I'm pretty sure Hemingway was not much of a beach goer, and when he wrote about sand in Spain he was surely writing about bullfighting rings rather than beaches. But let's face it, the number one motivation for most tourists coming to Spain is probably its beaches. Perhaps Blasco Ibañez's work Sangre y Arena (blood and sand) would today be rewritten and titled "Sangría y Arena." I'm using this entry as an excuse to educate myself and readers about Spain's typical beach regions, the famous "Costas" that Brits flock to in hoards, each with their slightly different regional flavors and beach experiences.
Putting aside for the moment Ibiza (and the other Balearic islands) and the Canary Islands, the principal "sol y playa" destinations in Spain are probably Costa del Sol (Málaga), Costa Brava (around Barcelona), and Costa Blanca (south of Valencia around Alicante).
|No longer a fishing village. Mass beach tourism at Lloret de Mar,|
a town one guide not long ago described as having the highest
concentration of hotels of any point along the coast.
And what of the other Costas? Frankly, if it is not along the Mediterranean coast, then chances are that Brits and other foreigners haven't heard of it. The Costa Verde (Green Coast) of Asturias and Costa Vasca (Basque Coast) of the Basque Country have beautiful beaches, but the weather is substantially less sunny and the North Atlantic Ocean water notably colder. So not quite as alluring for laying out in the sun and getting that perfect tan. That said, these areas have become popular alternatives for Spaniards seeking to avoid the mass tourism of the other Costas, and the hiking trails, picturesque fishing villages, and amazing local food make them attractive tourist destinations in their own right.
|The rugged, green and tranquil coastlines of the Basque Country.|