Welcome to Catalonia, a diverse Spanish region loved by many. Countless architectural masterpieces, magnificent landscapes, sleepy villages, vibrant cities, colorful festivals, unique traditions, renowned sparkling wine, and… splendid beaches! Yes, Catalonia is also a paradise for sun, beach, and watersports lovers! Along about 550km of coastline, you’ll find some of Europe’s most captivating coastal gems. From lively urban beaches to secluded coves framed by rugged cliffs. The choice is wide, and we are sure that you’ll find a great spot for yourself, one that will provide you with an unforgettable Mediterranean escape. Keep reading and discover the best beaches in Catalonia, Spain.
Until now we’ve spent about 2 months exploring Catalonia. During that time we had an opportunity to visit quite a large part of the region and got to know it pretty well. But obviously, we didn’t manage to see it all. So today, with the help of other travel bloggers, we’ll show you a subjective ranking of the best beaches in Catalonia. We hope they will enchant you too and help you choose the next one you’ll visit.
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Best beaches in Catalonia, Spain FAQ
Yes, Catalonia is full of amazing beaches and for sure everyone will find the perfect one for himself. Sandy or rocky beaches, hidden coves, clear blue waters, mountains in the backdrop… No wonder that the beaches in Catalonia attract thousands of visitors every year to enjoy the pleasant Mediterranean vibe.
Catalonia’s climate is primarily Mediterranean with hot summers and not-too-cold winters. The best time to visit Catalonia beaches depends on your preferences and what you like to do there. If you only want to sunbathe and swim in the sea – visit during the warm months, from June to September. However remember that July and August will be probably very hot, busy, and many beaches will be crowded. If you just want to explore them or have a nice dinner in the sun – feel free to visit all year round.
Best beaches in Catalonia – Province of Barcelona
Platja de Sitges in Sitges
Beaches along Sitges’s almost 20-kilometer-long coastline are one of the best in the entire Catalonia and suited for every taste. And Platja de Sitges is without a doubt one of them. It’s located just a few steps from the Sitges historic center, along the town’s promenade, so it’s very easily accessible by foot.
It’s a long and wide beach best known for its soft golden sand, clear blue water, and amazing views over the Sitges skyline and iconic Church of Sant Bartomeu i Santa Tecla.
On Playa de Sitges you’ll find many amenities like showers, toilets, beachfront bars and restaurants, sunbeds/umbrellas/water equipment for rent, and parking spots nearby. It’s also LGBTQ+ friendly beach (the whole town too!).
The biggest drawback that we can see is the fact that it can get really busy in the summer months. So if you’re looking for a relaxing beach day in July or August we advise you to look for another, more peaceful beach.
Learn more: 10+ Best Things To Do In Sitges, Spain
Platja dels Balmins in Sitges
Now something in Sitges for nude beach fans… Platja dels Balmins is located between Sitges town center and Aiguadolç Sitges Port and is easily accessible. It’s about a 20-minute walk along the coastal path.
Platja dels Balmins is a real paradise for naturists and sun lovers alike. It’s a clothing-optional sandy beach with crystal-clear waters located in a sheltered bay. It also features nice views over the Sitges center. Balmins Beach isn’t hidden at all and it can be easily seen from a town promenade. In the area, you’ll also find a chiringuito beach bar, showers, and toilets.
Over the years it became one of the most famous and lively LGBTQ+ beaches in Europe attracting thousands of visitors throughout the summer months. Playa de los Balmins isn’t really big, so if you’re looking for a relaxing beach day and a lot of people might bother you – choose some other beach in the area. For example, nearby well-hidden and more difficult to reach, Cala de Home Mort beach might be a good choice.
Platja de la Barceloneta in Barcelona
Contributed by Elisa from World in Barcelona
Platja de la Barceloneta (Barceloneta Beach) is one of the four beaches of the La Barceloneta neighborhood in Barcelona. It’s the oldest and also the most popular beach, thanks to a painting by Pablo Picasso, “Plage de la Barceloneta” (1896).
