Alovera Beach, some 40 km from Madrid, is one of the projects we used to hear about in pre-2008 times. If it goes ahead, it will be the biggest artificial beach in the whole of Europe.
The little municipality of Alovera (in Castilla La Mancha) has recently made news in Spain. The local town council was set to authorize a tender for the development of Alovera Beach, Europe’s largest inland beach on its land.
The entire project will consist of a beach complex of 105,000 m2 and featuring a large lagoon, with the surrounding area covered with sand. The exact pool size is not known yet, but, it will be the largest in the Europe and quite close in size to the biggest artificial pool in the world, Citystars Sharm El Sheikh, spread over impressive 98.000 m2.
Its goal is to convey the beach experience to the residents of Madrid and La Mancha, which are far from the diversity of Spanish coasts. Alovera is around 40 kilometers from Madrid and another 50 kilometers from Guadalajara.
The resort complex will include slides, a water sports and sailing school, sports and entertainment equipment such as zip lines or beach volleyball courts, and a restaurant area with beach bars, pubs, and restaurants. If all goes as planned, it might be operational in the summer of 2023.
Ecologists, on the other hand, have spoken out against the planned project, claiming that its implementation will result in a lack of drinking water in a dry location such as the Spanish interior.
In their defense, the Alovera Beach builders stated that the volume of water is comparable to the annual usage of an 80-home complex, with the exception that the lagoon will only be filled once.
They also claim that it will use half the water of traditional park irrigation, 40 or 50 times less than golf course upkeep, and 100 times less chemicals than traditional swimming pools.
As a counterpoint, they claim that the development would generate 350 direct and indirect jobs and attract between 250 and 400 thousand tourists every year, thereby creating a viable tourism destination in the midst of a quiet commuter town. Furthermore, Alovera Beach will be encircled by a natural park in order to promote biodiversity in the region.