Spain boasts some of the most vibrant cities and enticing cultural traditions in all of Europe – and perhaps even the world. While Barcelona and Madrid are definitely places that rightfully attract visitors from around the globe, you'd be doing yourself a disservice not to think about some of the country's glorious beaches on the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.
With nearly 5,000 kilometres of coastline, Spain has plenty of seascape to offer, whether you're looking for a quiet refuge, surfer's paradise or a place for the kids to play. Here are a few of the best beaches in Spain to splash some water fun into your holiday:
Island getaway: Illas Cies
With three islands accessible by ferry, the Cies are well preserved and wonderfully natural compared to some of Spain's more developed beaches. Expect brilliant white sands, equally bright waters and delicate lagoons.
The beach connecting the two main islands, Rodas Beach, is definitely the main attraction, but feel free to venture out. Take the trail to the highest point of the island for a spectacular view, and consider making a reservation to stay on the campground for a real retreat into the peaceful wild while staying in Spain.
City life: Las Canteras or La Concha Beach
For those who like the activity of the city but still want access to remarkable beaches, Las Canteras and La Concha Beach are two of the best options.
Located in Gran Canaria, Las Canteras' 2.8-kilometre stretch offers areas perfect for surfing as well as stretches suitable for family fun. Look for the lifeguards who will show you where it's safe to swim.
La Concha Beach juxtaposes a gorgeous fine-sand strip with the hilly urban backdrop of San Sebastian. Located on the Bay of La Concha, which is great for swimming, you'll have plenty to do on the beach and off.
Party time: Costa del Sol
If beach parties, energetic crowds and skyscrapers are your jam, you can't go past the Costa del Sol, a coastline that comprises a series of beaches along the southern edge of Spain. Fully developed with luxury resorts, these beaches are never deserted, with everyone knowing they're the place to be for fine company, abundant sunshine and great times.
You can also catch a glimpse of some Moorish ruins and spectacular architecture in the towns nearby, such as Malaga.
White sand simplicity: Playa de Ses Illetes
Remarkably white sand, crystal clear water, picturesque lighthouses, gorgeous island scenery in the background – you can't ask for much more in terms of a simple beach day. Located on the island of Formentera (a captivating attraction in itself), this beach hasn't been touched by lot of buildings and facilities. That leaves it open and clear for those who want to enjoy the peaceful tranquillity of the coast's natural beauty.
Just a short boat ride from the party island of Ibiza, this tropical paradise offers lovely respite and could be a perfect day trip.