There's a lot to love about Seville. The Andalusian capital is home to colorful architecture, an unrivaled tapas scene, and plenty of flamenco flair. However, the summer weather can be a drawback for many visitors (unless temperatures in the high 90s Fahrenheit are your thing), so locals and visitors alike often flock to the shores come July and August.
Despite the inland location of Seville itself, the beach is actually quite accessible from the city. Spain's top-notch public transportation system makes it easy to reach Matalascañas, the closest beach to the city, in no time at all. Here's everything you need to know before you go.
Where is Matalascañas?
Part of the Costa de la Luz comprised of the southwestern shores of Andalusia, the closest beach to Seville is located in the region's neighboring province of Huelva. The urban beach is around four miles long and boasts a stunning location framed by the Atlantic Ocean to the south and Doñana National Park to the north.
How to Get There
The Andalusian capital is well-connected to plenty of destinations, including Matalascañas, and getting to the beach from Seville is as simple as boarding a bus at the Plaza de Armas station. Keep in mind that Seville has two major bus stations (the other being Prado de San Sebastian), so be sure you go to the right one so you don't miss your ride to the beach.
The bus company that operates vehicles between Seville and Matalascañas is Damas. Buses depart each destination a few times per day, with more options available on weekends. The journey takes about two hours and costs less than 20 euros round trip.
If you already have access to a car or are able to rent one, driving to Matalascañas from Seville is another option. The trip takes about an hour and 20 minutes and offers more flexibility. This is a particularly great option if you'd like to visit more than one seaside destination or spend some time exploring Doñana National Park.
What to See & Do at Matalascañas
The beach itself is covered in pristine white sand and was practically made for sunbathing and swimming. Even in the off-season, it's also just a great place to enjoy a relaxing stroll on the pedestrian promenade that spans the entire length of the beach.
Matalascañas is a relatively simple beach, so if you're after a luxury resort with a bunch of facilities, it may not be for you. It's all about enjoying the sun, sea and sand here, and its laid-back atmosphere makes it easy to enjoy despite not having as many amenities as some of Spain's more luxurious beaches.
What you will find is a small but respectable selection of beach bars and restaurants (known as chiringuitos here in Spain), a few shops, and some hotels. If you're visiting in the off-season, be aware that many local businesses—especially those in the food and beverage industry—only open in the summer, and close up shop during the rest of the year.
Many sevillanos flock to Matalascañas due to its proximity to the city, but the area has plenty more to offer besides its famous beach. Keep an eye out for Torre de la Higuera, the remains of a 16th-century watchtower that was toppled by an earthquake. As a result, what you can see of the tower today is actually upside down.
When to Visit Matalascañas
The answer may seem obvious (in the summer, of course), but during peak season, the beach at Matalascañas can get crowded—often overwhelmingly so. After all, it's the beach of choice for the overwhelming majority of Seville's nearly 700,000 residents, so plan on showing up as early in the day as possible to secure your spot on the sand.
Another tip for visiting in the summertime is to go during the week if possible. The beach is much less crowded on weekdays than on Saturdays and Sundays, giving it a much more relaxing atmosphere.
Matalascañas is also worth visiting during the off season, particularly late spring and early fall. Sure, you might find that many local businesses are temporarily closed until summer rolls around, but if you're looking for a seaside escape from Seville, it's still your best bet. Pack a picnic lunch so you don't get caught off-guard lest there be no chiringuitos open.
Other Beaches Near Seville
Matalascañas is perfect if you're simply after a good sunbathing and swimming location. If you'd like to combine your beach visit with some more cultural activities, or if you prefer towns to beach resorts, check out the other seaside destinations in the area. If you don't mind doing a bit of walking, you can head for a few miles along Matalascañas Beach and eventually end up at the more rugged beaches of Doñana National Park that border the Gulf of Cadiz.
Another great coastal destination that's not too bad of a trip from Seville is El Puerto de Santa Maria. The drive takes about an hour and a half, but direct public transportation from Seville is not as easily available. Instead, you can make your way to the city of Jerez by train, then take another train from Jerez to El Puerto. The change makes things a bit more cumbersome, but if you're looking for a different beach away from all the sevillanos that dominate Matalascañas, it's a great option.
When you get to El Puerto, you'll be rewarded with astounding natural beauty and plenty of amenities. The area is home to some of the best fried fish in all of Spain (the perfect seaside meal, in our book) and is more relaxed than many other coastal destinations. However, due to the fact that it's a bit further away from Seville, you may want to plan on spending the night to fully take advantage of your time there.