The Spanish Costas, Top 10 Coastlines of Mainland Spain

Welcome to the Spanish Costas & islands. We are a leading resource that provides useful travel tips and guides all about Spain. The main focus of this website is the coastal areas and islands of this beautiful country.

If you would like skip our introduction, please use the quick links below to navigate to the area that interests you.

Las costas españolas

The Spanish coastline contains many diverse Costas. Each coastal area has their own incredible things to experience and enjoy. The Costa del Sol for example is the best known for tapas whilst the Costa Blanca is famous for it’s white beaches.

The Top 10 Spanish Costas For Tourism

Below we have compiled a list of the main Spanish Costas for tourism and popularity. Please click on the orange links to see full individual pages about each coastal area.

Spanish Costas Map

Below is an image that highlights most of the main Spanish costas along with both major island groupings. There are many more smaller areas to consider but our focus is on the main tourism locations.

costas de españa mapa

Costa Blanca

Costa Blanca

The Costa Blanca is one of the leading holiday destination in Spain. Known as the White Coast in English, this is a reference to the 200 km’s of white sand beaches here. This costa belongs to the province of Alicante which makes up part of the eastern coastline.

The Costa Blanca begins at Denia in the north and extends to Pilar de la Horadada in the south. There are many tourist resorts and cities that lie along this strip of coastline. The most famous city is Benidorm which lies to the north. To the south is Torrevieja and the ever popular Orihuela Costa.

Locations & Attractions

Costa del Sol

Costa del Sol, Spain

The Costa del Sol is another of the leading Spanish Costas. The literal translation of this costa is “Sun Coast”. This popular tourism haven makes up 150 km’s of the southern Spanish coastline. Málaga is both the province and capital city of this part of Spain.

The Costa del Sol stretches from Estepona in the west to Nerja in the east. Málaga and Marbella are the two major cities here with the former also being the capital. The top tourist towns here include Torremolinos, Benalmádena, Fuengirola and Mijas. This area is popular for it’s golden sand beaches and nightlife.

Towns & Attractions

Costa Brava

Costa Brava

The Costa Brava stretches 60 km’s from the town of Blanes to the French border. This Spanish Costa was one of the first to undergo mass tourism re-development in the 1950’s. This part of northeastern Spain belongs to the province of Girona.

The literal translation for this coastal area is the “Rugged Coast”. The top tourist destination here is Lloret de Mar which is famous for it’s amazing beaches. The pretty town of Tossa de Mar lies to the north of Lloret. The medieval castle in Tossa and Sa Palomera Rock in Blanes (picture above) are must see attractions.

Costa Dorada

Costa Dorada

The Costa Dorada coastline is one of the longest of the Spanish Costas. This area makes up 215 km’s of northeastern Spain. Consisting of 20 tourist towns, this area stretches from Cunit in the north to Alcanar in the south.

The literal translation for the Costa Dorada is “Golden Coast”. This is a reference to the golden colour of the sand when the sun reflects off the beaches here. The town of Salou is the top holiday destination here. Salou is home to PortAventura and 30 stunning beaches. Close to 5 million visitors spend their holiday here each year.

Costa Cálida

Costa Cálida, Mucria

The Costa Cálida stretches for over 250 km’s of the southeastern coastline. This Spanish Costa boasts over 150 beaches. The translation for this area is “warm coast”. This is testament to the hot arid climate here.

The Costa Cálida belongs to the province of Murcia. This area extends from El Mojón in the north to Águilas in the south. Murcia and the naval city of Cartagena are the major cities here. The top tourism resorts here include La Manga del Mar Menor, Mazarrón and Los Alcázares.

These areas are also some of the most popular for golfers along the southeastern coastline of Spain. Don’t forget to check out the Jack Nicklaus Golf Trail if visiting this part of the country. The 6 courses along the trail consist of Mar Menor, La Torre, Saurines, Riquelme, El Valle and Alhama.

