Madrid, as the capital city of Spain, is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, vibrant culture, and of course, delicious food. However, being located in the center of the country and being landlocked, Madrid does not have any natural beaches.
But in the hot summer months, the city does provide a few alternatives for those looking to enjoy some sand and sun:
Madrid Rio Beach: Although it's not a beach in the traditional sense, Madrid Rio, a large park along the Manzanares River, has several urban beaches or "splash zones." These are basically large, shallow pools where you can cool off. Note that these are not sandy beaches, and swimming is not allowed, but they can be a nice way to beat the heat.
Piscina Municipal de Cercedilla: This natural pool in the Sierra de Guadarrama mountains, about an hour drive from Madrid, is a great place to cool off. It's located in a beautiful natural setting and is filled with mountain spring water.
For real beaches, you'll need to travel a bit further:
Valencia: About 1.5-2 hours by train from Madrid, Valencia has a large urban beach (La Malvarrosa) and many beautiful nearby beaches. The city itself is also worth exploring, with its modern City of Arts and Sciences, charming old town, and delicious paella.
Alicante: A slightly longer train journey (about 2.5 hours) will bring you to Alicante, a city on the Costa Blanca known for its long sandy beaches and beautiful seafront promenade.
Barcelona: About 3 hours by high-speed train from Madrid, Barcelona boasts several city beaches, the most famous being Barceloneta Beach.
Remember, it's always important to check local guidelines about swimming and safety. And don't forget your sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water to stay hydrated. Enjoy your beach trips!