The heat is rising and a summer holiday is what we crave. For most travellers, this is their only holiday of the year, so it seems silly to leave it to chance that your beachside destination will meet your expectations. That’s where we come in, we’ve asked Spanish local experts to clue us in on the 10 best beach destinations around Spain—so at least you’ll be sure that the water will be warm and crystal clear.
10 best-rated beach destinations in Spain
Majorca - Playa de Muro
In the north of Mallorca hides one of the most impressive beaches in the country—Playa de Muro. Located in the Bay of Alcudia, this beach stands out for its white and fine sand and the extensive pine forest that surrounds it. Designated as a Natural Area of Special Interest and, therefore, protected by the Government of the Balearic Islands, this spectacular beach is set within the S’Albufera Natural Park, one of the most attractive landscape sites in the country.
Visitors are sure to enjoy the more than five kilometres of beaches bathed by crystal clear waters, among which you can find wonderful hotels, restaurants, car rentals and a variety of activities to enjoy during the summer months, such as cycling, golf, kite surfing and windsurfing.
Recommended hotel: Iberostar Albufera Playa
Turn off your phone, you have come to relax! The Iberostar Albufera Playa is the ideal place to relax and forget your routine. Enjoy the wonderful views that Mallorca has to offer when you treat yourself to a beverage at the Sky Lounge Star Prestige, the rooftop chill-out zone with comfortable Balinese beds and a wide variety of drinks.
Hondarribia - Euskadi
This Guipuzcoan city is the whole package thanks to its growing gastronomic selection. Some of the most renowned chefs on the planet have chosen this coastal city to open the doors to innovative restaurants such as Arroka Berri, Abarka, Zeria, Sebastian or Alameda.
Hondarribia preserves a beautiful old town, surrounded by the only medieval wall of the province of Guipúzcoa. The narrow streets form a labyrinth of cobblestones that invite visitors to discover the typical Basque architecture, where colourful wooden balconies stand out, as well as the Baroque buildings that give it such a personality. Obviously, none of this would be the same without the spectacular 800-meter beach washed by the blue of the Cantabrian Sea.
Recommended hotel: Bidasoa River
The Rio Bidasoa is a hotel worth staying on your beach break. The light from its huge windows, the avant-garde decoration of the rooms and the unbeatable location make it a place to enjoy a truly unforgettable experience.
Taste the best cuisine in the Gastrobar Sugartoki and, at the end of the day, prepare to recuperate between the sheets of Egyptian thread. What a luxury!
Ribadeo - Galicia
Ribadeo owns the bronze medal for the third-best beach destination in Spain. This Galician town located on the shores of the Cantabrian Sea offers visitors hundreds of attractions to enjoy a dream vacation. Galician gastronomy is well known for being one of the most appetizing in the country and Ribadeo is an ideal destination to taste the delicacies that the sea offers.
The star attraction of Ribadeo is the Beach of the Cathedrals, one of the most spectacular beaches in the country where the rock formations draw beautiful arches that make up a landscape of incomparable beauty. Other essential attractions are Pancha Island and its lighthouse, the Mirador de Santa Cruz, the Puerto Deportivo, the estuary and the San Damián castle.
Recommended hotel: Parador de Ribadeo
If you want to enjoy Galicia in all its splendour, the Parador de Ribadeo is the place to be. Located in a Galician house right at the mouth of the river Eo, few can resist wandering the street of this charming fishing village. Exquisite gastronomy, spectacular views and amazing landscapes—sounds tempting, right?
Chiclana - Cádiz
The municipality of Chiclana de la Frontera belongs to the Bay of Cádiz and has positioned itself as a travellers’ favourite in search of sun, beach, sea, excellent accommodation and first-class cuisine. In the urban centre, you can see monuments of great historical interest such as the Church of San Juan Bautista and the Hermitage of Santa Ana.
The beaches of Chiclana are among the most beautiful on the Costa de la Luz—and probably the entire peninsula. The beach of La Barrosa is a beautiful expanse of sand eight-kilometres- long bathed by the waters of the Atlantic or you can enjoy the beach of Sancti Petri, inviting you to enjoy summer days lying on its golden sand. Now, if you’re a fan of golf, Novo Sancti Petri is the destination for you!
Recommended hotel: Valentín Sancti Petri
Do you want to enjoy a classic beach holiday? The Valentin Sancti Petri is made for visitors that want to enjoy everything the sea has to offer.
Located on the beachfront, you can enjoy watching the sunrise above blue waters from your room window. Stroll through the 25,000 square meters of gardens before you enjoy a refreshing swim in the well-known beach of La Barrosa.
Cala Millor - Mallorca
Cala Millor, also known as Son Moro and Cala Nau, won’t disappoint visitors. This beautiful beach is located on the east coast of Majorca has two-kilometres of sand bathed by the Mediterranean. The promenade that accompanies it stands out for its shops, bars and seafront hotels that offer services of the highest quality.
Recommended hotel: Iberostar Cala Millor
The Iberostar Cala Millor is an adults-only hotel where tranquillity and relaxation are more than guaranteed. The Mediterranean becomes your backdrop as you relax in the wonderful on-site spa, cool off in the pool or simply spend your time reading a good book while enjoying the sun.
