Sailing boat in Cala Macarelleta, Menorca, Balearic Islands

The ten best places in Spain for boating: out on the water


The climate and the quality of its waters makes Spain a great destination for nautical tourism. Ever tried going for a swim off a Spanish beach from the peace and quiet of a boat? If that sounds like a god plan, why not rent a boat and check out the best coasts for sailing in Spain!

  • Sailing boats at anchor in the Rías Baixas en Pontevedra, Galicia

    Rías Baixas, Galicia (A Coruña and Pontevedra)

    If you feel like sailing on calm tranquil seas, then the rías of Arousa, Pontevedra and Vigo might be just what you’re looking for, as here the waters are sheltered by the Islas Cíes: a Maritime-Terrestrial National Park and an essential point of call for anyone who loves being at the heart of the natural world of the sea. The island of Monteagudo is home to the largest of the Cíes beaches, Playa Rodas, a truly beautiful landscape. If you fancy dropping anchor at one of the three islands, first you’ll need to request a mooring permit.

  • Sailing boat off the coast of Lloret de Mar in Girona, Catalonia

    Costa Brava, Girona

    The Costa Brava is an invitation to bask in the warm waters of the Mediterranean along more than 200 kilometres of a coastline that’s bursting with impressive coves. Some you’ll find there have their own natural caves (for example Cala Pola), while others can only be reached from the sea (Pedrosa, La Foradada and Ferriol), offering singular views of the Massís del Montgrí Natural Park. You can also anchor at Cala Culip, a secluded spot said to be the resting place of ancient shipwrecks.

  • Views of Sitges in Barcelona, Catalonia, from the sea

    Costa del Garraf, Barcelona

    Along this coast you can enjoy the sights of tourist favourites like the towns of Sitges, Cubelles, Vilanova i la Geltrú and Sant Pere de Ribes, all from your own boat. You’ll also sail past the cliffs of the Macizo del Garraf as they descend into the sea.

  • Views of a sailing boat on the coast of Altea in Alicante, Region of Valencia, Spain.

    Costa Blanca, Alicante

    The Alicante coast offers excellent conditions for sailing, guaranteed by the blue flag status awarded to most of its beaches (the blue flag is a certification issued by the European Foundation for Environmental Education that attests to the quality of the beaches and ports to which it grants approval). In these waters, you’ll discover lots of little coves (many of which you can anchor at), natural beauty spots such as the Serra Gelada Natural Park, and wonderful surprises like the natural swimming pool on the island of Portixol.

  • Costa Cálida, Murcia

    If you’re travelling with children, you’ll find calm waters and family-friendly beaches such as La Manga and Cala Cortina as you sail along the Costa Cálida. What’s more, you can also admire the fishing villages from your boat, or head ashore to try some of the traditional dishes on offer.

  • Views of the Motril coast in Granada, Andalusia

    Costa Tropical, Granada

    The Costa Tropical spans the four villages of Motril, Salobreña, Almuñécar and La Herradura in the province of Granada. One of the most famous sailing routes along this coast runs from the bay of La Herradura to the cliffs at Maro Cerro Gordo in Malaga. Along the way, you’ll pass unspoilt coves such as Cala de la Rijana (near Motril), a beach of dark sand and turquoise waters overlooked by its very own watchtower.

  • Costa del Sol, Malaga

    As you pass the beach at Cantarriján, you’ll leave behind the natural boundary between the Malaga and Granada coasts. But your trip doesn’t have to end there. So much more awaits on the Costa de Sol! The beach at Maro is considered to be one of the best in the country. And have you heard of its neighbour, Caleta de Maro?

  • Sailing boats anchoring in Cala Vadella in Ibiza, Balearic Islands

    Pitiusas Islands, Balearic Islands

    Ibiza and Formentera form part of the Pitiusas Islands, one of Spain’s most enchanting destinations for all seafarers, especially if you’re setting sail between the months of April and October. Waiting for you in the Pitiusas are the idyllic beaches of s’Alga (on the island of Espalmador), Ses Illetes (Formentera), and Cala Salada (Ibiza), with their crystal-clear waters and golden sands.

  • Dolphins off the coast of Tenerife, Canary Islands

    Tenerife, Canary Islands

    If you’re passionate about sailing, Tenerife is the perfect destination! Some of the best reasons to set sail in the Canary Islands are its regular trade winds and the air currents between the islands. And you’ll also have the chance to spot cetaceans such as pilot whales and dolphins around the area of Los Gigantes, although it’s very important not to get too close to these animals, as they’re protected under national and international law.

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