5 Ways To Cool Off In Sunny Seville

Posted on September 17, 2012

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All travel articles that I read about Seville warned me that it was one of the hottest cities in Europe and that I should avoid going there in August, the hottest month of the year. As stubborn as I am, I ignored all the horror stories and arrived there on August 7.

They were right. The clock at the Plaza de Armas bus station told me it was 8 o’clock in the morning and already 28 °C. After having breakfast and making a small detour, we made it to the hostel, only to find out check-in wasn’t until 12:30, so we left our backpacks in the luggage room and went to explore the beautiful city. As our hostel was right across from Plaza de la Encarnacion, the site of Metropol Parasol (or as the locals call it; Las Setas), we figured that would be a good place to start. From the top of the largest wooden structure in the world we had a beautiful view of the entire city… and also a very hot Andalusian morning sun burning the top of our heads.

As the day progressed, it got hotter and hotter until a scorching wind blew into our faces and it became unbearable to walk outside. Even sitting down on a terrace in the shade with sprayers above your head didn’t prevent us from sweating our asses off. Back at the hostel we received a news report that told us Spain was hit by a heatwave and was hitting record temperatures up to 50 °C…
Yet despite all this, the heat didn’t stop me from having a great time. The key is to adapt, avoid the hottest hours of the day (I love siestas!) and make sure you’re protected from the sun once you do go out.

I’ve discovered numerous ways to cool off that made my stay there not only bearable but actually a lot of fun. For those of you who dare to go, some tips:

Get a hostel with a pool!
During the hottest hours of the day there really isn’t much to do but taking a nap and staying inside your hotel or hostel… Unless you have a pool! The hostel we stayed at had a cosy little roofterrace with a bar, some loungechairs and a really nice and cold pool. Since it was too hot to go outside in the afternoons, we spent our time floating around in the soothing water, drinking sangria’s and meeting people from all over the world as it provides the perfect setting to get to know eachother.

Waterfights!
Just like any other city in Spain, Seville has fountains spread all over the city. Just find one and randomly start attacking whoever you’re with. You’ll find that it’s not only very entertaining but also effective!

Frozen Yoghurt!
I LOVE frozen yoghurt. I live for it. It’s refreshing, it’s tasty and it’s healthier than normal icecream. They don’t sell it much in Holland but in Spain you’ll find froyo places EVERYWHERE (it’s paradise!) For 3 euro’s you can get a big cup with froyo, fresh fruit and whatever topping you may crave. My favorite place to go was Llaollao, as it was located underneath Las Setas and only a one minute walk from our hostel.

Get down to the riverside!
A little west of the city centre you will find the river Guadalquivir. Close to the banks of the river, the temperatures are a little lower and there’s a gentle breeze to cool you off when you need a break from the sweltering heat in the centre. In the evenings, this is where you’ll find all the locals as there are many bars and clubs to be found here. On the other side you will find the Triana district, a very atmospheric district with many narrow cobbled streets, cool bars and not as many tourists.

Sprayers!
If you sit down for a drink, make sure the place you’re at has a terrace with sprayers. They’re everywhere. The heat becomes a lot more bearable when you have a cool mist sprayed over you every other minute. One of the most useful items I packed before going was a €1,30 refillable handpump that uses airpressure to spray. I used it every so often to cool myself (and many other grateful candidates) off. A good way to befriend the locals!

I admit, August may not be the perfect time to go, as it truly is insanely hot and a lot of residents and shop owners leave the city to have vacation at the coasts. Yet, that doesn’t mean there’s not a lot to be seen and done. Seville really comes alive at night,  and a deserted city by day also has a certain charm to it. Don’t let the heat stop you from experiencing everything that Seville has to offer, just accept it as part of the trip, adapt and adjust your pace.

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Posted in: Spain