spain best beach towns 0 alcudia, mallorca

Spain’s Best Beach Towns: 20 Coastal Destinations to Visit in Summer 2024

With almost 5,000km of coastline, it’s no surprise that there are some amazing Spain coastal destinations. What’s more, Spain’s best beach towns are not just facing the Mediterranean Sea but also along the beautiful Bay of Biscay and with the Atlantic Ocean, giving travelers like us lots of options for a lovely holiday by the sea. 

Here, I’ve listed the best beach towns in Spain in each region — some I’ve already visited while others are still on my wishlist based on recommendations from friends and other travelers. These coastal destinations and beach cities in Spain all have their own vibe and will appeal to different people, based on the type of trip you prefer. But for sure, you’ll have a good time no matter which beach town you choose! 

marbella - best beach town in spain

Best Coastal Towns in Southern Spain

Spain’s southern coastline is a total haven for beach-lovers! And with over 3,000 beaches and coves here, picking the best is a tough job… but someone has to do it. For a fun-filled summer vacation, you can’t go wrong with these coastal towns in the south of Spain. 

What’s more, as the weather remains mild in this region, you can even visit them in the off-season for a more relaxed experience!


This Andalusian town is not traditionally thought of as a beach town but its prime location on the southwestern coast of Spain means that beautiful beaches are aplenty in its vicinity. 

Cádiz has a few beaches within the city center area itself, most notably the popular Playa de la Caleta. This small, sandy beach is surrounded by historic buildings and monuments, making it a unique and picturesque spot for sunbathing and swimming. But within an hour’s drive, you can easily get to other gorgeous beaches in Cádiz.

Beyond the beaches, a visit to this port city offers a lot. History lovers will love its historic old town with its maze of cobblestone streets, the Cathedral of Cádiz, the Torre Tavira, and the Roman Theater. The Cádiz Museum and the Cádiz Fine Arts Museum are must-visits for culture vultures

The city is also famous for its tapas bars and seafood restaurants, which offer a variety of local specialties. Whether you’re interested in soaking up the sun on the beach, exploring its rich history, or trying its delicious seafood, this coastal destination in Andalucia is great for any vacation. I’ve visited in the winter and had an amazing stay!


This list wouldn’t be complete without Málaga — it’s a popular beach destination and for good reason! This dynamic city that has a bit of an international vibe offers a mix of everything so chances are, you’ll never be bored. 

The beautiful beaches here are of course a huge attraction. Popular options include Playa de Malagueta, Playa del Palo, Playa de Pedregalejo. Long stretches of sandy beach and crystal blue waters here will make any beach-lover’s day. 

Away from the sun and sea, you can explore the history and culture of Málaga. Wander around the charming old town, visit landmarks such as the Roman Theater and the Alcazaba fortress, and discover the city’s food scene that features a rich variety of bars, restaurants, and cafes. 

Art lovers, be sure to aside some time for museum-hopping as Málaga is home to prolific museums like the Centre Pompidou Málaga and the Picasso Museum. 

With so much to do and see, Málaga is undoubtedly one of the best beach towns in Spain. It can get pretty crowded in the summer so be sure to book in advance if you’re planning to visit in that season!

Conil de la Frontera 

If Cádiz feels too big and crowded for you, then head up the coast to Conil de la Frontera. This traditional fishing village is full of Andalusian charm.

Its beautiful beaches, coves, and cliffs make it an awesome place to visit for a seaside holiday. Beaches worth visiting include Playa de Los Bateles (ideal for families), Cala de Roche (for stunning views), and Playa de La Fontanilla (for water activities). And with a few surf schools in the area, this is a great place to learn how to ride the waves! 

The laid-back vibes of the town mean it’s easy to unwind and relax. But there’s still cool stuff to do if you’re up for some activity. Don’t miss the historic Torre de Guzman and the Santa Catalina Church. And on Friday, pop by the town’s main street Mercadillo Ambulante (off Avenida de la Musica) for a spot of shopping.


