blue flagThere is no doubt about it, fellow travelers! Spain has a number of beautiful Blue Flag beaches. But, what exactly is a Blue Flag beach? (We’re glad you asked!)

What is a Blue Flag beach?

For those readers not in the know, a Blue Flag beach is an international eco-label awarded by FEE, or the Foundation for Environmental Education, to both marinas and beaches that fulfill criteria concerning environmental education, environmental management, safety, and water quality. It is one of the planet’s most renowned voluntary awards for marinas, beaches, and even sustainable tourism boats. The Blue Flag program seeks to promote sustainable development in both marine and freshwater areas.

To receive the Blue Flag, a beach must meet specific standards. Great attention must be paid to the local marine life, habitats, and coral reefs. All waste must be recycled, and there is often a sustainable way of getting to the beach. Most importantly, a beach must have excellent swimming water and contain no trace of sewage or industrial-related discharge that could potentially impact the beach environment.  

Upon arrival, you will probably notice posted information about both water quality and the ecosystems there. As this goes to press, Spain has over 600 Blue Flag beaches located along its coastline and islands. Ah, but with so many of these beaches to choose from, it might make your travel planning a bit challenging.  

Do you focus on convenience or proximity? Do you prefer dramatic cliffs, rugged coves, or safe, simple stretches of nigh-pristine sand? Here to help you decide, we now present the 10 most beautiful Blue Flag beaches in Spain.

10 Most Beautiful Blue Flag Beaches In Spain

1. Cala Sa Nau, Mallorca

First up on our list of Blue Flag beaches in Spain, is cozy Cala Sa Nau. You will find this comparatively intimate sandy beach cove nestled on the east coast of Mallorca between Portocolom and Cala d’Or. It is surrounded by rough, rocky areas, low limestone and clay cliffs, and pleasant pine forests.  

It is 50 meters wide and 70 meters long and is situated at the very end of a little fjord-like bay that is easily accessible by foot, boat, or motor vehicle. Available services here include toilets, showers, sunshades, and sun lounger rentals. Enjoy yourself!

2. La Barrosa, Cadíz

Lovely La Barrosa stretches for more than six kilometers south of the port city of Cadíz. This Blue Flag family-oriented beach is a great place in that it features a beautiful beach complete with soft sand, clear water, several cocktail bars, different seafood restaurants, and a sturdy wooden promenade as well. The boardwalk makes it an exceptional place for people with limited mobility.  

History buffs will also enjoy this place as it was actually the official site of the infamous Battle of Barrosa back in 1811. In fact, the popular Novo Sancti Petri is located at the south end of this beach and includes the defensive tower known as Torre Bermeja. It’s conveniently close to the La Barrosa highway.

3. Son Bou, Menorca

Son Bou is the best of a trio of Blue Flag beaches in Menorca. It is 50 meters wide and 2.5 kilometers in length. Thus, it is also Menorca’s longest beach. This beach is situated between Punta Rodona and Cap de ses Penyes.  

It has its own car park so it is easily accessible via automobile. From the parking lot, you simply take the path through the sand dunes to the beach. It comes complete with fine, pale sand, crystal clear water, several beach bars, and businesses where you can rent kayaks and pedalos. If you like birds, be sure to visit the nearby protected wetland where you’ll see many of them.  

4. El Saler, Valencia

El Saler is a pebbled, golden-sand beach located on the edge of L’Albufera Natural Park, outside of Valencia. It is easily accessible by foot, boat, or motor vehicle. This Blue Flag beach is yet another beach surrounded by peaceful pine forests and natural sand dunes.

It is 35 meters wide and 2800 meters long. Available services here include toilets, showers, sunshade and sun lounger rentals, watercraft rentals, a telephone, a children’s play area, a sports area, a surf practice area, a trash bin, and even a cleaning service. If you like water sports, especially windsurfing, this is the place to be. Enjoy a picnic here or sample a delicious paella valenciana at one of the local eateries.

