Best Beaches in Southern Spain to Escape from the Busy Lifebest beaches in southern spain, andalusia, spain, beach time, murcia, cartagena, beaches near seville, beahes near malaga, costa del sol

Spain is the third most visited country in the world. This land of siesta and fiesta has a vibrant culture and a fabulous culinary scene not to mention its boundless landscapes. While the majority of visitors flock to Madrid, Barcelona or Ibiza, Southern Spain has an allure all its own. Andalusia is particularly coveted for its warm climate and beaches. Pack your bikini as today, I bring you the best beaches in Southern Spain!

This unique region houses some of the country’s oldest historic sites most intricate architecture (such as Seville or Cadiz), tantalizing cuisine, and the best beaches in Spain found nowhere else in the world.

Southern Spain has scenic beaches offering an escape from the busy city life, to those action-packed with thrilling water sports, parties and adventure. There are plenty of options if you are looking for a beach holiday here.

Here, I will walk you through the best beaches in Southern Spain according to your preference. I have visited most of the beaches in this post. Some are still on my list though!

So, without much ado; let’s get started and go for beach time in Spain!

1. Best Beaches in Southern Spain for Surfers

valdevaqueros beach, best beaches in southern spain for surfingValdevaqueros, Tarifa

Valdevaqueros, Tarifa is one of the most famous beaches in the south of Spain for wind and kitesurfing. Its famously windy climate has made it the kitesurfing capital of Europe, with adrenaline junkies flocking here to enjoy the monster waves.

There are clearly demarcated zones for kitesurfing, windsurfing, and bathing. You can go kitesurfing all year round but the best months are between May and November.

Whether you are participating in some seaside sports or are more content sitting in the pristine, white sand and watching the world go by, there is always something to do here.

This beach is not only great for adventurers but also for families with kids and various amenities:

  • Beach bars and restaurants
  • Public restrooms and changing rooms
  • Police surveillance
  • Parkings
  • Kite schools (they rent out equipment as well)
  • Campings

How to get there

Valdevaqueros Beach is located 10 km northwest of Tarifa, that’s reached by a short drive along the lovely coastal N340. You can even take a bus running from Tarifa to the beach. Tarifa is also a perfect day trip from Seville.

kite surfer in southern spain beachPlaya El Palmar, Cadiz

Considered one of the most virgin areas of the province of Cadiz, Playa El Palmar is one of the best beaches to visit in Spain. It is a beautiful and huge beach with extraordinary conditions for surfing, bodyboarding, and a myriad of adventure sports.

It is a paradise for surfers and the best time to visit here is between October and May.

The waters at Playa El Palmar are very clean and shallow. They invite to bath and make it an ideal beach for children too.

Although there is no urbanization on the beach, it has many services such as:

  • Small shops
  • Lifeguards
  • Restaurants with toilets
  • Craft stalls
  • Bars
  • Outdoor parkings

How to get there

Playa El Palmar is well connected through the A-2233, which connects Conil de la Frontera with Barbate. It passes along  El Palmar, Zahora and Los Canos de Meca.

When travelling on this road, it is common to see country houses, orchards, and livestock. The access to Playa El Palmar is through wooden walkways in order to preserve and conserve the dune system that surrounds its entire coastline.

cortadura beach in cadiz, southern spainCortadura Beach, Cadiz

Cortadura is a huge beach which lies between the township of San Fernando and the town of Cadiz. It has a big group of sand dunes of high biological value. This beach has fine-grained golden sand and has been awarded seven blue flags.

This means that it meets stringent environmental and quality standards.

It is one of the most popular off-the-beaten-path Spain attractions.

The coastline of Cortadura beach is a great place to have your first contact with the surf since the waves here are soft. Cortadura beach is one of the best beaches in Spain mainland to practice and advance in kitesurfing, as well as enjoy and view some wild vegetation.

The beach is well-equipped with:

  • Restaurants and toilets
  • Showers and changing rooms
  • Lifeguards
  • Sun loungers
  • Kitesurf schools and shops

How to get there

Cortadura Beach is located at about 4 km from Cadiz and can be reached by train, bus or taxi.

The train departs from Cadiz station on an hourly basis. The bus service departs from Audiencia Provincial station. When you reach Cortadura, the access points to the beach are through wooden boardwalks.

barbate beach in southern spainHierbabuena Beach, Barbate

With the Natural Park of the cliffs of Barbate, Hierbabuena Beach is one of the best beaches in Spain Mediterranean area for surfers. Visit this beach if you are a big fan of the sport.

The local food served here, the almadraba red tuna, is the perfect meal to recover from the energy spent practicing surf. Barbate itself, a small fishing village, is well worth a visit too. Indeed, Barbate is famous for selling some of the best tuna fish in the world.

