Spain’s best resorts – which one to choose?
The clatter of castanets and sounds of flamenco, gentle sun and endless beaches, aromas of spices and the taste of excellent sherry, emotional, temperamental, but so hospitable people – all this is Spain. Having been here for the first time, you realize that henceforth you will live with the expectation of a new meeting with this blessed country!
Briefly about Spain
The Kingdom of Spain is a large European state that occupies most of the Iberian Peninsula. It is bordered by France and Andorra to the north and Portugal to the west. The shores of the country are washed by the Mediterranean Sea in the south and east, and the Atlantic Ocean – in the west and north. The territory of the country also includes the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands. According to the latest estimates, the population of the entire country exceeds 47.3 million people.
The world is famous for the beautiful architectural and historical monuments of Spain, many of which are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, numerous beach and ski resorts, a stunning, rich nature and distinctive culture. The history of the country goes back more than 4 thousand years. Spanish culture has been shaped by Iberians and Romans, Arabs and Celts, French and English, and today the country is home to around 40 ethnic groups.
There was a time when Spain was one of the most powerful nations in all of Europe! Today, it attracts more than 50 million tourists every year, among which every year there are more and more Russian-speaking guests.
Main resort regions and tourist areas
The coastline of Spain is almost entirely a variety of beaches: sandy, pebbly and rocky, municipal and hotel-owned, secluded and crowded, wild and perfectly landscaped. Traditionally, it is customary to allocate several resort areas, the very names of which call to relax on the golden sand with a delicious cocktail: Costa Brava, Costa Dorada, Costa del Sol…
East and South Coast of Spain
In the east and south, on the shores washed by the Mediterranean Sea, are the following resort areas: in Catalonia, the Costa Brava and Costa Dorada, Costa del Maresme and Costa del Garraf, in Valencia, the Costa Blanca, and in Andalusia, the Costa de la Luz and Costa del Sol. It is also worth mentioning the Costa Calida in Murcia, which is between Valencia and Andalusia.
The Costa Brava stretches along the entire Catalan coastline, starting just 40 kilometers from Barcelona. The name itself translates as “wild or rocky coast” and the gentle beaches alternate with rocky cliffs. The beach season lasts from June to October, and the average air temperature during the summer days does not exceed +28 degrees. The water in the sea warms up on average to +22 – + 23 degrees.
Along the coast there are several resort towns, the most famous among which are Palamos, Playa de Aro, Rosas, Tossa de Mar, Pineda de Mar, Lloret de Mar, Blanes. This region is often referred to the beautiful Barcelona – one of the most popular Spanish cities. Many hotels on the Costa Brava practise all-inclusive programs, which are so beloved by our compatriots.
One of the most wonderful resorts in Spain is the town of Denia, which is located on the Costa Blanca.
Did you know that you can sunbathe in Spain in winter on the Canary Islands: Tenerife and Gran Canaria.
The Costa Dorada, or Gold Coast, stretches south of Barcelona. There are almost no rocks on the coast, and most of the coast is covered with the purest golden sand. In summer it is warm, with air temperatures of up to +30 degrees and the greatest number of sunny days during the holiday season in all of Spain. Hotels in this region are famous for excellent service and plenty of entertainment for guests of all ages.
The most famous and most visited resort centers of Costa Dorada are Salou, Tarragona, Monroch, La Pineda, Cambrils, Perello. The most popular historical center, which is often visited by vacationers, is considered the city of Mont Blanc – the capital of New Catalonia, which is located inland from the coast.
Costa del Maresme
Costa del Maresme region lies south of the Costa Bravo, very close to Barcelona. The Costa del Maresme is famous for its wide, silvery sandy beaches, mild climate and huge strawberry plantations. The air in the summer warms up to +29 degrees, the water temperature in the Mediterranean Sea is about +23 ° C. The proximity to Barcelona and other historical centers worth visiting makes this region especially popular.
Hotels in resorts of Costa del Maresme are considered some of the most affordable in the eastern part of Spain. The main resorts in the region are: Vilasar de Mar, Santa Susanna, Premia de Mar, Mataro, Calella, Malgrat de Mar and Arenys de Mar.
Costa del Garraf
South of Barcelona, a small stretch of coast centered on Sitges occupies the resort region of Costa del Garraf, it stretches from the mouth of the Llobregata to the town of Cubellas. It is right along the coast is a mountain range, which formed a lot of cozy, picturesque bays and coves with beautiful, secluded beaches. Most of the coastline is a natural park. Due to the fact that the coast is protected by mountains, the sea rarely has wind and waves, the weather is usually pleasant and without surprises.
