Costa Blanca holidays serve up over 200 kilometres of beaches, with busy city stretches, giant crescents of sand and successions of quiet coves. What they all share is fine, almost white sand and clear, warm Mediterranean waters to soak in or spot sea creatures. Our guide to the beaches of the region will show you where's best to go, whether you want to paddle with the kids, get wet and wild in the waves or find a secluded getaway where you can unwind in the sun.
Split in the middle by the old town, Benidorm's two main crescents of sand cover six kilometres between them. You can walk up to the viewing point in between, dubbed the balcony of the Mediterranean 'Balcon del Mediterraneo' and get great views over both of these stunning beaches.
Known as the sunrise beach, Levante sits to the east and is the busiest, with beach bars and hotels spilling out on to the sand. Suitable for all ages, there is a gently sloping shoreline for paddling and lifeguards are posted here all year round to help keep you safe. A short distance out in the water and the more confident swimmers will love taking on the swinging bridges, diving boards, rafts and wet playground.
You'll also have the opportunity to take part in the usual array of watersports you'd expect from a tourist town – banana boats, jet skis and parasailing to name a few.
To the west, Poniente Beach is equally large but slightly less hectic and has a shiny new pedestrianised promenade. There is a beach playground here for children and plenty of restaurants looking out to sea. It is also wheelchair-friendly and the lifeguards will help disabled people in and out of the water.
If you've had enough of the hustle and bustle of Benidorm, then nearby Malpas and Cala Finestrat beaches are far quieter. Along with Levante and Poniente beach, Malpas has Blue Flag status. You'll find it next to the harbour and overlooked by the castle cliffs, where you're sure to get some relaxation time. Cala Finestrat is in the village of Finestrat three kilometres to the west of Benidorm, but this secluded spot feels like a world away.
Surrounded on both sides by a total of 20 kilometres of sand, the smaller town of Denia bats above its weight in terms of beaches.
Les Marines is a quiet beach of almost three kilometres with Blue Flag status due to the great facilities on offer here. Close to the centre of Denia, to the north of the port, there is a buoyed area for swimmers, pedalo hire and even space for volleyball on the beach. The many beach bars and restaurants along the promenade mean you don't have to stray too far from your towel to keep hydrated.
The bays of Les Rotes beach, just south of Denia consist of five beaches, which are lucky enough to have the beautiful Macizo del Montgo Nature Reserve as a backdrop. The sandy beach of Marineta Cassiana is closest to Denia and after this is a string of rocky coves known as El Trampoli. At both sets of beaches there are lots of beach bars and restaurants where you can try the freshly caught and very tasty Denia prawns. All along this coast the conditions are perfect for snorkelling and scuba diving or you can just stay on the shore and dip a net in the rock pools.
The two curving beaches of Moraira are sheltered, making them great for swimming and splashing about with children. The largest and most popular is L'Ampolla Beach near the castle, which has a lifeguard in summer as well as plenty of sports to enjoy. Playa del Portet beach, near the harbour, is shaped like a shell and has a pretty waterfront with upmarket cafes and restaurants. Among the town's four Blue Flag strands there are also pebble beaches and rocky coves to explore.
Situated in Benitachel, in-between Denia and Moraira, Playa del Moraig is a small cove that has superb cave diving and snorkelling opportunities. Holidays to Costa Blanca wouldn't be complete without a visit.
Or enjoy the views of the looming Penyal d'Ifac rock from Playa de la Fossa, this Calpe beach has plenty of parking and the boats in the harbour offer fishing expeditions, making it perfect for a day trip. Alicante's main city beach, Playa del Postiguet is overlooked by the iconic Castillo de Santa Barbara. This Blue Flag beach has a palm-tree-edged promenade and calm waters.