Finding a little patch of sandy Spanish paradise to call your own can be a tricky business. There’s a reason people flock on holidays to Spain in droves, the Spanish sun, sea and sand are all a huge draw. The drawback being that we all want them. But, if you know where to look, you can search out the best beaches in Spain for your own coastal haven that only you and the locals are privy to. Just don’t tell anyone we let you in on the secret. Enjoy your Spanish holiday!
1. Cala Llentrisca, Ibiza
Best for: Snorkelling in the morning
The best kept secrets are hard to find. This is one of the most isolated and hardest to reach beaches on Ibiza island, but the sheltered bay surrounded by cedars is so worth the effort. Drive to Es Cubells (or stay there) near Sant Josep and take the left fork into Es Cubells and park in the plaza. The path to Cala Llentrisca leads around the back of a house and down a steep hill to the pebble beach. Once you get there, keep an eye out for the traditionally painted fisherman’s huts. This is an especially good spot for swimming and snorkelling as it drops off quite quickly, and the unique green water is crystal clear. Visit early in the day for the sun on this eastern-facing beach and remember to bring everything with you, as there are no facilities at all.
2. Cala Salada – Ibiza
Best for: Chilled out family days
A 15-minute drive North from San Antonio will bring you to Cala Salada. This hidden beach is a favourite with locals and private boat owners, as no tourist ferries ever stop here, although it does fill up on weekends. The sea is warm and shallow and the beach is mainly soft sand, making this an ideal hideaway for families during the quieter weekdays. Rocky outcrops provide lots of fun spots, great for jumping into the sea. There’s also a fantastic beach bar serving up traditional fare like seafood paella.
3. Platja des Coll Baix – Mallorca
Best for: Adventurers
A long walk through pine trees rewards you with a view of this magnificent beach. The bay lies surrounded by mountain slopes, its sand and shingle lapped by milky turquoise water. To get here from Alcúdia, take the Cami del Mal Pas for 1.5km, when you reach a roundabout take your second right into the Cami de la Muntanya for 3km until you reach a small shelter. From here follow the signs to the path and you’ll reach the beach in about 30 minutes.
4. Calo des Moro – Mallorca
Best for: Early-rising families
Found in the south-eastern part of the island, 6km from Santanyi, this little beach is well worth a visit. High cliffs on both sides provide plenty of shelter, meaning it’s warm and the water is calm and clear. It’s beautiful, sandy and unspoilt but at only 30 metres long it can get crowded at weekends. It’s best to get there early and aim for a weekday to visit this hidden beach gem.
5. Playa de Guayedra – Gran Canaria
Best for: Privacy and playing in the waves
Far from the crowds of the rest of Gran Canaria lies Playa de Guayedra. A haven in the sanctuary of the Tamdaba Natural Park. Park your car in the Guayedra ravine, and walk for about 15 minutes to the beach, ignore the stony section when you first arrive – it’s sandy further on, promise! It can be quite windy here, so the waves come crashing in. Make sure you enter the sea between the rocks, rather than right next to them. This beach is rarely full, a real treat to find in Gran Canaria. Look out for friendly lizards wanting to share your picnic!
6. Playa el Puertito – Tenerife
Best for: Snorkelling with sea turtles
The peaceful beach at the village of El Puertito is favoured with Spanish families. It’s well off the tourist track but very easily reached by car. Snorkellers are often accompanied by sea turtles here, and the calm shallow waters close to the shore make it perfect for splashing around with the kids. Being so close to the village means you have lots of facilities on hand for when you need a break from the sun.
7. Cala El Golfet – Costa Brava
Best for: Those up for a rewarding journey
Until very recently, this beach didn’t have a sign pointing you to it. It does now, but the secret hasn’t gotten out yet. It is situated 1.5km outside the town of Calella de Palafrugell. If driving, you can park on Carrer del Cap Planes where you will find a sign leading you down a flight of steps to a footpath to the beach. Follow the path around a rocky headland and under an arch of trees to get to this golden sand bay. If the tide is in, you may need to wade a little bit to get there, but it’s a small price to pay.
8. Monsul Beach – Almeria
Best for: Sun-loving movie buffs
You might recognize this beach from Indiana Jones, amongst other movies. The unique volcanic rock formations that surround it are strikingly beautiful, and the fine sand and crystal waters are idyllic. A huge rock in the centre of the beach provides a focal point and some welcome shade in the hottest part of the day. You won’t find any facilities here, so be sure to take everything with you. You can reach Monsul beach by car down a forest track around 4kms long from San José, but bear in mind that parking is limited. Alternatively, there is also a shuttle bus from San José.
9. Calas Torre del Pino – Andalucia
Best for: Snorkelling adventures and baring it all
This secluded, ‘clothing optional’ beach is a haven away from the busy tourist spots down the coast. The diving and snorkelling off the sand and shingle beach is exceptional. The water is crystal-clear and there are many caves and underwater rock formations to explore. Getting to the beach is down a short but steep 200m path from the Torre del Pino watchtower, about 6kms east of Nerja.
10. Playa de la Granadella – Costa Blanca
Best for: Incredible views
This horseshoe-shaped shingle beach near Jávea is absolutely stunning. Although not strictly hidden, it is lesser known than the other heaving beaches in the area. It’s popular with the locals, which means it can get busy but it’s so beautiful that you won’t mind too much. Be sure to take a snorkel to explore the seagrass beds just off the shore. If you need a break from the sun, take a walk through the pine forests that surround the cove and head up to the castle or lookout point. A little shack on the beach serves refreshments and there are some great local restaurants just behind the beach.
If you’re not already planning your family holiday in Spain, right now you’re probably reaching for your flip-flops in anticipation. If you need some more inspiration, check out our authentic local’s guide to Andalucia, the Ibiza travel guide and the local’s guide to Mallorca. Our concierge team are also on hand to help you choose the best villa for your holiday in Spain, or you can peruse the collection yourself!