Welcome to Andalucia, a much-loved region in Spain by many. Passionate flamenco, delightful white villages, loud tapas bars, birthplace of the bullfights, impressive Alhambra, striking Real Alcazar royal palace, and… splendid beaches! Yes, Andalucia is also a paradise for sun, beach, and watersports lovers. From the dry and harsh beaches in the Province of Almeria in the east to the lively and windsurfing-friendly ones in the west – over 1000km of coastline is home to some of the best beaches in Andalucia, and the whole of Spain.
Until now we’ve spent almost 8 months exploring Andalucia. We lived on Costa de la Luz, Costa del Sol, and Costa de Almeria. During that time we had an opportunity to visit quite a large part of Andalucia 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 Andalucia in Spain. We hope they will enchant you too and help you choose the next one you’ll visit!
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Best beaches in Andalucia FAQ
Yes, yes, and a thousand times yes. Andalucia has amazing beaches and for sure everyone will find the perfect one for himself.
The best time to visit Andalucia beaches actually depends on what you like to do there. If you only want to sunbathe and swim in the sea/ocean – visit during the warm months, from May to September. However remember that July and August will be very hot, busy and most of the 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 (but in winter don’t forget to take a blanket!). Also, from what we’ve observed, water sports enthusiasts aren’t afraid of going into the water even on the coldest winter days!
Best beaches in Andalucia, Spain
Playa de Bolonia near Tarifa, Province of Cadiz
In Andalusia, on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean lies Playa de Bolonia, which quickly became one of our favorite beaches in Spain. It’s a 4km long and 200m wide golden sandy beach, one of the last wild and unspoiled beaches in the country. There you won’t find any hotels. Only a small number of facilities like beach bars, restaurants, and water sports equipment rentals are nearby. Bolonia Beach is most famous for the stunning Bolonia Dune, a 30m high and 200m wide sand formation. Behind the beach, you’ll also find ruins of the Roman city Baelo Claudia.
If you’d like to enjoy the sun, sea, and sand without your swimsuit on you should know that there is an official nude section on its far east end known as El Chorrito. It’s a protected area, characterized by hidden coves and rocks. About 250m from the nudist part you’ll find a chiringuito that opens during summer months.
Playa de Bolonia is located about 25km from Tarifa. The most convenient way to get there is by car, but there’s a bus too.
Playa de Los Lances in Tarifa, Province of Cadiz
Beaches in the Province of Cadiz are one of the best in the entire Andalucia and Playa de Los Lances in Tarifa is without a doubt one of them. It stretches for around 7km, from the town up to chiringuito Arte Vida, and features soft golden sand and clear blue waters. From the beach you can admire amazing views over the Straits of Gibraltar which connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean, and the African coast. When it comes to amenities you’ll find many of them along Los Lances Beach and the promenade behind it – there are restaurants, bars, windsurfing schools, toilets and more.
Thanks to constant winds Tarifa is also one of the world’s most popular destinations for practicing water sports like kitesurfing or windsurfing. So no matter the time of the year, Playa de Los Lances is always filled with water sports lovers and people who love to watch them. If you’re one of them, you’ll be in heaven!
The best way of getting to Playa de Los Lances is either by car or foot, depending on which area you’d like to spend time in. Overall, access isn’t complicated at all.
Playa de Santa Maria del Mar in Cadiz, Province of Cadiz
Contributed by Daniella from Sampler Platter Travel
Playa de Santa Maria del Mar, located on the peninsula of Cadiz, is a beach well-known for its stunning scenery and proximity to the historic old city. Situated close to Cadiz’s main avenues and down a stone flight of stairs, the beach is both walkable from the center of the city as well as reachable by bus.
Playa de Santa María del Mar has jaw-dropping white sand and provides visitors with a ticket to the glistening Atlantic Ocean. Lovers of the water should beware, however, as the ocean is freezing year-round, even when the sun is beating down hard in mid-July! Time at this beach is best spent lounging under an umbrella and sharing food with friends, although adventurous kids will have no problem boogie-boarding in the waves.
