When a trip down to the beach for some sun, sea and sand takes your fancy, not everyone has it so easy. Take the residents of Madrid, for instance. Over 300 kilometres from the coast, Madrileños are nearly an hour’s high-speed train from the Mediterranean beaches of Valencia – they’re very landlocked indeed.
But from next year that could all change. Europe’s biggest manmade beach is set to open just 40 minutes’ drive from Madrid in Alovera, a town in Guadalajara province.
So just how big is this beach? Well, the sandy bit will cover a whopping 15,000 square metres, while the accompanying ‘pool’ (though it’s actually pitched as more of a lagoon) is over 25,000 square metres in area and two-and-a-half metres deep.
The resulting attraction will be called Alovera Beach and it’ll also be home to water slides, sailing boats, sports equipment and a zip line, as well as loads of palm trees and sun loungers. It’ll essentially look a lot like a beachside resort, just several hundred kilometres from the coast. Here are a few renders of the designs.
Needless to say, building a gigantic oasis of plastic, sand and water in a water-strapped area has proven more than a bit controversial. Since the project was announced back in 2017, Alovera Beach has been the subject of lots of political debates and development has been paused several times. Opponents are critical of its water wastage and overall cost, which is estimated to be well over €15 million (£12.9 million, $14.9 million).
For what it’s worth, the developers of Alovera reckon it won’t actually be that environmentally unfriendly. The website says that water consumption on the site will be similar to the amount that 80 homes would get through in a year and that it’ll consume much less water than keeping a conventional park in the area green. The pool will also be equipped with ‘anti-evaporation technology’, whatever that means.
When it opens sometime in 2023, Alovera is expected to have a €10 (£8.60, $9.90) entry fee. So Madrileños hankering for a nearby beach – you might not have to wait much longer!
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