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The beaches on the Costa Brava range from stretches of fine white sand to rocky coves and inlets; summer vacationers flock to San Pol, Roses, and Palafrugell; in all but the busiest weeks of July and August, the tucked-away coves of Cap de Creus national park are oases of peace and privacy. Valencia has a long beach that's wonderful for sunning and a promenade lined with paella restaurants; for quieter surroundings, head farther south to El Saler.
The southeastern coastline of the Costa Blanca varies from the long stretches of sand dunes north of Dénia and south of Alicante to the coves and crescents in between. The benign climate permits lounging on the beach at least eight months of the year. Altea, popular with families, is busy and pebbly, but the old town has retained a traditional pueblo feel with narrow cobbled streets and attractive squares. Calpe's beaches have the scenic advantage of the sheer outcrop Peñón de Ifach (Cliff of Ifach), which stands guard over stretches of sand to either side. Dénia has family-friendly beaches to the north, where children paddle in relatively shallow waters, and rocky inlets to the south.
South of Tarragona, Salou has the best beaches, with a lively, palm-lined promenade.
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