Spain is home to delicious gastronomy, ancient landmarks, and almost 5,000 miles of sparkling coastline that deliver some of the best shores in Europe. Spain’s beaches are world-beating, featuring tucked-away coves, long white stretches, and glistening water.
From the windy shores of the Atlantic west coast of the Iberian peninsula to the limpid turquoise water of the Mediterranean Sea and towering dunes of the Canary Islands, it won’t take you long to find one of the best beaches in Spain.
Maspalomas Beach, Gran Canaria
One of the most beautiful places in Spain, the golden Maspalomas is almost unlike any other beach on the windswept southern tip of Gran Canaria.
Stretching roughly two miles, Maspalomas Beach is backed by the 998-acre Maspalomas Natural Dune Reserve, comprising towering dunes, palm groves and a sparkling lagoon.
You could enjoy a walk to the 1800s-built lighthouse, which stands on the eastern side of the beach. Stroll through the rolling dunes on the designated paths or enjoy lazing on the vast shorefront where watersport activities such as jet-skiing, parasailing, kayaking, and flyboarding are available.
Playa Mera, La Coruña
Playa Mera, on the northwest coast of Spain, is a crescent-shaped sweep of sand, a 30-minute drive east of La Coruña. Playa Mera is actually two beaches separated by a rock outcrop.
This enticing seaside spot is typically uncrowded, with the north section offering a more picturesque and less built-up feel than the southern section of sand.
Enjoy an energizing Atlantic swim and soak up the laid-back Galician hospitality of Chiringuito Espiñeiro, a charming bar tucked behind the beach.
El Cotillo Beach, Fuerteventura
It’s no secret that Fuerteventura is home to some of the best beaches in Spain. One of the standout shores is El Cotillo, on the northeast of the Spanish island, made up of a series of shallow coves.
El Cotillo’s water is perfect for swimming in, with the sun-kissed shore gently caressed by turquoise water.
A handful of casual restaurants, including Poke Cotillo, Happy Cactus vegan restaurant, and El Goloso de Cotillo, offer plenty of choices for a bite to eat after your visit to this blue flag Fuerteventura beach.
Barceloneta Beach, Barcelona
An urban blue flag beach, Barceloneta is one of the best beaches in Spain for its location close to the lively center of Barcelona. Plenty of cafés, bars, and restaurants line the streets of Barceloneta, a popular neighborhood and former fishing quarter.
Spanish landmarks such as the Catalan Museum of History and Barceloneta Market, one of the best markets in the city for gourmet treats, are also here.
This superlative sandy beach is easily accessible from the city center and is always buzzing with locals out strolling, meeting friends, and walking their dogs.
Flanked by a palm-tree-lined promenade, Barceloneta offers plenty to do, including volleyball, surfing, and paddleboarding, with board and wetsuit hire available from vendors near the beach.
La Concha Beach, San Sebastian
One of San Sebastian’s three city beaches, La Concha faces Santa Clara Island, which lies just offshore in the city’s sweeping bay.
San Sebastian is one of the best beach towns in Spain, and La Concha is overflowing with old-world charm, with a historic promenade lined with tall period buildings that envelopes the beach.
La Concha is exceptionally well-maintained, boasting all of the facilities you would expect to find at one of the best beaches in Spain. Chic, blue-and-white parasols, canoes and paddle board hire, and a swimming deck during the summer months are among the amenities.
At low tide, walk to the neighboring Ondarreta Beach east of La Concha. Boats operate to the small but hilly Santa Clara Island from here.
To the west of La Concha is San Sebastian’s charismatic old town. Filled with tapas and pintxo bars, dine on the region’s fabulous fare following a few hours of sunbathing.
Playa de Papagayo, Lanzarote
Pack a snorkel and goggles for a visit to the incomparable Playa de Papagayo, located within the otherwise-barren Los Ajaches National Park on the southern tip of Lanzarote. The beach is nestled between volcanic rock formations and the water here is crystal clear, and sand powder soft.
Facilities on the beach are limited, which is very much part of Papagayo’s allure. There is, however, a chic bar and restaurant, Go Papagayo, located on the cliff, offering yoga and brunch, catamaran cruises, and a mouthwatering menu that celebrates local produce.
Cala Mondragó, Mallorca
Cala Mondrago is a glorious sun-soaked cove in the southeast of Mallorca—the largest of the Balearic Islands—just under an hour’s drive from Palma.
The surrounding landscape of green pine forest, part of a 1,893-acre natural park, contrasts beautifully with the cerulean-hued water.
The calm ripples of the shallow sea are a magnet to beachgoers, luring travelers into the water to swim and snorkel. After a dip, cool off with a refreshing drink at the beach bar.
Rodas Beach, Cíes Islands, Vigo
The sensational Cíes Islands National Park is unheard of by many travelers, making its shores among the best in Spain for their remote feel.
Part of a three-island archipelago off the northwest coast of Galicia in the mouth of the Ria de Vigo in the Atlantic Ocean, you can reach these beautiful islands by a short ferry ride from Vigo.
Due to the islands’ protected status, local authorities limit the number of daily visitors allowed to the Cíes Islands, which means you will need to pre-arrange a pass before your trip.
The windswept Cíes Islands are car and bike free, adding to their remote feel, with plenty of opportunities to experience Spain’s nature. Stick to designated walking routes, with various lengths available, from easy walks to rambles on more challenging terrain.
All of Cíes Islands’ beaches are unspoiled beauties, though Rodas stands out for its long chalk-like strip, surrounded by picturesque dunes and pine trees.
Enjoy a relaxing lunch at Rodas Restaurant, located in a former salting factory near the beach. Book a table on the covered outdoor terrace, which offers magnificent views of Lake Cíes and Rodas Beach.