Apart from Sitges, which is known as a center of luxury, elite holidays, the resort area of Costa del Garraf also includes the towns of Villanueva y Geltru, Castelldefels and Cubellas.
The region of Costa Blanca or White Beach is considered one of the most popular in the whole of Spain. It has up to 305 days of sunshine throughout the year, it has the most beaches, which have received the international Blue Flag Award, it has the widest and longest beaches on the entire coast, and the bathing season lasts until October! The coast is protected by a mountain range from the west and it is usually warm and windless, the summer temperature is quite comfortable, averaging around +28 degrees. The Costa Blanca is particularly charming and exotic with numerous orange groves, palm trees and ficuses growing near the beaches.
Mostly on the coast there are small, cozy resort towns, the most famous among them are: Alicante, Benidorm, Torrevieja, Altea, Javea, Denia and others. The resort of Benidorm has one of the 10 best beaches in the world, and the town of Altea is famous for its art galleries.
Costa Calida, or Hot Coast, is located in the province of Murcia. The coast stretches for 250 kilometers and is famous for its clean nature, beautiful beaches and luxury resorts. The so-called Little Sea is located here – a huge bay (area about 180 km), cut off from the Mediterranean Sea by the sand spit La Manga. The average depth in the lagoon is 1.7 meters, the water gets warm to a record on the Spanish coast of +26 ° C.
On the Costa Calida are some of the best and most popular resorts in the country, including La Manga del Mar Menor, which provides opportunities for swimming in both the bay and the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Also popular are the resorts of Puerto de Mazarrone, Murcia, Cartagena, Aguilas and Lorca.
Costa del Sol
Costa del Sol or Sunny Beach is one of the most picturesque regions in Spain. It belongs to the province of Andalusia and occupies the southern part of the east coast. The region is famous for its rich history, and an abundance of historical sites, and wide, beautiful beaches, and comfortable, beautiful resorts. The only drawback here is that because of the cold Atlantic current the water off the coast does not get warmer than +21°C even in high season. But the air temperature often rises to +30 degrees and even higher.
The most popular resorts in the region are Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola, Marbella, Estepona and Malaga. Marbella is famous for its luxurious four-and five-star hotels, and the whole coastline between Marbella and Estepona provides ideal conditions for windsurfing and other active sports.
By the way, here is the famous “Golden Mile”, where the villas and private estates of royalty and celebrities of the world.
Do not miss the opportunity to visit the real Disneyland in Spain.
Find out what month is the best to fly to Spain.
Costa de la Luz
The Costa de la Luz, otherwise known as the Coast of Light, is located in the south of the Spanish coast, in the Gulf of Cadiz, on the border with Portugal. There are many beautiful, wide sandy beaches with white sand, but because of the cold currents of the Atlantic the water in the sea is quite cool (up to 21 ° C) and the beach season is shorter. The Costa de la Luz has excellent conditions for water sports, it is convenient to tour the country and get acquainted with the original, vibrant culture of the region. It is worth noting that the area is not particularly popular with tourists and you can find many untouched, secluded corners.
The main resort centers of the region are Cadiz, Tarifa, Huelva, Chiclana de la Frontera, Rota, Chipiona and El Puerto de Santa Maria. The center of the Costa de la Luz calls Cadiz, one of the oldest cities in Europe, which has preserved many interesting sights. The towns of Chipiona and Rota are known for their vineyards, wines and fish restaurants.
The west and north coast of Spain
The west and north coast is much less famous among foreign tourists, although the Spaniards themselves prefer to rest here. The coastline, washed by the waters of the Bay of Biscay and the Atlantic Ocean, indented bays, rocky promontories protrude far into the sea and there are many wild, almost deserted beaches. The resort regions include Galicia, Costa Verde and Cantabria.
Galicia is the westernmost region of Spain. Its coasts are washed by the Atlantic Ocean in the west and the Bay of Biscay in the north. Galicia is called the most Spanish province in the entire country, as foreign influence on the local culture has been minimal. The nature of the region is extremely beautiful and due to the fact that the tourism industry in the region is not yet particularly developed, many corners have been preserved in an untouched, unspoiled state.
Among the Galician resorts are Vivera, Cariño, Ortigueira, Minho, Santa Eugenia de Riviera, Vigo and others. They come here mostly not for the loud discos, festivals and crowded beaches, but for a quiet, relaxing holiday, to explore the culture of the region.