The Spanish Costas

The 10 main Costas of Spain.

    1. Costa Blanca – White Coast
    2. Costa del Sol – Sun Coast
    3. Costa Brava – Rugged Coast
    4. Costa Dorada – Golden Coast
    5. Costa Cálida – Warm Coast
    6. Costa de la Luz – Light Coast
    7. Costa Tropical – Tropical Coast
    8. Costa Almería – Almeria Coast
    9. Costa Verde – Green Coast
    10. Costa de Azahar – Orange Blossom Coast

More Spanish Coastlines

Contrary to popular belief, all the islands of Spain help to form the Spanish costas. Below are the two major archipelagos.

  1. Canary Islands – Formed of 7 main islands and several islets. The main islands are Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro.
  2. Balearic Islands – Formed of 4 main islands and over 100 islets. The main islands are Majorca (Mallorca), Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera

Costa del Azahar

Costa del Azahar

The Costa del Azahar stretches for 115 km’s of the eastern coast of Spain. Vinaròs is the most northern point of this Costa, Almenara is the most southern. The “Orange Blossom Coast” once translated to English is part of the province of Castellón. This is one of the quieter Spanish Costas.

The top tourist towns on the Costa del Azahar include Benicarló and Peñíscola. Work began on Peñiscola Castle in 1294 and was finally completed in 1307. Another important town along this coastline is Benicàssim. The seaside town of Benicàssim hosts the FIB (Festival Internacional de Benicàssim). FIB is one of the biggest music festivals in Europe.

Costa de la Luz

Costa de la Luz

The Costa de la Luz is one of the few Atlantic facing Spanish Costas. This coastal area extends from Tarifa in the south to the River Guadiana. The Rio Guadiana defines much of the Portugal – Spain border. This area is the top location for windsurfing on the Spanish mainland.

The Costa del la Luz (Coast of Light) exists in the provinces of Cádiz and Huelva. Both of those provinces belong to the region of Andalucia in southern Spain. The town of Tarifa and the city of Cádiz are two popular locations here. From this area you can take the 40 minute ferry to Tangier in Morocco. The port of Tangier lies on the Strait of Gibraltar. The gateway of Africa and Europe.

Costa Tropical

Costa Tropical, SIerra Nevada

The Costa Tropical is one of the lesser known of the Spanish Costas. This lush green area of southern Spain lies next to the Costa del Sol. Covering a land mass 400 square miles, this coastal area is part of the province of Granada. The Costa Tropical (Tropical Coast) is also part of the region of Andalucia. Much of southern Spain belongs to the massive region of Andalucia.

The backdrop of this beautiful part of Spain is the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. Water runoff from the rain and melting snow feeds the fertile land down below. Almuñecar is the top tourist location in this area. Motril is not as popular but is still the largest town on this coastline.

Weather

Costa Almería

The Costa Almería

Moving to the Costa Almería which is one of the most unspoiled areas of Spain. This Spanish Costa lies on the southeastern coastline and stretches for 200 km’s. The most northern point is Pulpí with the most southern being Adra. Much of the coastal area evolves around the important shipping and ferry port.

This part of Spain has a very Arab influence. Many traces of Moorish rule are still evident to this day. The major city of Almería is one of the biggest agricultural areas of the country. Almería and the town of Pulpí are among the top tourist locations here. The beaches of Pulpí are the best on offer in this coastal area.

Costa Verde

The Costa Verde (Green Coast)

Completing our 10 Spanish Costas we come to the Costa Verde. This area accounts for much of the northern coast of Spain. The Costa Verde (Green Coast) passes through the regions of Cantabria and Galicia. The coastal area is also part of the province of Asturias. This is the longest coastline at 345 km’s.

The biggest city of this area is Gijón which is also an important shipping port. The top tourist destinations include the charming town of Llanes. Overlooking much of the coastal and inland areas is the Cantabrian mountain range.

Spanish Islands