But which beaches are the best for you? Is it a family-friendly Blue Flag beach with safe swimming you’re looking for, a beach with sun loungers, parasols, bars and restaurants, pristine, golden sands and shallow water or somewhere quiet where you can escape the crowds? Here are some of our favourites:
With around 170 beaches to choose from, the Costa Blanca never disappoints and the upmarket coastal town of Moraira, a former fishing village north of Alicante, is home to Playa l’Ampolla, a lovely Blue Flag beach that boasts soft, white sand and calm water. It can get busy during the peak season but it’s a brilliant beach for families with plenty of activities and a really relaxed vibe.
Praia da Marinha
The Algarve is home to some of Portugal’s most beautiful beaches – and Praia da Marinha on the Atlantic coast is up there with the best! Its Instagram-ready rock formations are jaw-dropping and its calm waters make it ideal for snorkelling. It’s not the most easily accessible of beaches so be prepared for the climb down – and back up again. Top tip? Take a trip to the sea caves.
The White Isle has some truly stunning beaches and Ses Salines, on the southernmost tip of Ibiza, is a perennial favourite with sun-seekers. But don’t expect your footprints to be the only ones on this long stretch of gorgeous, fine sand – it can get very busy. Close to Playa d’en Bossa and Ibiza Town, Ses Salines beach is a gorgeous beach that you must visit if you’re staying in the area. Top tip? Get their early to bag a good spot.
Playa du Muro
Recently voted one of TripAdvisor’s top 10 beaches in Europe, this Blue Flag beach has gorgeous white sands and shallow waters so it’s perfect for families but big enough – 6km – to give couples their own space. You’ll find it on Majorca’s north coast, near the resort of Alcudia – not exactly far from the madding crowd but in a quieter location than some of the island’s most popular beaches.
Many people flock to upmarket Marbella on the Malaga coastline but if you want a quieter pace then Estepona is a good option, its La Rada beach never getting overcrowded like many others in this area. This is a lovely beach, about a mile-and-a-half long and not far from charming Estepona’s main promenade. It’s a great spot for soaking up the sun before exploring the town and having a spot of lunch.
Another Blue Flag beach, Cala Galdana’s crescent-shaped beach is gloriously white and surrounded by cliffs and pine trees. The bay is sheltered so it’s great for snorkelling, kayaking and paddle boats. What’s more, there are beach-side shops, toilet and shower facilities, bars and restaurants. It’s not a big beach – small and perfectly formed is a good description.