Stretching south from the city of Barcelona to Tarragona in the region of Catalonia, the Spanish Costa Dorada (aka Daurada) enjoys 150 miles of golden sand beaches, hence its name the 'Gold Coast'. This Costa embraces one of Europe's most fascinating and cultured cities, Barcelona.
Barcelona, with 4.5 km of coastline, has several urban beaches with soft, golden sand and excellent facilities. The two largest and the closest to the city are Sant Sebastià and Barceloneta, both more than one kilometre long, well-established and popular.
Further north, next to the Olympic port are other city beaches - Nova Icària and El Bogatell, both Blue Flag beaches, as well as Mar Bella, Nova Mar Bella and Llevant.
Barcelona is a great choice for Spanish holidays combining colour, culture and beach life, with an international airport and the occasional frisson of pickpocket spotting and avoidance.
Only a few minutes away from Barcelona and its international airport Castelldefels, between the mountainous massif of Garraf on the Mediterranean has more than five kilometres of fine beaches.
Sitges, just south of Barcelona
45 minutes south of Barcelona, Sitges is famously gay and attractive. It has seventeen fine sand beaches, including several Blue Flag award winners such as Terramar, ten urban beaches and a couple of isolated rural beaches such as gay friendly Playa del Muerto, however when it comes to plain old sunbathing, Playas de la Ribera and La Fragata in the town centre is where the majority of the crowds go. Most of the beaches are ideal for swimming with sheltered calm waters.
Cala Fonda, Altafulla near Tarragona
Locally known as Waikiki Beach, Cala Fonda is one of the most untouched and isolated nudist beaches in Spain, with scenic natural settings backed by pine woods but almost no facilities and only accessible on foot.
Tamarit Castle and beaches, Tarragona
La Mora Beach, Tarragona
This small, well-managed, Blue Flag beach has natural vegetation, tranquil waters and ancient ruins!
It offers excellent facilities, some sizeable Roman structures, a castle, good parking, restaurants, camping and a variety of sports. If you prefer an urban beach, try the popular, Blue Flag El Miracle Beach with its enjoyable Rafael de Casanova promenade leading from the city centre.
Spain Beaches: Costa Brava | Atlantic coast | Costa Blanca | Costa de la Luz | Costa del Sol