I had an amazing childhood. Due to my father’s career, I grew up on the move, living throughout Europe and the U.S. I visited quite a few beaches in my travels; in fact, I was considered quite the beach bum in my day.
Southern Spain, with more than 300 days of sunshine, has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Here are three of my favorites:
Cabo de Gata Beach, Almeria
If you are a nature lover, then this is the beach for you! As Andalucia’s largest coastal nature reserve, Cabo de Gata is renowned for its vibrant ecological life. Located at the southernmost point of the Parque Natural, this black sands beach is surrounded by turquoise waters and breathtaking rock formations.
I suggest wearing soled shoes, both to protect your feet against the hot black sand, but also in the event that you want to explore the terrain in-between ocean dips. If you plan on staying for more than a day, there are plenty of villas and apartments that the locals rent out to visitors.
Note: Because this is a black sand beach, you will suntan and/or burn a lot faster. I recommend hitting the tanning salons before you go, in order to have a safe base tan.
La Caleta Beach, Cádiz
Cádiz is known for its beautiful weather and awesome waves. In recent years, Cádiz has grown by leaps and bounds, attracting surfers, beach lovers, and visitors of all shapes and sizes.
La Caleta is the smallest beach in Cádiz and is isolated from other beaches in the area, making it ideal for a quiet day at the beach. La Caleta is located in the Old City, between two castles—San Sebastian and Santa Catalina—so there’s a lot to do when you’re not on the beach, as well. When I was a child, my mother took me on a tour of both castles, and they will appeal to all of you history buffs out there. As with all of the other beaches, there are plenty of places to rent if you choose to make your stay a lengthy one.
La Malagueta Beach, Malaga
This beach has been awarded a blue flag by the Foundation for Environmental Education, which means it meets the high standards set forth by this organization. La Playa de la Malagueta is located close to the city center of Málaga and is an artificial beach made from sand imported from the Sahara. Because of its location, it is ideal for days when you have absorbed Málagan culture by attending some of its many fairs and festivals and want to relax for the rest of the day on the beach.
A black sand beach, la Playa de la Malagueta has undergone great improvements over the years, and is full of bars and cafés, where you can order pescaito frito, a plate of fried fish that is a local favorite. When visiting, be sure to bring clothes for an evening on the town, and stick around to enjoy the night life!
Whether you’re staying for a weekend or a month, Spain is one of those countries that demands more than just one visit. Once you have gone there and wandered the breathtaking beaches, taking in the scenery and local culture, you will never want to leave, so come prepared for a lengthy visit and stay for as long as you like!
Author: Alexa Thomason can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.