If you’re looking for a quick answer, we’ll provide the spoiler right here: unfortunately, Madrid doesn’t have a beach!
Spain’s capital is a landlocked city which, geographically, takes up the majority of the center on the map.
But never fear: while the city is landlocked, it is still close enough to several beach towns – making it the perfect day trip for people and tourists based in Madrid!
But what do you do when it gets hot, you might wonder?
Never fear — the capital has plenty of decent alternatives, which is just as well because summers can reach a whopping 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit!).
This blog is the perfect solution for anyone unsure about spending their summer in Madrid due to the lack of beaches nearby. I guarantee you that at the end of this article, you will have your bags packed to head to the city of color!
Stay tuned to learn about:
- The beaches near Madrid
- The best transportation options
- Local activities and attractions, and all the safety rules that apply.
Get your swimsuit ready for a summer of fun in Madrid!
Beaches Near Madrid Spain
Do you want to soak up all the good vibes Madrid has to offer in the summer months but are unsure if you can cope with the weather?
Below is a list of some of the best beaches close to Madrid where you can soak up the sun and swim in the glorious Mediterranean Sea!
Located only 1 hour and 50 minutes via train from the heart of Spain is the east coast city of Valencia, not only does this beach city see the sun before anywhere else in Spain, but it’s also a hotspot for all things water-related!
Valencia has a beach for every type of holidaymaker with 8 main beaches to choose from. The water is warm and can reach up to 25 degrees in August, so don’t worry about packing a wetsuit!
Below are my top 5 choices:
- Playa de Las Arenas: This is the most central beach in Valencia, making it one of the busiest too. The stretch of promenade is located right next to this beach where you will find delicious foods and restaurants that turn into nightclubs after dark.
The beach has volleyball courts, sun loungers, water activities, and bars— making it the perfect spot for families to find everything they need on their beach day out!
- Playa de la Malvarrosa: If you head north from Las Arenas, you will find another long stretch of sand right next to another promenade. This beach is less busy than Las Arenas, so it’s a great alternative if you want to avoid those big bustling crowds and have a more authentic beach day
- Playa de Patacona: Further away from central Valencia, you will find Playa de patacona. This beach is again quieter than both Malvarrosa and Las Arenas but is reachable via public transport from Valencia city center.
I recently visited this beach and have to say the quality of the water is far better than other Valencia beaches as it’s further away from the port. This area is great to explore, with rich culture and history filling the streets.
The beach is equipped with entertainment for your little ones, sun loungers, and restaurants/bars. When visiting, I noticed the bathroom facilities were nice and clean, which always makes my beach experience so much better!
- Playa de Pinedoa: this beach is known for being one of the most sheltered bays due to it being tucked away behind the port. Playa de Pinedoa is popular among the locals and has a designated pet area and nudist area.
This is my favorite beach to visit as a young traveler because it’s full of locals, which makes my trip feel much more authentic! I would recommend this beach to young travelers searching for a beach trip outside the norm.
Transportation to Valencia from Madrid
Trains are your best bet here! Simply get on a train from the Madrid Station that heads through to Valencia.
The journey takes under 2 hours and will cost you around 8 euros per way. The train goes every hour starting at 7.30 am and ending at 9 pm.
I would recommend getting going early so that you can enjoy most of the day out in the sun.
If you have a car, the journey will take you roughly 3 hours and 45 minutes depending on the time of day and the traffic.
If you choose to go by car, then it would be best to spend a few nights in Valencia as there is just so much to do and see in the city!
Accommodation in Valencia
Accommodation in this area is very affordable. Who you’re traveling with and how long you choose to stay will determine the cost! I recommend looking on Booking.com to filter through your options.
Costa del Sol
Costa del Sol is paradise on Earth, located between Manilva and Nerja in the Andalusia region of southern Spain. The Mediterranean coast is named after the sunny coast where 300 days of sun a year is guaranteed.
The coastline spreads over 100 miles and is home to 125 beaches. Keep your eyes peeled for big celebrity names; Simon Cowell can often be spotted here in the summer months.
