Although, beaches are off limits at the moment during 2020 in Spain it will not always stay that way. While we stay off the beaches at least we can dream about soft sand under our feet and a swim in the salty sea. The MiMove team share some of their personal favourites this week. Which beach do you like the best?
Spain has more than 8000 kilometres of coastline, mainly beaches. Many of them have been awarded the Blue Flag for their cleanliness, sustainability and great facilities. Spain also has more Blue Flag beaches than any other country in the world. It is easy to understand that so many love coming to Spain for sun and beach-life.
An adventure beach
First, Maria shares her tip of a beautiful beach. We find “her” beach in Mojacar on the Almeria coast:
Mojacar Playa is the name of the resort that stretches along the coast below the whitewashed village Mojacar Pueblo. There are almost 20 kilometres of beautiful beaches and in some places, they are very wide. There is always plenty of space, even in high season. Along this part of the coast, there are two larger hotels and the beaches in front of them may be a bit more crowded at times.
I love the sea and beaches, but I am not that keen on crowds. I like it when it feels like I am an adventurer and get to discover my “own” beaches and coves away from other people.
In between the beaches las Ventanicas and Macena playa in the southern part of Mojacar playa you will find a footpath along the side of the mountain. The terrain is rugged, dramatic and very beautiful. Once upon a time, different minerals were extracted from the mountains, delivered down to the sea and shipped off. You can still see traces of metal in the layers of shale. The rays of the sun reflected in the metal traces and give the mountainside a beautiful glow.
Like something out of a book
To walk the path from Mojacar to Macenas takes about 20-30 minutes and it is not a difficult walk. Sometimes, cyclists ride the path at great speed, so you may want to be a bit careful not to get knocked down. There are also handrails missing in certain places and the mountain falls steep into the sea. The scenery is like something you may find in an adventure book or a murder mystery where there is a risk of one of the characters falling over the edge. But as long as you keep to the mountainside it is perfectly safe.
Down by the water, there is a beach and several secluded coves. This whole stretch is often empty even in August. At the Macena’s end of the footpath, you can get down to the water without risk breaking a leg and from there you can discover the beaches and the coves. The sand is slightly grey from the mineral traces but is fine and soft under your feet. If you get bored, you can check out the stone sculptures. Someone has been making towers out of stones for years now.
This part of the beach has no facilities and there is nothing to buy. However, on the Macenas beach in the direction of Carbonereas there is a traditional chirringuito open during the summer months. An ice-cold drink, while the sun sets in the sea, is heavenly.
If you are ever in Mojacar, don’t miss the footpath and the secluded coves and beaches.
Where boys become men
Next tip comes from Jesus. His favourite beach is in Cádiz and it is so much more to him than just a beach:
In the 70s, when I was a kid, my family and I used to spend our summers in an apartment facing Victoria beach in the city of Cádiz. Cádiz was and still is a wonderful place to spend a vacation. Not a lot of people seem to know, but it is the oldest city in Europe, founded by the Phoenicians in 1100 b.c. It is also a very lively island-city, with lots of seafood restaurants and activities going on.
But the best part is its urban beaches, perfectly integrated with the rest of the city. Of these, the best one, in my opinion, is Playa Victoria, with 3 kilometres of fine sandy beach that is perfect for early morning walks and crab hunting. I have many good memories from my childhood on this beach, and it is here where during my first summer in Victoria I grew up to become a man.
Let me explain: I must have been 4 or 5 years old when I was talking a walk along the beach with my family on a really crowded day. One moment I was feeling safe holding my mother’s hand and the next I was suddenly facing the world all alone, not knowing where I was going. Of course, I started crying and it only took one minute for a nice old lady to approach me and begin saying to me things I could not understand.
She grabbed my hand and took me to the red cross stand, while I was hollering like crazy. Over there, a nice lifeguard gave me a chupa-chups (the Spanish lollypop brand) and asked my name. For me, it seemed like I was going to die that day.
