18 Best Family Friendly Beaches in Northern and Southern Spain

Spain is a beautiful country, but when you plan your vacation there, you may want to consider the time of year before you choose your final destination.  After all, southern Spain is warmer than the northern regions of this country.  

A vacation in northern Spain will have you seeing cities like Madrid, Bilbao, and Santander, while southern cities include Marbella, Malaga, Seville, and Cordoba.  The best time to visit either of these areas for a Spain beach vacation is during the summer months when the weather is nice and warm. However, if you want to avoid the crowds when you are experiencing the most beautiful beaches in Spain, you may want to go during the spring or fall.  

9 Best Family Friendly Beaches in Northern Spain

1) Playa el Sardinero

Playa el Sardinero is one of the Spain beaches that is perfect if you want to visit a beach that is close to the center of the city you are vacationing in.  This beach can be found in Santander and there are so many things to do in that part of northern Spain too.

Playa el Sardinero

In between time in the sand and the water, you can explore the city streets.  One of the best things about this best beach in northern Spain is you can easily reach it from your hotel room, so naptimes are a breeze later in the day.  

2) Bilbao Beaches

The Bilbao beaches are so amazing, which is why it is impossible to narrow them down to just one best beach in this part of the country. 

sopelana beach - Beaches in Northern and Southern Spain

There are eight spectacular beaches in this area within northern Spain and each one of them offers something unique for you and your family.  When you are not wandering around the Guggenheim Museum, I recommend you spend a little time going from one beach to the next until you find your own favorite.  

3) La Franca Beach

The water is quite calm at La Franca Beach, which makes it perfect for families with smaller kids.  You will find this beach near Cantabria and Asturias, so you will want to plan your accommodations accordingly if you do not want to have to travel too far to have some fun in the sun and the water. 

La Franca Beach - Beaches in Northern and Southern Spain
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

While this is one of the best beaches in Spain for families, everyone will have a fantastic time at this beach. The amenities are plentiful, so you will never need to worry about going without when you are tired of the water.  I recommend grabbing a bite to eat at one of the nearby cafés when you are hungry, because there are so many to choose from that serve delicious food.  

4) Gaztelugatxe 

The trek to Gaztelugatxe is not easy, so you may only want to attempt it with older children.  However, once you arrive on this little island, you will be thankful you made the journey since it is secluded and gorgeous. 

Gaztelugatxe - Beaches in Northern and Southern Spain

While this isn’t technically a beach, it is still the perfect location for relaxing and running around. You must plan ahead when you visit this area of northern Spain, because there are no amenities available there.  That means that any food and drink you need for your time at Gazteligatxe will need to be taken with you.  

5) Poo Beach

The name of this beach does not sound too appealing, but that doesn’t mean you should discount it as one of the best Spanish beaches.  The sparkling water is perfect for swimming, so your entire family can go between the water and the sand all day long.

Poo Beach
Credits: Javier Habladorcito, Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0

When you are hungry, there are two restaurants located close to the sand, so you will never need to leave this beach before you are truly ready.  I recommend staying at one of the numerous hotels within Poo, because then you can visit this best beach in northern Spain as often as you want during your vacation.  

6) Niembru Beach

You will find this stunning beach within the village of Niembru and it might just be the best beach town in Spain.  This beach never really gets busy, which is perfect for families, because you never need to worry about losing sight of the little ones. 

Niembru Beach - Beaches in Northern and Southern Spain
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Instead, they can run around on the sand playing until they are worn out and ready for a nap. Before the end of the day, you must check out the views from the top of the hill and make sure you explore this charming village as well.  

7) Pechon Beach

Pechon Beach is another one of the best beaches in Spain that is secluded and has no amenities.  Again, this is a beach for older children, because there is a challenging descent that you must do in order to reach Pechon Beach.  Make sure you carry everything you need for a day at the beach on your hike, because there are no amenities at this beach either.

Pechon Beach - Beaches in Northern and Southern Spain

 However, once you return to the top of paradise, you can always wander through the streets of the village of Pechon.  There are many cafés and restaurants within this village, and they all serve delectable food for low prices.  

8) Buelna Beach

Buelna Beach is one of the secret best beaches in Spain, so do not expect to see tons of people there at the same time as you.  Despite the seclusion, this is a fabulous beach for families. The locals love this beach as well, so it is possible that your kids could have some fun with the local children during your visit.  Imagine having new friends that live in a different country and keeping in contact with them long into the future. That is completely possible when you spend a little time at this Spanish beach.  

9) San Vincente de la Barquera Beach

The San Vincente de la Barquera Beach is quite near San Vincente de la Barquera, so it is easy to get from your hotel room there to the beach and back again multiple times a day.  Surfers love this beach, so your entire family can spend hours watching those surfers trying to catch the perfect wave.

