by Victor Sesma
Victor Sesma is an Alicantinian living in London. He is a Software Engineer who likes writing about the city he was born.
Alicante is a coastal city that grows along the Mediterranean sea, along with the Castle of Santa Barbara and the different hills in the area. Therefore, Alicante does have a beach. There are more than 10 sandy beaches and coves in Alicante, including a pet’s beach for dogs.
The city of Alicante has more than 10 beaches and coves on its 23km of coastline. There are 6km of beaches: El Postiguet, San Juan Playa, La Albufereta, Urbanova, La Almadraba, a beach in Tabarca island, Aguamarga dog’s beach, San Gabriel beach, Sierragrosa beach and few coves in El Cabo de Las Huertas. Most beaches are regulated with lifeguard services during peak seasons. But the coves at El Cabo de las Huertas or other coastal places are less supervised.
Each beach in Alicante has a slightly different vibe depending on its set-up, beauty, access and its public. Some beaches in Alicante are better suited for families, groups of friends, naturists or dog owners. Let’s going to dive into each of the best beaches in Alicante city.
Alicante city has more than +10 beaches but allow me to give you my recommendation.
If you are going to be a day or two in Alicante go to El Postiguet. It is in the centre of Alicante. If you stay central then you can just walk. If you are further away it is super well connected by public transport.
If you have time and want to go to a bigger and also very beautiful beach San Juan beach is a must. It is well connected by public transport and it is big and beautiful.
If you are staying longer then you can enjoy visiting the different beaches and coves around the city.
Here is the complete and ultimate list of beaches in Alicante:
El Postiguet is the most centrical beach in the city of Alicante. If you are staying near the city centre El Postiguet is just within a stone’s throw. It is a well-maintained beach protected on its sides by land so rough weather doesn’t affect that much to this beach. It is 900m long so it is a medium-size beach compared to other beaches in Alicante.
El Postiguet is one of the most crowded beaches in Alicante. All sorts of public find El Postiguet appealing as it is the most urban and central beach in Alicante. Usually, tourists and younger people tend to find a spot closer to the city centre and the Melia hotel. Older people and families tend to lay on the furthest half part of the beach. This is, of course, a very broad distinction.
The beach counts with Baywatch, first aid, local police, toilets, foot showers, volleyball net, chiringuito and other services… There is outdoors and indoor parking next to the beach that tends to get busy during peak season.
The views are quite picturesque. Playa de El Postiguet is one of the places where you can see The Moor Face on the Castillo de Santa Barbara hillside. The beach’s name comes from the language Valencian (a variant of Catalan) and means “little door”. The old walls protecting the city underneath the castle had an access door to the beach, hence the literal translation of Playa de El Postiguet would be The Beach of the Small Door.
San Juan Beach is the longest beach in Alicante and it is usually featured at the top of beach rankings in Spain. It merges with Muchavista beach in the neighbouring municipality of El Campello in an imperceptible imaginary line. San Juan is about 3km long but including Muchavista Beach it is almost about 7km long. San Juan Beach in Alicante is a golden sandy shore. The water can get bumpy sometimes as its shape is very open to the sea. There are views of the mountains in Alicante province and of other cities such as Benidorm.
Playa de San Juan has a couple of parking lots for the cars that get extremely busy in Summer. There are also several Tram stops from Luceros along the beach. Apart from lifeguard services, there is a sports area with volleyball nets, chiringuito, rental of aquatic material in summer, and restaurants next to the beach.
This beach has the most heterogeneous user base, San Juan is a good beach for everyone and every group age as long as the weather is good. Arguably, it is the best beach in Alicante. Playa de San Juan is a long and well maintained sandy beach connected by Tram and Bus services. San Juan Beach has all the services you might expect from a high-quality beach in Alicante. There is a lot of space to accommodate lots of people due to its size.
The only downside is its exposure to the open sea. San Juan beach can be affected by rough weather more than other beaches in Alicante. During the hottest months, some mild wind will be present every day during the sun peak hours of the day. This is called terminal wind and is due to the temperature difference between the water and the land. Colder water provokes colder air. Hot land generates hotter air. Therefore, the wind will blow from the sea direction to land as the hotter air goes up into the atmosphere to be replaced by the colder sea air.
Thermal wind is fantastic for sailing and water sports. It usually doesn’t get too intense so the breeze is welcome during the hot summer temperature. The wind might create a few smalls wawes thought. San Juan beach is not the absolute smoothest beach in Alicante but you should not get pulled off by this.
There is a promenade next to the beach with some restaurants, discos, pubs and shops.
La Albufereta is a small beach halfway between the centre of Alicante and the Playa de San Juan neighbourhood. The walk takes about 30 or 40 minutes from El Postiguet beach. But there is a bus (9, 21, 21N, 22, 22N) and Tram Stops (Isleta, lines 1, 3, 4 and 5) from Alicante centre. There are a few parking spaces that get busy fast.
