This Country Is Home to Europe's Best Beach

Sun-seekers shouldnt miss this beautiful white sand beach with a perfect backdrop in Spain
Sun-seekers shouldn't miss this beautiful white sand beach with a perfect backdrop in Spain | © Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo
Jessica Jones

Spain is home to hundreds of beautiful beaches, but La Concha beach in the Basque city of San Sebastián is regularly crowned one of the best in Europe. Read on to discover why.

Discover more of Spain’s top beaches by chartering a boat for the day through SamBoat, or booking a week-long sailing holiday with Dream Yacht Charter.

La Concha in San Sebastián is one of the best beaches in Spain – and in Europe

You can’t visit San Sebastián without admiring La Concha, a crescent-shaped sweep of sand that arcs across the northwest of the city. Queen Isabella II made the beach famous in 1845 when doctors recommended she bathe in the sea here to help her skin ailments. Members of the aristocracy followed and San Sebastián became the fashionable resort town we know today.

The golden sand, 1.3km-long (0.8mi) beach sits close to the town centre, and continues to be a popular place to swim and sunbathe among locals and travellers alike. During the summer, a gabarrón (floating pontoon) is moored in the bay, complete with slides and diving boards.

Gaze out across the water and you’ll spot Santa Clara island, a 5ha (12 acre) rocky outcrop with a snaking hillside path that leads to a lighthouse. Take a boat here – or hire a stand-up paddleboard to explore the island at your own pace. On your return, stroll along the Victorian promenade and watch the sun set over the famous white railings.

You can’t miss trying ‘pintxos’ when in San Sebastián

San Sebastián – Donostia in Basque – was a European Capital of Culture in 2016 and has been experiencing a surge in popularity, thanks in large part to its famed gastronomic scene. Spain boasts seven three-Michelin-star restaurants, and three of these are in San Sebastián. Its pintxos – Basque tapas of different ingredients typically served on a piece of crusty bread – are legendary and the old town is full of pintxo bars, their counters packed with tasty morsels.

Other top Spanish beaches

Playa de Rodas is another must-see beach in Spain

La Concha is by no means the only impressive beach in Spain. Further along the coast in Galicia, you’ll find Playa de Rodas, a white sand curve that’s lapped by turquoise waters, while in Valencia in southern Spain, Cala Granadella is a hidden gem, tucked away from the crowded tourist hotspots.
Make sure you also add Playa de Ses Illetes, on the tiny Balearic island of Formentera, just off the south coast of Ibiza, to your bucket list. The silica beach looks like it should be in the Maldives. Over in the Canary Islands on Fuerteventura, Playa de Cofete is a real sight to behold. This off-the-beaten-track destination is only accessible via boat or 4×4 vehicle; the 13km-long (8mi) stretch butts up against the dramatic Jandia mountains – the highest on the island – which creates a Mars-like backdrop.
Explore other top Spanish beaches by chartering a yacht for the day through SamBoat. Alternatively, Dream Yacht Charter run week-long sailing trips around the Costa Brava and Balearic islands – no experience necessary.

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