Brits have been taking beach holidays to Spain for more than 50 years, but now they’re on the lookout for those hidden gems that boast beautiful scenery without the crowds.
Here are 5 suggestions that you might not have considered previously, but should think about now.
Cabo de Gata-Nijar
Found in the south-east, Cabo de Gata-Nijar is special because it’s remote, still something of a secret and offers up stunning beaches hidden by craggy coves and cliffs. The entire area is a natural park, so it’s beautifully maintained, and benefits from a quiet, laid-back energy.
A desert climate brings hot weather and perfect sunbathing conditions and although there isn’t much of a tourist scene here, the cafes, restaurants and shops that are open extend incredible hospitality and warmth. Exploring the old mines is a must, especially for Indiana Jones fans, as some location filming was done inside some of the caves.
With 10 miles of soft white beaches to explore, Nerja is a haven for sun worshippers, but it also has plenty to offer in terms of entertainment. Becoming more popular in recent years, it caters well to tourists, but has resisted the trappings of becoming overexposed, retaining a traditional fishing-village vibe.
Suitable for families, couples and singles alike, Nerja has a pleasant evening scene, with traditional tapas restaurants and relaxed café culture especially prominent. In fact, you’re more likely to be sat next to locals, enjoying a drink with their dogs, than other tourists!
Malaga might be a tourist hotspot, but it still has some relatively undiscovered gems to offer, such as El Palo. With a dark sandy beach, perfect conditions for water sports and a fishing heritage, life revolves around the water here. And although tourists are welcomed with open arms, it has yet to be overrun by an influx of visitors.
Food is a strong part of the culture in El Palo, with grilled sardines and fried fish being local delicacies, but there is a burgeoning contemporary dining scene starting to take shape, too, with numerous chic bistros and beach bars.
Zahara de los Atunes
For anyone wanting to really get away from the trappings of tourist resorts, Zahara de los Atunes is an ideal destination. A bijou coastal town in the Andalusian region, it plays host to some of the prettiest and most underrated beaches in Spain.
This isn’t a town that seeks to chase the tourist scene, so visitors tend to embrace the local pace of life, but that’s not to say that there’s nothing to do. An outdoor cinema, beautiful church and an incredible food scene make this a spot to put on your bucket list. Seafood fans should visit in late spring to enjoy the blue-tuna fishing season.
Found in the province of Cádiz, Chipiona is pretty little town that dates to Roman times and has become a popular summer getaway destination for Spanish nationals, but international tourists are still a little in the dark about the many reasons to visit.
Beaches are just the tip of the iceberg, with a monastery, castle and a lighthouse waiting to be visited. A fishing and agricultural town, the local produce and seafood should both be sampled and you can work up an appetite by enjoying a round of golf or getting out on the waves.
Hidden gems only stay quiet for a short time these days, so be sure to add these stunning Spanish secret hotspots to your travel bucket list and see them before the crowds descend.