This amazing beach has very clean waters and fresh, golden and fine sand. At one end of the beach, nudism is practiced. From the beach, you can reach the pine forest that is declared as the Natural Park of the Acantilado and Pinar de Barbate.

The facilities available at the beach include:

  • Refreshment stalls
  • Surf practice areas
  • Scuba diving areas
  • Toilets and showers
  • Parking space close to the beach for up to 100 vehicles

How to get there

Hierbabuena Beach can be reached on foot, by car or you can even take a bus. The nearest road is the A314 which connects Barbate with Vejar de la Frontera.

2. Best Beaches in Southern Spain to Relax and Enjoy

best beach in southern spain to relax, maro beachPlaya de Maro, Malaga

The Playa de Maro is one of the best beaches in Malaga located in the Nerja province (also known as Cala de Maro). It’s also very close to the Costa Tropical, close to Granada. It is thus the perfect day trip from Malaga.

Maro beach is a hidden gem among the natural area of the Cliffs of Maro, agricultural land from which you can see the remains of an ancient Arab watchtower enclave. All this gives it a special, wild charm.

The dark sand and limpid and turquoise waters make it an ideal spot to do snorkeling or diving and discovering an impressive array of marine fauna. However, if you don’t want to go diving, you can hire a sunbed and bask in the sun.

This makes Maro Beach a perfect place to unwind and escape from the busy city life. A snack bar provides all the necessary refreshments and sustenance, including full meals.

The other facilities available include:

  • Beach showers and toilets
  • Warning signals
  • Kayaks
  • Sunbeds

How to get there

Playa de Maro is located near Nerja, approximately 62 km east of Malaga.

Follow the signs on the coastal highway E15/A7, Autovia del Mediterraneo and take the Nerja-Maro exit (near 295). Playa de Maro is well signposted and if you are visiting the area in summer, get there early to find a parking space along the road, close to the beach.

If not, you may have to park 1000 meters from the beach and walk 15 to 20 minutes to reach the spot.

best beaches near almeria, cabo de gata, cabo de gata beaches, barcelo resort, best beaches in almeria, natural park, hiking, trekking, sustainable travel, spain, andalucia, andalusiaPlaya Las Salinas, Almeria

The beach of Las Salinas is the biggest in the Natural Park of Cabo de Gata, close to Almeria. The variety of sand satisfies everyone’s preferences, making it an ideal place to spend a relaxing sunny day with your family.

Enjoy the picturesque church of Las Salinas from the middle of the beach with various unique spots to watch the birds of the natural ornithological reserve of Las Salinas. You can even spot flamingos. From here, it is only a stone’s throw to the salt mines 

This beach is entirely outside the urban area, so there aren’t any bars or restaurants. You need to bring everything to have a relaxing and enjoyable day at the beach. Showers and toilet facilities are available.

Read more here about the best beaches in Cabo de Gata, near Almeria.

How to get there

Playa Las Salinas can be reached by car. The road runs parallel to the beach and you can park your car right on the side of the beach. The access to the beach from the road is through wooden walkways.

el portil, el rompido beach, huelva, spainEl Rompido, Huelva

East of the marshland of the River Piedras and Flecha de El Rompido, lies El Rompido beach, flanked by a beautiful fishing port.

The majestic views of the sandy formation known as Flecha del Rompido will fill your eyes. If you fancy getting closer, Flecha can be reached by ferry.

Huelva has some of the best beaches southeast Spain and if you want to reconnect with nature and the quietness of the blue sea, El Rompido is the right place to be. In general, the beaches of Huelva are vast and pristine.

The beach has facilities such as:

  • Showers and toilets
  • Lifeguards
  • Restaurants and leisure facilities

How to get there

The easiest way to reach El Rompido beach is through the road.

There are two options to get to the beach if you are traveling via a car: coming from Seville, you have to follow the A49 until exit 99 and then take the N431 towards Cartaya. Then follow the A5053, which will take you directly to El Rompido beach.

Coming from Portugal, you will enter the A49 but you will leave at exit 105, taking the HU3402 towards Cartaya and then connect with the A5053.

best beaches in southern spain, cartagena and murciaPlaya de Paraiso, Cartagena

Playa de Paraiso (Paradise Beach) is known as one of the best beaches in Cartagena Spain as it has a beautiful stretch of golden, fine sand with clean waters.

