Last year, Spain was the third most-visited country in the world (after France and the U.S.), drawing in a whopping 75.3 million tourists. And it's a safe bet to say that many of those travelers were visiting for the sun, sea, and, sand. After all, there are plenty of fabulous beaches spread across both the Iberian Peninsula and Spain's various Mediterranean and Atlantic islands. To help you find your paradise, we rounded up 10 of the best beaches in Spain.
Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera
Located on the small and super-chill Balearic Island of Formentera, Playa de Ses Illetes can usually be found near the top of any best beaches in Spain list -- and it's not hard to see why. Running along a narrow strip of sandy promontory that stretches from the north coast, the beach features a stellar combination of powdery white sand, calm turquoise water, and low-key development, making it a genuine slice of paradise.
Playa de la Concha, San Sebastian
Set in Spain's Basque Country, the famous Playa de la Concha is nothing if not impressive. Backed by a wide promenade that's lined with grand buildings and apartment blocks, it's certainly an urban beach, but one that's formed from a sweeping natural bay that extends over a mile in length. You can also climb one of two wooded mounts that flank the golden sands, and braver types can even swim out to the bay's small island, Santa Clara.
Playa de la Barrosa, Cadiz
Particularly popular with the Spanish, this five-mile-long beach has something for everyone. At one end lies a buzzy promenade where you can tuck into seafood tapas, and at the other, you'll find a serene atmosphere backed with wild dunes and pine woodland. The fact that it's located on Spain's southwestern coast and exposed to the Atlantic also means that it's a great spot for windsurfing. Plus, there are some great cliff-top footpaths displaying spectacular views.
Playa de Muro, Majorca
Part of Majorca's vast Bay of Alcudia, Playa de Muro is not only one of the longest beaches in the Balearic Islands, but also one of the prettiest. It's backed by scented pine forests and juniper bushes, and the golden sand is lapped by the calm, clear water. Although you're rarely far from a hotel, the properties tend to be set back from the beach and there are plenty of stretches that feel totally untouched. You're also within walking distance of the Albufera Natural Park, protected wetland and mecca for bird-watchers.
Sotavento Beach, Fuerteventura
Stretching for an impressive 17 miles along the southeastern coast of Fuerteventura, Sotavento Beach offers visitors soft sand, warm waters that almost always hover around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and perfect kite-surfing conditions. Although some sections are popular and can get busy, you can always find your very own deserted patch of beach.
Cala d'Hort, Ibiza
There's certainly something magical about the small and scenic cove of Cala d'Hort. Positioned on Ibiza's southwesternmost point, it features beautiful views towards Es Vedra island -- not to mention some superb sunsets. The half-sand, half-pebble beach slopes gently into clear water, and the surrounding cliffs only add to the overall feel of seclusion. Plus, visitors will appreciate the two restaurants serving excellent seafood.
Playa de Formentor, Majorca
Set at the bottom of a winding road in Majorca's northeastern tip, this secluded stretch of pine-fringed beach is one of the island's more remote, but still popular, beaches. With impossibly clear water, it's as photogenic as it is serene, and is often used as a location for filming. During your visit, don't forget to stop at the Mirador Es Colomer, which boasts spectacular cliff-top vistas.
Cala Galdana, Minorca
With tall limestone cliffs, a semicircle of fine sand, and stunning water, Cala Galdana's natural beauty is nothing short of magnificent. The beach is dotted with pine trees and picnic tables, and while much of this small resort has been developed, there's still a laid-back and sunny vibe that particularly draws families with young kids.
Cala Boadella, Lloret de Mar
About a one-hour drive up the coast from Barcelona lies Cala Boadella, a lovely secluded cove that's surrounded by high cliffs that plunge down to yellow sand. Visitors can access it via a long footpath that cuts through a pine forest, and generally low occupation means this relatively small beach never feels overcrowded. Keep in mind that facilities are limited to one chiringuito (beach-hut bar), and that the spot is popular with naturists.
Maspalomas, Gran Canaria
Maspalomas is best known for its vast, undulating landscape of wind-sculpted dunes, but the beach here has a great deal going for it as well. Skirting Gran Canaria's southern coast, the beach gets some of the best weather in the Canary Islands. Sections of the soft sand vary from family-friendly to full-on naturist, and if you're bored of sunbathing, you can take a camel ride and pretend you're in the Sahara.
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