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Best beaches

Playa de la Concha

San Sebastián

San Sebastián might have made a name for itself as a food lover’s paradise but it has plenty to offer sun-worshippers too. Playa de la Concha, a crescent-shaped stretch with views of Isla Santa Clara, sits in the heart of the city and acts as a playground for sunbathers and surfers alike. It’s widely considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful city beaches.

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Islas Cíes

Galicia

Galicia might not compete with the rest of Spain when it comes to hours of sunshine but it is home to some of the country’s most beautiful and pristine beaches. The Islas Cíes – a rocky archipelago off the coast of Vigo – have no cars, no hotels and strictly limited visitor numbers, which lends them a beguiling air of Robinson Crusoe remoteness.

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Playa de los Lances

Tarifa, Andalucía

Located at the southernmost tip of Spain, the town of Tarifa is one of the world’s premier destinations for wind sports – it is affectionately known among residents as The City of Wind. Playa de los Lances is its nearest beach and offers both golden sands and crashing waves, blowing in kite surfers from around the world.

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Three sandy island escapes

Platja de ses Illetes Formentera

This pristine bit of coastline is only a short hop on a boat from neighbouring Ibiza.

Playa el Bollullo 
Tenerife
On the northern coast, Playa el Bollullo is only accessible by foot but is worth the hike.

Cala Macarelleta 
Menorca
Take the Camí de Cavalls, an ancient pine tree-shaded path that encircles the island, from one of the nearby coves, to reach this secluded spot. 


Platja de la Patacona

Valencia

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Spain’s third-largest city is perhaps its beachiest, with kilometres of sand easily accessible from the centre. Furthest from the busy palm tree-lined promenade is Platja de la Patacona. Valencians head to this golden stretch for the lively chiringuitos (beach bars), volleyball courts and people-watching opportunities from the comfort of your rented hammock or sun lounger.

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Shall we show you around?

Welcome to Spain. Monocle’s sunny new book is available to order now and directs you to the best beaches, bars and ateliers – don’t leave home without it. 

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A guide like no other 

Monocle’s new handbook series looks beyond the tourist haunts to tout a nation’s best hospitality, design, retail and craft offering – not to mention what it might be like to stay longer than a few days and put down roots. Spain: The Monocle Handbook, published with Thames & Hudson, is a lively rundown of all this enchanting Iberian nation has to offer. Order your copy today at monocle.com/shop

Images: Luis Diaz, Salva Lopez

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