15 Best Coastal Cities in Spain

Hola! Are you planning your next holidays in Spain but don’t know which place to choose? Additionally, you prefer a bigger city with many attractions rather than a small sleepy town? We got you covered! Along Spain’s coastline, you’ll find great cities with some of the best beaches in Europe. They’re the reasons why Spain became a paradise for sun, beach, and watersports lovers!

But that still leaves you with a question – which coastal city should you choose? Somewhere in Andalucia? Catalonia? Valencia? Or maybe in more peaceful and undiscovered Region of Murcia? We’ve seen a lot of them and here is our subjective list. Vamos, let us show you the best coastal cities in Spain and help find your perfect spot to enjoy the sun, sea, and golden sand.

For ease of use, we categorized the list based on Spanish regions. If you want to know more about a particular city just hit the link to a specific post about it.

Discover Best Coastal Cities in Spain
Happy Little Traveler Authors

Created by Sonia & Wojtek

One day, we packed our lives and slowly rushed into the unknown with smiles on our faces. We’re full-time digital nomads traveling in Europe who inspire to live, travel, and discover differently. Sunny coastal destinations are what we love most. We share travel guides, tips, and know-how to make planning your next trip a piece of cake. Real human experience and verified facts only!


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Coastal cities in Andalucia

Cadiz

Cadiz is a charming and quaint Andalucian city located on a narrow slice of land, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. It’s one of the oldest, and continuously inhabited cities in Western Europe, first settled by the Phoenicians around 3000 years ago. Later, Romans settled there and built an impressive city. Over the years Cadiz was one of the most important ports in Europe and also a starting point for Christopher Columbus’s travels. Nowadays, it’ll enchant you with amazing landscapes filled with blue water, fishing boats, and golden sandy beaches, as well as a charming old town full of history.

Learn more iconLearn more: 15+ Best Things To Do In Cadiz, Spain In One Day

Coastal Cities in Spain - Cadiz
Holidays in Spain - Cadiz

Almeria

Almeria is one of the most beautiful coastal cities in Spain, located in the warmest and driest region of Spain. It’s a city with a great vibe that will keep you entertained for a long time. Almeria is best known for its impressive well-preserved Alcazaba, a unique-looking cathedral, a charming old town perfect for lazy strolls, and tranquil beaches with mesmerizing blue Mediterranean Sea waters. What’s more, it still isn’t a very popular travel destination so if you hate crowds you’ll appreciate its calmness. Almeria is a great holiday destination all year round.

Learn more iconLearn more: 10+ Best Things To Do In Almeria City In Spain

Things To Do In Almeria City
Coastal Cities in Spain - Almeria

Roquetas de Mar

Roquetas de Mar is another great coastal city in Spain. It’s one of the most popular holiday resorts on Costa de Almeria where thousands of people flee to look for the sun and relaxation. And no wonder! Beautiful sunny weather all year round with little rain and an average temperature of 18°C, golden sandy Blue Flag beaches, mesmerizing blue sea waters, modern hotels, many restaurants, and a wide range of activities… All of that makes Roquetas de Mar a great holiday destination in Andalucia. It’s hard to believe that only during the last about 50 years this town has evolved from a traditional fishing village into a modern holiday resort!

Learn more iconLearn more: Things To Do In Roquetas de Mar Near Almeria, Spain

Coastal Cities in Spain - Roquetas de Mar
Things To Do In Roquetas de Mar Near Almeria

Marbella

Without a doubt, Marbella is one of the most popular holiday destinations on Costa del Sol. This coastal city is most famous for its vivid nightlife scene with many nightclubs and bars. There are plenty of beautiful sandy beaches, an enchanting old town with a typical Andalusian vibe, delicious food, as well as golf courses, and luxury shopping. So if you’re looking for some fun and chic at the same time – Marbella is a place for you!

Learn more iconLearn more: 10+ Best Things to do in Marbella, Spain

Old Town Streets of Marbella, Spain
Old Town Streets in Marbella, Spain

Malaga

Malaga is one of the oldest cities in Spain. It’s the capital of Andalusia and the birthplace of the famous artist Pablo Picasso. 300 sunny days per year, hot summers, warm winters, historic wonders, sun-soaked beaches, culinary delights, museums, and art galleries… Probably nothing else needs to be mentioned to convince you that Malaga is a great destination. And a very popular one, all year round! Whatever type of traveler you are, you won’t be bored there.

