Europe’s biggest inland beach will be open for bathers from the year 2020 in a town well over 400 kilometres from the nearest coast.
Alovera, in the land-locked Castilla-La Mancha province of Guadalajara, is barely 50 kilometres from Madrid, so it is often quicker for inhabitants to fly to the closest beach from Barajas airport.
But it will have its own in less than three years, thanks to a €15.6-million investment by the construction firm Rayet.
A 25,000-metre lake – over six acres – bordered by 15,000 metres (3.7 acres) of sandy shores with the usual kiosk-type beach bars, a huge water park, and even a watersports area are included in the complex designed by an international company which specialises in inland beaches, Crystal Lagoon.
Areas clearly separated from each other for safety and comfort will include a sailing zone, bathing area, children’s pool and slides, a watersports school teaching kayaking, paddle-surfing and other popular sea-based activities, and a sports and training area with beach volleyball courts, zip-lines and an outdoor gym.
Restaurants and snack bars as well as the beach kiosks, known as chiringuitos, will be set up, and parking spaces for over 1,000 cars with easy access to the A-2 motorway will ensure the town of Alovera itself is not rammed solid with traffic or stationary vehicles.
An under-developed area, neglected and with few facilities, Alovera is currently undergoing a 21st-century-style regeneration.
This will include the beach, plus a huge green park and around 1,200 ‘seafront’ homes.
The Rayet Group says it strongly objects to gigantic mass development projects, criticising the now-defunct Eurovegas and the recently-approved Torres de la Alameda estate in the Madrid region, and insists it is more in favour of creating useful and attractive areas than simply piling up concrete.
They predict around a quarter of a million and 400,000 visitors a year will head to Alovera beach once it is built, not counting restaurant and watersports school customers.
Crystal Lagoons, which has a presence in 15 countries, says its technology is very environmentally-friendly.
“An artificial lake of this type uses 30 times less water than the average golf course, only requires 2% of the energy used in standard filtering systems and 100 times fewer additives,” says the area manager for Crystal Lagoon Europe.
They expect the beach will create around 170 new directly-linked jobs and about 200 indirect positions, as well as 130 temporary jobs during the building stage.