While there are no restaurants in Playa de Santa María del Mar, Bar El Doce is a local’s favorite joint, right on the edge of the beach. For snack fans, there are always vendors walking up and down the beach to sell chips and ice-cold beers.
There’s nothing more quintessentially Cadiz than spending a warm afternoon in Playa de Santa María del Mar and soaking up the heat until sunset. Visitors will be thrilled to know that the beach has ample showers to wash off the sand before heading out.
Learn more: 15+ Best Things To Do In Cadiz, Spain In One Day
Playa del Palmar near Cadiz, Province of Cadiz
Contributed by Joanna from Andalucia in My Pocket
El Palmar is a lovely remote beach near Cadiz, popular during the winter months with people who want to learn how to surf. The beach is sandy and the water quite shallow, which makes it perfect for surfers. Winter is best to come here if you want to learn how to surf because of the mild climate and the perfect small waves.
The beach is located in the village of El Palmar, which is very rustic. The best way to get here is by car, or by bike from the nearby town of Conil de la Frontera, which is much better connected to Cadiz. If you are driving here, you can park along the road for free.
There aren’t many facilities here, as the beach is quite wild. There are a few beach bars and restaurants, but that’s about it. Among them, Casa Juan is a must-try, especially for their tuna dishes. There are no lifeguards, not even during the summer months.
You could say that El Palmar is a hidden gem. Due to its remote location, you won’t find many tourists here. Most people coming here stay in surf camps, for weeks at a time. It is also a popular location for nomads living in campervans.
Playa de los Genoveses near Almeria, Province of Almeria
Playa de los Genoveses is one of the most popular beaches in Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park near Almeria. It’s a wide 1.2km long beach, filled with dark golden sand, calm shallow crystal clear waters, and pristine landscapes completely untouched by humans. There you won’t find any amenities so don’t forget to bring any stuff you might need. Without a doubt, Playa de los Genoveses is one of the most beautiful beaches in Andalucia.
To get to Genoveses Beach you need to follow a gravel road that starts near San Jose town. You can do that by car, bike, or on foot. During high season you can also reach the beach by bus, which runs every 30 minutes from 9AM to 9PM. If you travel by car, keep in mind that during summer months access to the beach by car is limited and as soon as the parking is full, the road is closed to cars.
Note. Only 4km from Genoveses Beach you’ll find Playa de Monsul, another very popular beach in Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park. It’s about 300m long pristine beach featuring characteristic standalone rock and no amenities. In our opinion, it’s not as awesome as Genoveses, but it’s definitely worth a look.
Playa de los Muertos near Almeria, Province of Almeria
Playa de los Muertos, the Beach of the Dead, is one of the most iconic beaches in Cabo De Gata Natural Park. It’s a 1.2km long unspoiled beach, mostly filled with small pebbles, featuring a huge standalone rock formation resembling a reptile’s face. The waters are crystal-clear with a beautiful light blue shade, perfect for swimming, snorkeling, or scuba diving. On Los Muertos Beach you also won’t find any amenities – there are no bathrooms, no restaurants or shops, and no lifeguards. Be sure to bring everything you might need for a great day on the beach.
Tip. Before you head down to Playa de los Muerto we suggest you admire it from the viewpoint located near the parking lot, Mirador de la Playa de los Muertos. In our opinion, the beach looks most impressive from that spot and you can clearly see why it holds the title of one of the best beaches in Andalucia.
The beach is located under a high cliff and access to it isn’t very easy. From the parking lot, you need to walk down for about 15 minutes. You can choose between two paths. The main path starts near the information point and is the easiest one but also the longest. The second path starts at the end of the parking area and is steeper and shorter. Unfortunately, if you have mobility issues, you probably won’t be able to go down.
Playa de la Malagueta in Malaga, Province of Malaga
Contributed by Linn Haglund from Amused by Andalucia
Malagueta Beach in Malaga is an ideal beach for those looking for an urban beach within walking distance from historical sites, museums, and tapas bars. It is also a few minutes’ walk from the city’s quaint marina where you find upscale restaurants and bars if you want a change from the beach bars lined along the beach.
