Have you been dreaming of living by the sea in Spain? This often just feels like a dream, yet there are many great cities to choose from to make this a reality for your future home. Dive into our guide to the 15 best places to live in Spain by the sea that you might want to consider as your next home.
From urban shores to beach towns, discover what makes each of these places unique and why they could be your next favorite destination. While Spain is filled with many great coastal cities, these recommendations are the top in Spain and are often chosen by expats and locals alike. From Palma to Rota, everyone can find a tremendous coastal city in Spain that suits their preferences.
Hi, I’m Timon!
I’ve experienced the heartbeat of Spain firsthand. Over the last five years, I’ve immersed myself in the dynamic cities of Spain, truly living the Spanish way. My insights into this beautiful country are rooted in genuine experience.
15 Best Seaside Places to Live in Spain
Unsurprisingly, the beauty of Spain’s coastal regions causes many locals and expats to choose a lifestyle by the sea. The allure of a slower-paced life and ocean views make Spain’s coastal regions a top choice for many. Regardless of living inland or by the sea, you can experience the richness of Spanish culture throughout the country. Many people, though, feel a calling for tranquility of life by the sea.
From the closeness in proximity to enjoying some favorite activities such as swimming, sailing, boating, and water sports, many expats and locals choose coastal regions in Spain as their homes. These coastal regions boast the sea and offer wonderful nightlife, charming villages, family-friendly beaches, and luxurious resorts. These awesome incentives make it hard for many people not to imagine fulfilling the dream of living by the sea in Spain!
1. Palma de Mallorca
Located on the Spanish island of Mallorca, Palma is a resort city and the capital of this well-known vacation spot. Despite being known by many as an amazing holiday destination, Palma actually boasts a wonderful, family-friendly atmosphere perfect for a permanent move.
Beyond the beautiful beaches, there lies dramatic, gothic architecture, such as the massive Santa María cathedral, which is known for its large size. Due to its history dating back to the 13th century, Palma isn’t just a tourist destination. It’s been a welcoming city for many Spanish and expat families for years.
There are many fun things to do in Mallorca, from exploring cathedrals and churches to tasting delicious Mallorcan cuisine. Some of the best beaches in Mallorca are situated on tranquil bays, providing beautiful sites from all views. Take a stroll on the yacht-lined harbors or enjoy the exquisite beach resorts there. There are so many things to do there to choose from, making this city in Spain my personal number one choice to live in.
It’s hard not to imagine strolling the charismatic streets of Barcelona, a city I called home for several years. If you are wondering if Barcelona is worth visiting, it is an absolute gem of a coastal city in Spain. The city is filled with architectural wonders, with the most famous being the La Sagrada Familia, the Basilica that is famous for its beauty.
While the city of Barcelona is great in itself, it is also a coastal city that is one of the best to live in Spain by the sea. When looking at neighborhoods in Barcelona, the Gothic Quarter is one of the best areas to begin the search.
From the lively beach life to smaller sandy beaches for those seeking solitude, Barcelona does offer some of the most stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. The city is full of life and definitely offers a lot in one city. If you are someone who is looking for both city and beach life in one destination, Barcelona would make a great fit for expats and locals alike.
3. San Sebastian
Lesser known but just as wonderful, San Sebastian sits on the north coast of Spain in the Basque region, close to the French border. One of the many reasons that San Sebastian would make a great choice for living by the sea in Spain is because of its world-renowned culinary scene.
If you are a foodie like myself, you’d love to know that San Sebastian offers some of the best fresh seafood, from locally sourced spider crab to baby squid.
If you’re wondering when is the best time to visit San Sebastian, be aware that this coastal city does experience changing seasons. While it boasts moderate temperatures in the summer, it can be quite cool in the winter. Therefore, San Sebastian is an extra popular choice to visit in summer.
During summer, you can find gorgeous beaches and vibrant festivals, making it a top choice for expats and locals looking for a new seaside home.
Alicante is beyond just a great holiday destination as it’s also a great place to call home. This city in the Valencian Community of Spain is a port city in the southeastern region of Spain. Known for its dramatic castle, the medieval Castillo de Santa Bárbara, you can get sweeping views of the Mediterranean from here.
Explore Alicante’s active harbor; the beautiful marina is surrounded by great bars and restaurants. Despite being a seaside city in Spain, Alicante is still one of the cheapest places to live in Spain, making it a top choice for locals and expats.
Some features that make Alicante a great choice for a living are its family-friendly neighborhoods and international vibes. The city experiences moderate temperatures year-round but also offers the combination of both stunning beaches and rich history. It’s hard to just visit Alicante and not mention living there!