Things get glamorous and fancy in Marbella so if you’re willing to spend some serious cash for an unforgettable beach holiday, this is the beach town in southern Spain for you. 

Live the high life at Marbella’s well-known luxury beach clubs like Nikki Beach, Ocean Beach, and Puro Beach Club. Whether it’s great vibes, delicious gourmet food, and an endless flow of drinks, these beach clubs will level up your vacation. Once the sun sets, the party continues thanks to the vibrant nightlife in Marbella.

The town’s shopping scene is similarly upscale, with numerous boutique and luxury stores lining its streets. Check out Calle de Ricardo Soriano and the Puerto Banús Marina for shopping. 

It’s not all partying and shopping here though; Marbella’s old town will charm you with its white-washed buildings and winding alleyways. Don’t forget to look up to see the balconies overflowing with bright flowers!


Located about an hour’s drive from Granada and Malaga, the coastal town of Nerja is known for its Balcon de Europa, a beautiful promenade viewpoint in its Old Town that offers sweeping views of the sea and coast.

Nerja is undoubtedly a hotspot along Spain’s southern coast, attracting European and international visitors in search of sun and sea. For sunbathing and swimming, check out Playa Burriana and Playa el Salon. While this beach town attracts the most visitors in summer, its mild weather during winter means that there’s no shortage of sun-seekers any time of the year. 

Nerja’s Old Town is quaint and consists of streets that wind along the coastline and up inland. Keep an eye out for cafes and restaurants that offer sea views! The town also stays lively at night with bars and clubs where you can drink and dance the night away. 

But what really makes this seaside town unique is the Nerja Caves. Located on the outskirts of the town, these caves are a huge attraction in Spain and shouldn’t be missed. Spanning over 5km long, they consist of a series of chambers and caverns, featuring ancient paintings, stalactites, and stalagmites.

spain beach town - san sebastian

Best Beach Towns in North of Spain

When we’re thinking of beach cities in Spain, the north of the country doesn’t really come to mind… which is a shame! The coastal destinations in the region offer a different vibe while still having some absolutely beautiful beaches and coves especially along the Bay of Biscay.

A plus point is that the weather here is milder during the summer which is easier to tolerate. At other times of the year, it can definitely get chilly in the north of Spain so laying on the beach isn’t possible… but you can still enjoy the other attractions and activities in town. 

Here are my picks for the best beach towns in northern Spain. 

San Sebastián

Located in the Basque country, this coastal town is known its beaches with La Concha Beach and Ondarreta Beach being the most popular. Palm trees, long promenades, and golden sand make this town a haven for beach lovers. 

San Sebastián is also beloved by surfers who are drawn to the consistent winds and swells. La Zurriola is the spot of choice for surfing and September to December is the prime time although surfing here is possible all year round. 

Away from the water, there’s lots of lush greenery and countryside for long walks, cycling, or hiking. 

Aside from the beaches and nature, San Sebastián is food heaven. It has a lively and innovative gastronomic scene, whether it’s pintxos, Basque cuisine, or Michelin-starred restaurants. So better your belly for some sumptuous eats when you’re visiting this coastal destination. 

The town’s historic center has old churches and cathedrals, open plazas, and narrow cobblestone streets that are fun to explore – often they’ll lead you to a local bar or restaurant that you might not have found otherwise!

A Coruña

Home to Torre de Hércules, the only ancient lighthouse still in use in the world, A Coruña is a coastal town in the northwest of Spain that attracts visitors year-round.

Huge stretches of sand and crystal clear turquoise waters make this a stunning beach destination in the summer. Check out Riazor Beach, Orzán Beach, and Matadero Beach for relaxing days soaking in the sun. 

A Coruña’s medieval Old Town is worth a visit. A unique feature of this town is its galerías — buildings with enclosed glass balconies, most dating back to the 19th Century. Head to Avenida Marina along the harbor to spot the best ones! 

Beer lovers, you’ll definitely want to visit the Estrella Galicia brewery which has its headquarters here. Learn about Galician beer culture, the brewing process and top it off with a beer tasting. Perfecto!

