Catalonia is blessed with a coastline that ranges from the wild, rocky outposts of the Cap de Creus to the sweeping flats of the Ebro Delta. Pack your snorkel, grab your icebox and come to wild Waikiki and touristy Tossa, in our search for the top ten beaches in Catalonia.
1. Barceloneta Beach, Barcelona
There may be more beautiful playas in Catalonia, but few top this city centre beach for its chaotic energy, with an outdoor gym, packed chiringuito bars, old men playing dominoes and beach sellers hawking anything from fishermen's trousers to mojitos.
2. Calella de Palafrugell
It can get packed in high summer but, hemmed in between cliffs and a pretty fishing village, Calella's beach has one of Catalonia's most attractive seaside settings.
3. Altafulla Beach
A ten-minute train ride from Tarragona, Altafulla is one of the highlights of the Costa Daurada, with miles of white sand and a gorgeous, secluded cove beneath a ruined Roman fort.
4. Waikiki Beach
Close by to Altafulla on the Costa Daurada is one of Catalonia's most secluded spots of sand, named after a famous beach in Hawaii. It's reached via a twenty-minute hike through woods. Females - watch out for flashers on the way. Waikiki's woods are a favoured flash zone.
5. Cala Llevadò
Steep, golden cliffs, marvellous crystal clear waters and one of Catalonia's best campsites. Cala Llevadò is located on the Costa Brava, between Tossa and Lloret de Mar on the Costa Brava.
6. Tossa de Mar
Tossa might have a cheap 'n' cheery package holiday reputation, but its beaches are easily as good as anything in Catalonia, presided over by a medieval castle on the southern bluffs.
7. Cala de Sant Francesc
Just north of Blanes is this pristine spot surrounded by exclusive villas perched in the pine woods.
8. Sant Lluìs
If in search of something a little wilder try this pebbly beach, situated in the volcanic otherworld of Cap de Creus Natural Park. A short walk from Cadaquès, the beach is reached via a stony scramble through olive woods.
Sitges has a relaxed fashionable vibe and its beaches are some of the nicest in Catalonia, whether north or south of the 17th Century church which peers out to sea.
10. Ocata Beach
Ocata is where to go if the Barcelona crowds are asfixiating. It's got miles of fine sand and is easily accesible from the station, which in turn is only a short ride from the city centre.