Beautiful Valencia is one of my favorite cities in Spain to live by the sea. While living in Valencia has many pros and cons, I believe the pros outweigh the cons. The weather and location near the Mediterranean Sea make it a top choice of living for those who love the sea. With relatively low population density and widespread beaches, sea lovers are smitten by Valencia.
Immerse yourself in Valencia’s futuristic architecture, but also feel good knowing that despite the modern ways, the city focuses on a green standard of living. This seaside city is a great choice for living with young children due to the large number of outdoor structures beyond just the beach to enjoy.
Many historical districts fill Valencia, boasting an exciting combination of old and new. Valencia is absolutely worth visiting and makes a real choice for long-term living, too.
When hearing the city name of Malaga, you may think of beach holidays or a place that you couldn’t call home. Quite the contrary for many locals and expats, Malaga has a growing number of residents that call this area of Spain their home base.
Malaga has a beautiful cultural richness that is shown in its food, building architecture, and through the street festivals there. It is known to have some of the best Spanish architecture, too, with Arabic-inspired sites filling the streets.
Malaga has been pivotal in the Costa del Sol, making it the most populous city there. If you’re wondering when is the best time to visit Malaga, you need to consider the number of locals and expats that flock to its beaches whenever possible.
With 300 days of sunshine, Malaga is home to many beach lovers who want to enjoy its moderate temperatures beyond just on holiday weekends. Consider the Old Town in Malaga when looking for neighborhoods to call home.
You may not be as familiar with Torrevieja, yet this important seaside city in Spain is not one to overlook. Located in the southeastern Alicante province, Torrevieja’s Mediterranean coastline views and climate draws many Spaniards.
Promenades along sandy, resort-lined beaches boast lots of sun, making this one of the sunniest destinations in Spain. Enjoy a boat rental in Torrevieja for the day and explore a day at sea. One unique attribute of Torrevieja is its salt lakes, which are pink in color and super interesting.
These salt lakes have significantly impacted the lives of Spaniards for decades, including the northern areas of Spain and additional European countries relying on this salt during winter months for icy roads.
Besides just being a supplier of salt, Torrevieja makes for a great, quiet home for many in Spain. With popular urban beaches and great seafood restaurants, Torrevieja isn’t just for commercial purposes but also for residents looking to enjoy a seaside life.
Marbella is a city which is part of the Andalusian region of Spain, located on the important Costa del Sol. Here you can find a luxurious lifestyle with upscale resorts and dynamic nightlife. With a mountainous backdrop, residents in Spain can enjoy the Golden Mile of prestigious nightclubs and coastal estates.
The marina in Marbella is often filled with luxury yachts, and the streets with upmarket boutiques and bars, making this seaside city one of the most expensive to live in by far. You can also enjoy water activities such as canyoning in Marbella in the sea.
Besides fancy restaurants and clubs, Marbella is known for its city’s old quarter and beautiful sites. Set on a beautiful bay, Spaniards and expats enjoy calling Marbella home due to its beauty and comfortable living options.
With twenty-four beaches, many visitors to Marbella return to their native countries, wishing they could make this seaside city their home as well.
Another favorite destination to call home of mine is Tenerife, located closer to Africa than mainland Spain. Tenerife, the biggest Canary Islands island, offers diverse landscapes and spectacular beaches.
Without a doubt, Tenerife is worth visiting, and everyone should try to visit this area of Spain at least once. Although its location makes it a bit more complex to reach than other areas of Spain, a visit to Tenerife is always worth it.
Some prefer to call Tenerife home instead of just a holiday choice, and they get to enjoy some of Spain’s best beaches in Costa Adeje. Located in the southern area of Tenerife, Costa Adeje is a popular choice for living by both locals and expats.
While other areas of Tenerife are a bit more quiet and relaxed, you can find the most action there in Costa Adeje. If you don’t end up deciding to call Tenerife home, be sure not to miss the vibrant carnivals that it is known for, held in the timeframe of February/March.
Describing the Andalusian charm of Estepona is hard to do as it is somewhere you must fully experience. This resort town on the Costa del Sol in southern Spain boasts palm tree-lined promenades and a great place to call home.
With great fishing, sporting, and boating, Estepona attracts local Spaniards and expats due to its serene beaches and quieter scenes. Picture whitewashed old town centers with flower-filled squares. Estepona is charming beyond words.
Another destination with year-round sunshine, Spaniards enjoy calling Estepona home due to it being one of the most family-friendly destinations in all of Spain.
Choose Cadiz if you’re looking for a city to call home with an ancient allure. Almost entirely surrounded by water, this seaside city boasts over 3,000 years of history, leaving visitors in awe of its quaintness and charm.