It is a sandy beach with facilities like sunbeds and parasols for rent, toilets, and showers. In the summer months, there are lifeguards patrolling the beach. If you travel with kids, you will be pleased to know that there are several playgrounds along the beach where they can get out some energy once they are bored of playing in the sand or in the water. Malagueta Beach is a favorite among locals, expats, and tourists alike due to its excellent and central location.
Malagueta is also a great area to stay in Malaga as you are right on the beachfront but can walk into the old town in a matter of minutes. However, Malaga is a super walkable city, so you can easily walk to the beach from all across the city. If you come from outside Malaga, there are some paid and a few free parking spots in the streets nearby, but your best bet is to park in the marina’s paid underground parking lot.
Playa del Cristo in Estepona, Province of Malaga
Contributed by Lavina D’Souza from Continent Hop
Estepona is a town on Malaga’s coast with a beautiful beach called Playa del Cristo. This beach has fine, stone-free sand which is cleaned every day. The blue water is calm and not very deep. It is great for swimming, and relaxing in the sun.
The beach is ideal for families and children because the water is shallow and patrolled by rescuers. While you relax in the sun, the kids may play safely. Playa del Cristo is also great for people who want to try new things. It’s great for water sports like paddleboarding and kayaking. Young people also like the beach a lot because it has nice views. It has beautiful sunsets which are worth witnessing.
This beach offers a peaceful break from the hustle of the city. Including Playa del Cristo in your Barcelona itinerary 5 days will provide the ideal balance of city activity and seaside relaxation.
Despite its somewhat remote location, Playa del Cristo is easily accessible. Visitors can choose between a magnificent coastline walk to the beach, driving (with adequate parking), or taking public transportation such as buses or taxis from the town of Estepona.
Several beach bars, known as “Chiringuito”, offer elegant seaside eating. You can sample a range of tasty local seafood dishes and some excellent Spanish cuisine here. Don’t forget to taste the charcoal fish, which is especially popular. After a relaxing swim, you may unwind here with drinks and snacks.
Playa de Puerto Banus in Marbella, Province of Malaga
Contributed by Cristina from My Little World of Travelling
Playa de Puerto Banús is a beach located in the lovely city of Marbella, specifically next to Marbella’s famous port called Puerto Banus. It’s a beautiful golden sand beach, also known as Playa de Rio Verde, because it is next to the mouth of the Verde River. It isn’t very shallow, which makes it perfect for travelers with kids.
Due to its location, it is a very popular beach and is considered one of the most glamorous beaches in Marbella. You can find a wide range of restaurants and bars, sunbeds and umbrellas, toilets and showers. The beach is also home to the CostaWaterPark, an aquatic water park afloat on the sea a few meters from the shore. This one is open from the middle of June to the Middle of September.
The best way to access the beach is by car, especially if you come from Malaga or other Costa del Sol towns. There is a free car park close to the Meliá Marbella Banus hotel. If you stay in Marbella Centre, you can also access it by bus. Number 1 bus is only €1.18 and takes between 20 and 25 minutes.
Before or after spending time on this lovely beach, I recommend wandering Puerto Banus or taking a boat tour, where you can enjoy the beautiful sunset and take in the sea and mountain views.
Playa de Cabopino in Marbella, Province of Malaga
Playa de Cabopino is a 1.5km long beach with fine gold sand and calm shallow waters. It’s one of the best pristine beaches you can find in Andalucia and actually the only beach in Marbella that isn’t urbanized. All because of Dunas de Artola, which are the protected sand dunes declared a Natural Monument in 2001. On Cabopino Beach you won’t find any toilets and showers, but there’s a place where you can rent beach equipment. The closest beach bar is on the east end of the beach, near Cabopino Port.
The beach is easily accessible by car or by bus. It’s located about 15km from Marbella and 7km from La Cala de Mijas. Parking is free along the little road leading to the beach. In high season it gets full quickly so be sure to arrive early.
What’s more, Playa de Cabopino is clothing-optional and can be divided into the following parts – the east part is for swimwear, the central is mixed, and the nudist part is located on the western part and is bordered by Artola sand dunes.