Ribadesella - Asturias
Ribadesella is an authentic jewel on the Cantabrian coast. From here you can appreciate the imposing Picos de Europa while you take a dip in the sea next to the mouth of the Sella River. Nothing like walking the spectacular promenade of Santa Marina, where in addition to contemplating the beautiful beach, you can see the unique Indian buildings that give it so much personality.
The biggest attraction of this town is actually not the beach, it is the Tito Bustillo Cave—declared a World Heritage Site and considered one of the largest and most important references of Paleolithic art.
Recommended hotel: Gran Hotel del Sella
Few places have a charm like the coastal towns of the northern peninsula. The Gran Hotel del Sella promises spectacular views of the Cantabrian Sea, complete rest with a treatment at its spa and the best cuisine in its elegant restaurant. Let yourself be seduced by the calm and relaxed atmosphere of your hotel room after a day of discovering the charming town of Ribadesella.
Conil de la Frontera - Cádiz
The importance of this port dates back to the time of the Romans and the Visigoths and although much time has passed, the Andalusian charm has been preserved and the walls that give it so much history have been preserved—the Gate of the Villa, the towers of Roche, Puerco and Castilnovo and the Tower of Guzmán.
The 14-kilometres of beaches are a paradise of spectacular beauty. White and fine sand and translucent waters are the most evident features of the coast. Fuente del Gallo, La Fontanilla and El Roqueo are small and isolated seaside spots, while it is marvellous to see the imposing cliffs and coves of Camacho, Melchor, El Frailecillo and Cala Encendida.
Recommended hotel: Ilunion Calas de Conil
If you want the family atmosphere of a small hotel but the comforts of a large resort, you are sure to enjoy a stay at the Ilunion Calas de Conil where you will find the perfect combination.
Both parents and children alike will find fun in the outdoor and indoor pools, jacuzzi, entertainment and leisure area, paddle tennis courts and sports activities.
Colonia de Sant Jordi - Majorca
It is impossible to deny that the Caribbean is beautiful, but truthfully, the beaches of Colonia de Sant Jordi are a near-second. This Majorcan town, belonging to the municipality of Ses Salines, is of incomparable beauty with its marina, known as being a paradise for sailing enthusiasts.
With the Cabrera archipelago on the horizon, Es Trenc beach is the largest stretch of virgin coastline on the island. This corner is famous for the practice of nudism and for its warm and transparent waters. Less famous, but equally beautiful, are the beaches of Es Carbó, Dolç and Dels Estanys, which you have to access by walking along a pleasant path by the sea. We can not fail to mention the impressive salt pans, that give the name to the municipality, that definitely deserve a visit.
Recommended hotel: THB Sur Mallorca
The quality of Colonia de Sant Jordi’s beaches and the pure sea air are the perfect temptations for anyone looking to rest. Whether you’re travelling as a couple, with family or friends, the THB Sur Mallorca hotel is designed to recharge your batteries and enjoy doing what you love most—practice different sports, discover the island, pamper yourself with the hotel’s spa services.
Sanlúcar de Barrameda - Cádiz
Located between the Doñana National Park and the mouth of the Guadalquivir River, Sanlúcar de Barrameda has preserved its charm and its original architecture can be seen in the narrow and zigzagging streets. Probably the most recognizable of the city is the chamomile wine cellars and the famous horse races that take place on the extensive beaches.
And what to see in Sanlúcar de Barrameda? Beaches, many beaches! The Jara, Bonanza or Las Piletas are the most outstanding and ensure visitors a wonderful summer experience. In addition, the town hosts a large number of monuments such as the Palace of the Infants of Orleans and Bourbon, where the Town Hall is currently located; the Castle of Santiago, dated in the XV century; the palace of the dukes of Medina Sidonia and the church of Our Lady of the O.
Recommended hotel: Macià Doñana
For culture vulture, The Macià Doñana is the perfect location for enjoying the sights and sounds of this seaside town. Located in an old sea district, you will be near an array of quality restaurants offering local cuisines that will delight any lover of gastronomy. This accommodation, completely renovated, has a swimming pool, solarium and restaurant, not to mention it’s only 100 metres from the beach.
Altea - Alicante
Located between the Mediterranean coast of the Valencian Community and the Sierra Bernia, Altea is a typical coastal town crowned by the white and blue tiles of the Church of the Virgen del Consuelo (a visit is obligatory and a vantage point from where you can see the whole region).
Spend late afternoons strolling through the streets and discover the studios of artists and artisans who exhibit their work to tourists or walk to the Jaime I shopping street in the lower part of the city. Beaches? There are a plethora—La Olla, Cap Negret, Cap Blanch, La Roda and El Mascarat.
Hotel recommended: Cap Negret
The colours, the design, the light—Cap Negret is a true tribute to the Mediterranean Sea. All rooms have sea views, a flat-screen TV and free Wi-Fi; which, together with the careful decoration, make this place the ideal place to rest and feel at home.
Feature image courtesy of antic / Fotolia