The Costa Verde or Green Coast (coast of the province of Asturias) is becoming increasingly popular among tourists who are looking for quiet holiday opportunities. It has a length of 345 kilometers and can offer guests many small coves, cozy resort towns, excellent conditions for fishing and numerous historical and architectural attractions. On the Costa Verde there is no exhausting heat in the summer temperature does not rise above +26 degrees, and the water gets warm up to +21 ° C.
The main resorts here are Gijon, Llanes, Villaviciosa, Perlora, Celorio, Luanco, Cavedo, Aviles and others. Perhaps the most popular among holidaymakers is Gijon, a large, modern city with a centuries-old history and excellent conditions for both youth and family vacations.
Cantabria is located in northern Spain, almost on the border with France. Its coastline is washed by the waters of the Bay of Biscay. This region is known for its stunning mountain scenery, amazing caves, numerous natural parks and beautiful beaches. The weather is not hot here, the temperature in summer stays around +26 – +27 degrees. The region is still little explored by tourists – mainly Spaniards vacation here.
The resort centers of the region are Castro-Urdiales, Santander, Santillana del Mar, Laredo and Suanes. It is in Santillana del Mar is the world-famous Altamira Cave, the walls of which are decorated with ancient rock paintings.
What to choose?
Leisure activities in Spain
Lloret de Mar on the Costa Brava is one of the best places for a noisy, youthful vacation. Fans of active recreation should visit the resort of Calella in the Costa del Maresme, Castelldefels on the Costa del Garraf and Estepona and Marbella on the Costa del Sol will please fans of windsurfing, and in Alicante and Benidorm on the Costa Blanca life goes on all day long!
In the northern part of the country, the best surfing conditions can be found at Rodiles Beach in Villavicios. And for fun and partying, hit the beaches of Los Cristianos and Las Américas in Tenerife.
Romantic vacations in Spain
On the Costa Brava, the most romantic resort with numerous secluded beaches and inconspicuous coves is Tossa de Mar. For a romantic, secluded vacation is perfect and tiny resort villages on the coast of Galicia.
Holidays in Spain with children
Gentle slopes to the water, a pleasant climate and well-developed infrastructure, almost all resorts of the Costa Dorada are ideal for family holidays with children.
Wonderful conditions for holidays with children are created in the town of Santa Susanna on the Costa del Maresme, in Javea on the Costa Blanca, in Estepona on the Costa del Sol. At the resorts of the Lesser Sea, especially in La Manga del Mar Menor, almost all hotels are aimed at family, wealthy tourists.
On the north coast for a vacation with children you can choose Santander in Cantabria with a huge amusement park. In the Canary Islands, Tenerife, the best vacation for families with children is offered in Puerto de la Cruz.
Rest and treatment in Spain
On the Costa Brava, at the resort of Pineda de Mar, there is a famous international recovery complex “Sport and Sea”.
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16 the most beautiful coastal cities in Spain
Spanish landscapes touch the soul, from the rugged Pyrenees and wild cliffs in the northwest Atlantic Ocean to the enchanting Mediterranean Sea, while stunning architecture spanning eras is found in every corner. Mesmerizing Roman ruins, unique cathedrals, and incomparable gems of Islamic architecture come together in a country where great civilizations have risen and fallen, leaving their indelible mark.
But despite its long history, Spain is a country that lives in the present. Perhaps it can be seen on a crowded street at midnight, when everyone seems to have left home, or perhaps when a flamenco musician trembles with his art. Anyway, when the time comes, you’ll be surprised to think, “This is Spain.”
Spain has 7,268 kilometers of coastline, divided between the Atlantic, Cantabrian and Mediterranean Seas, and many beautiful cities washed by the sea. Of these, we have selected 16 that may be some of the most beautiful in Spain.
1. Combarro, Pontevedra, Galicia, a city of granaries
Combarro, located just 5 km from the city of Pontevedra, is one of the most beautiful cities of the Rias Baixas region. It is known for the image of its granaries by the sea. In fact, it is the city with the highest concentration of granaries in Galicia – 60.
Everything in this town is built in granite, even the 18th century sailors’ houses topped with wooden balconies, paved streets with arcades, fountains or stone crosses. Rua do Mar is one of the most picturesque places in Combarro, with houses overlooking the sea on one side and typical taverns and restaurants on the other. From here the narrow streets that lead to the sea begin.
