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This yacht-filled millionaire’s playground has been voted the worst seaside resort in Spain

The worst – and best – seaside resorts in Spain for holidays have been revealed, with a sun-drenched spot known for its fast cars and luxury fashion dubbed ‘a seedy mess’.

Puerto Banus, popular with celebrities and with a marina home to some of the most expensive boats in the world, has been given the unwanted distinction in a survey by a British consumer group, with a score of just 55 percent.

Which? spoke to more than 1,200 travelers and asked them to rate their experiences of Spanish coastal cities, assessing 11 criteria including beach and coast quality, safety, food and drink, accommodation and value for money. This led to an overall city score, based on overall satisfaction and likelihood to recommend.

At the other end of the scale, San Sebastian – the beachside spot known for its culinary delights – took the top spot.

Despite its glitzy reputation, Puerto Banus, on the Costa del Sol and not far from the center of Marbella, was labeled ‘overpriced’ and scored just one star based on value for money – the only destination in the survey to do so , with a high price tag attached to eating out or shopping a recurring theme.

The glamor of Puerto Banus failed to convince a large group of travelers (Getty Images)The glamor of Puerto Banus failed to convince a large group of travelers (Getty Images)

The glamor of Puerto Banus failed to convince a large group of travelers (Getty Images)

It also scored just one star for tourist attractions, with people watching and partying being the main draws over cultural attractions – which could also explain the one-star score for peace and quiet.

It also received just two stars for safety, attractiveness and friendliness, with one respondent saying their experiences of the city had ‘deteriorated’ over their years of visiting, lamenting that ‘it is still a place for the rich and must be seen, but it’s tacky”, while another said: “It’s a seedy mess”.

It fared slightly better because of the beach, the coast, the food and drink and the shopping on offer. It achieved three stars in each of these categories, with some comments praising its “great atmosphere” and “wide range of restaurants”.

La Manga, on the Mar Menor saltwater lagoon in the Murcia region, narrowly missed Puerto Banus with a score of 56 percent. It received only one star for tourist attractions, but two stars for the coast, overall attractiveness, tranquility and value for money.

It was also labeled “faded” and “tacky”, while it was criticized for having “too many high-rise hotels”. However, some found it a “home from home” and appreciated the “traditional Spanish restaurants, cafes and bars”.

Topping the rankings was San Sebastian, with an overall score of 88 percent, which secured a whopping five stars for its beach, attractiveness and food and drink. The latter is no surprise, as the Basque city has the most Michelin stars of all stars. in Spain, and is among the cities with the most Michelin stars per capita in the world.

San Sebastian scored high across the board (Getty Images)San Sebastian scored high across the board (Getty Images)

San Sebastian scored high across the board (Getty Images)

According to Which? visitors were “delighted with the local snacks, pinchos and choice of top restaurants”.

It scored four stars for its seaside, safety, friendliness, accommodation, tourist attractions and shopping, with value for money alone earning three stars. One visitor described San Sebastian as “small enough to walk around easily”, while “the beach and surroundings were beautiful, and it felt very safe”.

In second place is Nerja with a score of 81 percent, surpassing its neighbors on the Costa del Sol such as Marbella and Torremolinos. It’s the “perfect place for people who want to fly and flop,” according to Which?.

It received a four-star rating for its coastal location, safety, friendliness, food and drink and accommodation. Respondents said it felt like a “traditional, unspoilt Spanish town”.

In joint third place are Cartagena, Javea and Sitges, with a combined score of 80 percent.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? trip, said: “This research shows that there are plenty of fantastic Spanish seaside resorts that will easily beat the best-selling destinations such as Marbella and Torremolinos. You don’t even have to look far, because beautiful Nerja and its picturesque whitewashed streets can also be found on the Costa del Sol.

“For those looking for a city break with a dose of sea and sun, San Sebastian can’t be beat – it’s rightly famous for its excellent restaurants and authentic cuisine, and comes complete with a beautiful old town and fantastic beaches.”