A life-changing experience
I didn’t stop yelling and crying even when I heard my own name and description through the beach speaker system. Ten minutes later my mother and elder brothers came to pick me up and I remember that my siblings looked at me like I was some sort of hero for having become the centre of attention and having gone through a new experience.
Needless to say, three days later I was repeating the whole routine all over again. However, this time I was much more nonchalant about it. No crying, no fuss, just look for a nice old lady and make my sad face to her. When I got to the red cross stand, the lifeguard smiled, said something of the sort “here you are again” and gave me my eagerly awaited lollypop.
While I was waiting quietly, another lost boy -also around my age- was brought in and he was yelling like a little kid, in a really humiliating manner. I remember looking at him in a patronizing way and thinking how wretched this little baby was, and how little he knew about life. “You already got your lollypop, so you just need to wait. Now, be quiet and do not make this any more uncomfortable than it needs to be”, was more or less my train of thought. Suddenly, two more crying babies were brought in, and I felt a really mature person, the only one who could calmly face the dire circumstances. I was already a man.
By the end of the summer, I had collected 5 more lollypops.
The beach of the dead
Now it is time for Ramon’s favourite. He chooses one of the most beautiful beaches in Andalucia with an eerie name attached to it; the beach of the dead:
Playa de los Muertos is situated in Cabo de Gata marine national park on Costa de Almeria. The beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Spain.
I have always heard of this beach and I wanted to go and see for myself and it was really worth it. The beach is just south of the small town of Carboneras and you have to park by the road high above the beach. There are several manned car parks and you pay a few euros for 24 hours. There are a few free spots as well, but they are less accessible. The beach is very popular, and it pays off to get there early in the day before the parking spots are all taken. If you park your car illegally you will get a fine quite quickly.
From the parking, you have to walk down to the beach. If you are hard of walking, have lots to carry or a baby in a pram this beach might not be for you. It is a 700 metres steep downhill walk to get to the beach and of course the same distance back again but then it is uphill and often very hot.
Bring what you need
Down by the beach, there are no facilities, no lavatories or restaurants so remember to bring what you need. There are also no wastebaskets and you will have to take your trash with you when you leave. By the road, you will find several dumpsters where you can get rid of your trash before getting into your car. However, the natural beauty of this beach makes it all worthwhile!
The beach itself is a pebble beach. The pebbles go from a larger size to very fine as you get closer to the water. The water is turquoise and it is crystal clear. You can see the bottom of the ocean and all its inhabitants even without goggles. On each side of the beach, there are large, dramatic-looking rock formations. To spend a day on the beach of the dead is to spend a little time in paradise!
And like with many secluded beaches in Spain, a lot of people swim nude. You simply do as you please.
So where does the gruesome name come from? The story has it, that many ships got wrecked in the storms outside of this beach a long time ago. Sometimes, dead seamen would be found at the beach in the morning. However, that rarely happens any longer as the coast guard makes sure the area is safe. The name is still there.
I would definitely recommend a visit to Playa de los Muertos. You may not have the beach to yourself as it is a popular beach but it still a quiet one and I can promise you a fantastic day out.
The beach as a lifestyle
Pelayo is the last giving his tip. His favourite beach is also a lifestyle to him and his friends:
Nawera is a beach in Marbella. My friends and I grew up nearby and we always used to meet at the beach during the summers to enjoy the sun and the sea.
We call ourselves the Naweros and our philosophy is simple; we live happy, healthy lives and enjoy every moment with our friends. Someone would always come up with different activities and sports like volleyball on the beach.
It didn’t take long before the word got around and people heard about us and our activities on the beach. They would come and join us for some fun on the beach. At this point, we decided to arrange proper beach parties. They turned out to be a success and now our childhood fun and games have turned into a brand ”Naweros”. Under that brand, we sell flags, hats and t-shirts.
We have been doing this for many years now and every year the activities grow bigger. We still live according to our simple philosophy and everyone is welcome to join us. If you are ever in Marbella, please look us up! We might not be able to play this season but eventually, the beaches will open again.