Monday, January 24

10 of the best beaches in Spain – for families and walkers | beach vacation


BEST FOR FAMILIES

Cala Mitjana, Menorca

Menorca’s beaches are great. The entire island was designated a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1993, and the natural tranquility of the landscape has been carefully preserved in a sustainable approach to tourism that has helped keep the island unspoiled. Cala Mitjana is a stunning Caribbean-style beach with fine white sand and turquoise water, but it can get very crowded in summer. If you’re feeling energetic and looking for quieter beaches, continue southeast along the well-marked coastal path for 20 minutes to the equally delightful Cala de Trebalúger.

Where to stay
Agritourism style Hort Sant Patrici (doubles from € 200), 9km north of Mitjana, has a Menorcan-themed restaurant, vineyards, cheese shop and swimming pool.

Where to eat
Bobby’s Pizzeria, 8 km northeast of Mitjana in Ferreríes, is a family-run restaurant serving stone-oven pizzas.

Temperáns Beach, South Galicia Coast

Early Beach

The Costa Galicia, in northwestern Spain, has 1,500 km of coastline and some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. About 35 km north of the city of Vigo (famous for its osyters), Praia de Temperáns, a seven-minute drive southeast of the town of Nerga, is a secluded and quiet bay, perfect for swimming and snorkeling with the family. . Park near Miradoiro do Bouceiro and follow the track that surrounds the house to the beach. The path leads southwest to another secluded spot, Praia das Moscas.

Where to stay
Camping Limens (plot from € 33, bungalow from € 65) is located a short drive west of Temperáns and offers spacious terraced plots with views of the Ría de Vigo and the Cíes Islands. (The prices of the campsite are for a pitch for two in high season).

Where to eat
Just a 15-minute drive from Praia de Temperáns is the regional capital, Cangas de Morrazo, full of ice cream parlors and cafes. Vegetarians, vegans and children are well catered for: don’t miss the padrón peppers, tasty Galician empanadas Y torta from Santiago almond cake. O Bruño Restaurant It serves local seafood dishes.

Dique Beach, North Galicia Coast

beach pier

The northern Galicia Coast stretches from the Pontevedra estuary, north of Vigo, to the Ría de Muros y Noya, 60 km west of Santiago de Compostela. Playa de Dique is a charming sandy corner sheltered from the Atlantic winds between rocky headlands and pine forests. The waves and surf are strong, but a picturesque stream at the rear of the beach provides safe bathing and play for children. The enclosed space and shallow stream make Praia do Dique the perfect place for families to settle in for the day. It is best to park near the entrance to Castro de Baroña, take the road to Praia de Arealonga, walk south to the end of the beach and over the promontory, then follow the markers for 400 meters to Praia do Dique.

Where to stay and eat
Camping Rianxo (pitch from € 34.50, double bungalow from € 40, hostel from € 10 per person) is a grassy campsite and a bar half an hour from do Dique, with delicious food, especially freshly caught xoubas (sardines) and locally grown census Peppers. Near Tourism and Adventure offers rafting, kayaking and cliff jumping.

Mónsul Beach, Costa Almería

Monsul Beach
Photography: John Weller

The arid and semi-desert province of Almería has served as the backdrop to a large number of films, especially the western. In the remaining three film sets, for a handful of euros, you can see re-enactments of the Wild West and wander through the original locations of Spain’s mini-Hollywood. Southwest Almería has a wild coastline where cactus-strewn trails in the Cabo de Gata natural park lead to remote sandy beaches. In triple coved At Mónsul Beach, 5 km southwest of San José, fossilized lava has formed vast overloaded volcanic cupcakes, and a spectacular rock rises from the sand at the water’s edge like a tremendous sea creature. It’s no wonder Steven Spielberg chose Mónsul as the location for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the scene where Henry Jones Senior (Sean Connery) uses an umbrella to launch a flock of birds into the sky to shoot down a Nazi plane. It has no services, but a colossal sand dune provides the setting for children’s swashbuckling adventures.

Where to stay
Camping Cabo de Gata (plot from € 32.50), 30 minutes by car from Mónsul, is a large campsite with a play area, a magnificent swimming pool and friendly staff.

Where to eat
Casa Pepe Restaurant in San José it has great views with matching tapas and is popular with locals and tourists.

Caló se Caracol, Mallorca

Caló Es Caragol
Photography: John Weller

The impressive peaks of the Serra Tramuntana de Mallorca give way to vineyards and orchards, and its crystal clear waters are home to a rich and diverse marine life. Sandy Caló es Caragol is located in a remote and unspoiled bay at the southern tip of the island, where butterflies flutter around the dunes. Driving from Es Llombards you will pass the Cap Salines Lighthouse, the first solar lighthouse in Spain. The beach itself is a half hour walk northwest of here. along the path to the right of the fence towards the sea, then go around the promontory to the right. The shallow water and abundance of space make it perfect for family beach games and slow-paced days. There are no services for miles around.

Where to stay
Agroturismo Posesión Binicomprat (doubles from € 160 B&B), A 45-minute drive north of Caragol, it is a rural hotel surrounded by vineyards, oak forests and aromatic plants. Sumptuous breakfasts are served in the garden.