Tossa de Mar

On the Costa Brava side of Spain, you’ll find the cute beach town of Tossa de Mar which is just a 1 hour and 30-minute drive from Barcelona. Dominated by its fortified medieval village, this historic town is ideal for a seaside vacation. 

Don’t miss hiking the Camí de Ronda and discovering the hidden coves along the trail. I recommend taking the northern route that will take you to Cala Bona, Cala Pona, and Cala Giverola. The scenery is stunning and you can swim and snorkel in the blue waters!

The Old Town of Tossa de Mar is utterly charming and full of history — in fact, it’s the fortified medieval town still standing on the Catalan coast. Wandering through the cobblestone is just magical and it’s worth walking to the lighthouse to get a bird’s eye view of the town. 


Another gorgeous beach town in Spain is Cadaqués, also located on the Costa Brava. This picturesque fishing village has a peaceful atmosphere which is ideal for a relaxing getaway. 

With rolling hills and the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean, the scenery here is dramatic. If you’d like to spend your day by the sea, head to spots like Cala Nans, Cala Estreta, and Cala Jóncols. 

There’s also some great hiking in the area! You could hike to Cap de Creus or Far de Cala nans Another awesome place to hike is the nearby protected nature reserve, Paratge de Tudela, which gives scenic views of the coast. 

For art lovers, make a pilgrimage to Salvador Dali’s house in Port Lligat and be wowed by his quirky and unique home. 

Lastly, don’t miss out on the food scene in Cadaqués. This region of Spain is home to many innovative, award-winning restaurants. Notable restaurants include El Barroco (said to be Dali’s favorite, Compartir (modern Spanish cuisine), and Es Balconet (seafood-focused). 

Lloret de Mar

Here’s another beach town that’s one of the best in Spain for a seaside trip. Known as the nightlife capital of Costa Brava, this is the place to go if you’re looking for non-stop fun. 

You’ll be spoiled for choice as there are over 300 entertainment venues here; some are even open 24/7! Just head to the main strip to be part of the action. Notable party hotspots in Lloret de Mar include Disco Tropics, Disco Colossos, and StTrop. 

And of course, the beaches here are a highlight as well. Marvel at the turquoise blue waters at Playa de Lloret, a popular beach for sunbathing, swimming, and activities. Also worth visiting are Cala Banys (a rocky cove that’s best suited for snorkeling and fishing) and Playa de Santa Cristina (a picturesque beach with calm waters). 

For those looking for a bit of history, the town has a medieval castle, the Castell de Sant Joan, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding area. The town also has a lively street market, selling everything from souvenirs to local crafts.

Best Coastal Towns on the Eastern Coast of Spain

Thanks to the Mediterranean Sea, the southeastern part of Spain is full of beach towns for every type of beach holiday. Plus the towns that are further south along the coast have the benefit of having pretty mild winters so you can still have a wonderful visit even in winter. 

Here is a selection of the best beach cities on Spain’s eastern coast. 


Valencia often lives in the shadow of Barcelona… which is a shame because this dynamic city has an interesting vibe. It’s an intriguing mix of classic and modern, with a side of beach vibes. 

One of the city’s main highlights is the City of Arts and Sciences, an architectural complex that showcases some of the most innovative and stunning designs in the world. This futuristic building includes the opera house, a science museum, and a planetarium, making it a must-visit for those interested in culture and technology.

In the heart of the city lies the Old Town, a great place to get lost and explore. Here, you’ll find the Central Market, a lively indoor market with a variety of food stalls, restaurants, and shops. The market is a great place to experience the local cuisine and soak up the bustling atmosphere.

When in Valencia, be sure to give the local drink, horchata, a try. And don’t forget paella: Valencia is actually where this iconic Spanish dish originated from! 

For beach-goers, Valencia offers a wealth of sandy stretches, with the Malvarrosa Beach being the most popular. With its crystal-clear waters and lively atmosphere, it’s a great place to spend a day soaking up the sun.