Learn more: 10+ Best Things to do in Marbella, Spain
Playa el Cañuelo near Nerja, Province of Malaga
Contributed by Nadine from Le Long Weekend
One of Andalucia’s best-kept secrets, Playa el Cañuelo is located north of Nerja, nestled in a nature reserve in the northern reaches of the Costa del Sol in Spain. A blend of sand and pebbles, the beach eases gently into clam, crystalline waters that are ideal for snorkeling, swimming, and kayaking. The latter is especially handy for exploring the hidden coves to the north of the beach. Framed by rugged cliffs, and verdant hills, it’s one of the best quiet beaches on the Costa del Sol, as it’s not overrun with visitors, and its length means you’re always able to find a serene spot to relax and spread out your towel.
You can drive as far as the hill above the beach, but it pays to get there before midday if you want one of the coveted car-free parks. From the car park, the beach is reached via a 15-minute downhill walk, following the marked sendero. Or you can take a shuttle bus for €2 during the peak season.
Despite its somewhat remote location, there’s still the convenience of a couple of beachside eateries nearby for when hunger strikes. And you’ll find both sunbeds and kayaks available to hire on a section of the beach too.
Learn more: 10+ Best Things To Do In Nerja, Spain In One Day
Playa de Maro near Nerja, Province of Malaga
Contributed by Victoria from Guide Your Travel
Maro Beach, nestled along the stunning coastline of Andalucia, stands out as one of the region’s hidden gems. Located near the charming towns of Nerja and Frigilliana, Maro Beach is a picturesque escape with its pristine sandy shores and crystal-clear waters. Its defining feature is the juxtaposition of golden sands against the rugged cliffs surrounding the area, creating a breathtaking landscape for beachgoers.
Accessing Maro Beach is best accomplished by car, allowing visitors to navigate scenic coastal roads easily. While there is limited parking, free and paid options are available, providing convenience for those seeking a day of seaside tranquility. The journey to Maro Beach may involve a short walk from the parking area, enhancing the sense of discovery and seclusion.
Being a hidden gem, Maro Beach offers a more intimate and secluded experience than some of Andalucia’s more popular beaches. The absence of large crowds allows visitors to enjoy the natural beauty and serenity of the surroundings.
Despite its hidden nature, Maro Beach doesn’t lack amenities. Beachgoers can relax on sunbeds, and charming beachside restaurants and bars serve delectable local cuisine. These facilities enhance the overall experience, ensuring visitors have everything they need for leisure.
Maro Beach is a well-kept secret among locals and savvy travelers, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a quieter and more authentic Andalusian beach experience. The blend of natural beauty, accessibility, and amenities makes Maro Beach a standout choice among the best beaches in Andalucia.
Playa La Herradura near Nerja, Province of Granada
Contributed by Steff from JustTravelous
Playa La Herradura is a great local beach destination away from the crowded beaches of the nearby Malaga or Nerja. The beach has everything that you could want for a relaxed beach holiday. A cute small town with local bakeries, small boutique shops, restaurants, bars, and grocery stores. A great scuba diving center with diving locations right on the beach in town. Access to all the water sports with kayak, paddle surf/surfboard, and sailing rentals all in town. It is great for both couples and families.
Playa La Herradura is a great place to stay for the week and take day trips by car to explore the surrounding areas. Both Granada and two national parks (Sierra Nevada and Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara y Alhama) are within an hour’s drive. Nerja is a 15-minute drive away, so it is also great to explore.
The beach is a mix of sand and small rocks. It’s about 1.5 kilometers long and is tucked between two mountains. It’s best to access it by car, but a public bus is also available.
There is a small selection of bars and sunbeds along the beach. Traveling outside peak season in April, May, September, or October will mean having the beach to yourself most days and cheaper rates at the apartments.
Best beaches in Andalucia, Spain – Summing up
Hope you enjoyed our selection of the best beaches in Andalucia. So many beautiful ones to choose from, right? And to think that this is only a small fraction of all available on the Andalucian 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!