The Costa Blanca (‘White Coast’) is famous for its beautiful beaches of white sand, but also boasts some very pretty little coves and bays that are less well known. We’ve picked out our favourites along this fabulous coastline in this list of the top 10 beaches on the Costa Blanca. For more ideas for activities and attractions on the Costa Blanca, check out these ideas for alternative things to do on this fantastic stretch of coast.
1. Playa La Granadella (Jávea)
The Playa La Granadella is a perfect horseshoe-shaped bay near the delightful resort of Jávea. The intense blue water, dramatic cliffs and Mediterranean pines make it one of the most beautiful on the Costa Blanca. In July and August, you’ll be jostling for space, but you can escape the crowds in the lovely Mediterranean pines that fringe the bay. There is a beach bar and a few nearby restaurants, and the bay is famous for snorkelling, thanks to its seagrass beds.
2. Playa El Altet (Alicante)
A spectacularly unspoilt stretch of virgin sand, the Playa El Altet is backed by protected dunes and is accessed by a wooden boardwalk. It is located about 10 kilometres south of Alicante, near the small town of El Altet. There are no facilities here, so you’ll need to pack up a picnic and make sure you bring plenty of water, sunscreen and a parasol, but you can expect blissful peace and quiet, and wonderfully clear water.
3. Playa La Caleta de Villajoyosa (Villajoyosa)
Another hidden gem on the Costa Blanca, this beautiful little cove is located just south of Villajoyosa at the end of a dirt road. Known only to locals, you won’t find many tourists here, but once you arrive you’ll see why they like to keep it to themselves. The rocks tumble down to an intense blue sea, and even in the height of summer you will find comparatively few people. The water is very clean and transparent, and the rocky coastline is ideal for snorkelling. The beach is made is very fine pebbles, so it is worth bringing something to lie on. There are no facilities, so come prepared with a picnic and plenty of water.
4. Playa de Tabarca (Alicante)
A day-trip to the little island of Tabarca is a must when on holiday in the Costa Blanca. Ferries depart from Alicante and Sant Pola for the short 5-kilometre trip out to the island, which is the smallest inhabited island in Spain. There is only one small sandy beach on Tabarca, but you can also explore the rocky coastline to find a little (pebbly) cove just for you. The waters are a protected marine reserve, so the diving and snorkelling is some of the best on the Costa Blanca. You can either bring a picnic, or enjoy a slap-up lunch at one of the island’s restaurants.
5. Playa de Levante de Benidorm (Benidorm)
Benidorm is the capital of the Costa Blanca and boasts two of the finest sandy beaches on the whole Mediterranean coast. Stretching for more than two kilometres, this beach features every possible amenity, from beach bars and sunlounger-rental to jet-skis and banana boats. Younger kids will enjoy the play areas on the beach, while older kids who are more confident swimmers can have fun on the diving boards and wet playground out in the sea. The water is calm and the beach shelves gently, making it ideal for families.
6. Playa Racó de l’Albir de Alfaz del Pi (Altea)
This popular beach is located south of Altea. Although it is just 500 metres long, it boasts plenty of facilities, including lifeguard posts (in summer), a range of water sports, beach bars, sunlounger-rental and showers. The promenade behind the beach is full of shops, bars and cafés. But the real allure here are the inviting cliffs and woods at the southern end of the bay, which form part of the Serra Gelada nature reserve. Here you can hike up to the lighthouse and admire the views, or just soak up the pine-scented coolness of the woods.
7. Playa Les Marines (Denia)
The Les Marines beach is a long, broad expanse of golden sand that stretches for about 3 kilometres north of the town centre – which means you can always find a spot for your towel, even in peak season. It is sheltered, and the shore shelves gradually, making it particularly popular with families. The beach has been awarded Blue Flag status and has every imaginable facility, including lifeguards (in summer) and beach bars for snacks and drinks. There are plenty of restaurants and cafés located just behind the beach, and it’s also a great spot to enjoy wonderful views of Denia’s castle.
8. Playa de La Fossa de Calpe (Calpe)
Calpe’s second-biggest beach is also one of its most appealing, and is famous for its fine, pale sand. It stretches for about a kilometre north of the Penyal d’Ifach (Peñón de Ifach in Spanish), the huge jutting rock that is this area’s biggest landmark. The beach has Blue Flag status, thanks to its pristine waters and excellent facilities, and you’ll find a wide choices of places to eat and drink along the seafront promenade that runs behind it. If you want to climb the Penyal, be sure to book early: it’s a nature reserve with limited access, and only a fixed number of tickets are issued daily to enter the reserve and make the stiff climb to the summit.
9. Playa La Roda de Altea (Altea)
Come prepared for the pebbles (wear a pair of ‘jellies’ or waterproof shoes and bring a comfy beach mat) and you will have a very enjoyable day at this kilometre-long beach in the charming town of Altea. The water is clean and inviting, and there is a long wooden walkway that runs the length of the beach if you’re in the mood for a stroll. In summer, there are lots of extra activities, and the coastline is good for snorkelling.
10. Playa San Juan (Alicante)
This huge sandy beach on the edge of Alicante is three kilometres long. It’s surrounded by a huge collection of bars, restaurants, and clubs that keep going all through the night in summer. Facilities include all kinds of water sports, from windsurfing to kayaking, plus beach bars, lifeguard posts (in summer), fitness areas and playgrounds for kids. Hop on the tram from central Alicante to get there in minutes.