Learn more iconLearn more: 15+ Places Near Malaga For One Day Trips

Costal cities in Spain - Malaga in Andalucia
Source: pixabay.com

Tarifa

Tarifa is the southernmost point of Spain and mainland Europe. It lies right across Morocco, in a place where the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea meet. It might not be the biggest coastal city in Spain but it’s definitely full of amazing things to do, especially for water sports lovers. Thanks to strong, constant winds Tarifa is called Europe’s capital of the wind, and hence is one of the world’s most popular destinations for water sports. Tarifa also boasts one of the best and most beautiful beaches in Andalucia and a charming old town with a very chilled-out vibe.

Learn more iconLearn more: 15+ Things To Do In Tarifa, Spain – Complete Travel Guide

Coastal Cities in Spain - Tarifa
Tarifa, Spain - White Old Town

Estepona

Estepona is a charming hidden coastal gem in Andalucia, often overlooked in favor of other cities on Costa del Sol. In the 60s it was only a little fishing village and since then it developed into one of the biggest towns in the area. Nonetheless, the old town kept its charm, and strolling among its streets feels like stepping back in time. The newest part of Estepona is well-known for its colorful murals adorning many buildings. There, you’ll also find many lovely beaches, some even awarded a Blue Flag. Perfect place for a quieter holiday!

Learn more iconLearn more: 15+ Best Things To Do In Estepona, Spain In One Day

Estepona Old Town Street
One Day In Estepona. What To See? Complete Travel Guide

Coastal cities in Valencian Community

Alicante

Alicante is one of the largest cities in Spain population-wise. Thanks to a typical Mediterranean climate with warm summers and mild winters with lots of sunshine, Alicante is a very popular travel destination all year round. And it offers plenty! From charming old town, hilltop castle, and unique Mushroom Street to many cultural attractions, vivid nightlife, delicious Mediterranean food, and great beaches. Alicante will be a great choice if you’re also looking for a lot of fun during your holidays.

Learn more iconLearn more: Things To Do In Alicante Old Town, Spain In One Day

View over Santa Bárbara Castle from Santa Cruz District in Alicante, Spain
Mushroom Street on San Francisco Street in Alicante, Spain
Alicante, Spain - Old Town Streets

Benidorm

Benidorm is quite a unique coastal city on Costa Blanca. In just about 50 years it evolved from a small, sleepy fishing village to one of the most popular holiday resorts in Spain. It’s often affectionately called the “Manhattan of Spain”. One look is enough to tell that Benidorm is totally different from most Spanish cities. Besides the unique coastline look with many skyscrapers, the town has a lot to offer – striking beaches, mountain views, vivid nightlife, and lots of attractions both for adults and kids.

Learn more iconLearn more: 15+ Things To Do In Benidorm, Spain

Things to do in Benidorm, Spain
Coastal Cities in Spain - Benidorm

Valencia

Valencia is the third largest city in Spain and the birthplace of the paella dish. There, hundreds of years of fascinating history blend with modern times very smoothly. Even though Valencia also offers striking architecture, magnificent beaches, and fantastic food, it’s often overlooked for Barcelona by many. But some huge advantage comes with it – fewer tourists and smaller crowds! Doesn’t it sound like a perfect coastal city for holidays?

Learn more iconLearn more: 15+ Best Day Trips From Valencia, Spain

Coastal cities in Spain - Valencia
Source: pixabay.com

Coastal cities in Region of Murcia

La Manga del Mar Menor

La Manga del Mar Menor is a narrow piece of land that separates the Mediterranean Sea from the Mar Menor Lagoon, stretching for approximately 22km. Until the 1960s it was a natural and virgin area that was completely urbanized in just over dozens of years. Nowadays, it’s considered one of the most renowned tourist destinations in Murcia for sun, beach, relaxation, and watersports. La Manga offers beautiful sandy beaches, stunning views on both sides and many attractions for active travelers. It’s a place where you can choose if you want to take a dip into calm Mar Menor Lagoon waters or the little mightier Mediterranean Sea.