I confess that I didn’t know much about Alicante when I first visited but it quickly won me over. This beach town in Spain is swarmed with visitors during the summer, thanks to its warm temperatures and great beaches. 

Playa de Postiguet and Playa de San Juan beaches are the most popular. These long sandy beaches are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, or simply relaxing and enjoying the Mediterranean sun. But if you’re willing to venture a bit further from the city center, there are many other beaches in Alicante worth visiting

Alicante’s fascinating history is also worth discovering. I’d recommend taking a free walking tour to truly appreciate the spirit of this town. Aside from wandering the winding streets in the Old Town, don’t forget to visit the Gothic-style Santa Maria Church and the imposing Castillo de Santa Barbara, a medieval castle that offers breathtaking views of the city and the sea. 

For those who are looking for a more active holiday, Alicante offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, cycling, and water sports. The nearby Natural Park of Sierra de Aitana is an excellent place for a nature walk and offers stunning views of the coast and the mountains.


If bigger coastal cities aren’t quite your jam, then check out the small beach town of Jávea which is about an hour and a half south of Valencia. 

The town offers a lot for nature lovers. There are, of course, the beaches. Located near the city center is Playa de Arenal. It has a long promenade for strolling, plus shops, restaurants, and cafes to while your day away. The beach itself has a wide stretch of sand and it’s great for beach games. It’s also possible to rent kayaks, go sailing, or try paddleboarding. 

For those who are looking for something more secluded, there are also several smaller coves and beaches dotted along the coast. If you have the time and ability, I recommend doing short hikes to get to these secluded coves. Cala Blanca, Cala Sardinera and Cala Portixol are relatively easy to get to by foot and are well worth the effort. 

While you’re in Jávea, be sure to check out the charming Old Town with its narrow winding streets and well-preserved buildings.  During the summer months, the town comes alive with outdoor concerts, street performances, and cultural festivals, making it a great place for those who are looking for a lively vacation experience.


One of the most charming beach towns in Costa Blanca is Moraira, located just 20 minutes from Jávea. This small town only has about 14,000 residents 

Playa El Portet is the jewel here, a stunning beach with white sand and unreal turquoise waters. And with 8km of coastline here, you have 6 other beaches to choose from so you’ll be able to find one that’s just your style. Want to see more of the landscape? There are some easy clifftop hiking trails worth doing!

The town of Moraira itself is small and compact. Notable landmarks include the fortress, Castillo de Moraira, Cap D’or, and Iglesia Fortaleza de Santa Catalina. On Friday mornings, get a taste of the local scene and pop by the market for fresh produce and locally-made goods. 


A popular destination with British tourists, Benidorm’s gorgeous beaches are a huge draw all year-round but especially in the summer. 

Playa de Levante and Playa de Poniente, which are conveniently located within the city center, attract hundreds of sun-seekers with their long stretches of sand and calm blue waters. If crowds aren’t your thing, you can discover more quiet beaches a bit further out from the city. 

Benidorm’s Old Town is worth a wander as it’s located on a headland that gives great views of the city. Don’t miss the ruins of Balcó del Mediterrani and the Saint James Church with its gorgeous blue-tiled dome. 

When the sun sets, head to the New Town where all happening bars and restaurants are — you’ll be in the thick of the action here! 

Best Beach Towns in the Spanish Islands

Spain’s islands, the Baleares and the Canary Islands, are full of beach towns that are sure to appeal to many travelers seeking a fun getaway. It may take a bit more effort to get to these beach towns on the Spanish islands but it’ll sure be worth the effort!

Alcúdia, Mallorca 

Bypass Mallorca’s capital, Palma, and head to the north to Alcúdia, one of the best beach towns in the Spanish islands. 

Here, nestled in Alcúdia Bay, you’ll find Platja d’Alcúdia and Platja de Muro, two gorgeous beaches with long stretches of sand. The sea here is an unreal shade of blue-green and as it’s calm and shallow, it’s perfect for families and playing in the water.

