As the temperatures fall and the days get shorter, we have to forget about relaxing seaside holidays in Spain until next year.
But do we really? Although the autumn and winter months are usually too cold for swimming and sunbathing, there are still many spectacular beaches in Spain full of natural beauty worthy of a visit, even if you must wear a hat and scarf to do so.
La Concha Beach in the Basque Country
La Concha beach in San Sebastian in the Basque Country is one of Europe’s most famous beaches. It’s a splendid urban beach, with golden sand and clear blue waters, that extends along the whole length of the Bay of La Concha, so-called because of its shell-like shape (concha means shell in Spanish).
It gets very crowded in summer, so autumn is a great time to go and enjoy a quiet, cool swim if the weather still allows. If not, it’s a great place for a picnic on the beach and then a long walk along the shore, taking in the views of Monte Igeldo and Santa Clara Island.
Guests staying at luxury hotel Parador Hondarribia, a medieval fortress just 18 kilometres away from San Sebastian, should be sure to make a day trip to La Concha.
Playa As Catedrais in Galicia
To the west of the Basque Country on the Cantabrian coast in Ribadeao, Galicia is the Playa As Catedrais, which means the beach of the cathedrals. It’s amazing cathedral-like formations are what give it its name and what won it the status of natural monument.
During low tide, you can wander through its natural arches and caves, all the while its magnificent cliffs tower above. Some of the arches are over 30 metres tall and look like the flying buttresses of a cathedral.
During high tide, breathtaking views can be seen from the top of the cliffs. Why not check in for the night at nearby Parador Ribadeo, located within a traditional Galician country house on the Ribadeo estuary.
The Caves of Nerja in Andalusia
Further south along the Costa del Sol lies Nerja, home to the impressive Caves of Nerja. Stretching for nearly five kilometres, the caves contain marvellous stalactites, stalagmites and other cave formations, as well as huge natural columns and fluted columns which produce different musical notes when struck.
The ideal place to stay during a visit here is Parador Nerja, situated on a cliff overlooking the sea not far from the caves.
Acantilados de los Gigantes in the Canary Islands
The Canary Islands are the best chance you’ll have for a seaside holiday in Spain during autumn, with average temperatures above 20º C. However, if you are ever unlucky with the weather, there are plenty of coastal marvels to visit all around the islands.
Parador de La Gomera
Guests at Parador Las Cañadas del Teide on the island of Tenerife, for example, could visit the Acantilados de los Gigantes, or Cliffs of the Giants in English. These spectacular vertical cliffs are the highest in the Canary Islands, reaching up to 500 metres in some parts.
Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide