Festival season is on. The grapes have been stamped, the tomatoes are just about ripe, underwear is being cleaned and the beer is almost brewed. And although all these festivals are a wonderful clusterfuck of fun, it’s important to get some down time to recover if you’re gonna make it the whole way through. With that said, the majority of these festivals happen around Spain and The Basque Country’s coast and so we’ve put together a list of beaches for you to chill out on and recuperate in between.
Barcelona’s Best Beach: Mar Bella
Mar Bella Beach is the better, less disgusting Barceloneta. During the day it’s filled with a good mix of predominantly locals as well as tourists. You’ve still got your beach bars and in summer it gets pretty full, however not to the same extent as Barcelona’s other beaches and you won’t have to say no to cervezas and agua every other minute. Just above the beach is a skate park and green area that is always full of impressively organised people who’ve set up hammocks, picnics and slack lines. There’s often SUPers and skimboarders in the water and watching people faceplant into the sea all day is fairly entertaining. Mar Bella is also host to a full moon party every month. Unlike the chaos of Thailand’s famous full moon parties, Mar Bella is pretty much unknown by anyone outside of Spain. This means it’s mostly attended by locals and although it’s crazy, it’s not completely fucked up. The beach is set up with a bonfire and some performers and the night generally progresses from dancing around the fire, to skinny dipping to smoking weed and watching the sunrise.
Valencia: Port Saplaya
Valencias very own little Venice. This beach is located in a small town that will transport you away from spain and straight into the streets of Venice. The town’s harbour is filled with picturesque buildings and small boats and there are plenty of cafes along the waterfront to sit back and take it all in. The beach itself is divided in two, the norte and the sur. They sit right at the end of the town, lined with palm trees and small restaurants. The atmosphere is calm and perfect for a day of relaxing after throwing tomatoes at strangers.
San Sebastian: Zurriola
Zurriola Beach is a great example of how brilliant a city San Sebastian is. Rather than filling it to the brim with beach bars to rack in as much money as possible, it’s been kept mostly empty so the atmosphere is always chilled out and a lot more pleasant than La Concha. Zurriola is also San Sebastian’s surf beach and generally filled with a younger crowd. In summer the waves don’t get too big so it’s a great places to learn. Boards and wetsuits can be rented on the beach and there’s plenty of surf schools to get lessons from. The beach is located just below the Gros area, meaning you’re never too far from pintxos and cidra. It’s the perfect place to spend the day chilling out and surfing, or entertaining yourself by watching other people try.
Costa Brava: Cap de Creus
This beach is for your inner Alexander Supertramp. The beach is more of a cove, hidden in the nature reserve and surrounded by bizarre rocks. Located at the most easterly point of Spain, this has to be the best spot in the country to watch the sun rise. You can’t quite lie out on the sand to sunbathe but the landscape is so incredible that it inspired Salvador Dali’s artworks. There are also tonnes of nature walks around it, or you could get a lido and float around in the beautiful water.
Sitges: Platja de la Bassa Rodona
Sitges is known for being one of the best cities in the world for gay people and Platja de la Bassa Rodona is the best gay beach in Sitges. Every year in June, they host Sitges Pride and you can spend the day swimming in the crystal blue water while listening to the DJ sets along the beach. It does get crowded but it’s less of a chill out and read a book beach and more of a chill out and have a beer beach anyway. It’s incredibly social and you’ll more than likely find yourself talking to tonnes of new people from around the world that have come to hang out on this beach.
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