Spain’s best urban beaches

by Lorraine Williamson
urban beaches

If you are looking for a holiday destination and are in doubt between a city trip or a beach holiday, Spain could be the right place. Along the long Spanish coast there are many cities with beautiful urban beaches, which are easily accessible and where you will find everything for a wonderful day in the sun.

Many Spanish coastal cities offer the best of both worlds: city and beach. Pack your swimsuit and sunscreen and we’ll tell you which cities in Spain have the best sandy, urban beaches. 

urban beaches

Las Canteras

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria – Las Canteras 

The first beach in this overview is Las Canteras in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. This has been considered one of the best family urban beaches for many years. Not just in Spain, but worldwide. The beach stretches from the El Mercado del Puerto market hall to the Alfredo Kraus auditorium: three kilometres of golden beach. The La Barra natural reef, a long rock formation parallel to the shoreline, protects the beach from the tide. 

Throughout the year, local beachgoers and tourists visit Las Canteras to fully enjoy the pleasant climate in Gran Canaria. You can practice all kinds of water sports here and for a meal or a drink you can go to one of the many restaurants and terraces on the lively beach promenade.

Valencia – La Malvarrosa 

Valencia Beach

La Malvarrosa

La Malvarrosa is undoubtedly the most famous beach in Valencia and very popular with the locals. The beach is located in the old fishing district of Malvarrosa and extends over a length of two kilometres. Even the disabled can reach the surf. You won’t find a beach that is easier to access or has better amenities. You can rent beach chairs and umbrellas, there are all kinds of kiosks for a drink and you will find restaurants along the boulevard. If you don’t just want to sunbathe, you can participate in fitness, crossfit, surfing, windsurfing, canoeing or diving. 

urban beaches

La Barceloneta

Barcelona – La Barceloneta 

In Barcelona it is not easy to choose the best beach. The Catalan capital has many beaches. The choice falls on the beach of La Barceloneta, because you can easily go here by public transport and because you can step straight from the streets of the neighbourhood onto the beach. 

The beach has hammocks, umbrellas, showers, toilets, a play area for children, kiosks, restaurants, sports fields and you can even surf or paddle surf. You can also enjoy delicious fish dishes in the many bars and restaurants in the La Barceloneta district. And if you want even more distraction or if there is a cloud in the sun, there are countless, including very famous – sights nearby that you can walk to. 

Cogesa Expats

San Sebastian – La Concha 

Urban beach San Sebastian

La Concha

The beach La Concha is no surprise in this list. San Sebastian Bay tops most lists of the world’s best beaches. Between the mountains Monte Igueldo and Monte Urgull lies the shell-shaped bay, hence the name ‘la concha’, shell in Spanish. Here the beach stretches for a mile and a half, flanked by San Sebastián’s signature historic balustrade. 

The beach has traditionally been visited by locals, tourists and many celebrities. This happens especially during the famous San Sebastian Film Festival. La Concha invites to hiking, water sports or a dip in the fresh sea water. The view of the bay with Santa Clara Island in the background is absolutely photogenic. 

Cadiz beach

La Caleta

Cadiz – La Caleta  

La Caleta is a popular family beach in the historic heart of Cádiz. It is not very big, but has all kinds of amenities. When you lie in the fine, golden sand here, you look out over the calm waters of the Atlantic Ocean. On the south side is the bastion of San Sebastián with the slender lighthouse and on the north side is the fortress of Santa Catalina. Dozens of fishing boats are always anchored for this, which make for a very photogenic sight. 

Centrally located on the beach is the characteristic and historic spa town of La Palma y El Real. Unfortunately, it is not open to the public as it houses an underwater archaeology centre. When visiting the city of Cádiz, don’t miss the sunset: it’s one of the most beautiful in all of Spain. 

Palma de Mallorca- Palma 

Palma beach is one of the most famous and longest of the Balearic Islands. The five kilometres of fine, white sand stretch from Can Pastilla to the El Arenal marina in the bay. The clear and calm waters make this beach ideal for families. You reach the centre of Palma via a beach promenade and the beach is also easily accessible by bus. On the beach you can rent hammocks and umbrellas, there are public toilets and showers and the beach is also accessible for the disabled. You can practice all kinds of sports, both on the beach and in the sea. 

La Coruña – Riazor

The last of the urban beaches on our list is located in h Northwest Spain, in La Coruña, a city on the Atlantic Ocean with two kilometres of beach. One of those beaches, and probably the most famous for football fans, is the beach of Riazor, located next to the football stadium. It is 610 metres long and separated from Orzán Beach by a breakwater. Riazor is centrally located and very frequented, and fully equipped, such as showers and toilets, beach chair rental and access for the disabled 

The beach is quietly located on a bay and ideal for water sports enthusiasts, such as surfing or sailing. In the restaurants on the long beach promenade you can enjoy the local cuisine, such as the famous Galician monkfish or ‘pulpo a la Gallega’ (octopus the Galician way). Definately a delicacy. 

Also read: Smoke free beaches in Spain

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