How to Plan the Perfect Beach Holiday in Spain

Empuriabrava, Girona, Spain

The ultimate summer in Spain. You’ve booked over two weeks off work, and you’re looking to soak up some culture and history in Madrid and Barcelona, maybe venture down south to Andalusia or up north to Bilbao for a few days.

If all goes well, you want to end up on a beach in a gorgeous seaside town on the Mediterranean Sea.

Whether you are traveling alone, with other adults or kids, this sounds like a breeze, right?

Well? Yes and no. If you are a hard-partying type who doesn’t care where they lay their head at night, carry on. But, if you are looking for charm or luxury, sea views, nice bedding and furnishings, a beachside location, maybe a swimming pool? Your beach fantasy vacation will cost you -and it won’t be easy to find!

When should I look?

Believe it or not, you will have to start looking for and confirming accommodations months in advance. Yes, that seems early, but if you’re like us and waited until mid-April to start looking for a place for AUGUST, you will soon realize why earlier is better.


Thankfully, plenty of offers through and Airbnb offer partial or full cancellation. It’s the same situation for winter ski holiday bookings. There is so much competition that you have to start early, if you’re going at peak season.

How much is this going to cost?

Expect to spend 150 – 300 euros a night for a nice place for three or more people. You may find some good deals for solo or couple travel, but any booking for more than two people will cost you a substantial amount more.

Check the reviews and photos thoroughly!

We found places for 300 euros a night with cheap plastic furniture, old low-quality bed linens, in average locations. However, we ended up finding a really cute place with amazing vistas and funky fresh furniture for under 200 euros a night.


The entire Costa Brava, the coastline to the North of Barcelona and the Costa Daurada to the south of Barcelona, is made for beach life. There are endless numbers of hotels and Airbnbs to choose from.

The Costa Brava is wonderful, with many Catalonia chic restaurants, shops, and services. Although some of the beaches near Tossa de Mar, Lloret de Mar, Sant Feliu de Guixols, and CadaquΓ©s are quite rocky, if you stay in areas like Pals, Begur, Empuriabrava, and Roses, you will enjoy beautiful sand beaches.

San Feliu de Guixols,Girona, Spain

But consider all the seaside towns when planning as they all have a lot to offer. We spent a random afternoon in Sant Feliu de Guixols, and although the beach was rocky, the water was beautiful. They also have a lot of shops, restaurants, and children’s play areas nearby.

Lloret de Mar, Girona, Spain

What’s more, France is a short drive from this region if you’re looking for a nice day trip and a different vibe.

Aside from beach life and dining, the Costa Brava offers a long list of activities, including; scuba diving, snorkeling, sea kayaking, paddle surfing, and boat tours. Check out Get your Guide Costa Brava for some activity ideas.

As well there are art tours of such famous artists as Salvador Dali, castles, Aquabrava aquatic park, and hiking trails.

Dino Heladeria, Empuriabrava

Not to mention, a lot of shopping! If you’re looking for artisans or chain stores, something chic or a new pair of cheap flip flops, you will find it.

Check out the beach towns or drive to larger cities like Girona or Figueres for all your shopping needs.

Empuriabrava has a huge selection of shops and services.

I was amazed at the quality of the shops in Empuriabrava. Of course, there were cheap shops with 10 euros bikinis, but they also had some really lovely shoe stores and who knows what else. I’m putting aside some money for random vacation finds.

The Costa Daurada to the south of Barcelona is an excellent option with many wide sandy beaches. Many bustling cities and towns in this area are popular year-round but truly shine in the summertime.

Torredembarra, Tarragona, Spain

As well, the most fun place on earth, PortAventura Theme Park,is minutes from Salou on the Costa Daurada!

Tarragona City, Tarragona, Spain

Tarragona, a region and a large city, is a wonderful place for dining, museums, galleries, and shopping.


See Get your Guide The Costa Daurada for activity offers, many of which are similar to the water sports on the Costa Brava. If you’re looking for day trips, just drive South towards Valencia. You will find national parks and even a dinosaur dig on the way.

Salou, Tarragona, Spain

I hope this helps you plan your Spanish beach holiday!

I had no idea there were so many things to consider when booking a vacation that, in my case, is just an hour and a half away. I hope this helps all the travelers coming from other countries and continents!


Check out my ultimate beach kit post for everything you need to enjoy your time at the beach! And if you have any questions, comment below!

All photos by author or author’s husband.

Disclosure: Purchases made through my Get Your Guide links can earn me an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you, the customer. But rest assured, I only feature tours and services I like and/or have purchased myself.

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