Sshhhh . . .you’ll wake the neighbours

LOVE the beach, but hate crowds? Seeking small-community life, but don’t want to have to pass up on hearing the waves crash outside your window, or wandering down to the sands to catch the rays in summer?

Firstly, there’s a peculiarity about some of Spain’s best-loved coasts: Medium-sized and small towns which aren’t on the package resort trail (but would be, if anyone found out about them) often have so many kilometres of beaches that it’s perfectly possible to find at least one where you could park a caravan between you and the next bather, never mind a towel, and still be socially-distanced enough that you can barely hear their conversation.

Also, many coastal towns, including those of quite a fair size, are effectively split into two, with the main hub or ‘urban’ area separated by a short distance (often walkable, or at least no more than a five- or 10-minute drive) from a residential beach ‘nucleus’ made up almost entirely of second homes that are only lived in during the high summer months.

Year-round residents here are few enough that they all get to know each other, and these zones tend to be very peaceful out of season – a period which encompasses most of June and all of September, when the sun is still plenty warm enough to catch a tan and go for a swim in the sea.

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