Here is a list of the top 5 beaches you must check out as well:
- Maro Beach In Nerja
- Venus Bajadilla Beach, Marbella
- Calahonda Beach, Nerja
- El Cañuelo Beach
- Bil-Bill Beach, Benalmadena
From Madrid, the journey usually takes 5 hours one way — making this the perfect getaway for a few days. You can choose to either go by train or car and both take the same amount of time.
Another option for getting to this oasis is by flying directly into the capital of Andalusia which is Malaga. I would recommend doing this and staying for a week to make the most of one of the most beautiful areas of Spain.
Again, accommodation can vary depending on how big of a group you have and how long you choose to stay for.
If you are staying with a big group of people, your best option is to stay in Malaga and hire a car to get to all the small hidden gems.
La Concha Beach (San Sebastian)
This beach is 4 hours 45 minutes north of Madrid and is a beach trip you should not miss!
The city’s major icon has been described as one of Europe’s best beaches and is often seen on postcards.
Interestingly, this beach is also rich in history which dates back to the 1800s. Crowds are big in summer, so if you are interested in a beach trip to the north it is recommended to book accommodation sooner to avoid paying huge fees!
San Sebastian is accessible by plane, train, and car. It’s close to France, and buses even travel to and from a local French airport!
Trains and buses from Madrid take around 4 hours and 45 minutes. Make sure you check out the travel apps listed below to make your travels easier.
Other must-visit beaches and distance from Madrid:
- Costa Dorada- 4 hours 40 minutes north of Madrid
- Almeria Beaches- 5 hours 30 minutes east of Madrid
- Sitges Beach- 6-hour drive (near Barcelona)
- Cádiz Beaches- 6 hour drive (near Barcelona)
Tips for a beach vacation to Madrid
The biggest tip I can give you when going to Madrid in summer is to not expect to see a beach.
Madrid is not a coastal town, so if you are in desperate need of a beach vacation then you might need to redirect your travel plans and instead travel from Madrid to some of the beautiful coastal areas in Spain!
Public transport will be your best friend as trains are easier, cheaper, and faster than taking your car.
I would recommend spending 3-7 days exploring Madrid before heading to a coastal town to soak up the sun and swim in the warm waters. This way, you can have the best of both worlds!
Madrid is truly a top place to visit, so make sure you don’t miss it out just because it doesn’t have a beach.
Consider traveling to a coastal region nearby
Take a look at what coastal regions are near the destination you want to travel to.
Remember: traveling out of the main hubs of Spain will make your trip more affordable. Madrid has cheap flights, trains, and buses, so make sure you check all your options.
My favorite websites for cheap transport include:
Choose a destination with beaches
If you want a beach holiday, then steer away from landlocked cities!
If the summer weather bothers you too much, save the big cities for a cooler season.
Check the weather and pack accordingly
Although Spain is known to have amazing weather in summer, you never know when it could change unexpectedly.
Make sure you check the weather apps regularly and bring a warm top just in case.
Bring sunscreen and beachwear
This sounds like a no-brainer, but make sure to bring beachwear including togs, snorkels, beach shoes, towels, and lots of sunscreen!
Book accommodation in advance
Accommodation in the summer months can often be booked out months in advance, especially for popular areas near the beach. Do your research and avoid spending more money than is needed!
Research local activities and attractions
Have a look into what’s going on around the area you are holidaying in!
Usually, the summer months see an increase in activities on land and on the water. Make sure you leave time to check out the local attractions too.
Learn about the local cuisine
Spain is home to some of the best food I have ever tasted. To learn about the cuisine, make sure to try some of the local dishes. My personal favorite is paella!
Be aware of beach safety rules
This tip is particularly helpful for those who cannot speak Spanish.
Make sure you are extra cautious and aware of the rules around the water, and please look out for others as well!
If you need help, lifeguards are there to help you and keep you safe.
Madrid is probably not the city to go to if you’re in desperate need of a beach holiday.
The landlocked capital has a lot going on, especially in the summer months; however, if you are in search of a relaxing coastal holiday then make sure to check out eastern and northern Spain instead.
Madrid, however, is a perfect place to base yourself between beach holidays! Day trips from Valencia are easily accessible and affordable. Spend the day by the water before returning to the capital for a fun, lively night.
From beaches nearby and transportation to accommodation and hot tips, this article has covered all aspects of planning your next beach vacation. I hope it’s been helpful!