San Vincente de la Barquera Beach
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Your kids may also decide they want to learn how to surf, and they can get a few pointers from the locals.  While you can visit this best beach in Spain at any time, it is best on a clear day, because it is then you can see extraordinary views of the Picos de Europa. While you will have access to many restaurants within the town, you may prefer to pack a picnic lunch or dinner, so you do not need to stop having fun to grab a bite to eat.  

9 Best Family Friendly Beaches in Southern Spain

1) Victoria Beach

The town of Victoria is not too far from Malaga, so you have a plethora of options when it comes to accommodations.  However, I recommend staying in Victoria if you want to access the beach on a daily basis. While you can spend your days on the sandy Victoria Beach, you may want to switch things up a little with your family on occasion. 

Victoria Beach - Beaches in Northern and Southern Spain
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Start with a long walk along the seafront before heading down to where the shrine of Virgen del Carmen is located on a rock on the western end of the beach. If you want to see this best beach in Spain from a different vantage point, you may want to climb to the top of the Moorish Watchtower.  

2) El Cristo Beach

El Cristo Beach is near the town of Estepona, so you easily stay in a hotel there and be at the beach in under ten minutes every single day of your vacation.  This Blue Flag Beach has calm shallow water, so it is perfect for kids and adults of all ages.

El Cristo Beach - Beaches in Northern and Southern Spain
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

If you want to do something more than swimming, you will love the snorkeling areas that are available at this beach.  The best part about this Spain beach vacation is you will be in the touristy area, but you will not need to deal with large crowds.  

3) Cabo de Gata Natural Park

If you are looking for a Spain beach vacation in nature, you must spend a little time within Cabo de Gata Natural Park.  This natural park and beach area can be found on the Almeria Coast and there are many hotels and other accommodations to choose from nearby. 

Cabo de Gata Natural Park

You will discover many beaches in this area and many of them will be tucked away within coves and cliffs, so you may be the only one there on occasion.  

4) Bolonia Beach

One of the best beaches in southern Spain is Bolonia and you will love how it is never crowded.  The sand on Bolonia Beach is pristine, so you will never need to worry about your kids finding something they shouldn’t have. 

Bolonia Beach - Beaches in Northern and Southern Spain
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The views from this beach are amazing and there are times you can see both the Atlas Mountains in North Africa and the Gibraltar Strait.  

5) Almayate Bajo

Sometimes you want to do something different on a Spain beach vacation and that is where this best beach near Malaga Spain comes into play.

Almayate Bajo

It is on Almayate Bajo that you can do a little beach camping in southern Spain. You can either stay in a tent or caravan at the campsite called Camping Almayate Costa, but if that one is completely booked, you can choose a tent or bungalow over at Laguna Playa.  

6) Nikki Beach

One of the best beaches in Marbella, Spain is Nikki Beach.  This beach has some of the finest white sand in the entire country. 

Nikki Beach

This beach is best for older kids, because there is a beach club called Nikki Beach Marbella there as well.  While you can all enjoy the sandy shoreline, there will be many adults imbibing in the area closest to the club.  

7) La Malagueta Beach

While many of the best beaches in Spain were made by mother nature, La Malagueta Beach is one that was made by man.  This Malaga beach is near the city, so there is so much to do both on and off the sand. In between swimming adventures, your kids will love to play in the children’s area. 

La Malagueta Beach
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

You will love the convenience of the Pablo Promenade with all the bars and restaurants to grab some food and drinks at. Since this is one of the closest beaches to the center of the city it can get crowded, but you can easily grab prime sandy real estate if you arrive early enough in the day.  

8) Maro Beach

Maro Beach is often considered one of the most popular beaches of Spain and it is definitely a favorite on a list of things to do in southern Spain.  This beach is very accessible, and it offers spectacular scenery to look at when you are not enjoying the sparkling water.

Maro Beach
Credits: Cayetano, Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

A few things to do while visiting this Spanish beach include hiking to the bluffs, rock formations, and the Maro Waterfall.  After a little swimming, you may want to grab some snorkeling gear to see the marine life or get into a kayak to see the water and shoreline from a different vantage point.  

9) El Palmar Beach

This stunning beach in southern Spain can be found within El Palmar, which is the Surf capital of Andalucia.  The beach is a straight five kilometers, and it is lined with all sorts of restaurants and bars. Your entire family will love all the water sports you can do at this beach, especially since there are not as many crowds filling up the sandy shoreline or the water.

El Palmar Beach
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

 If you are looking for the quietest part of this beach, you must head up to the northern end, because there is no car entrance or exit at that section.  

These are the eighteen best family friendly beaches in northern and southern Spain, but there are so many other beaches that you can visit during your Spain beach vacation as well.  As you are planning your trip, you will want to consider all the best beaches in Mallorca, Spain, best beaches in Valencia, Spain, best beaches in Ibiza, Spain, and the best beaches in Majorca, Spain.  Each one of those beaches will have thrilling things to do in either northern or southern Spain, so you will never be bored when you are not out on the sand.  

Spanish beaches are the perfect spots for vacations, so get started planning your family friendly Spain beach vacation today! 

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