The Best Beaches in Cádiz, Spain — According to Locals
Get your dose of sunshine in Costa de la Luz
Spain is known for many things: flamenco, tapas, paella, siestas and fiestas alike, Dalí, sangria, fútbol and so much more. But, if you don’t associate the Western European country with beaches as well, you’re missing out. Big time.
According to locals, the best beaches in Spain can be found in Cádiz. The Andalusian province has coastlines which make an interesting case for both bucket lists and wanderlust. Just to avoid any confusion, Cádiz is both a province and a city — the city of Cádiz is the capital of the province of Cádiz. When it comes to the beaches, picking favorites is quite a task to take on as they all have their own charm: from wild to polished and everything in between.
Cádiz is right at home in the aptly named Costa de Luz, and with 300 days of sunshine per year, the “coast of light” sounds about right. While a mermaid’s song is what holds our attention here, Cádiz is much more than just its beautiful beaches — packed full with history, architecture and natural wonders, it’s the perfect place to wander (and eventually you’ll end up on the coast, no doubt).
Bolonia is a dream come true for any sandcastle architect. The sand dunes surrounding this beach are 30 meters high and 200 wide and from it’s apex and on a clear day, you can catch a glimpse of Morocco across the turquoise waters.
A little remote, but not too hard to access either, Bolonia beach is perfect for the nature aficionado looking for an oasis away from the city. You’ll find the beach right in El Estrecho Natural Park, about 20km from Tarifa. There is plenty of parking at a reasonable price right by the beach.
Another must in the area? The ruins of a Roman town, Baelo Claudia, are right there and it would be a shame to miss out.
Playa de los Alemanes
Named after the German soldiers who frequented the area during WWII, Playa de los Alemanes is a refuge from Levante.
The Levante is a strong wind from the Mediterranean Sea. On days when it’s particularly mighty, heading out on an open beach can be a challenge — dodging flying parasols takes away from the experience. Luckily, this cove is protected by a nearby mountain.
Getting to Playa de los Alemanes is a bit of a trek. First, you must arrive early as parking is quite limited. Second, you must brave steep rickety stone steps. If you accept those two challenges though, you’re in for a good time in the crystal clear waters — some of the best in all of Spain! You’re also in for some calm surf and natural pools.
Calas de Roche
Also called Calas de Poniente, the Calas de Roche are an amalgamation of small coves — Cala Encendida, Cala Aspero, Cala Pato, Cala Medina, and Cala Frailecillo — and are all worth a visit.
Surrounded by steep cliffs, the beaches are, similarly to Los Alemanes, a good option for windier days.
The privacy that comes with these unspoiled beaches means you’re sure to find some nudism here and there — although it’s not allowed on all six of the coves. Some of the coves are a bit more popular than others so make your choice: more crowded with clothes or less so with none of the latter.
Most of the beaches are easily accessible via flights of stairs and have parking lots nearby.
Caños de Meca
Caños de Meca is a collection of beaches that embody relaxation to perfection. To get the best of your visit, grab yourself a kayak and paddle your way to a private cala. A cove of your very own sounds like a great way to experience the blues and greens of the water you can find here.
If you need a little more of the commodities of civilization, head on to Playa del Pirata. The beach is right in the town and has everything you could ever need for the day. You can also take public transportation from Cádiz city all the way to the beach without problem.
Step into history at the lighthouse of Trafalgar — a famous battle took place here in 1805 and you can still glimpse parts of it all around the gorgeous beach. For a bit more nudity than history, head to the secluded beaches: Playa de Castillejos and Playa de Cortinas.
While the beaches are breathtaking in their own right, if you need a break from the sand and surf, head to the nearby natural park of Acantilados de Breña for a lovely stroll.
While you may not usually associate Spain with a surfer’s paradise, El Palmar is the perfect spot to hang ten. If this is your first time braving some waves, have no fear, there’s plenty of schools and rental spots offering their services to pros and beginners, in both English and Spanish.
El Palmar is a long, beautiful beach, and depending on your preference, you can walk away from the crowds, or stay near the boardwalk and have access to all types of services.
Staying in Vejer de la Frontera is a must if you visit this top of the line beach. The white Spanish village is a 10-minute drive from the playa and is a charming little oasis to rest your head after a long surfing day. If you’re looking to hit more than one beach in a day, El Palmar and Caños de Meca are on the same bus route.
If you’ve ever wanted to walk on the same golden sand as Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry, this is your chance! La Caleta’s beauty and fame has seduced many, including a couple of Hollywood directors. Bond, James Bond, had his stint on the beach in Die Another Day. Alatriste, Bewitched Love and Manolete were also filmed on this gorgeous Andalusian beach.
Right in the heart of the city, Cádiz is also known for its wild Carnival parade which usually takes place at the end of February or early March. On a Carnival night or any other, you can’t visit this place without catching a breathtaking sunset. We suggest heading to Castillo de Santa Catalina for the best views.
La Loma Del Puerco
Better known as Playa del Puerco, this beach isn’t the easiest to access once you’ve parked your car, but it does make it a perfect candidate for a quiet escape.
With fine golden sand and gentle surf, La Loma Del Puerco, although often passed upon, is up there on the list of best beaches to visit while in Costa de la Luz. If you’re looking for a nudist hotspot however, this isn’t the place to go, scroll back up to another option!
For a taste of what Spain’s rich and famous prefer beach-wise — the nearby Chiclana and Playa de la Barrosa are popular summer getaways.
If the ocean is where you feel the most at home, you are absolutely spoiled for choices. The Corn Islands of Nicaragua, Phu Quoc in Vietnam, the Raja Ampat Islands and so many more, but most importantly, Cádiz in Spain.
Between a paella, a good glass of red, and strolls along quaint Andalusian streets, dipping your toes in refreshing water is just one more box ticked off to make the perfect trip. Pristine beaches, amazing food, great people, and a region bursting at the seam with history, what more can you ask for?