Travel

The perfect spot: six of Spain’s most spectacular beach bars

From family-friendly resorts at Cadiz to luxurious clubs at Ibiza, a variety of places to enjoy your summer vacation

Oli-ba-ba (Oliva, Valencia)

A pacific island-themed chiringuito (Spanish for “beach bar”), the venue sports two replicas of towering Moai – monolithic structures carved by the ancient Rapa Nui people of Easter Island. At night, the figures appear to almost guard the premises, as warm Valencian breezes propel kites in the air, lighting up the sky. The setting is absolutely stunning.

For good reason, this spot is considered one of Europe’s finest. The venue comes into its own at night. As the wind wafts through the thatched roofs, Senyoret rice (authentic paella from Valencia) awaits you, along with sangria made with cava (Spanish sparkling wine). At night, try an Agua de Valencia (cava, vodka and orange juice), while the glow from nearby-resort Denia lights up the night sky. Renting a beach chair costs €7 per day.

Nikki Beach (Marbella, Malaga)

This beach bar in southern Spain claims to be unrivaled: its energy is pure and sensorial, its design is stylish with a pool that unfolds under the palm trees along the sandiest part of the Marbella coast. Full of light with its gleaming white lounge furniture, Nikki is a daytime beach club, as it closes at 9pm. Once you have reserved a beach chair (which costs €35) or a Balinese “cabana” bed (for three people, from €165), you’re guaranteed an endorphin boost.

During lunch, you can enjoy a view of the lucky ones who have ordered the Sushi Boat (tuna tartar and seaweed salad). Other equally recommendable options are the Sexy Salad (lobster, prawns and tropical fruits) and the chicken satay. In the afternoon, go-go dancers climb up on the bar tops, where they interact with waiters and guests. There are also themed parties, exhibitions by local artists, and a boutique for shopping. Cocktails start at €15.

Maroa Club de Mar (Mogán, Canary Islands)

Once upon a time, Anfi del Mar was only well-known to the rest of Spain for its timeshare resort and, perhaps, its beach. But today, there is a 3,000 square meter island that houses Maroa Club de Mar, boasting an ecosystem of fun and relaxation.

Breakfast is available as a buffet until 11am, after which you can lie in a beach chair or cabana bed at the sunroom (€12 per day, towel included). If you want to take a dip, cement stairs take you over the rocks and down to the beach, whose sand is so white you’ll need sunglasses to look at it. There, you’ll find water sports and an assortment of other activities. You can opt for a massage or make a VIP reservation at the whirlpools for six people – all sweetened by an abundance of mojitos and daiquiris. DJ sets can also be enjoyed on weekends.

You can travel there by bus from Maspalomas (lines 1, 33, and 39, for 20 minute commute) or Las Palmas (lines 1 and 91, taking roughly an hour).

Blue Marlin Ibiza (Sant Josep de sa Talaia, Ibiza)

Cosmopolitan hedonism abounds at this getaway. From beach chairs and cabana beds that are booked weeks in advance to the daily roster of DJs of international acclaim – among them, BBC radio producer and host Pete Tong. The club’s hallmarks include its VIP area, its 24-hour online radio station, its magazine (still in print!) and its summer compilation CDs (check out volume 11).

In the kitchen is sushi chef Walter Sidoravicius. You’ll find plenty of models, celebrities and glamorous dancers who make their appearance as night is falling. Blue Marlin is for high-spending customers, and this summer, the star dish is lobster sashimi, washed down with champagne. Beach chairs are available for rent at €18 per day to customers who spend at least €50.

Accana Summer Club (Andratx, Mallorca)

The personality of the beach at Camp de Mar is defined by its island restaurant, accessible through a walkway from the sand. Since 2016, the place is better known for the Accana Summer Club, from Spanish hospitality chain IT Mallorca Unique Spaces, with four boutique hotels in Palma.

In the simple and appetizing menu, there are a number of surprising concoctions, including the bogaburger – a burger made from lobster meat – as well as classics like black rice with squid and prawns. Tiki cocktails, of Polynesian inspiration, steal the show. But if you seek something else, perhaps try the Waikiki, a blend of watermelon, cucumber, gin and ginger. Beach chairs, available to restaurant customers only, cost €10 per day.

Ajedrez Beach Club (Chipiona, Cadiz)

When high tide floods the family beach at Three Stones, the Ajedrez Beach Club-Casa al Mar is even more beautiful, as if that were possible. It’s a lovely venue with a Thai aesthetic. From exotic palm trees to natural grass and cushions, owner José Luis Gil has taken great care in focusing the decor on “rest by the sea.” And its exoticism is far from mere posturing: the club’s personnel speak 12 languages, among them, Portuguese, Lao, Thai and Wolof.

Ajedrez has crafted a menu in which the Asian recipes are the undisputed stars, a result of the fact that four of the seven cooks are chefs from Thailand. The rest specialize in Mediterranean cuisine, primarily fish baked in sea salt. Pure Andalusia. Those who reserve a table can also reserve one or several beach chairs that same day, while available (€7 per day).

If you want a discrete ambience, only for adults, look no further than the reed-roofed terrace where the master chef drinks. At sunset, an opera aria drifts over the beach, melting in with the chords of the pianist who enlivens the dinners. There are also massages and valet services.

English version by Henry Hahn.

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