1.1-kilometer-long, Platja de la Barceloneta is a sandy public beach with a small nudist area. There are public showers but no changing cabins or sunbeds, so people come with their towels.
The beach does not lack chiringuitos (beach bars) and leisure facilities, such as volleyball courts and games area. This means it is populated by tourists and locals also when the sun goes down. Xiringuitos are good for drinks, tapas, snacks, and ice creams, but for a proper meal, it is best to head to any of the restaurants around the port.
Nearly indistinguishable in terrain, it’s located in front of the historical Barceloneta neighborhood, where the fishermen used to live, right after the beautiful sculpture l’Estel Ferit. Close to the hustle and bustle of Barcelona, you can reach this beach by metro, line 4, Barceloneta station.
Platja de la Barceloneta is far from being a hidden gem, as everybody knows it! Being so close to the Old Town and Parc de la Ciutadella, visitors can easily combine a day of sightseeing with beach fun.
➡️ Book now: Exciting Barcelona’s 360 tour by land, sea, and air
Best beaches in Catalonia – Province of Tarragona
Platja de la Llosa in Cambrils
Cambrils boasts about 9km of coastline along which you’ll find many fantastic beaches – from bigger to smaller, from busier to quieter, and with or without amenities… Platja de la Llosa is one of the most popular Cambrils beaches, located just a few steps from the town center and easily accessible from the promenade.
There you’ll enjoy fine golden sand, calm sea waters, and amazing views of the surroundings. What’s more, Platja de la Llosa was awarded by Blue Flag! As for amenities, there you’ll find showers, beach beds, umbrellas, toilets, a playground, a volleyball pitch, and many parking spots and restaurants nearby.
Platja de la Llosa is less crowded and more peaceful than nearby Platja del Regueral, located on the other side of the port.
Learn more: 10+ Best Things To Do in Cambrils, Spain
Platja de Tamarit in Tamarit de Mar
Contributed by Iphi from Travel Choreography
Tamarit Beach is located in the cozy village of Tamarit de Mar, just 13 km outside Tarragona. The beach itself has soft golden sand. What makes it truly magical is the impressive Tamarit Castle that sits on a small cliff, overlooking the turquoise water. Playa de Tamarit is quite large, making it a great spot for beachgoers and joggers. It’s also considered one of the best places for camping on the beach in Spain.
The beach is known for its clear water and gentle waves, perfect for families with young kids. However, it’s important to be cautious on windy days since the beach is not sheltered.
Getting to Tamarit Beach is easy as it’s close to the road, but finding parking can be tricky, especially during the high season. Despite this, the beach is a popular choice due to its easy access.
You’ll find some useful amenities at this well-known beach, including a nearby bar for shade, aid stations, and showers. For those looking for a bit of adventure, you can rent kayaks and paddleboards. Tamarit Beach offers a great mix of accessibility and natural beauty; it’s definitely a must-visit spot for beach lovers exploring Catalonia’s coast.
Cala de la Roca Plana in Tarragona
Contributed by Anya from Stop Going To Paris
Cala de la Roca Plana is an underrated beach a few kilometers away from Tarragona, hard beach to reach but very much worth it. Besides being a very beautiful beach, its main appeal is that it is often calm and hidden from outside viewers thanks to the cliffs. Part of the Camí de Ronda hiking trail, it is connected to other nearby beaches like Cala Fonda (Fonda Creek), Platja de Calabecs, Platja de La Mora, or Platja de Tamarit.
Cala de la Roca Plana is a little pocket of serenity carved into the coast, in which you can rest and tan in peace on the sand without worrying about being bothered. If, after a few hours, you need a change of scenery, you can visit either other beaches, Torre de la Mora (Tower of La Móra), or the Castle of Tamarit. I also highly recommend exploring the nearby Forest of Marquesa, which is actually more of a grove than a dense forest with a view of the water, making for a very pretty landscape in the morning.
