Spain is always a popular destination for those in search of great weather and a relaxing holiday vibe. But for those looking specifically for a collection of incredible beaches, Andalucía is the region to visit. Easily accessible with a car rental in Malaga, the area is home to some of the most beautiful beaches you can ever hope to find. No matter if you are looking for stretches of picturesque sand, water sport activities, or to enjoy some nature, Andalucía has a beach for you. In this guide we are going to touch on some of the area’s very best beach offerings, helping you to decide just which ones you want to head to during your time in this magical part of Spain.
Josh, from the Spanish blog Spain for Pleasure, and who once lived in the area, told us the following about what makes Andalucía so great for beaches: “Andalucía is ideal for a beach getaway because there are so many options available. From fine white-sand beaches along the Costa de la Luz and the tourist-friendly beach towns of the Costa del Sol, to the pebble shores of the Costa Tropical and the protected, isolated slices of beach paradise in the Costa Almeria. Driving through Cabo de Gata – part of Andalucía’s easternmost coastal region – is like finally reaching the promised land of pure, unspoiled beach scenery.”
La Caleta de Maro
La Caleta de Maro is often named as one of Spain’s very best beaches, let alone Andalucía! Located East of Malaga, right next to Nerja, La Caleta de Maro sits alongside a lovely little fishing village of the same name and truly is the go-to spot for those seeking the best of the Spanish sun. Surrounded by incredible scenery, from rock formations and mountainous landscapes to the beautiful Maro waterfall, this dramatic beach won’t fail to impress. And then when you consider the incredible sea life available in the cove, it’s easy to see why Maro is a favourite for snorkellers.
Toti and Alessia, from the travel blog Italian Trip Abroad, loved their stay in the area and have fond memories of visiting the beach in Maro, saying the following about its nature scene: “This amazing beach is close to the town of Nerja, it’s the favourite among locals. If you like to do snorkelling this is the place for you, but be careful, fishing in this area is banned, and thanks to this law the area is full of marine sea life, ideal for discovering the deep Mediterranean water.”
If you are looking for fine-white sand during your Andalucía holiday, the beaches of Cadiz are for you. One of the very best is certainly Bolonia beach (Playa de Bolonia), a beach that is truly the complete package, offering picture-perfect scenery and a host of things to see and do. This immaculate beach with its endless white sand will delight every member of the family, from those who want to spend hours sunbathing to kids who want nothing more than to play games in and out of the turquoise water. There is also a massive sand dune which has proven to be a must-visit attraction, as has the fascinating Baelo Claudia museum with Roman ruins, handily placed right next to the beach.
Speaking a little about what’s on offer at this lovely setting, the team at Ruralidays – who specialise in holiday homes in Andalucía – said: “We think that Bolonia is such a must-see in Andalucía because of its sand dunes, the most famous of which is the 30-metre-high Duna de Bolonia (declared Monumento Natural in 2001). It’s also peculiar because of the ruins of Baelo Claudia that overlooks the Ocean. We would recommend visiting it in summer, from May/June to late September.”
For those interested in windsurfing or kitesurfing, then heading to Tarifa Beach (also in the beach haven that is Cadiz) is an absolute must. Tarifa is known as one of the world’s most popular destinations for wind sports thanks to the strong winds that perfectly permeate this gorgeous white sand beach. Playa de Los Lances is the most famous stretch of sand in the area, starting from the town and stretching a massive 6.2 miles to the forests of the Alcornocales Natural Park. There are also great facilities on hand, with public toilets, showers, changing rooms, lifeguards, restaurants and beach bars – providing everything you could need for a memorable day at the beach.
Toti and Alessia from Italian Trip Abroad have also enjoyed spending time at Tarifa, saying the following about its most notable attribute: “Visiting Tarifa is one of the best things to do in the Costa del Sol. The best kite surfing schools are here in Tarifa, thanks to the weather conditions… making this beach the ideal spot to learn and improve your kiteboarding skills.”
Playa de los Muertos
Almeria is another area of Andalucía that is known for its wonderful beaches. Playa de los Muertos is certainly one of the standouts, proving to be a star attraction for Almeria. Getting its name from men that used to wash up on the shore after shipwrecks, this 1km-long stretch of idyllic sand is certainly not a touristy spot, with a 20-minute walk needed to reach this secluded area. Thanks to its tucked-away location, the beach has remained as nature intended it, surrounded by beautiful natural vistas. Once you reach this delightful spot, the clear waters of the Almeria coast will be waiting for you – a better setting for a relaxing day in the sun can hardly be found.
Josh from Spain for Pleasure knows full well the delights of visiting Playa de los Muertos, telling us: “In my opinion, Playa de los Muertos is worth visiting because it’s so far away – and consequently there’s hardly ever more than a handful of beachgoers there at once. It’s also sheltered by headlands, so you won’t get any annoying breezes whipping up your towel or blowing sand in your sandwiches.”
Playa de los Genoveses
One more gem of Almeria’s beach scene is certainly the majestic Playa de los Genoveses. Another beach next to the village of San José, once again it is truly off the beaten path, making for a calm and peaceful beach experience away from the hustle and bustle of tourists. At this winding beach you can soak up the unspoilt surroundings and truly appreciate the tremendous weather that this part of Spain is so loved for. This is the longest beach in the Natural Park Cabo de Gata at 1,200 metres, featuring no buildings, no bars, no roads, just the natural wealth of the Almeria landscape.
Suitable for all family members, with its shallow waters and lovely shady spots amongst the eucalyptus forest. Sonja from the travel blog Migrating Miss is a big fan of the beaches in the Cabo de Gata and this includes Playa de los Genoveses: “If you’re looking for a beautiful remote beach then this is the one. The beach itself is an arc of golden sand bordering a turquoise sea. The colour stands out even more against the rugged brown of the dry surrounding hills and mountains. It’s desert-meets-beach and it’s stunning. So much so it’s been featured in films like Indiana Jones!
“The beach is located in Cabo de Gata National Park, so there aren’t really any facilities around it. There is a bathroom and changing room further up the dirt road that runs alongside this part of the coast, but you’ll need to take your own food and drink if you plan to stay awhile, and something for shade. You’ll need a car to access it, or be prepared to walk from nearby San Jose. However, once you’re there you can enjoy a relatively quiet beach, swim, have a picnic, and enjoy the view!”
Which beaches to visit in Andalucía
- La Caleta de Maro
- Bolonia beach
- Tarifa beach
- Playa de los Muertos
- Playa de los Genoveses
These are, of course, just some of the many wonderful beaches to visit in Andalucía. There is an incredible array of options to be found in the region, enough that you can visit a new one every day of a two-week trip and not be disappointed. But we hope you have enjoyed this introduction to the beaches of Andalucía and will perhaps consider visiting one of the above during your next holiday in the area, made even easier with the help of a car rental from Malaga airport!