Playa de Paraiso is excellent for families to relax and enjoy their day with a whole host of water sport activities and varied services such as:

  • Restaurants and bars
  • Toilets and feet showers
  • Parasols and sunbed hiring
  • Sports material hiring
  • Surf practice areas

How to get there

Playa de Paraiso is located close to the Autovia de La Manga MU312 Salida 11 road and can be reached by car or bus.

best beaches in southern spain, andalusia, spain, beach time, murcia, cartagena, beaches near seville, beaches near malaga, costa del solPlaya Punta de Umbria, Cadiz

Cadiz has some of the best sandy beaches in Southern Spain and playa Punta de Umbria is one of them.

It is a perfect beach if you prefer to laze in the sun with your family and friends. It is the oldest tourist beach and has been regularly awarded the Blue Flag for its high standards of cleanliness and excellent facilities.

  • Restaurants and bars
  • Ample parkings
  • Clean restrooms
  • Showers

How to get there

Playa Punta de Umbria is well connected to the A497 and you can either take a bus or car to reach there. If you are staying in Seville, it would take 01h20 to reach there.

beaches torre del mar, best beaches in southern spain, andalusia, spain, beach time, murcia, cartagena, beaches near seville, beaches near malaga, costa del solTorre del Mar Beaches

Torre del Mar has some of the most alluring beaches in southern Spain which were once among the best-kept secrets of Costa del Sol. The beaches around here are great to enjoy a wonderful day in the sun and are ideal for visiting with the family.

The beach has been awarded the Q quality, a distinction that is awarded to beaches that provide a good service to tourists and recently received at the Blue Flag as well.

The services available here are:

  • Lifeguards and rescue
  • Access for disabled
  • Restaurants and bars
  • Rentals of sunbeds, chairs, and umbrellas
  • Water sports activities

How to get there

If you leave from Velez-Malaga, just follow the signs towards “Torre del Mar” and you’ll reach the beach in 10 minutes.

From Malaga center, you need to take the E15 which will take you to Torre del Mar beach in less than 30 minutes. It is thus a great day trip from Malaga as well.

la manga beach murcia, best beaches in southern spainLa Manga, Murcia

The La Manga strip in the region of Murcia is around 21 km long. The full name is La Manga Del Mar Menor and comprises of a number of best beaches in Murcia Spain.

All the beaches present here are great for spending quality time with your family and enjoy water sports.

All the beaches have great facilities to offer:

  • Restaurants and bars
  • Rental sunbeds and parasols
  • Clean restrooms with showers
  • Sporting equipment rentals

How to get there

La Manga can be reached by bus, train, air or car. The nearest airport is Murcia-San Javier which is 39 km away. Buses go every day from Cartagena and Murcia to La Manga.

The nearest train station is in Cartagena and if traveling by car, take the AP7.

3. Best Beaches for Nature Lovers

bolonia beach, andalusia, dunes in cadizPlaya Bolonia, Cadiz

Bolonia beach is known for its unique natural environment with a magnificent landscape full of almost virgin nature. It has one of the largest dunes in Spain.

Fine white sand, crystal clear water and a very nice sea breeze make it a great place for relaxation and enjoying the beauty of the site.

Bolonia is a must-visit beach for nature lovers as it is located in the limits of El Estrecho Natural Park. The natural pools add to the beauty of the beach.

The services you can find here include:

  • Restaurants and bars
  • Toilets and showers
  • Surfing and rock climbing equipment rentals

How to get there

Access to this beautiful beach is not easy as there is no public transportation.

Travel by private vehicle following the N340-E5 in the direction of Vejer de la Fronter. After about 15 km from Tarifa, turn left at the CA8202 and follow the road down until you reach the village of El Lentiscal, Bolonia beach is right in front.

best beaches near almeria, cabo de gata, cabo de gata beaches, barcelo resort, best beaches in almeria, natural park, hiking, trekking, sustainable travel, spain, andalucia, andalusiaPlaya de los Genoveses, Almeria

Los Genoveses is a pristine beach with no buildings, no power lines, no bars, and no roads preserving its natural beauty. It is located in the heart of the Natural Park Cabo de Gata.

The beach is surrounded by sand dunes where you can collect seashells, a small eucalyptus forest, and the volcanic ridge Morron de Genoveses. This is one of the best beaches in Almeria Spain to enjoy natural beauty.

As Los Genoveses is a virgin beach, you won’t find any restaurants or bars here. You´ll need to carry everything you need.

Read more here about the best beaches in Cabo de Gata, near Almeria.

How to get there

It is a natural area that is accessed by an unpaved lane past the town of San Jose. Leave your car at the main road and walk through the beautiful set of cactus fruit plantation.

best beaches in costa del sol, andalusia, andalucia, spain, nerjaPlaya el Canuelo, Nerja

Playa el Canuelo is located in the natural landscape of the Acantilados de Maro-Cerro Gordo and Maro-Cerro Gordo with steep amazing cliffs. About 01h30 drive away from Malaga, it is one of the best day trips from Malaga.