Cala de la Roca is only accessible on foot from the city of La Móra, after riding bus n°12 from Tarragona to La Móra. For all your immediate needs, (food, flip-flops, new towels), you can find them in La Móra.
Platja Del Torn near Cambrils
Platja Del Torn is a 2km long sandy beach surrounded by clear blue waters on the one side and a dense green nature preserve on the other. Thanks to picturesque scenery and a serene vibe it’s considered the number one nude beach on Costa Dorada.
There you won’t find many amenities. Among those that are available, you’ll find showers, toilets, chiringuito beach bar, and lifeguards working during the high season. It can get busy but there’s always enough space for a pleasant time.
Near the beach, you’ll also find a premium naturist resort and camping, Camping El Templo del Sol. Platja Del Torn is located near famous holiday destinations like Cambrils, Salou, and Tarragona. The road leading to parking is quite steep and narrow.
Platja de Ponent & Platja de Llevant in Salou
Salou is a popular holiday destination in Catalonia which boasts some pretty beaches, great for soaking up the Mediterranean sun. From long and wide sandy beaches to small, more secluded ones – there is something for everyone’s taste. What’s more, beaches in Salou are known for their calm, shallow, and clear waters, which makes them perfect for holidays with kids. Their biggest drawback is that most of them can get very busy during summertime.
Platja de Ponent is one of the most popular beaches in town. It’s wide and sandy, featuring some amenities like sunbeds, toilets, showers, a kid’s play area, volleyball pitches, and beach bars and restaurants. It’s located just a few steps from lively Platja de Llevant, yet it offers a more tranquil vibe.
Platja de Llevant stretches for over 1km and is the main beach in Salou. There you’ll find various amenities like toilets, showers, volleyball pitches, kids’ playgrounds or umbrellas, and sunbeds to rent. Also, the street beyond it is lined with many shops, restaurants, and bars. There you’ll also be able to take advantage of many water sports opportunities like jet skiing, parasailing, paddleboarding, or riding on a banana boat or other.
Learn more: 10+ Best Things To Do In Salou, Spain
Platja del Miracle in Tarragona
Contributed by Vicki from Vicki Viaja
One of the best beaches to visit in Catalonia is Platja del Miracle, which is one of the most beautiful beaches in Tarragona. Tarragona’s city beach is located directly on the Costa Dorada, at the city’s sea access, just a few minutes walk from Tarragona’s city center. You can therefore reach it quickly and easily from the city and are not dependent on a car or public transport. If you do arrive by car, you will also find a few parking options close to the beach.
From the Balcó de Mediterrani viewpoint further up, you have a fantastic view over the long beach and its beautiful landscape.
Miracle Beach offers everything you need for a long day at the beach: restaurants, bars, cafés, showers, and a wide range of facilities. It attracts visitors with its golden sand, clear water, and sophisticated atmosphere. You could easily forget that you are close to the city center while sunbathing at this beautiful playa. The lifeguard service provides additional safety and makes the beach perfect for a family trip – you can even take your dog with you on some stretches of the beach.
Extra tip: As the beach is located close to the city center, it can get a little crowded here in summer. So it’s worth getting there early to grab a good spot!
Learn more: 15+ Best Things To Do In Tarragona, Spain
Best beaches in Catalonia – Province of Girona
Platja Gran, Platja de la Mar Menuda & Platja d’Es Codolar in Tossa de Mar
Contributed by Julie from Toronto to Anywhere
Tossa de Mar is a picturesque town on the Costa Brava, located just an hour’s drive from Barcelona. It’is home to several stunning Catalonia beaches, including the main beach, Platja Gran, the small cove beach, Platja d’Es Codolar, and the serene Platja de la Mar Menuda.
Tossa de Mar is easily accessible by car or bus, with paid parking available for visitors. In addition to the choice of beaches, there are many excellent things to do in Tossa de Mar, making it a must-visit destination for those exploring the Costa Brava.
Platja Gran, the largest beach in Tossa, sits in the city center with breathtaking views of the medieval old town. This busy beach is lined with restaurants and cafes and provides amenities like sunbeds, parasols, and boat cruises. Its lively atmosphere and picturesque setting make it a popular beach for visitors.