Learn more iconLearn more: Holidays In La Manga Del Mar Menor Murcia, Spain

Coastal Cities in Spain - La Manga
Coastal Cities in Spain - La Manga

Coastal cities in Catalonia

Salou

Salou is best known for being one of the most popular holiday spots on Costa Dorada which offers a perfect blend of relaxation and excitement. There you’ll find nice views, sandy beaches, exciting attractions for people of all ages, and lively nightlife. If you’re looking for some thrill and adrenaline rush be sure to visit PortAventura World – a world-renowned theme park featuring a diverse array of attractions from heart-pounding roller coasters to captivating live shows.

Learn more iconLearn more: 10+ Best Things To Do In Salou, Spain

Things To Do In Salou, Spain
Coastal Cities in Spain - Salou

Tarragona

Tarragona is a real heaven for history buffs and those who want to escape Barcelona crowds. It’s a place where history comes to life at its best and surrounds you wherever you go. Numerous Roman ruins and archeological sites, ravishing medieval old town, gripping festivals featuring human towers, and great beaches… Tarragona has it all and even more, and will keep every traveler entertained.

Learn more iconLearn more: 15+ Best Things To Do In Tarragona, Spain

Things To Do In Tarragona, Spain
Coastal Cities in Spain - Tarragona

Barcelona

Barcelona, a jewel of Catalonia, is a city that probably needs no introduction. It attracts travelers with a captivating combination of history, architectural wonders, and vibrant Mediterranean life. It’ll be your perfect holiday destination for you if you love huge and lively cities with dozens of things to do. Wandering among old town streets, admiring surreal Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces like Sagrada Familia or Park Güell, exploring the enchanting Gothic Quarter, tasting local delicacies, and relaxing on one of many magnificent beaches are just a few examples! No matter how long you’ll be there – you’ll always have something new to discover and do in Barcelona!

Learn more iconLearn more: 15 Best Places To Visit Near Barcelona, Spain

Coastal cities in Spain - Barcelona
Source: pixabay.com

Sitges

Sitges is a small coastal city located close to Barcelona. If you’re looking for a place with scenic beaches, a delightful old town, a relaxed vibe, lively festivals, or fierce all-night-long parties – Sitges will be a great choice for you. No matter if you’re a party-seeker or just looking for a picturesque getaway destination in Catalonia – this town should satisfy all your interests and needs. Also, Sitges is one of the most liberal and open-minded cities in the world with an amazing LGBT-friendly atmosphere!

Learn more iconLearn more: 10+ Best Things To Do In Sitges, Spain

Coastal Cities in Spain - Sitges
Things To Do in Sitges, Spain

Best coastal cities in Spain – Summing up

There is such a wide choice of coastal cities in Spain perfect for beach holidays, isn’t it? Some are fairly peaceful, and some are very lively. No matter what you are looking for, we’re sure you’ll find it. We hope this post was helpful, and now you’re one step closer to choosing your dream holiday spot, best suited to your needs. Enjoy your time in Spain!

One more tip. Traveling by car, without a doubt, is the best and the fastest way of getting to all the mentioned coastal cities and to explore their surroundings. So if you’re not traveling by car, we recommend you rent one using the Rental Cars website.

Our opinion about coastal cities in Spain & our TOP3

Until now we’ve spent over 1 year exploring Spain, and out of it 10 months along the Mediterranean/Atlantic. We lived in each region and during that time we had a great opportunity to visit quite a lot of places and got to know them pretty well. Overall, we enjoyed all the mentioned cities (otherwise we wouldn’t recommend them to you!) and we think they are great choices for beach holidays.

We found coastal cities in Catalonia and Valencia the wildest, perfect for those who love to party and have fun. Andalucia and Murcia were much quieter. But remember that it’s our subjective opinion based on observations from different times of the year, not only high season.

Our TOP3 coastal cities in Southern Spain? Almeria, Tarifa, and Estepona!

Happy Little Traveler - Best Coastal Cities in Spain

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