Cadiz has a festive spirit in the air, inviting visitors to become residents. This city by the sea in Spain runs one of the world’s biggest carnivals, with the Cadiz festival running for sometimes up to eleven days! Just be aware that summers in this city could attract many young Spanish people, leading to a party atmosphere.
The sun-kissed streets of Cadiz warm the hearts of many Spaniards and expats who decide to call this city home. Another great aspect of Spain is the number of wine festivals that it offers to locals, which is the same case for Cadiz.
In nearby Jerez de la Frontera, one of the best wine festivals in Spain, draws tourists and locals annually. Whether or not you choose to live there, choosing a private, customized walking tour in Cadiz is a tour you don’t want to miss.
The lesser-known city of Denia in Spain is still a top choice for locals and expats to decide to call home. This port city is located on the Mediterranean eastern coast of Spain. Denia has a long, castle-centric history, influenced by Iberian, Roman, Greek and Islamic cultures.
Denia has so many natural parks, making this a great choice for those who love an active lifestyle. Another great advantage of Denia is that this city is known to be budget-friendly, welcoming locals and expats to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle.
Culinary delights are another pro of life in Denia, Spain, with tasty rice and seafood dishes being the most popular there. Those who love seafood will love the restaurant offerings in Denia and would desire to call it their home base.
Ibiza, an island in the Mediterranean Sea, although a very popular summer destination for young people looking to party, is also a great choice for a home for those living by the sea in Spain.
Tranquil villages fill Ibiza, boasting some of the prettiest towns in Spain. Azure waters attract sea lovers to spend as much time as possible in Ibiza, with many of them ultimately deciding to call this city home.
For many Spaniards and expats alike, deciding which island to visit in Spain, Ibiza, should not be overlooked as an ideal choice. While Ibiza does have a reputation for being an ideal city choice for those who like to party, it also offers relaxing days by the sea and family-friendly areas.
Whether you choose to admire the beach through a boating trip or lounge on the beach yourself, Ibiza offers many ways to unwind and relax in the sunshine. Because of this Spanish island’s beauty, it’s easy to understand how many people end up calling Ibiza home.
14. A Coruña
Are you familiar with A Coruña? This port city in the Galicia region of northwest Spain is known for its Roman lighthouse, the Tower of Hercules. With a rich history that is hard to overlook, A Coruña is filled with quaint Spanish squares and great locations for memorable sightseeing.
With some of the most relaxing beaches in Spain, these long-promenade areas in A Coruña are ideal for families living in Spain. These pristine blue waters are ideal for swimming, which makes it a paradise for water lovers.
Hearty Galician cuisine makes A Coruña a great dining place. Seafood and meat are the most popular dishes, with culinary enthusiasts choosing to live in A Coruña for its wonderful selection of eateries.
Rota has beautiful beaches, but it also has a very strategic location in Spain. This Spanish municipality is in the province of Andalusia. Located between Portugal and Gibraltar on the Bay of Cadiz, Rota is a popular holiday destination.
It also has become home to many who love its strategic location, which offers a unique blend of Spanish and international influences. Enjoy the bay and take a boat and fishing trip in Rota, enjoying the beautiful waters there.
Rota has the US Naval Station, making it home for many Americans working on the base. In addition, this coastal town’s unique traditions, culinary delights, and leisure activities make many Spaniards and expats from other countries call Rota home.
Personal Experiences and Reflections
It’s hard not to imagine calling any of these amazing seaside cities in Spain home. All of these seaside cities offer unique differences but have one thing in common: the beautiful Spanish sea.
Having lived in both the city and by the sea in Spain, I undoubtedly enjoyed my time by the sea the most. Living in Barcelona was a dream for me, with its moderate temperatures and beautiful sea views at every turn.
Something very memorable for me after living by the sea in Spain was the diverse activities I was still able to participate in while residing in a coastal city. Barcelona had great sea activities, of course, but it also offered rolling hills, mountainous weekend getaways, and great shopping.
It had delicious inland restaurants and activities like karting that didn’t involve the sea at all. By living in a city by the sea in Spain, you aren’t just relying on the sea to provide entertainment. Each of these coastal cities in Spain offers cultural activities worth pursuing for a lifestyle of contentment.
Conclusion: Finding Your Coastal Town to Live in Spain
The allure of living in one of Spain’s coastal cities is hard to describe. Coastal cities in Spain offer some of the best places to live in Spain with family. If you’re considering finding your seaside dream in Spain, use this guide to help you choose the best city for you.
From Palma to Tenerife and Cadiz to Rota, Spain’s most ideal seaside city is waiting for you to discover. Enjoying a lifestyle of views of the sea in Spain is worth the time it takes to find your seaside dream there. Which of these cities by the sea would you desire to call home?
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