Where can you find Spain’s best beaches? In this post we list the Top 10 beaches as rated by travellers for TripAdvisor’s 2018 Travellers Choice Awards.
Spain is rightly famous for its beaches. From the Costa Verde to the Costa del Sol, there’s a lot to choose from too. And beyond the Iberian Peninsula, you’ll find more amazing beaches in the Canary Islands and Balearic Islands.
But where can you find Spain’s best beaches? Well, according to reviews and ratings gathered over a 12-month period on Tripadvisor, La Concha in San Sebastian is not just Spain’s best beach but also Europe’s best beach!
Below you can find what other beaches made the Top 10 in TripAdvisor’s 2018 Travellers Choice Awards.
Spain’s best beaches: the Top 10 (according to TripAdvisor)
As we noted, the list was compiled based on the quality and quantity of reviews and ratings over 12 months on the review website. Interestingly, the Cathedrals Beach near Ribadeo in Galicia is the only other beach on Spain’s mainland that made it into the Top 10…
The remaining ‘best beaches’ listed are on Spain’s islands. In the Canary Islands, three can be found on Fuerteventura, two on Gran Canaria and one on Tenerife. The Balearics also have a couple of beaches in the Top 10 (on Mallorca and Formentera). You can see them all in the map below.
Obviously, like many of these lists, they’re incredibly subjective and not at all conclusive. But because we love a good list, here’s a quick look at this list’s Top 10 and where you’ll find them.
1. La Concha Beach, San Sebastian
As beaches go, La Concha Beach in San Sebastian has lots going for it. A stunning setting, lovely golden sand and right on it’s right on the city centre’s doorstep. So we think it’s a deserving winner of the No. 1 spot! At any rate, we can see why travellers rate it so highly. You can find out more about the beach in our post: Europe’s best beach: La Concha in San Sebastian.
2. Illetes Beach, Formentera
Formentera is the smallest of the Balearic Islands. And it’s only accessible by ferry from Ibiza. After flying into Ibiza Airport, you can catch a ferry from Ibiza Town, Playa d’En Bossa, Figueretas and Santa Eulalia. We’d recommend staying and exploring Ibiza too if you can!
The island is only 17 kms long but it’s worth having a car to get around the island in. If you’re planning to have an Ibiza Airport car hire, you can take it on the ferry to Formentera. Alternatively, there are several car hire companies located close to the port on Formentera too.
3. Las Canteras Beach, Gran Canaria
Las Canteras is located close to Las Palmas, the lively capital of Gran Canaria. It’s about 25 kms north of Gran Canaria Airport.
4. Maspalomas Beach, Gran Canaria
The second beach in the Top 10 from Gran Canaria, the Maspalomas boast spectacular sand dunes as well as a lovely beach. You can find it 30 kms south of Gran Canaria Airport. If you want to actually stay close to a beach, nearby beach towns include: Playa del Ingles and Meloneras.
5. El Cotillo Beach, Fuerteventura
Of all the Canary Islands, Fuerteventura is the most renowned for its beaches. Vast, unspoiled beaches with lovely golden sand! El Cotillo is one of them and it lies on the northwest coast of the island. It’s about 45 kms from Fuerteventura Airport.
6. Sotavento Beach, Fuerteventura
Located in the southern half of Fuerteventura at Costa Calma, Sotavento is the biggest of the several beaches here. And because it’s so vast, you’ll still be able to find a deserted section of the beach even during the busiest periods. There are also more great beaches at the nearby resorts of Jandia and Morro Jable. Costa Calma and Sotavento is about 60 kms from Fuerteventura Airport.
7. El Duque Beach, Tenerife
With over 5 million visitors a year, Tenerife is the most visited of the Canary Islands. And many of them head to the southern and western coasts. El Duque is located in the Costa Adeje in the southwest of Tenerife. It’s less than 20 kms from Tenerife South Airport and 80 kms from Tenerife North Airport.
8. Cofete Beach, Fuerteventura
We’re back in Fuerteventura for Spain’s eighth best beach according to TripAdvisor. Cofete is located north of the mountain ranges in Jandia National Park. To reach it, you have to drive a bumpy dirt track through the park. But for wilder landscapes in Fuerteventura, Cofete delivers. The beach goes for miles and miles! Make a day of it and explore the park’s diverse landscapes too.
In terms of where you can stay, Morro Jable is about 50 minutes drive away and has lots of accommodation options. It also has some fab beaches. Morro Jable is about 80 kms south of Fuerteventura Airport.
9. Cathedrals Beach, Ribadeo
Like La Concha in San Sebastian, the Cathedrals beach is on Spain’s northern coast. What sets the Cathedrals beach apart from others are the unique rocky formations that have been carved out by the sea. For a long time, the beach was one of Galicia’s hidden gems.
Recently, it’s become lots more popular – particularly in the summer (from 1 July to 30 September) and during the Easter holidays. To protect the site, visitors are limited to 5,000 a day during these periods. As a result, if you want to visit the beach in one of the restricted periods, you’ll need to reserve a spot in advance. There’s no charge for it but you will need to provide a few details including your name, address and ID. As part of this, you can also book a guided tour (also free). You can see what the restricted dates are and book a place if you’re planning to go on one of them by visiting: As Catedrais – Xunta de Galicia. Even if you’re not visiting during these periods, it’s worth visiting the website as it has lots of useful information including places to visit close to the beach.
10. Muro Beach, Mallorca
The last beach on our list… Muro beach is a stunning white sandy beach (pictured at the top of this post) that spans 6 kms in Alcudia Bay, Mallorca. It’s located 60 kms east of Mallorca Airport. Above is a view of the sunset and wooden pier at the beach.