Top 25+ Andalusia Beaches

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Andalucia is Spain's southernmost region with gorgeous sandy beaches on which much of Spanish tourism is grounded. From east to west, this 621-mile-long coastline (1000km) runs along the Mediterranean coast taking in the Costas: Costa Almeria, Costa Tropical, Costa del Sol and Costa de la Luz. Beaches range from endless stretches of golden sand to tiny rocky coves and sandy bays.

The most diverse and interesting beaches are found along the coast of Almeria. They are also the least crowded. Sandy coves line the rocky coast of Granada Province (Costa Tropical) before giving way to the iconic Costa del Sol. This highly developed area from Torremolinos to Marbella has endless sandy beaches lined with promenades, bars, cafés and high-rise apartments. Incidentally, it has more jet skis per capita than anywhere else in Europe!

From Easter to late September, sunbathing is the main occupation as Andalucia's beaches attract over 12 million sun-worshippers every year. The most popular playas are uniformly covered in sun loungers with colourful umbrellas. Beach activities include swimming, boating, banana boat rides, parasailing, fishing, and did we mention sunbathing?

In contrast, the peaceful Costa de la Luz stretching to Portugal's border has long sandy beaches backed by dunes and pine woods.

  • 1. Bolonia // Costa de la Luz


    In the province of Cadiz in Andalucia are the white sands of Bolonia beach which stretch out far along the coastline. Untouched and secluded, the soft sandy beach is backed by the remains of the Roman city of Baelo Claudia, which are worth exploring.

    There is also a nudist section of the beach at the southern end of the bay.

    read more »
  • 2. Playa de los Alemanes // Costa de la Luz

    Playa de los Alemanes

    Located next to the village of Zahara isPlaya de los Alemanes, a largely unspoilt stretch of golden sand. Reaching about 1,500 metres (a mile) in width, the beach would never get crowded, even if it was on the beaten track.

    Backed by a gently sloping hillside dotted with upmarket villas the wide bay still retains much of its natural appeal. There isn't much in the way of facilities here either -… read more »

  • 3. Playa la Victoria // Costa de la Luz

    Playa la Victoria
    © joserpizarro/123RF

    Undoubtedly one of the most popular beaches in Cadiz, Playa la Victoria is a favourite with locals as well as visitors to the area. A beach sitting firmly within the city limits, its 2.8-kilometre length is matched by a promenade alongside it that hosts hotels, bars, restaurants and nightclubs.

    The beach itself comprises a good width of near-white sands facing out into the Atlantic, with some rocks beneath the waves… read more »

  • 4. Playa de Caños de Meca // Costa de la Luz

    Playa de Caños de Meca

    The south facing beach of Caños de Meca (named after its nearest settlement) is a relatively narrow but exceptionally long stretch of golden sand running for close to three kilometres.

    Around 16 kilometres southwest of Vejer, it is located in a stunning area of natural beauty, situated between cliffs that climb to a height of 100 metres and the Trafalgar lighthouse. What's more, it's backed onto by the pine trees… read more »

  • 5. Playa del Cañuelo

    Playa del Cañuelo

    Playa del Cañuelo is a shingle beach some 400 metres in length. Situated on the border between Malaga and Granada, it is within Acantilados de Maro Cerro Gordo nature reserve. It's location within this protected region of coastline ensures there's no rampant development. Instead, visitors to the beach will find a couple of well-regarded restaurants catering for all your food and drink needs, as well as an improving lot of… read more »

  • 6. Zahara de los Atunes // Costa de la Luz

    Zahara de los Atunes
    Luis Rogelio HM

    Also going by the name of Playa el Carmen, Zahara de los Atunes is never unduly over crowded, even during the peak summer months, thanks largely to its sheer size. Stretching for more than six kilometres, its dune-like landscape of fine sand is backed by low cliffs, coastal flora, and unobtrusive villas.

    Offering waters so clear they have been awarded a Blue Flag, Zahara de los Atunes is a good… read more »

  • 7. Playa de El Palmar // Costa de la Luz

    Playa de El Palmar

    Setting itself up as the surf capital of Andalusia, Playa de el Palmar sees a succession of surfers visiting its seven kilometres of near-straight golden sands right throughout the year. During the summer months, its kite surfers you're most likely to come across, while in the winter, it's board surfers. A surf school and rental centre on the beach means even beginners can have a go.

