Close your eyes and imagine you’re on the sunny shores of Andalusia. Here, the golden sands stretch out to meet the crystal-clear Mediterranean waters, creating some of Europe’s most stunning beaches.
Whether you want peace and quiet, crave exciting adventures, or seek unspoiled natural beauty, Andalusia has it all for beach lovers like us.
The Costa del Sol promises lazy beach days with the scent of salt in the air. It’s the perfect place to soak up the sun, and every beach-loving traveler’s dream. The Costa de la Luz on the west side of the region is a place where the surf is rougher, and the beaches carry the footprints of countless explorers. Finally, there are the beaches of Almeria, offering a taste of paradise accessible only to the adventurous.
Overview of the Best Beaches in Andalucia
The Costa del Sol’s most beautiful beaches
Playa de Maro near Nerja
Maro Beach, is a true gem that stands out as one of the best beaches on the Costa Del Sol. Maro Beach offers an unforgettable seaside escape, located just a stone’s throw from the charming town of Nerja and a quick drive from beautiful Frigiliana.
What makes Maro Beach truly special is its pristine, untouched beauty. The beach boasts crystal-clear waters, golden sands, and stunning hills that frame the horizon. These rugged cliffs, known as the Maro-Cerro Gordo Cliffs, provide a breathtaking backdrop. If you take a kayak through the cliffs of Maro, you’ll be able to see the mythic Nerja waterfall and Cueva del Lobo Marino. The beach is definitely popular but rarely extremely crowded, so you’ll still get to enjoy some peace and quiet.
Maro Beach caters to a diverse range of beachgoers. Nature enthusiasts can explore the nearby Maro-Cerro Gordo Natural Park, home to a variety of wildlife and stunning hiking trails to explore. Snorkelers and divers enjoy the underwater caves and marine life just off the shore. Families will appreciate the calm waters and ample space for children to play, while couples can relish the romantic ambience of the surroundings.
Nerja, a charming coastal town, is just a short drive from Maro Beach. You can reach Nerja from Malaga, the nearest central village, in about an hour by car. Alternatively, public transportation options are available, including buses from Malaga to Nerja and a short taxi ride to the beach.
If you’re arriving with your own vehicle, make sure to come early, as parking is limited and you might have to walk for quite a bit if there are already a lot of cars there.
You might also want to bring a sun umbrella or something to create shade as there aren’t many places to escape from the sun on Maro Beach.
Submitted by Victoria of Guide your Travel
Playa de la Venus in Marbella
Playa de la Venus, also known as Playa el Fuerte, is one of the beautiful beaches in Marbella, Malaga. It is within a short walking distance from the picturesque historic centre, so if you visit Marbella on a day trip from Malaga, it is perfect.
Its central location makes it a favourite among locals and travellers, and is close to the port of Marbella.
This beach can get busy during the summer, but it is accessible to everyone. It is surrounded by beach bars and restaurants and has showers, toilets and sunbeds, parasols and lifeguard surveillance in the summer.
Because of its excellent facilities and cleanliness, Venus Beach has been awarded Blue Flags for a few years.
It is a good beach for families and any travellers; however, it is important to always check out the flag before swimming in the sea.
For those who love beach clubs, Venus Beach isn’t far from Amare Beach Club, a lively spot with delicious food options and great music.
There aren’t lifeguards during the off-season, and it can be windy sometimes, so you need to be careful if you want to swim outside the summer months.
If you want to travel from Malaga to Marbella, you must take the bus or drive there. Both take approximately 50 minutes, as long as you take the toll.
Taking the bus will leave you at Marbella coach station, and you will need to walk about 20 to 25 minutes to the beach.
Submitted by Cristina of My Little World of Travelling
Playa del Cristo in Estepona
Playa del Cristo is a lovely beach located in Estepona, a coastal town in Malaga. This beach has fine, stone-free sand which is cleaned every day. The azure water is calm and shallow. This makes the water ideal for swimming and the beach is great for just lazying around or sunbathing.
The beach is perfect for families and children as the water is shallow and watched by rescuers. The children can play safely while you soak up some sun.
Playa del Cristo is also great for those seeking some adventure. It is excellent for water sports such as kayaking and paddle boarding.
The beach is also quite popular among the young population due to its views. The sunsets on this beach are breathtaking and worth experiencing at least once.
This beach is a tranquil escape from the bustling and vibrant city. Adding Playa del Cristo to your Spain itinerary will give you a perfect blend of city adventure and coastal relaxation.
You will also find several beach bars, also known as “Chiringuito”, which offer a lovely beachfront dining experience. You can taste a variety of delicious local seafood dishes here along with some great Spanish cuisine. Charcoal fish is quite popular here so don’t forget to try it. You can spend some quiet time here after a nice swim to enjoy some drinks and food.
Playa del Cristo is located close to the town of Estepona. It is just 2 to 3 kilometers away from the town centre. You can take a pleasant walk along the coast to reach the beach or you can drive as there is ample parking available at the beach. You can also use public transportation like a bus or a taxi to get to the beach from Estepona.
Submitted by Lavina D’souza from continenthop.com
The Costa de la Luz’s prettiest beaches
Playa de Bolonia near Tarifa
Bolonia Beach on Costa de La Luz is one of the most mesmerizing beaches in Tarifa in the sand swept province of Cadiz.
It was once a hidden gem, but now, the secret has been spilled and buses take tourists from Tarifa to Bolonia Beach daily in the summer months. The once free parking area is now guarded in the summer, and you must pay (cash) 1.50 Euros for the day. If you travel by camper van, you can drive there around sunset when the guards are gone and stay the night to avoid the parking fee.