A short walk from the main beach is Platja de la Mar Menuda, a quieter alternative popular with families and scuba divers. It features easier water access, a beach bar, and sunbed rentals while offering a more relaxed atmosphere.
Personally, my favorite beach is Platja d’Es Codolar. This small, secluded beach cove is nestled beside the medieval castle walls and has some of the most spectacular views of the old town and the towering cliffs. This smaller beach, with its bar and rental facilities, is perfect for swimming and snorkeling while enjoying the stunning views.
All three beaches have coarse sand mixed with small pebbles, so beach shoes are definitely recommended here.
Each of these beaches in Tossa de Mar offers something special. Whether it’s the hidden charm of Platja d’Es Codolar, the vibrant Platja Gran, or the peaceful atmosphere of Platja de la Mar Menuda, visitors are sure to find a beach that suits their needs in this beautiful Catalan town.
Platja de Tamariu in Tamariu
Contributed by Guillem from Feast of Travel
Tamariu is a little fishing village nestled along a rugged stretch of the coast of Costa Brava. It is the quintessential Mediterranean village, with white-sand beaches, clear turquoise waters, and white-washed houses. Tamariu is located in a crescent-shaped cove surrounded by hills and pines, so you’ll get an intimate atmosphere. It is home to three beaches: two sandy and one pebble beach, which is protected from the waves by the cove. They are separated by areas of rocks and small cliffs that are perfect for diving into the water (in fact, there’s even a springboard in one of them)
Since the beaches are in town, there are well-maintained facilities, with toilets, showers, changing rooms, and even a lifeguard during peak season. There is also a nice promenade lined with restaurants that serve local seafood. You can also rent water equipment and activities, such as kayaking along the coast to discover beaches that are only accessible from the sea, like Cala Marquesa or Cala del Cau.
Tamariu is no secret for locals and is easily reached from Barcelona by car. Beware of summer weekends when the beach can be packed. However, it is not yet so known by tourists and there is no direct public transportation, which helps keep the crowds away. Weekdays and off-season are the perfect moment to visit. Remember that the Catalan climate will allow you to enjoy the beach much longer than you’d expect. You can get a really nice beach day from May to November!
Cala Culip in Cadaques
Contributed by Rachel from Barcelona Uncovered
If you’re searching for the perfect beach escape from the city, Cadaques is the perfect village for you! Located in Girona in Spain on the Cap de Creus peninsula, it’s part of the famous Costa Brava.
Cala Culip is the semi-circular shoreline lined with hidden coves and beaches. Most of the shoreline is rocky so you’ll want good water shoes. The water is so clear you can almost always see down to the bottom, making it all the more magical.
There are plenty of hidden coves to explore in Cadaques, but the main strip along Cala Culip is most popular, especially in the summer months.
While driving to Cadaques from Barcelona, the closest large city, is the best option (taking public transportation here is a bit of a logistical nightmare) walking around town is your best bet once you’ve arrived. The narrow cobblestone streets in the village aren’t ideal for cars.
Cadaques is quite small, but there is no shortage of restaurants and tapas bars to stop at or pop in and out of during your beach day. El Rebost de Cadaqués and La Sirena are two of my favorites, but you’ll want a reservation during high season.
Cadaques is well known as its home to Salvador Dali’s house and the home of the Dali Museum – two of the most popular things to do in Cadaques. Aside from that, it’s filled with art, home to Cap de Creus Natural Park, and cobblestone streets that you won’t be able to stay away from!
Platja Gran d’Aro in Platja d’Aro
Contributed by Rebecca from Becci Abroad
Platja Gran d’Aro is a beautiful long sandy beach in the heart of Costa Brava in Catalonia. Among locals in Barcelona, it’s one of the most popular beaches in Costa Brava.