Where to eat
Salt Mill RestaurantA 20-minute drive north, it serves fresh Majorcan specialties accompanied by homemade bread, sauces, indigenous olive oil, original sea salt and olives.

BEST FOR LONG HIKES

Arnela Beach, Costa Da Morte, Galicia

Arnela Beach

The Camino dos Faros or Camino del Faro is a 200 km coastal hiking route in Galicia that connects Malpica with Fisterra, enjoying the wild beauty of the Costa da Morte. The Fisterra lighthouse is located in the place that, in Roman times, was thought to be the end of the world. A few kilometers north is Playa Arnela, in the middle of a wild landscape of bucolic villages and corn fields. Fierce waves hit the shoreline and undertows are clearly visible. It is a place to feel isolated from the world and marvel at the sheer power of the Atlantic.

Where to stay and eat
Peaceful rural campsite Laws Camping Playa Barreira (pitch from € 33) Half an hour’s drive north of Arnela are spacious pitches with terraces and an exceptional bar serving locally sourced home-cooked food.

San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, Basque Country

San Juan de Gaztelugatxe
Photography: John Weller

The rugged Basque coast (Costa Vasca) begins at Castro Urdiales, west of Bilbao, and continues to the French border, near the foothills of the Pyrenees. Halfway through we discover the islet of Gaztelugatxe, the incredible location of the Dragonstone Castle in Game of Thrones. At its top is the Hermitage of San Juan, which is accessed from the mainland through an old bridge and 241 steps. From here, it’s easy to imagine swooping dragons and Daenerys Targaryen plotting to rule the Seven Kingdoms. Free entry, but book in advance.

Where to stay
Camping Laredo (plot from € 38, bungalow from € 55, minimum two nights) is located an hour’s drive east of Gaztelugatxe, with a spectacular pool.

Where to eat
Doniene Cafe Excellent pintxos and coffee are served in Bakio, a six-minute drive east of Gaztelugatxe.

Cala del Pozo de la Avispa, Costa Cálida

Wasp Well Cove

Between the Costa Blanca and the Costa Almería in southeastern Spain is the Costa Cálida (warm coast). Cala del Pozo de la Avispa is at the end of a pleasant Bateria de Jorel walk through Cape Tiñoso and Roldán, with panoramic views over the bay and the Sierra de la Muela. Bring supplies and follow a path lined with dwarf palms, wildflowers, and masses of rosemary while listening to the melodic buzz and buzz of bees. Backed by layers of yellow fossilized dunes, this secluded beach is lapped by clear blue water and you can swim around the headland to Cala de las Chapas or Cala Salitrona. There are no services for miles around.

Where to stay
Twenty minutes by car northeast of Cala del Pozo de la Avispa is Camping Los Madriles (pitch from € 34.40, bungalow from € 70), a highly recommended campsite with a continuously renovated hydrothermal saltwater pool.

Where to eat
Castillo Del Pinar, a half hour drive north of Avispa, is a family restaurant in a charming castle in Perín.

Cala Puerto Negro, Costa Azahar

Cala Puerto Negro

The “azahar” coastline stretches 115 km between Barcelona and Valencia, offering wild walks along cliffs, river beaches and natural reserves that are home to birds such as kestrels and great cormorants and Bonelli’s eagle. Cala Puerto Negro is a small pebble cove in the Serra d’Irta Natural Park, a marine reserve with a succession of beautiful beaches surrounded by dwarf palms, mastic and marine rockets. The more southwesterly coastal path is ideal for hikers and mountain bikers.

Where to stay
Camping Ribamar (tone of € 37, bungalow from € 90) is a 45-minute drive through the park along the coast.

Where to eat
Pura Vida Kitchen, 3.7 km southwest of Alcossebre, is an organic beachfront restaurant serving innovative food and lactose-free ice cream.

It’s Portitxol, Ibiza

is Portitxol

In Ibiza, the coastal roads lead to amazing secret coves with rich marine ecosystems. Es Portitxol is a perfect example: a circular bay in the north of the island, a half-hour signposted hike from the northern highway of Urbanización Isla Blanca along a scenic path next to a cliff. Wear proper shoes and bring supplies. With many places to jump and snorkel from the rocks into the sea, the turquoise waters offer some of the best swimming spots on the island. The coast is lined with traditional fishing huts that are still used by fishermen. Water shoes are also recommended for swimming on the pebble beach.

Where to stay
Agrotourism Can Jaume (doubles from € 250 B&B) a half hour drive south, it’s a posh place that grows most of its own produce, so expect amazing breakfasts, especially for vegans and vegetarians. Agroturismo Can Domo (doubles from € 150 B & B) half an hour drive southeast, it has rustic rooms, a nice pool and a great restaurant.

Where to eat For spectacular views, well-earned post-adventure snacks, and fresh-made pizza, head to Boathouse bar at the foot of Carrer Sn81, the main road to Urbanización Isla Blanca.

Hidden Beaches Spain: 450 secret shoreline and island beaches to walk, swim, and explore, for Lola Culsán and John Weller is out now (Wild Things Publishing, £ 18.99). Guardian readers can get a 20% discount and free P&P with the code GuardianSpain21


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