The beach is divided into two parts; the wild and free and the one with facilities and beach bars. On the wild side, you find no facilities, but you can walk along a boardwalk to see the sand dune.
On the beach, you can walk up the massive sand dune, a National Monument, called Duna de Bolonia. It is made up of sand from Sahara that has been swept across the Strait of Gibraltar and offers splendid views of Bolonia Beach. On this side of the beach, you might encounter naturists too.
On the other side of Bolonia Beach, you find a few beach bars that also rent out sunbeds and umbrellas. They also provide toilets. Besides, food, drinks, and showers are available, and lifeguards patrol the beach. You can rent paddleboards, bodyboards, kites, and windsurf, so the active beachgoers will not be bored. Flanking the beach, you also find some of the most impressive Roman remains in Andalucia, the ancient fishing village Baleo Claudia.
Submitted by Linn Haglund from Amused by Andalucia
Playa de El Palmar in El Palmar de Vejer
El Palmar is a beautiful wild beach located halfway between Cadiz and Tarifa. El Palmar is one of the best beaches near Cadiz that you can visit if you want to experience the rural countryside of Andalucia, but also if you are keen on learning how to surf. This beach is popular among beginner surfers due to the mild waves which are perfect to learn on, especially during the wintertime – which is the best season for this sport in the south of Spain. There are many surf schools here which offer weeklong lessons which include accommodation as well as food.
However, the beach not just for surfers. There are plenty of spaces to sunbathe and enjoy the sunshine. The village of El Palmar is very small but it does have basic accommodation options as well as quite a few rustic beach bars and restaurants which serve local delicacies such as Barbate tuna or chipirones.
At the end of the beach you will find Trafalgar lighthouse, which is very impressive. You can either walk to it or choose to reach it though a sunset horse ride on the beach session.
The best way to get to El Palmar is by car. Public transport is not very reliable in this area. The nearest towns are Vejer de la Frontera and Conil de la Frontera, which do have more regular bus services from Cadiz. From Conil de la Frontera you can hire a bike and follow the modern bike path which leads to El Palmar.
Submitted by Joanna of Andalucia in My Pocket
Playa de la Cortadura in Cádiz
If you’re visiting Cadiz, Spain, and you’re looking for a great beach to enjoy a wonderful day by the sea, check out Playa de la Cortadura. It’s right on the main road into Cadiz, so you can easily reach it by car, and there’s plenty of parking available.
When you arrive, you’ll see big sand hills that separate the road from the wide beach. You can choose where you want to relax and enjoy the beach. Wooden walkways will take you from the parking area to the beach. Once you’re there, you can do various things like collecting seashells, playing sports, swimming, having a picnic, or just spending a lovely day outdoors, both on the sandy beach and in the water.
This beach, located to the south of Cadiz, has a more natural and unspoiled feel, which means it keeps its original charm. While it has a rustic and natural setting, you can still find bars and restaurants along the boardwalk and beachfront for food and drinks. There are also restrooms, parking spaces, lifeguards, and public paths available.
With its rugged sand dunes, beautiful landscapes, and fine sandy beach, Playa de la Cortadura offers a peaceful beach experience away from the busy city center. You’ll have plenty of space and privacy to enjoy your time here.
Submitted by Noel Morata from Visit Spain and Mediterranean
Almería province’s Best Beaches
Playa Los Escullos near La Isleta
Located by the beautiful eastern coast of the Almería province, you’ll find Playa Los Escullos, one of the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park many hidden gems.
This beach has beautiful golden sands surrounded by impressive volcanic cliffs. What makes Playa Los Escullos unique is that it remains mainly untouched. Although it can be a bit tough to get into the water, you’ll be happy with the great snorkeling.
This beach is perfect for travelers looking for a peaceful and genuine escape, away from the usual tourist crowds. If you enjoy quiet moments by the sea and the beauty of nature, this is the place for you.
Located around 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Almería, reaching Playa Los Escullos is simple. You can either drive there, which takes about 45 minutes, or take a 90 minutes bus ride. Seemingly every picture of this beach features its beautiful round fort overlooking the beach. But it’s important to note that you can’t visit the old fortress.
Cala de San Pedro near Las Negras
There is a hidden gem called Cala San Pedro within Cabo de Gata Natural Park, a park of volcanic origin, declared a Biosphere Reserve by Unesco and home to stunning natural beaches in Almería.
This postcard beach of sugar white sand and pristine turquoise waters is a hidden gem for a reason: getting there is not for everyone.
The closest town is Las Negras, famous for its local beachside restaurants and summer vibes small bars, where your car is parked (or where you can stay). Then there is a walk from there for about 1h20, up and down the hillside alongside some beautiful landscapes, from Las Negras to this amazing beach. Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes and take plenty of sunscreen, water and a hat.
There is an easier way to get to Cala San Pedro from Las Negras, on a short ride by boat, but bear in mind it is considered cheating by the villagers who have settled to live at the foot of its ruined castle and you may hear some non welcoming whistles if you choose to arrive by taxi boat.
One way or the other, the reward is arriving at this astonishing beach and diving in crystal clear waters. Almost the entire beach is nudist and there are a couple of beach bars set up by the villagers where you can eat something (do not expect a lot of variety) and have a drink. Both for climate and tourist affluence, try to visit between either May/June or September/October.
Submitted by Inês Nunes from RandomTrip.net