Las Salinas Beach, Ibiza
Spain’s beaches are known for their fine blond sand, tranquil water, and typically buzzy ambiance, and the sensational Las Salinas on Ibiza delivers all three.
On the island’s southern tip, facing Formentera, Las Salinas is located within Las Salinas Natural Park, which boasts UNESCO World Heritage status. Visiting the protected park is one of the best things to do in Ibiza, as it is home to vast salt flats, gorgeous, secluded beaches, and a unique marine ecosystem featuring dense seagrass.
Follow the path and wander through the fragrant pine forest to reach Las Salinas Beach, one of the best beaches in the Mediterranean. You’ll be met by gentle azure waves and the sight of softly bobbing superyachts and boats in the bay.
A handful of extremely fashionable beach clubs are on hand to offer excellent seafood, salads, and cocktails.
Playa Jardín, Tenerife
Playa Jardín is a volcanic, charcoal-colored beach made up of three coves—Castillo, Charcón, and Punta Brava—in the popular Tenerife town of Puerto de la Cruz, on the island’s north coast.
Playa Jardín is one of the best beaches in Spain for the cactus and palm-filled gardens that surround the beach, designed by Canarian artist César Manrique in the 1990s. A wide-open promenade connects Playa Jardín’s three coves, where you can swim, surf, and sunbathe.
The stunning ocean views and abundance of facilities will keep you here all day.
Read: Best Beaches in Tenerife
Bajondillo Beach, Malaga
El Bajondillo is a long swathe of pure white sand in the popular resort of Torremolinos, between La Carihuela and Playamar, on Spain’s Costa del Sol—an area renowned for its beaches.
Easy to get to—just a 30-minute drive or 35-minute train journey south of Malaga—El Bajondillo is one of the best beaches in Spain for a fun-filled family day out. Relax on a sunbed and build castles in the sand. Rent a paddle boat and enjoy a dip in the warm Mediterranean Sea.
Inflatable watersports, jet skis, kayaks, and parasailing are available for hire. The promenade offers tapas bars, cafes, and general stores selling everything from postcards to cold drinks and ice cream. Look out for local fishermen grilling sardines on skewers over little fires in the sand. This is a delicious regional specialty and an old tradition that lives on today.
Read: Best Beaches in Malaga
La Caleta Beach, Cadiz
If you’re in Andalucia, make a trip to La Caleta Beach in the historic port of Cadiz. Central to the beach is the pristine white building of the Underwater Archaeology Center, part of the University of Cádiz.
Nestled between two Spanish castles, San Sebastián and Santa Catalina, La Caleta has excellent facilities and is backed by the city’s atmospheric old town, with its laneways of traditional whitewashed buildings, cobblestone streets, and a Baroque cathedral.
Enjoy a walk on the sand, paddle in the water, and follow up with a satisfyingly long tapas lunch in one of the old town’s traditional restaurants.
San Juan Beach, Alicante
A 15-minute drive north of Alicante, San Juan Beach is a gorgeous strip of creamy sand.
A trip to this beach is one of the best things to do in Alicante, as its spacious shore offers plenty of space for sunbathing and relaxing. The water is safe for swimming, and the beach offers sun loungers and parasols. Watersports and a choice of dining options are available by the waterfront.
Platges de Comte, Ibiza
Platges de Comte is an idyllic beach with three sandy coves on Ibiza’s west coast, facing two small islets. Arrive at Platges de Comte early. This beautiful spot hasn’t gone unnoticed by party crowds and visiting families in Ibiza.
Facilities include sun loungers, thatched parasols, and watersports hire. The water on Platges de Comte is shallow and offers perfect conditions for snorkeling.
Reserve seats on the terrace of Sunset Ashram, Platges de Comte’s bohemian restaurant with DJs, delicious dishes, and tempting drinks. It’s one of the island’s most popular sunset-watching spots as the heat of the day begins to fade.
Playa de Riazor, La Coruña
Riazor, one of La Coruña’s two main city beaches, is a treasured Blue Flag stretch on the northwest coast of mainland Spain.
Enjoy a walk around the attractive promenade that borders Riazor and the neighboring Playa del Orzán, which share the half-moon bay.
If you’re keen to take in some of La Coruña’s history, continue from Riazor to the Tower of Hercules, the oldest working lighthouse in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Climb to the top of the lighthouse for far-reach views of the Galicia coastline.
Playa de Son Maties, Mallorca
Playa de Son Maties is a long Blue Flag beach with rows of sun parasols and loungers, located southwest of Palma. Playa de Son Maties is next to Palma Nova beach, though Playa de Son Maties is longer and deeper.
This is a lovely family-friendly spot with plenty of space for children to play and for adults to stretch out under the sun.
Ice cream kiosks, bathrooms, watersports, lifeguards, and a selection of bars and restaurants make Playa de Son Maties one of the best beaches in Mallorca.
Canet d’en Berenguer Beach, Valencia
Near the vibrant city of Valencia on Spain’s Costa del Azahar, Canet d’En Berenguer is dotted with wispy dunes and lofty palm trees.
At the southern tip of Canet d’En Berenguer there’s a small marina surrounded by the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. To the north side, Canet d’En Berenguer rolls into Racó de Mar, another beautiful, expansive beach in Valencia.
Following a leisurely spell on the beach, find a restaurant and order the regional specialty of fragrant paella. The dish originates in Valencia, often served piled with jumbo shrimp, plump mussels, and tender calamari.
Browse Celebrity’s luxury cruises to Spain to explore exciting cities such as Vigo, Barcelona, Valencia, and Palma, and uncover some of the Mediterranean’s most dazzling beaches.