Beach life in Madrid: Playa Virgen de la Nueva
There’s a saying that Madrid has everything except the beach. I have to disagree, because Madrid has everything, including the beach. And to be more precise no more and no less than 14 kilometers of it!
During our summer vacation we visited this place and many of you send me messages asking more details about Playa Virgen de la Nueva located in San Juan Reservoir (Pantano de San Juan). To make this all easier I gathered here a little info package for you.
San Juan reservoir is a huge fresh-water basin with a lot of outdoor activities to participate (climbing, archery, kayaking, wakeboarding, flyboarding, just to mention few), + some beach bars and restaurants and picnic areas. We didn’t walk through the whole area (would have been mission impossible with two lively kids!) and focused on swimming, so all my photos are from Playa Virgen de la Nueva.
The beach is located 70 kilometers to the south-west of Madrid, and it took only less than an hour from our place (from Majadahonda) to get there. The easiest way to get there is to go by car, but you can also take a bus from Principe Pio. Bus takes a little longer and at the end you have around 20 -minutes’ walk to get to the beach, but it’s doable.
I highly recommend you arrive there early (before 11:00am) to get the best spot for your beach blanket as after noon all the others started to arrive, and I’ve heard that especially during the holidays this particular beach can be crowded. One reason for this might be the fact that in May 2018 Playa Virgen de la Nueva became the first Blue Flag beach in the Madrid Autonomous Region. The Blue Flag is a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) that a beach, marina, or sustainable boating tourism operator meets its stringent standards. FEE’s Blue Flag criteria include standards for quality, safety, environmental education and information, the provision of services and general environmental management criteria. (Wikipedia)
In a summary, super beautiful place with clear water, a lot of space for sunbathers but also shady areas take a little brake if needed. We had our own snacks and drinks with us and I saw many families arriving with cooler bags, but as mentioned, there were quite good selection of cafes and restaurants in the area. Highly recommend visiting this place if the heat of Madrid is too much for you!
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