Updated June 3, 2022
Published August 2, 2019
Spain's title as the country with the most Blue Flag beaches in the world isn't going anywhere - it's topped the list yet again in 2022. This year, a huge 614 beaches along mainland Spain’s coast – and across its islands – met or surpassed the programme's stringent environmental, educational, safety and accessibility criteria. It's a whopping number, and narrowing it down was a tricky feat, but here are the ones worthy of your beach towel.
This 75m-long cove is one of the prettiest on the southeast coast of Majorca. It’s one of Majorca's most spectacular beaches, protected from overdevelopment as part of Mondrago National Park, and boasts wonderfully clear, shallow waters and a verdant backdrop.
It’s a great option for travellers looking for an adventure away from the resorts, about an hour’s drive from Cala Millor, but you can still expect lifeguards on duty during the summer months. Holidaying with the little ones? Budding sandcastle builders will love the soft golden sand and there is kiosk right on the sand for rumbling little tummies.
There’s plenty of room to lay out your towel on this gorgeous stretch of sand, which is 2.5km long and 30m wide. It’s one of the most beautiful beaches on Spain’s Costa de Almeria – head to the promenade to enjoy stunning views over the Bay of Almeria, then enjoy a sundowner at one of the bars in the bustling marina next door.
It’s also a great beach for watersports fans, who can try their hand at scuba diving, sailing, windsurfing and kite surfing.
On an island characterised by tiny coves (of both the sandy and rocky variety), the uninterrupted 2.4km (1.5 miles) stretch of Son Bou stands out. It’s one of only three beaches in Menorca to have earned Blue Flag status in 2022 – but its real significance is its protected dune system and wetland, which is a haven for migratory birds.
Located on the busier, southern coast of Menorca, its shallow, clear waters make it popular among families. Expect all the standard services here: lifeguards from May to October, three beach bars right on the sand boats, and a variety of boats and pedalos for hire.
There’s something for everyone at this popular Majorcan beach, which is famous for its sugary golden sands. Children will love the chance to explore the towering sand dunes and clusters of pine trees, and there are pedal boats for hire, too.
The beach easily accessible, with a wide range of facilities and wheelchair access, but if you feel the need to escape the crowds, follow the paths that lead from the shore to the nearby S’Albufera Natural Park, the largest wetland area on the island.
Puerto Banus, about 7km (4.3 miles) south of Marbella, is famous for its string of luxury stores along its super yacht-filled marina. And after a morning of window shopping, its 1.5km (mile-long) beach is the ideal place to wind down. There are plenty of facilities, including lockers, a lifeguard service and sun-lounger and watersport rental.
Beach cafés and bars are dotted along Puerto Banus’ goldens sands for when you’re feeling peckish, but we recommend heading back to the marina for serious dining – some of the Costa del Sol's best restaurants are found here!
Wonderfully wild Berría is worth the 40-minute drive out of Santander. It’s a long curve of clean, golden sands, perched on the edge of a protected national park. Nearby parking means you're only ever footsteps from the sand and lively waves create endless opportunities for surfers and bodyboarders.
Expect turquoise water and soft golden sand at Playa de Las Vistas on Tenerife – the Canary Island with some of the best Blue Flag beaches. This is one of the busiest stretches of sand, but there are plenty of sun-loungers to hire for just a few euros per day.
The colourful promenade is a great place to pick up your obligatory “I love Tenerife” fridge magnet, and if you’re feeling more adventurous, sign up for one of the whale-spotting excursions, which depart from the nearby marina.
Believe it or not, this isn’t Bali or Thailand, but Ibiza. We recommend taking a picnic to feast on under the fragrant pine trees, and to do a bit of snorkelling in the clear, calm water. It’s a popular beach volleyball spot, and its relatively uncrowded shores make it a hit with families and couples seeking some peace and quiet.
There’s a restaurant and bar right on the sand, as well as sun-loungers for hire. When you tire of sunbathing, there are pedalos for hire, windsurfing lessons on offer and a handful of coastal paths to explore.
This beach can be found 48km (30 miles) south-west of Barcelona. It’s a wide, long chunk of Spain’s coastline, and is packed with family-friendly fun, including a miniature railway, playground and watersports centres.
The water is shallow and protected by a series of breakwaters, so it’s the ideal spot for a paddle. Keep an eye out for the bronze statues of Pasiphaë and the White Bull of Mino, two creatures from Greek mythology.
Roche itself may be teeming with Madrid's high society but its beach is anything but swanky; facilities are few and far between here and that's all part of its charm.
While you won't find restaurants sharing street space with bars and cafes, you will be able to take in some of Spain's finest sunsets and enjoy golden sands under the watchful eyes of the summer season's lifeguards.
Blue Flag Playa del Ingles is one of Gran Canaria’s best beaches. Backed by the dramatic Maspalomas dunes, this lounger-lined stretch of golden sand fringes the popular, family-friendly resort of Playa del Inglés, and is packed with activities for all ages. As well as pedalo and banana boat hire, parasailing adventures sent off from here.
As you head further south, sun-loungers give way to wilder, unspoilt sections. Close to the lighthouse, the beach becomes a popular surfing and nudist spot.