Spain’s diverse and enchanting coastline sizzles
With nearly 5,000 miles of diverse seaboard stretching from the Mediterranean, Bay of Biscay, and Atlantic Ocean, it’s no wonder Spain’s sundrenched beaches welcome millions of tourists annually. From the rugged, secluded coves on Spain’s Northern coast, to the dazzling white-sand stretches and aquamarine waters of the Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol, the country’s kaleidoscope of landscape offers something for everyone. As we come into the summer months once more, we recommend the best picks of Spain’s shoreline.
Situated in the north-east corner of Spain, a stone’s throw from France, San Sebastian still holds sway as the hottest spot in the Basque region. Its half-moon shaped beach resort of La Concha is renowned for being one of the best city beaches in Europe, attracting a diverse crowd that ranges from young hipsters to chic celebrities. The town itself is a hub of entertainment and activity, boasting high-class Michelin-star rated eateries, an overwhelming concentration of lively bars, and even its own International Film Festival.
Las Islas Cies, Galicia
Whilst the Spain’s north-west coastline may not be noted for its spectacular beaches, Glacia’s Las Islas Cies is certainly the exception. A former pirate stomping ground, the island is home to stunning stretches of untamed sand dunes, hidden lagoons and crystalline waters, all of which have deservedly earned it the nickname locally of Spain’s Caribbean beach. The island is now a national park complete with wooded camping grounds, but bear in mind that it is only open for public use during summer months.
Sitges, near Barcelona
Whilst Barceloneta Beach may boast some of the best bars and restaurants, for meticulous sands and serious tanning, Catalunians know that Sitges is the best place to go. Lying 20 miles from Barcelona itself, this former fishing village has emerged as one of Spain’s most serene, stylish and cosmopolitan hotspots. The town itself has a burgeoning cultural scene, drawing artsy types, party lovers and a big gay-friendly scene.
Cala Deia , Mallorca
A former haunt of the likes of Robert Graves and Anthony Burgess, it’s easy to understand why the stunning spot of Deia has drawn many a literary icon in search of inspiration. Its poetic beauty lies in its small pebbled beach, framed by dramatic rugged cliffs that reach down into sparkling, clear waters. The beach itself offers a couple of upbeat restaurants, and beyond the idyllic cove itself, visitors can explore the Graves museum, as well as the attractive hilltop church of St John the Baptist.
Far away from the thumping bars of Bora Bora, this laid-back, mystical sun-spot is by far the island’s best-kept secret. The winding, pine-clad approach down to the beach is an experience in itself, and the sight of the magnifying rock formation out to see on arrival is unmissable. Bernirras is something of a legend to those who know Ibiza, and the beach is best visited at sunset when beach-goers disperse to make way for the nightly drummers and fire-dancers.
To get to any of the above destinations, low-cost carriers fly regularly from the UK to destinations on both the Spanish mainland and the Balearics. Once there, the beaches at San Sebastian and Sitges are in walking distance from the main town. The only way to get to Las Islas Cies is by ferry from Vigo, and there are no roadways for cars on the island. Both Cala Deia in Mallorca and Benirras in Ibiza are somewhat unreachable by public transport, so a hire car is recommended if you plan to visit.