It is a secluded rustic beach surrounded by a natural environment of great beauty. The water here is exceptionally clean, crystal clear and teeming with fish, making it ideal for snorkeling and diving without any problems.

Playa el Canuelo is perfect for relaxing on a sunny day as it is one of the quietest places on the Malaga coast.

The services here are:

  • Free parking
  • Accesses for disabled people

How to get there

Situated just on the border with Malaga and Granada, Playa el Canuelo is easy to drive through when following the N340. It is 9 km from Nerja and clearly signposted.

Playa Isla Canela, Huelva

Isla Canela is a very broad beach located at the mouth of Guadiana River. The beach is part of the Marismas de Isla Cristina nature area and is home to an abundance of wildlife.

The vast sand dunes give it a wild appearance, while its endless stretches of sand are an invitation to take long walks.

It has a full range of services and infrastructures including:

  • Accesses adapted for people with reduced mobility
  • Summer beach bars
  • Parasols and hammocks for hire
  • Showers and restrooms

How to get there

Isla Canela is easily accessible from any part of Europe as there are two airports, Seville airport (157 km by motorway A49 Huelva – Seville) and Faro airport in Portugal (74 km).

You only need to cross the international bridge that unites Spain and Portugal.

cadiz beach, conil de la frontera, rocky and sandy beachCala de Roche, Cadiz

Cala de Roche beach has a series of small coves that lie between the port of Conil de la Frontera and Roche. It is characterized for being rocky and to be under impressive cliffs of red color and of great beauty. They are little frequented beaches and nudist beaches in southern Spain.

The environment of the coves is ideal for walking or cycling.

Services offered:

  • Parking at top of the cliffs
  • Restaurants
  • Restrooms and showers

How to get there

Drive to Conil de la Frontera. Next to each car park, there is a path with wooden walkways leading to the main coves. The route of these to the edge of the cliffs is short (1-2 minutes).

Then, you have to follow a dirt road that becomes very pleasant to walk through smelling of sea and juniper.

4. Best Beaches in Southern Spain for Party Lovers

nikki beach, marbella, best beaches in andalusiaNikki Beach, Marbella

There is no place to party like Marbella and that’s why people who enjoy the good life come from all over the world to Nikki beach in Costa del Sol.

Renowned for its electric party scene and regular events include champagne contests, dinner and dance nights, full-moon parties, opening white parties, closing red parties with live music and entertainment nights with dancers, DJs, and musicians. It’s a true paradise for party lovers.

Amenities available:

  • Beach clubs
  • Sun loungers rent
  • DJs,  go-go Dancers, fire throwers, acrobats,…

How to get there

If traveling from Marbella, take the N340-A7 eastward towards Malaga. If traveling from Malaga, take the N340-A7 westwards towards Marbella. Nikki beach is well signposted. Read more about where to stay in Marbella.

lamp on malagueta beach, spain andalusiaLa Malagueta, Malaga

La Malagueta is a manmade beach and one of the most popular in Malaga city because of its easy access and its proximity to the city center.

It is probably the most touristic beach that Malaga has. Great parties and events are organized here during the weekend and if you want to have fun, come to this beach. There are many beach bars (chiringuitos) serving amazing tasty food.

Facilities Include:

  • Various restaurants
  • Disabled accesses
  • Sunbeds and parasols hire
  • Showers and restrooms
  • Children play areas

How to get there

Malaga is the closest beach to the center of the city and is just 15 minutes’ walk along a lovely promenade.

best beaches in southern spain torremolinos on costa del solTorremolinos Beach

Torremolinos’ picturesque coastline runs for about 7 km and is divided into four main beaches. The beaches are characterized by the variety of activities, parties and many services they offer.

Accompanied by a pleasant and always lively promenade, this stretch of coastline is a heaven for those seeking a comfortable and effortless beach holiday. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from.

Services Offered:

  • Beach bars
  • Restaurants and restrooms

How to get there

There is a regular train service connecting Torremolinos to Malaga and Malaga Airport to the north of it and south to Fuengirola.

The journey to Malaga takes about 30 minutes. Local bus service is also available which serves most of Torremolinos allowing you to get to the town center from the outlying parts which can be up to 2 km away.

Best Beaches in Andalusia: Map


Before You Go: Top Tips for your Trip 

To make the most of your trip, I recommend Lonely Planet Andalucía (get -10% off with code “PAULINA10”)


What are the best beaches in Southern Spain? This guide takes you to the best beaches in Andalusia whether you are a surfer, a nature lover or beach party animal. Let's hit the beach! #andalusia #beach #bestbeaches #europe #southernspain

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