2. Cudillero, Asturias, colorful town on the coast of the Cantabrian Sea
In this part of the coast small beaches follow one after another between dizzying cliffs, and at the bend is Cudillero. Colorful houses descend from the mountains to a picturesque port that once housed the largest fishing fleet in Asturias.
The best views of Cudillero are from the observation deck of La Garita Atalaya or from the top of the cliff where its famous lighthouse stands. There are some beautiful buildings in the town, such as the Rectorate, which for centuries has been a hospital for pilgrims walking the Camino de Santiago. But the best artistic treasures are in the village of El Pito, where there is the palace complex of Los Selfas, surrounded by gardens with statues, known as the Versailles of the North.
3. Lastres, Asturias, scene of the movie
This seaside village with its steep, narrow streets became popular for being the location for the filming of the TV series Dr. Mateo. In Lastres, located on the coast of Asturias, the most humble houses are mixed with large estates overlooking the sea.
Walking (sometimes almost climbing) through the streets of Lastres is a pleasure, but the most breathtaking is the panoramic view from the San Roque observation deck, where you can see the city and the beach of La Griega. Another magical place is the fishing port with its boats of a thousand colors and two cannons defending the bay.
4. San Vicente de la Barquera, Cantabria, maritime charm
The fishing village of San Vicente de la Barquera is located in one of the most beautiful places on the Cantabrian coast, in a bay that forms a double arm of the sea, next to the Oyambre Reserve.
The Old Town, on top of a massive rock, as well as the church, the castle, the remains of the wall and the fishing port, are a must-see. The bridges of San Vicente de la Barquera are also one of its distinctive features; La Maza Bridge was built by Catholic monarchs in the 16th century; with 32 spans it was one of the longest bridges in Spain.
5. Comillas, Cantabria, the whim of an Indian who returned rich
Elegant, charming and a little out of context. This is Comillas, on the west coast of Cantabria, known primarily for its famous Indian who became one of the most influential people in Spain in the 19th century.
Its enormous Papal University is amazing, but above all the Sobrallano Palace, an ambitious building in neo-Gothic style with elements of premodernism, is curious. Next to the palace is the pantheon chapel and the original El Capricho palace, built by Gaudí as an arabesque summer residence. The town of Comillas is full of palaces, ancestral houses and charming squares.
6. Getaria, Guipuzcoa, Basque Country, in the shadow of a mouse
In the Bay of Biscay, the old town of Getaria is surrounded by breathtaking scenery: the mountain on the island, the charming port, the beaches of Gastetape and Malcorbe, the ocean and the hills of the Txakoli wine region.
Getaria is also the birthplace of Juan Sebastián Elcano, the first circumnavigator around the world, and Balenciaga, in whose honor a museum for fashion lovers was created. The peculiar silhouette of Mount San Antón, located near the town, is known as the “Mouse of Getaria” because its silhouette resembles a rodent, and the tombolo and the town center of Getaria is its tail. Katsxapo offers a beautiful panoramic view of the coast.
7. Hondarribia, Guipuzcoa, Basque Country, fishermen’s frontier
Hondarribia is the last town before reaching the border, and the French beaches are almost palpable from its docks. The border position of the town forced its inhabitants to build for their defense a large wall of stone, which in many places has survived to this day.
Inside the fortress walls, the medieval layout stands out, with ancestral buildings and narrow streets full of heritage and history, with places like the Castle of Carlos V, which today houses the Tourist Parador, or the Santa Maria Gate. Outside is the old fisherman’s quarter, Porto Ausoa, with its colorful houses, many of which have bars on the first floor. If you go up to the sanctuary of Guadalupe, located on Mount Jaizkibel, you will have a panoramic view of the Bidasoa River, Hondarribia and Hendaye.
8. Cadaqués, Girona, Catalonia, the white city of Dali
A source of inspiration for many artists, Cadaqués lies in a bay in the center of Cap de Creus, where the Pyrenees meet the Costa Brava. Its traditional fisherman’s atmosphere persists despite the many visitors.
There is a beautiful old town with whitewashed houses, a fortress, the castle of Sant Jaume, a museum, a church in the center of the town where the International Music Festival is held, and around Cadaques there is the Cap de Creus Natural Park. To expand Dali’s universe, you have to go to Portligat, which belongs to the municipality of Cadaques.
9. Calella de Palafrugell, Girona, the Mediterranean inspiration of the Serra
Surrounded by coves with crystal clear water, the fishing village of Calella de Palafrugell has retained its ancient flavor in its narrow streets with white facades. It retains the charm of its beaches, such as Port Bo, as well as the surrounding countryside.
