Beaches in Spain

If your idea of the perfect holiday is relaxing around on beautiful beaches, then Spain is most definitely the country for you, with over 5,000 miles of coastline, much of which is graced with beautiful beaches. Though the tourists flock to the Costa Blanca and the Costa del Sol, there are beautiful beaches all over Spain. The Spanish seaboard is washed by the waters of the Mediterranean Sea (on the eastern and southern flanks), the Atlantic Ocean (along the west and south) and the Bay of Biscay (to the north). Spain has more than three hundred days of sunshine per year with average temperatures being 18° C - 30° C (64° F - 86° F). Its beautiful sunlit beaches receive millions of tourists each year from all over the world.

Spain has the highest number of blue flag beaches in the world with 520 Blue Flags have been awarded to Spain’s beaches for 2010. The Blue Flag is a voluntary eco label awarded by the independent non-profit organization Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) to beaches and marinas in 41 countries across Europe and around the world. They work towards sustainable development at beaches/marinas through strict conditions dealing with water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management, and safety.

Galicia, Asturias, the Balearic and Canary Islands and Valencia have all increased the number of Beaches awarded the Blue Flag, only Andalusia and Catalonia have had a slight decrease. Spain continues to be the world leader with its Blue Flag beaches and shows its continuing enthusiasm in assuring the quality of its tourism remain an important precedence for all the governments, tourism board and local councils alike. Sunbathing is sometimes possible in the winter months also and the beaches are enjoyed mainly by walkers, joggers and fishermen. There are no private beaches in Spain; visitors have the right to walk the entire coastline.

Costa del Sol

The Costa del Sol is the most popular, party-hearty and overdeveloped string of beaches stretching east from Gibraltar along the southernmost coast of Spain. The beaches feature fantastic Mediterranean waters and superb sand which brought throngs of visitors, making this the most congested string of coastal resorts in Europe. The most important resorts here are Marbella, Torremolinos, Málaga, and Nerja.

Costa de la Luz

In southwestern Andalusia, this stretch of coastline boasts long stretches of sand and almost-constant sunshine. The blue, sometimes rough, Atlantic waters lure the visitors, as is the region’s proximity to several historic cities, including Cádiz and Seville. The Costa de la Luz comprises of 300km of coastline and incorporates two provinces of lower Andalucia, Cadiz and Huelva nd several nature reserves of national importance such as the Doñana National Park.

Costa Blanca

This southeastern coast has best-known resorts, Benidorm and Alicante, which are packed with European winter holidaymakers every year. The surrounding countryside isn’t particularly spectacular, but the water is turquoise, the clear sands and a low annual rainfall virtually guarantees a sunny vacation. There are no lifeguards on Costa Blanca beaches however there are Red Cross offices on the most popular beaches.

Costa Verde

The rocky Costa Verde (Green Coast) resembles a sunny version of Ireland’s western shore and entirely different from the dry and sunbaked coastline of Andalusia. When the rest of Spain can be unbearably hot, it’s temperate in summer. Much of the coast is within the ancient province of Asturias, a region studded with Romanesque architecture and main resorts in the coast are Gijón, Santander and a short distance inland, Oviedo.

Costa Brava

The cliff- edged Costa Brava stretches from Barcelona to the French border and it has rugged cliffs, sandy inlets and bustling holiday resorts. The charming, sandy-bottomed coves dot the coast attracts the sun seekers. Costa Brava still retains a sense of rocky wilderness although there are fewer undiscovered beaches here than along Spain’s Atlantic coast. Salvador Dalí, the region’s most famous person who lived much of his life near Cadaqués has an eccentric-looking villa along this coast. The Costa Brava is known as Spain's sunny 'wild coast'.

The Balearic Islands

This rocky, sand-fringed archipelago is nearby the coast of Catalonia and a 45- minute flight from Barcelona, attracts sun-seekers, jet-set glitterati, and exhibitionists in scanty beachwear. The Mediterranean climate is warmer here than on the mainland. Pristine sandy beaches, year round sunshine, atmospheric fishing villages, fragrant orange orchards, magnificent bush walks and lively nightlife made Balearic Islands enduringly popular.

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