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Who needs a coast? Spain's 16 inland beaches with blue flags
Wednesday, May 18, 2022 @ 9:49 PM

ANYONE whose Spanish home is long motorway hours from the sea may well get fed up with reading all about how great the country's beaches are. After all, in terms of land area, Spain's coast is only an incredibly tiny part of its national territory; ignoring the middle bit and the people in it seems rather like limiting your travel review of the USA to the attractions of New York, or assuming that if you've been to London, you've seen the UK.

Orellana Freshwater Beach in the province of Badajoz (photo: Extremadura regional tourism board)

Well, reminding you of how great Spain's beaches are is a bit like pointing out New York has a Statue of Liberty in it, or that London is quite big with rather a lot of residents. So we won't.

But we will stress, though, that some of Spain's great beaches aren't even on the coast. They're frequently hundreds of kilometres away from it – people who have grown up right next door to them may never have seen the sea in their lives, except on TV.

And, just like on the much more famous Costas, 16 of these beaches that are anything up to half a day's drive from the sea hold blue flags, the last word in quality, cleanliness, and exceptional sunshine holiday facilities.

Ardales inland beach in the province of Málaga (photo: Flickr)

It's quite likely that, whether you live within 300 metres or 300 kilometres of the sea, you're not far from an inland beach which doesn't hold a blue flag because the town council opted not to apply – it's a tough selection process that takes incredible amounts of money and time to get through – and which is still nearly perfect. If you find out where it is, you might discover you enjoy it as much or even more than the seaside – no rip-tides, undercurrents or choppy waves that lead to the red flag being hoisted, no stinging eyes when salt gets in them, no jellyfish, and the depth doesn't vary from one day to the next.

Land-locked beaches are becoming the latest trend in Spain, but until they started applying for blue flags, they tended not to be very well advertised beyond their immediate surroundings. That will hopefully start to change, though, and to help the process along, here's a potted guide to the 16 that are now flying the flag for tourism excellence, and where to find them.



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