    Roughly five kilometres north of… read more »

  • 8. Playa de los Muertos // Costa de Almería

    Playa de los Muertos

    Situated between two coastal villages, Carboneras and Agua Amarga, and roughly 55 minutes by car from Almeria, Playa de los Muertos has appeared more than once in lists of not only the best beaches in Spain, but also the best beaches in all of Europe.

    Despite its sinister name, the "Beach of the Dead", which stems from the time of pirates and shipwrecks, Playa de los Muertos is a haven for… read more »

  • 9. Playa de los Genoveses // Costa de Almería

    Playa de los Genoveses
    Kevin Pacheco

    Found on the Costa de Almeria, around three kilometres from the town of Nijar, Playa de los Genoveses forms perhaps the most stunning vistas of Cabo de Gata Natural Park. With smooth yellow sand stretching the length of an entire bay, and surrounded on its inland side by virgin dunes, there are no facilities or amenities on Playa de los Genoveses. Visitors therefore need to bring all they will need… read more »

  • 10. Playa de las Negras // Costa de Almería

    Playa de las Negras
    © Jerzy Górecki

    This shingle and dark sand beach is right at the centre of life in the town of the same name, on Andalusia's eastern coastline. It takes its name from the black sea cliff, Cerro Negro, to the eastern side of this small inlet of the Mediterranean Sea.

    Situated within the confines of Parque Natural Cabo de Gata, Playa de las Negras is approximately 850 metres in length. It is easily reached… read more »

  • 11. Playa de Cuesta Maneli // Costa de la Luz

    Playa de Cuesta Maneli
    José Mari D. Barba

    Playa de Cuesta Maneli has fine, golden sand that runs for several kilometres. Situated within the confines of Doñana Natural Park, around 35 kilometres southeast of Huelva, the beach has very few facilities on offer, with a sole chiringuito (with toilets) open in the summer for refreshments.

    The location of Playa de Cuesta Maneli within the protected area of Doñana means vistas to and from the beach are largely unspoilt by… read more »

  • 12. Playa Calahonda // Costa Tropical

    Playa Calahonda
    © Rober Martinez

    The last beach on the Costa Tropical before it turns into the Costa Almeria, Playa Calahonda lies south of Granada around a small village of the same name that manages to maintain an authentic regional air and lacks the large hotel developments of elsewhere on the Andalusian coast.

    Protected by a headland on its eastern side, and with cliffs to its rear, the beach is a sheltered one, with an ambience… read more »

  • 13. Playa de Maro // Costa del Sol

    Playa de Maro

    Also known by its English name, Maro Beach, Playa de Maro is a Blue Flag beach lying within Acantilados del Mar Nature Reserve. Known for its seclusion, this 500 metre long stretch of deep greyish sand mixed with occasional pebbles is a virgin beach, meaning it has been all but untouched by development.

    Playa de Maro is therefore a fantastic area of coast for those seeking an escape from the mass… read more »

  • 14. Playa del Cristo // Costa del Sol

    Playa del Cristo
    Turista Inglesa

    Stretching around a small bay immediately to the west of Punta de la Doncella and the attractive marina of Puerto Pesquero de Estepona, Playa del Cristo is approximately 700 metres long. Combining stone-free dark sands with calm shallow waters, protected on one side by a sea wall, amenities include several play areas. As a result, it's a beach that has become popular with families with young children.

    Accessible on foot and… read more »

  • 15. Playa La Rada // Costa del Sol

    Playa La Rada
    Turista Inglesa

    Situated on the eastern side of Estepona, Playa de la Rada runs for over two kilometres. Although not the calmest of beaches on the Costa del Sol, with moderate waves, its deep grey sands and long beachside promenade makes Playa de la Rada an excellent all-round option favoured by locals and visitors alike.

    Accessible for those with disabilities, and in close proximity to the heart of Estepona, Playa de la Rada… read more »