Alcúdia also has a charming Old Town and you can explore the town walls that date back to the 14th century. Don’t miss a visit to the Sant Jaume church which was built into the city walls! On Tuesdays and Sundays, the Old Town comes alive with the local market. It’s a great way to experience the local atmosphere!

This beach town in Mallorca is best visited in the summer when the weather is beach-ready and the town is lively with all amenities, restaurants, and cafes open for visitors. That said, a visit to Alcúdia in the off-season offers a different, more relaxing experience if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of crowds and city life. 

Binibeca, Menorca

The beautiful village of Binibeca awaits you on the peaceful island of Menorca. This beach town exudes the vibe of a traditional fishing village even though it was only built in the 1960s-70s. 

Full of quaint houses in a traditional style and narrow winding streets, this Menorcan village is fun to wander around… and sooner or later, you’ll arrive at the sea’s edge. You can walk along the coastline to admire the dramatic rocky landscape and marvel at the ever-changing blues and greens of the Mediterranean Sea. Just beyond the village, you can discover hidden coves and scenic walking trails. 

This quaint beach town pretty much shuts down in the off-season so if you’re looking for the best experience, it’s recommended to visit in the summer when the village comes to life. 

Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife

While the south of Tenerife is most popular with travelers looking for a beach vacation, I’d suggest heading further north to Puerto de la Cruz. This coastal destination retains its local flavor while still offering lots of amenities for visitors. 

The town itself is lively, with numerous bars, restaurants, and shops. The Old Quarter is the historic heart of the town, with winding streets, centuries-old buildings, and cute little shops. Don’t miss Plaza del Charco, a poular gathering place for locals, and the picturesque Plaza de la Iglesia. The old fishing harbor, which is still in use today, is also worth a visit. 

The beaches here have a unique feature: black sand, thanks to the volcanic Mount Teide that dominates the island’s skyline. And with dramatic cliffs as the backdrop, the beaches in and around Puerto de la Cruz are truly stunning. Check out Playa de San Telmo and Playa Jardin. For something a bit more secluded and hidden, head to Playa Los Patos.

And with the mild weather in Tenerife, Puerto de la Cruz is an appealing destination all year round. 

Arguineguín, Gran Canaria

This beach town in the south of Gran Canaria is popular with visitors but it still manages to retain its charm and local flavor… which I love!

Arguineguín was originally a traditional fishing village and you can see the vestiges of its roots in the town. The port area remain lively and the cheerfully bright fishing boats make for great Instagram photos. The daily catch makes its way to the menus you’ll see in town: fresh fish (particularly tuna) is a fave along with stews and soups. 

If you’re after some beach time, the main beach here is Playa de las Marañuelas. Its calm waters and amenities make it a favorite with families. The edges of this beach are great for snorkeling as the rocks provide a safe haven for marine life of different kinds. Another great beach in the area is Playa del Pajar de Gran Canaria which draws more locals and Spanish tourists. 

It’s pretty much in Arguineguín all year around so there’s no bad time to visit!

Playa Blanca, Lanzarote

To experience some of the best beaches in Lanzarote, head to Playa Blanca in the southern part of the island. This sleepy fishing village has been transformed in recent years into the lively tourist destination it is today. That said, it still retains its tranquility which makes it wonderful for a quiet, relaxing vacation. 

Right in town you’ll find the small but popular Playa Blanca. Its white sand, clear blur waters, and proximity make it a fave with many visitors. There’s also Playa Dorada which offers more space and calm waters, ideal for a family day out. 

But arguably the most beautiful beaches in the area are Playas de Papagayo, a set of 5 natural, unspoiled beaches. They’re just a quick 10-minute drive from Playa Blanca… and it’ll be like you’re in a different world. 

A hidden gem near Playa Blanca you can’t miss is Los Charcones which are natural pools that you can swim and snorkel in. Admire the rocky landscape and take the opportunity to bask in the natural pools! 

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