The almost 2,400-meter-long sandy beach in Platja d’Aro is located along the marina right in the city center. There you’ll also find several bars and restaurants. The town of Platja d’Aro also offers several options for local restaurants, cafes, and a shopping street, Avinguda de s’Agaró.
What I enjoyed the most about Platja d’Aro was exploring all the hidden coves in the area with the Cami de Ronda trail that runs on the outside of the cliffs along the coastline. These trails are the perfect way to explore hidden and less accessible beaches and coves in the area.
Compared to the sand beach in Platja d’Aro, the cove beaches in the surrounding areas have more stones and rocks, especially underneath the water. So, it’s a good idea to bring a pair of water shoes with you.
Platja d’Aro is located around 100 km from Barcelona, which makes it the perfect spot for a weekend getaway from Barcelona. To get to the beach from Barcelona, you can rent a car or take the regional bus from the bus company Moventis. By car, the drive to Platja d’Aro takes around one hour and a half, while by bus the drive takes almost 2 hours.
Platja de Pals in Pals
Contributed by Brenda from Traveleira
One of the most beautiful beaches in Catalonia that I had the chance to visit is Platja de Pals. This beach could be considered a hidden gem for tourists but a favorite among locals. Located in the stunning Costa Brava, it’s a sandy beach with a 3.5 km coastline and a big offer for families and people who love hiking.
It also has a nudist area for those looking for more discretion. It’s easy to access from many areas in Catalonia, and it is especially one of the things to do in Girona if you’re visiting in summer.
The medieval town of Pals is around 6km from the beach, and the best way to access it is by car. Paid parking can be found around the beach. There are buses to both Pals and Platja de Pals, but the routes might be harder to access.
Platja de Pals has a nice atmosphere for those who like to relax and chill in bars around the shore. From the shore, you can view the Medes Islands and some islets belonging to the Costa Brava, considered one of the best places for scuba fans.
What I like the most about this beach is that you get the best of the medieval vibe from Pals and a beautiful beach that caters to everyone. My best advice to reach it is to rent a car in Girona and explore the coast and the town.
Platja de Mas Pinell in L’Estartit
Contributed by Anna from Spain Inspired
If you’re in search of a serene spot to soak up some sun, Platja de Mas Pinell in L’Estartit is worth checking out. This beach offers a peaceful escape with its expansive stretch of sand, making it the kind of place where you can easily spread out your towel.
Getting there is a breeze whether you’re driving or prefer public transport, as it’s one of the easier day trips to the Costa Brava from Barcelona at only around a 1.5-hour drive from the Catalan capital. There’s a parking lot nearby, and while it might not always be free, it certainly takes the hassle out of finding a spot for your car. For those who’d rather not drive, public transport options are available, though I’d say driving is your best bet for the most straightforward access.
What sets Platja de Mas Pinell apart is its tranquil ambiance. Unlike some of Catalonia’s more bustling beaches, this one feels more like a hidden retreat. It’s not exactly in the middle of nowhere – it’s accessible enough – but it’s far enough from the hustle and bustle to give a sense of seclusion. The beach’s sandy shores, flanked occasionally by rocks, make it a picturesque spot for leisurely strolls or just lounging around with a good book.
While you won’t find rows of sunbeds and loud bars here, there’s a charm to its simplicity. You might come across a few spots nearby to grab a bite or a refreshing drink, but the area remains unspoiled overall.
It’s this laid-back vibe that truly makes Platja de Mas Pinell stand out. It’s well-known among those who prefer a quieter beach experience but still feels like a hidden gem that’s yet to be discovered by the masses.
Best beaches in Catalonia, Spain – Summing up
Hope you enjoyed our selection of the best beaches in Catalonia. So many beautiful ones to choose from, right? And to think that this is only a small fraction of all available on the Catalan coastline! We’re sure that everyone will find the perfect spot to enjoy the sun, clear water, and golden sand. We wish you an amazing time!
One more tip. Traveling by car, without a doubt, is the best and the fastest way of getting to all mentioned beaches in Catalonia. So if you’re not traveling by car, we recommend you rent one.