This is the only river beach in Madrid where bathing is allowed for now

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ABC Travel

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Taking a dip in the natural pools of the Community of Madrid is not going to be easy this summer. In fact, as a general rule, it is bathing prohibited in rivers, lakes and pools of fresh water and untreated, according to an official note published last Friday.

This year -at least for now, in the beginning of summer- the people of Madrid will not be able to taste the water of the Alberche beach, in Aldea del Fresno; Los Villares, in Estremera; El Muro, in Pelayos de la Presa, and Las Presillas, in Rascafría; nor are those of the Lozoya River or the Manzanares River, as it passes through La Pedriza, in the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park.

Now, in this difficult panorama, still with Covid-19 haunting our lives, there is a point where bathing is allowed: the fluvial beach of Virgen de la Nueva, in the San Juan reservoir (5 kilometers from San Martín de Valdeiglesias along the Virgen de la Nueva road). This inland beach, the only one of these characteristics distinguished in Madrid with the Blue flag granted by the European Foundation for Environmental Education, complies with the prevention measures established by the health authority.

Around the reservoir in San Martín de Valdeiglesias we must note two important cultural references if we decide to visit: a medieval eight-eyed bridge (originally there were nine, but one is completely buried under the sand) that linked Robledo de Chavela and San Martín and the ruins of the original hermitage of the Virgin of the New, which were flooded by the waters when the reservoir was built. Later a new building was built, to which pilgrims still go on Easter Monday.

Al swamp of San Juan, built in 1955, it has always been called the ‘Madrid beach’ (it has 14 kilometers that can be considered as beaches), an oasis in the usually suffocating summers of the capital of Spain. Its waters touch the municipalities of San Martín de Valdeiglesias, El Tiemblo, Cebreros and Pelayos de la Presa, between Madrid and Ávila, and it receives the flow of the Alberche River, a tributary of the Tagus.

The most visited areas of the swamp are the Cerro de San Esteban (in the municipality of Pelayos de la Presa) and the recreational area of ​​the Helm Boat (San Martín de Valdeiglesias), while the best areas for recreation are the Virgen de la Nueva beach, awarded the Blue Flag quality mark since 2018, and El Muro beach, where the Real Club Náutico de Madrid is located. (since 1961), a jetty for sailboats and a campsite, as well as beach bars and boat rental companies.

Many of the regulars in this area usually eat at the Mesón del Puerto, on the Pantanos road (M-501), a corner where you can try grilled meats from Ávila.

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