friendly beach (part of the reason it’s so popular with locals), with playgrounds, swings, and even a lifeguard on duty to watch over little ones in the water.
For parents, rent a sunbed or an umbrella for some shade, and for tourists, hit the water sports rental for some fun out on the sea!
When you’re ready to eat, head to one of the many picnic areas for some relief from the sun or sit down at a chiringuito for a beer. Just keep in mind that there are always a good amount of people at this beach, even well after sunset!
Highlights: Promenade, good facilities
If you’re looking for a beach with plenty of facilities, sun beds, and a promenade, look no further than Carvajal Beach.
To reach Carvajal Beach, walk all the way to the end of the promenade and you’ll find a quiet stretch of sand. When you’re ready to cool off, either head into the warm sea or to one of the nearby restaurants for a delicious Spanish meal.
You can rent a sun lounger for the day to get your tan on, and when you need to relieve yourself, there are toilets and even showers available!
Sunshine, golden sand, and an ice cold beer… What more could you ask for?
Playa Los Boliches
Highlights: Water sports, good facilities, walking distance from town center
With a Blue Flag award and high popularity among tourists and locals, Playa Los Boliches is definitely one of the best beaches in Fuengirola.
There’s lots to do at this beach, from playing some sandy volleyball to water skis or cruising the waters on a pedal boat. There are also plenty of chiringuitos for keeping you well fed, and shops nearby that have everything you may have forgotten for a day at the beach.
It’s easiest to walk to Playa Los Boliches, especially if you’re staying in the town center, but you can also reach it by train at the stop Los Boliches.
In case this isn’t obvious, if you’re looking to vacation to the best beaches in Spain, head to Costa del Sol for unbeatable options. Sunbeds, lounge chairs, full facilities, and plenty of beach bars, these sandy stretches have it all.
All you need to remember is to pack your sunscreen and bathing suit. It’s going to be one warm and sunny vacation!
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