A guide to blue flag beaches in Spain: the best Spanish beaches

Discover the best Spanish beaches this summer. Our guide to some of the country's most beautiful blue flag beaches, with excellent facilities.

North, south, east and west. Blue skies and blue flags. Wherever you go on Spain’s coast, you’ll come across the best Spanish beaches, the perfect destinations for unforgettable summer holidays.

Thousands of kilometres of Spain’s coastline have received the blue flag, the famous distinction that rewards European beaches that offer excellent facilities and good environmental conditions.

Spain has been able to boast of being the country with the most blue flag beaches in Europe ever since the system was first introduced. With 579 qualifying beaches, Spain is the country with the most blue flags, closely followed by Greece, France, Turkey, Italy and Portugal, as you might have guessed.

If you plan to explore the Spanish coastline this summer and want to visit some of the best blue flag beaches in Spain, here are ten recommendations that you’re bound to love.

1. Best beaches in southern Spain: Isla Antilla (Huelva)

This 1.5 km Atlantic beach with fine sand is located between Isla Cristina and Lepe, and it enjoys incredible weather. With facilities such as toilets, sun loungers, a sailing school and more, it’s the perfect destination for the kind of relaxing family holiday on which you devour two novels.

This family beach in Spain is surrounded by natural beauty, but that doesn’t mean you have to rough it. With panoramic views of the Isla Cristina beach, the Occidental Isla Cristina is the perfect family hotel.If you’re ever in the mood to swap saltwater for fresh water and wash off the sand, then you can go for a swim in the two enormous pools surrounded by bars, parasols and terraces.

2. Beaches in the south of Spain: La Barrosa (Cádiz)

Cádiz’s quintessential beach is vast, and one of the best beaches in Spain. Cádiz is famous for being perfect for anyone who loves beach bars, surf-lovers, nature-lovers… so, pretty much everyone.

If there is one thing that stands out about the 6km stretch of sand that is La Barrosa, it’s the fact that it’s impeccably kept, making it perfect, regardless of what you’re looking for.

What else does the south have to offer, aside from lots of sun and great beaches?

Only some of the best fish in Spain! Don’t miss the culinary experience at the Atunante restaurant in the Sancti Petri Royal Hideaway hotel, which overlooks La Barrosa. The speciality is almadraba red tuna, and this is a chance to sample authentic Spanish food with a high-end twist.

3. Blue flag beaches in Mallorca: Cala Ferrera cove

Although they may seem repetitive, the descriptions of the beaches in the Balearic Islands, or in Majorca in this case, are always true.

They have fine white sand, crystal clear water and are the perfect temperature for endless swimming. This description also applies to Cala Ferrera, one of many blue flag beaches in the Balearics. It’s a cove tucked away between cliffs, and a place where recreational boats also drop anchor.

If you were to book yourself into the Barceló Ponent Playa hotel, there’d be no need for a car or motorcycle in order to reach this cove. The beach is directly below the hotel and can even be seen from certain rooms.

You could also take a dip in the pool or play sport at the hotel or in nearby facilities. It’s up to you!

4. Best Spanish Mediterranean beaches: Cap Blanch (Alicante)

This beach with a blue flag award gets extra points for not being one of the most crowded, meaning it’s one of the best quiet resorts in Spain. It’s almost 1km long, the water is lukewarm in summer (maybe even too warm) and there are small stones instead of sand.

It also has all the facilities you could need: showers, toilets and even a waterfront promenade for pleasant strolls.

If you stay at the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa, a Royal Hideaway Hotel, making your way to this beach is a fantastic day out.

After spending the day at the beach and eating ice cream in the town of Altea, which has whitewashed buildings, overlooks the sea and is charming with its sloping streets, you can enjoy some downtime at the hotel spa.

5. Beautiful resorts in Spain: Fañabé (Tenerife)

This stretch of fine sand and gentle waves is located on the southern end of the island of Tenerife, next to Torviscas (which also has a blue flag).

Whether you’re in the mood for some scuba diving or prefer renting a sun lounger, everything is possible at this beach that’s fully equipped for tourists.

Only ten minutes away, the Royal Hideaway Corrales Suites is a nearly-new, luxury hotel that will welcome you with open arms, and make the perfect base for exploring other parts of the island.

6. Best beaches near Almería: Agua Amarga, Cabo de Gata

The coast of Almería has countless coves and beaches that deserve every award imaginable, but many aren’t particularly easily accessible, which is a requirement to be awarded a blue flag.

One that fulfils all of these requirements is Agua Amarga, located in the region of Níjar. It’s worth getting to this urban beach, one of the best beaches in Spain of its type, early in the high season in order to grab a good spot.

South of the beach is the Rambla del Plomo fortified country home, which was built in the 17th century to protect farmers from pirate attacks.

Almería boasts nearly 30 blue flag beaches, so if you’d like to visit more than one, then we recommend setting up camp at a hotel from which to arrange day trips.

Barceló Cabo de Gata has direct access to the natural park and is an excellent alternative for families. Surrounded by nature, it features spacious rooms as well as an optional All-Inclusive programme.

7. Best beaches near Valencia: Corinto

Located near Valencia, in Sagunto, this is one of the most natural beaches around here, but you’ll be pleased to hear, not the most crowded. Peaceful and sheltered, the coarse sand stretches for more than 2km and certain areas are set aside for nudist beachgoers.

If you’d like to sleep in the capital of Turia, then be sure to choose the Barceló Valencia, a spa hotel located next to the City of Arts and Sciences, meaning it’s close to the port and the famous Malvarrosa Beach.

With a modern and attractive design, you’ll also love its rooftop pool.

8. Best beaches near Cadiz: La Victoria

3km long, this is considered to be the best urban beach in Europe. Frequented primarily by locals, the seafront promenade runs the length of the beach, lined with restaurants that serve delicious fried fish.

Cocktails are available during the day at the chiringuito beach bars or in the evening at the lively bars in the surrounding area.The Occidental Cádiz hotel is only 100 metres from La Victoria. This urban (but practically beachfront) establishment has almost 100 spacious and bright rooms for some rest and relaxation between outings. What’s more, Cadiz’s beautiful, historic city centre is only 15 minutes away.

9. Beautiful spots in Spain: Maspalomas (Canary Islands)

The enormous expanse of dunes and the historic lighthouse that looks out over the ocean lend charm to this 3km beach with golden sand and gentle waves on the southern end of Gran Canaria, one of the beautiful Canary Islands.

It’s divided into several stretches and there are sections for those who’re into everything from sport to nudism or partying.

You can stay at the nearby Occidental Margaritas hotel, which is also right beside Playa del Inglés beach. There are all kinds of entertainment options and restaurants here, along with two adult pools and two children’s pools in which to relax.

10. Best beach destinations in Spain: Arenal Gros de Portinatx (Ibiza)

This beautiful beach is located right in the heart of one of Ibiza’s most popular tourist areas. 120 metres long and 50 metres wide, Portinatx is one of the largest coves on the island.

The crystal-clear water is perfect for scuba diving or snorkelling, and the smaller Arenal Petit beach is only 50 metres away.

Anyone who’s visited the beach knows that the Beach Club at the Barceló Portinatx hotel serves the best cocktails. Half the rooms at this adults-only hotel boast sea views, and thanks to the relaxing atmosphere, if you decide to bag yourself a room here then you’ll feel like new by the end of your stay.