The top three hidden gems of the Spanish coast

Sarah Whitfield King / 08 February 2016 ( 04 May 2017 )

Think you know Spain? Think again. Many places on the Spanish coast are still waiting to be discovered – from little towns to country trails and coastlines which have escaped urbanisation. Here are a few of our favourites…



Costa Verde

Often referred to as Green Spain – or ‘real’ Spain – the northern Spanish Costa Verde region has miles of unspoiled coastline strewn with sandy coves and tiny islets.

With its distinctive cuisine of simple, honest food (often accompanied by local specialities cider and cheese), it offers all the character and flavour of real, rural Spain. 

Where to go? The sublimely beautiful Cantabria region is sprinkled with fishing villages and coves. Local foodie specialities include cream cheese, delicious Sobao pastry and a host of seafood harvested from its spectacular coast

Discover more about the aptly named 'Green Coast' of Spain Find out more here.

Costa Brava

The Costa Brava’s vast, sandy beaches have been attracting holidaymakers for decades. However, there are still plenty of areas that have escaped the ravages of more popular tourist meccas. 

Where to go? The sleepy enclave of Playa de Pals is well worth a visit. Centrally located, it is home to one of the longest stretches of beach in the Costa Brava. 

Also worth a look are the resort towns of Calella de Palafrugell and Llafranc. With its sparkling white houses, Calella de Palafrugell is a small and very Spanish resort that drops down to two sandy beaches. 

A picturesque 15-minute walk along the headland will bring you to Llafranc, another stunning seaside village. It has a wonderful sandy beach backed by a pine-shaded boulevard with bars, restaurants and cafes.

Experience the Costa Brava – a region of leisure, mountains, viticulture and sunshine Find out more here.

Costa de la Luz

A short turn right out of Malaga airport and you are on the Costa de la Luz (Coast of Light). 

This coastline, which runs from Cadiz to Tarifa, boasts more than 50 miles of fine white sand backed by dunes and pine forests, with an enviable sunshine record throughout the year.

Despite its reputation for windy days and its popularity with windsurfers, in July and August the wind dies, leaving hours to enjoy the beach and calm seas.

Where to go? Throughout the year whales and dolphins swim along this coast to the Med or the Atlantic and companies in Tarifa run whale-watching trips; there is a very good chance of seeing these magnificent mammals.

Alternatively, head for the Donana National Park, home to a rare big cat, the Iberian lynx. Tours depart daily from the El Acebuche Visitor Centre on the Placa Acebuchal in El Rocio.

The ‘Coast of Light’ will dazzle you with rich history, natural beauty, and fiery Andalusian culture Find out more here.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.