5. Cala Llenya, Ibiza

blue flag
Image courtesy of familiasenruta

You will find the family-friendly Cala Llenya beach on the east coast of Ibiza beneath lush pine-forested terracotta hills. This hidden gem is just a short walk from the village. You can enjoy swimming, windsurfing and other water sports, play volleyball or just relax on this soft, white sand beach and gaze out on the turquoise water or hike the shaded paths through the pretty pines.

This Blue Flag beach also includes sheltered areas under the surrounding pine trees that are perfect for picnicking too. Any time you feel peckish, grab a drink and feast on fresh fish at the beach bar or eatery. There are also some super Sunday markets just a stroll away from the beach which is a bonus for shopaholics. 

6. Bakio, Basque Country

This is the place to “catch a wave” for all levels of surfers! Beautiful Bakio Beach is roughly a 30-minute drive north of town. This Blue Flag beach offers visitors the opportunity to engage in numerous sports including beach volleyball, swimming canoeing, and more importantly, surfing. Experts say it has a trio of differentiated sections.

The central peak is named El Callejon. The western section has a rough right-hander that doesn’t break every day. Peñas Rojas has a rock and sand seabed that provides surfers with superb waves. Not into surfing? Stroll the long, waterfront promenade and take in the views. Dine on pintxos, the Basque version of tapas, at one of the local beach bars.

7. Las Cucharas, Lanzarote

This is another super spot for travelers into watersports – especially surfing, swimming, windsurfing, and scuba diving. In fact, you can join a scuba-diving club here, sign up for classes, get qualified, and take night dive boat trips. This Blue Flag beach is 640 meters long and 20 feet wide.

It is family-friendly and offers visitors a wide range of services such as sunshade and sun lounger rental, watercraft rental, a cleaning service, foot wash, lifeguards, showers, toilets, a public telephone, a trash bin, and even a surf practice area. There are also cafes, a car park, a promenade, a shopping center, and assorted eateries.  

8. Altafulla, Costa Dorada

This Blue Flag beach is a stunning stretch of more than 1100 meters. Its calm waters and clean sand make it especially appealing to families. During the season, there are many water sports to choose from, as well as a sailing club, a seafront promenade, and a lifeguard service.

You can also rent a paddleboard or visit the ancient Roman site at nearby El Munts. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and offers a look into the history of the region. This beach is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an enjoyable vacation on the Costa Dorada. 

9. Tamariu, Costa Brava

Tamariu, in coastal Catalonia, Spain, is one of the country’s prettiest beaches. It is also reportedly a favorite of folks who travel with family. Here nestled amongst low-rise white homes and pine-forested hills, is this stunning, soft-sanded beach.

Like some other Blue Flag beaches on this list, it provides travelers with many different water sports to try. It is approximately 40 meters wide and 180 meters long. Tamariu also features underwater caves that are a big draw to scuba divers, and the convenient wooden promenade is great for those who like to stroll along the beach.

10. Burriana, Nerja

The beautiful Blue Flag beach is just one kilometer away from the city of Nerja. It is surrounded by a wooden promenade that features bars, diverse restaurants, shops, and souvenir stands. The beach is 40 meters wide and 800 meters long.

It has darker sand and an assortment of services and facilities including a cleaning service, foot wash, sunshade, sun lounger and watercraft rentals, toilets, a tourist office, a public telephone, a children’s area, a scuba area, a sports area, and even a convenient beach library if you’ve forgotten to bring your own book.

Bonus Blue Flag beach

Playa A Lapa, Sanxenxo

Travel eight kilometers from Portonovo to the Galician municipality of Sanxenxo, in Pontevedra to visit the shell-shaped Playa A Lapa in Sanxenxo, Spain. This beach is roughly 40 meters wide and 400 meters long. It is ensconced within a beautiful natural environment protected by sand dunes belonging to the well-known Natura 2000 network.

Amenities and services here also include a cleaning service, watercraft rentals, showers, toilets, trash bins, and a public telephone. You might also want to check out some nearby points of interest such as the impressive chapel of Our Lady of the Lanzada, the Castro de la Lanzada, and the striking Lanzada Tower.


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