Josep Pla spent most of his childhood summers here, and João Manuel Serrat composed his Mediterranean song. There are few places on the Costa Brava as inspiring as this city. It is a unique experience to walk the Camí de Ronda from Calella de Palafrugell to Llafranc, skirting the cliffs and admiring the fantastic views of the Mediterranean Sea.
10. Peñíscola, Castellón, Valencia, from El Cid to Game of Thrones
Peñíscola juts into the Mediterranean Sea, forming a small elevated peninsula around the castle of Papa Luna. Its silhouette, focused on a very long sandy beach of 5 km long, appears in many movies. Here Charlton Heston brought Sid to life, and the town turned into Meereen for Game of Thrones.
Although Peñíscola has become a city full of summer tourists, the old town has not lost its charm, with its narrow streets and old whitewashed houses. The fishing port, situated at the foot of the medieval walls, is a very attractive sight.
11. Fornells, Menorca, Balearic Islands, blue-white town
Typically Mediterranean with its white houses, narrow streets, remnants of castles and port, Fornells is located in a large bay over 3 km long which is part of a marine reserve in the north of Menorca and can be visited by sailboat, kayak or even scuba diving.
Fornells is the Mercadal area in the north of Menorca and its most famous attraction is the Fornells Tower, built by the British in the early 19th century, which offers a fabulous view of the coast. But its calling card is the famous Menorca lobster stew, which is considered the best on the island.
12. Deià, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, the city the Archduke fell in love with
The Hotel Deià, located in the Serra de Tramuntana, has a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea. Since the 1960s, artists and writers settled here, giving the town a bohemian spirit that it still retains today. Cala Deià with its crystal clear waters is located at the mouth of the Torrent Major River. From here start great hiking trails along the coast, such as the Artists’ Trail.
The house of Robert Graves, an English writer who settled in Dey in 1929 before his death, is a must-see. Another famous visitor was the Archduke Ludwig Salvator, a forerunner of Balearic tourism, who bought and restored the old house, which is today one of the most fabulous viewpoints in Mallorca.
13. Cabo de Palos, Mercia, a diver’s paradise
Cabo de Palos is one of the most authentic towns in the Levante. Surrounded by bays that open up into a rugged coastline, everything revolves around its little port and La Barra promenade, always full of people looking for a table on the terraces to try a good fish or a Mar Menor stew.
The old waterfront houses are on the other side of the port that divides it in two, and in them the water reaches almost to the door. Cabo de Palos is a diver’s paradise, especially thanks to the Islas Ormigas Marine Reserve. The lighthouse, which overlooks the surrounding area, has been standing for a century and a half, serving as a landmark for ships.
14. Salobreña, Granada, Andalusia, the white city of the Costa Tropical
This is a top-class beach town on the Costa Tropical and one of the most beautiful on the Granada coast. Salobreña stands on top of a rocky ledge under which is one of the best beaches in Granada, in fact there are five. Among them there are crowded, but there are also more secluded ones, and there are some incredible ones, such as the quiet El Cambron.
Salobreña is the place to enjoy the outdoors, surfing, kayaking, kitesurfing or even take a boat trip, see dolphins or go scuba diving. Those who prefer a bit of culture will find it in the Phoenician castle, rebuilt by the Romans and Arabs.
15. Nerja, Malaga, Andalusia, an eternally blue summer
It will always be the town of Verano Azul, even though it has been 40 years since the series was filmed in this corner of Malaga. But it is also a beautiful town, typical of the Andalusian coast, with one of the best viewpoints, the so-called Balcon de Europa.
The historic center of Nerja is very well preserved, with three main streets with white houses that converge in a small square, the anteroom of the Balcon de Europa. On either side of the viewpoint are the magnificent beaches of Calahonda and El Salon, and the largest, Burriana Beach, was the filming location of the legendary TV series. Another major attraction is the Nerja Cave with its impressive galleries up to 140 meters high.
16. Garachico, Tenerife, Canary Islands, an oasis at the edge of the world
In 1706, Garachico was burned alive under the mantle of lava erupted by the Trevejo volcano. The lava that once buried the city created bizarre forms, such as the bizarre natural pools, one of the main attractions, and above all, the natural monument of Roque de Garachico, symbol of the city.
Garachico is a city for strong legs because of its steep streets with cobblestone floors, worth walking through to discover its hidden corners, and its traditional colonial-style architecture.