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For a summer vacation, there’s no shortage of European beach destinations to soak up the sun. From the Greek Isles to the French riviera, there are a plethora of quiet towns and bustling seaside cities for your getaway. But for us, there’s nothing like the beaches in Spain. Perhaps it’s the custom of an afternoon siesta or the promise of cold sangria at every beachside cafe, but we think Spain is the perfect spot for a beach holiday. To help narrow down your choices, though, we’ve chosen our favorite top 5 best Spanish beach holidays.
We’ll admit, Ibiza is not for everyone. This incredibly iconic party island is expensive, loud and crowded. But if you’re looking to party till sunrise (and way past it), then this is your island. With some of the world’s best clubs attracting the world’s best DJs and musicians, you’ll find yourself with plenty of options for nightlife. And if you do need a day away from the madness, there are plenty of things to do in Ibiza besides partying.
You can rent a car in Ibiza to get outside the tourist zone and see some of the quieter and less touristy attractions. Check out the museums for a slice of the local culture or one of the many restaurants in Ibiza town. And if you just want to zone out for a couple hours, find one of the secluded beaches perfect for a nap before the party starts again.
One of Spain’s beautiful Baearic islands in the Mediterranean, Menorca is a good alternative to it’s busy neighboring islands of Ibiza and Mallorca. Much less party-centric than its neighbors, this island is popular with families on holiday. The calm waters on many of its beaches lend well to slow afternoons lazing about on the warm sand, occasionally dipping a toe in the clear blue waves. Cala Macarella and Macarelleta are two favorite beaches known for their soft white sand and picturesque views.
For something a little more off the beaten track, the islands of the Galician coast in Northwest Spain offer a quieter, but equally beautiful set of beaches. The Cies Islands are known as the “Galician Caribbean” for their white sand and turquoise waters, but don’t expect the same warm water of the Caribbean – it’s still the chilly Atlantic. And if you need a break from the beach, there are plenty of mountains and lakes perfect for hiking in the area.
Monsul in Spain’s southern state of Andalusia is located in the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Nature Park. This land was protected by its owner, an environmentalist who passed away in 2014. The park is still protected from development and it’s no wonder why. It’s dramatic landscape filled with sand dunes and volcanic rock gives way to pristine beach. Monsul was dubbed “the best beach in Spain’’ by Steven Spielberg when he filmed an iconic scene from Indiana Jones here. Today the beach is popular with locals and travelers who have done a little research to get off the beaten track.
This stunning beach in northern Spain is located in Pais Vasco, or Basque Country. The Basque have their own language, food and culture, and it is absolutely worth visiting to experience all three. In addition to this, it has one of the most gorgeous coastlines we’ve ever seen. San Sebastian is a big city on the water with plenty to do. You can stroll the waterfront and then spend the afternoon eating and shopping in the city. But don’t stop at just San Sebastian. We recommend road tripping the whole Northern coast to explore lesser known gems like Zarautz, a lovely little beach town just 15 mins from the city.