From the Costa Brava in northern Spain, heading down and around to the famous Costa del Sol - and then northwest to Portugal's beautiful Argave coast and around its sunny Atlantic coast - the whole of
the Iberian peninsula is a sun worshiper's dream.
Think of beaches in Spain and the Costa del Sol (The Sun Coast) comes immediately to mind, with its warm, balmy weather virtually a year-round attraction. Its worldwide popularity however, has cost
it in terms of over-development, but the nightlife and luxury amenities are some of the best in Spain.
Right next door lies the Costa de la Luz (The Coast of Light) running from Gibraltar to the border of Portugal, featuring miles of white sandy beaches, stands of forest pine, and ideal surfing in Tarifa.
Island beaches off the Spanish coast offer their own unique charm, although the
most popular such as Mallorca and the Canary Islands can also become overcrowded during the peak summer
season, at times populated by more tourists than locals!
Popular beaches in Spain are located along the sun-kissed coast of the Costa del Sol (left). Meanwhile, sand dunes and kite surfing are the main draws at Tarifa along the Costa de la Luz (middle); and
stunning rock formations beckon at Playa de las Catedrales on Spain's northern coast (right).
More about Spain's beaches around the Web:
Barcelona Spain Beaches - The quick guide to the top beaches with pictures, directions and Metro stops, travel tips and hotel suggestions.
Best beaches in Spain and Portugal - readers tips - Check out the Guardian's survey of visitors' mentions for their top picks of beaches in Northern and Southern Spain, and the Eastern and Western Algarve in Portugal with descriptions and photos..
In Portugal, the scenic southern tip of the Algarve region is by far the most popular with beach-goers.
With glorious year round sunshine and excellent sandy beaches and gorgeous coves warmed by the Gulf Stream, the Algarve offers something for everyone from world-class golf courses to family fun and spectacular natural
Portugal's Atlantic side north of Lisbon, the central coast features more miles-long stretches of beachfront filled with dunes, cliffs and seashells - including the most famous (and most crowded!) Figueira
da Foz - along with more sun-drenched beaches in Buarcos, Murtinheira, Quiaios, Tocha and Mira.
Portugal's coastal attractions include spectacular sunsets along the Algarve (left); popular seaside resorts
in Figueira da Foz (center); and more sun-drenched beaches along the Atlantic coast north of Lisbon (right).
More about Portugal's beaches around the Web:
Top ten beaches - Portugal - Check out first-hand reviews from visitors about the best beaches in Portugal including information, travel tips and photos focusing on the Algarve and the country's south coast including Tavira, Faro, Albufeira, Portimao and Lagos
with more on west coast surfing in Guincho and Ericeira.
The Best Beaches in
Algarve - Interactive maps, stunning photos, reviews and information on the region's beaches, restaurants, tourist attractions