In Seville on Saturday. | Reuters (Marcelo del Pozo)

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Fan-sellers were doing good business in the southern city of Seville on Saturday as Spain sizzled in the hottest pre-summer heatwave for at least 20 years.

Carriage drivers dampened down horses who take tourists around the historic sights of Seville, such as the Real Alcazar Palace and Plaza de Espana.

Temperatures reached 40C (104 Fahrenheit) in the Guadalquivir valley in Seville and the nearby city of Cordoba on Saturday, the national meteorological office Aemet reported.

A cloud of hot air from north Africa has sent temperatures soaring, Aemet forecasters said, and the suffocating heatwave could last in most of Spain until June 15, six days before (astronomical) summer officially starts on June 21.

In Mallorca, inland temperatures are forecast (as of midday Sunday) to reach 38C and 39C between Tuesday and Friday.