When you think of Spain, you likely imagine flamenco dancing, paella, soccer, and siestas. But did you know Spain is also home to some of the most stunning beaches in Europe?
From the white sands of the Canary Islands to the rugged coastline of Galicia, Spain has an incredible diversity of beaches that rival any tropical paradise. Here are some of the most beautiful beaches in Spain you may not expect to find.
Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera
This dazzling white-sand beach on the smallest Balearic Island of Formentera is truly postcard-perfect. Fringed by turquoise waters and surrounded by green hills, Playa de Ses Illetes is consistently ranked among the top beaches in Europe.
It’s easy to see why some consider it one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Nearby, you’ll find charming villages and some of the best beach hotels in Spain with amenities but a more low-key vibe than neighboring Ibiza.
Cala Macarella, Menorca
On the island of Menorca, Cala Macarella stuns with its unique horseshoe shape carved out by the sea. Turquoise waters lap against pale golden sand, with rugged cliffs forming a dramatic backdrop. The shallow waters and lack of development make this feel like your own private paradise.
It’s a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing, though be prepared for crowds in summer. Menorca’s more rural charm and beaches like Cala Macarella are a refreshing change from busier Mediterranean destinations.
Playa de las Catedrales, Galicia
On Spain’s rugged northern coast in Galicia lies Playa de las Catedrales, truly one of the most spectacular beaches in the entire country. Huge granite rock formations tower above the crashing waves, carved out by the ocean into cathedral-like arches and pillars.
It’s a dramatic yet peaceful setting for walking the shore. The wild natural beauty of Galicia’s coastline, with beaches like this, is hard to top.
Playa de Ses Salines, Ibiza
On the southeastern coast of Ibiza, Playa de Ses Salines is a beautiful hidden cove set against a backdrop of green hills. Fine white sand and shallow turquoise waters make it an idyllic spot for swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing.
It’s popular with families yet still feels undeveloped compared to the island’s more famous beaches. In the surroundings, you’ll find charming towns like Sant Joan and some excellent beach hotels in Spain with amenities and easy access to Ibiza’s nightlife.
Cala d’Hort, Mallorca
On Mallorca’s rugged eastern coast lies the exquisite hidden cove of Cala d’Hort. Nestled between pine-covered cliffs, it features soft golden sand, calm crystalline waters, and stunning turquoise hues.
Development is limited to just a few houses tucked into the hills, leaving the beach in a near-pristine natural state. It’s a true slice of tropical paradise you’d never expect to find in Europe. Nearby are charming fishing villages like Cala Ratjada with excellent seafood restaurants.
I hope highlighting these stunning yet lesser-known beaches inspires you to explore more of Spain’s coastline beyond the usual hotspots. With over 4,500 miles of coastline, Spain has an incredible diversity of beaches, many still undiscovered by foreign tourists. Combine beautiful beaches with the country’s rich culture and cuisine for an unforgettable Spanish experience.