This beach is very well protected by land at its sides. The sand is golden coloured and of good quality. It has urbanised hills behind and around the beach. There are chances that if other beaches have a bit of a rough sea this one will be calmer. All the land around and the hills protect La Albufereta beach from the wind and waves.
Playa de la Albuferata is at the end of a no-water river. It only gets water if heavy rains happen during the wet season. The beach sand is restored after rains so it is always ready to visit.
The most common public at this beach are families with young children or adults that are looking for a calmer beach with calm water and nice sand. All beaches in Alicante get busy during summer’s peak season but La Albuereta might be a slightly more family-friendly environment. Note there are more beautiful beaches to enjoy if you are in Alicante for only a few days but if you have La Albufereta nearby you won’t regret visiting.
There are the same quality and amount of services at La Albufereta as at other beaches: lifeguards, first aid help, daily beach cleaning services, feet showers… The area is not so impressive as at El Postiguet or at Playa de San Juan but it is still a beautiful and cosy place to be.
La Playa de la Almadraba is a medium size beach. It is characteristic of clean but compact brown sand (not the best sand), beautiful views and more parking spaces than other beaches in Alicante.
At La Almadraba beach it is easy to find families and people that look for more space on a calm waters beach. Sometimes, when not in peak season, some people will go in groups and mount folding marquesses to enjoy time around food and friends or family.
This beach still has all the services. Lifeguards, daily cleaning services, first aid… and a chiringuito. The landscape is nice featuring views of Alicante on palm trees and pines sort of Caribbean scenery. It is close to El Cabo de Las Huertas and the views of Alicante bay are stunning with Castillo de Santa Barbara as the beautiful protagonist of the skyline of Alicante.
If you want to know more about this beach check its own page here.
Playa de Urbanoba, also called Playa de los Saladares, is a huge beach in Alicante. It merges in an imaginary line with Arenales del Sol, a beach located in Elche’s municipality. The area is beautiful. There is a promenade with places to eat, have an ice cream or buy beach-related items.
The end of the promenade marks the end of the beach Urbanova beach… and the beginning of a naturist beach. This part is also beautiful as behind golden sandy shore there are natural sand dunes with autochthonous plants holding them.
Urbanova beach in Alicante has all the services you might be expecting such as lifeguards, first aid, cleaning services, feet showers… It is relatively easy to find a place to park the car as the residential area has plenty of parking spaces. But at peak season and times it might get full. There is also a bus service from the centre of Alicante (Alicante bus line 27 to Urbanova).
Some families will choose Urbanova above other beaches in Alicante. It is a big beach a bit less crowded than, for example, San Juan beach. Urbanova buildings are the home of many families with children or teenage children. If you have a car and are you are looking for a beach for going with your family Urbanova Beach in Alicante might be your best bet. Note that the shape of Urbanova is open to the sea so the rough sea might affect Urbanova more than other beaches such as El Postiguet or La Albufereta but similar to San Juan.
Aguamarga is situaed north from Urbanova. It is the only beach that allows pets in Alicante. There is a fenced area for the dogs’ biological needs. The cleaning services differ a bit from other beaches to adapt to the needs of the pets. There are also first aid and lifeguard services. This beach might be one of the easiest to park as it gets less busy but it is situated next to Urbanova beach so many people going there might use that parking lot also.
Tabarca Island is the only inhabited island in the region. It is situated 22km from the centre of Alicante, counterintuitively, it is still part of the municipal term of Alicante city. The island of Tabarca is a magnificent place to visit. Ships have regular services to the islands from Santa Pola (shortest trip), Alicante and Benidorm (longest trip).
The island has one beach with all the services found on the rest of the city’s beaches: lifeguard, first aid foot showers, local police office… There are also several coves and places where you can go for a swim but are not being monitored by the lifeguards.
The island is small. Next to the beach at Isla de Tabarca, there are several places to have lunch or dinner. The traditional dish of Tabarca is Caldero. A fish-based dish. If you are looking for rice you can also ask in most of the restaurants. In Alicante, the Paella is not a traditional rice dish and is only prepared for tourists. If you want to be sure of not falling into a tourist trap search for places announcing Arroz rather than Paella. It is a very similar dish made in the same pan but with a slightly different, and arguably better, style.
Tabarca’s beach has a heterogenic public that tends to be more adult and touristic. Many local people won’t get into the bout to Tabarca to go to the beach and, if they do, they might instead go to some of the beautiful coves rather than the beach itself. There are several clifts around the island that teenagers, (and no teenagers), use as trampolines to jump into the sea. Please, be aware this can be very dangerous and is not strange to read local news about someone getting seriously hurt by this practice every summer.
Tabarca is probably the best place on the Alicantinan coast to do snorkelling. Even better than Cabo de Las Huertas. Tabarca is a maritime reserve which means that fishing is forbidden and bouts have limited right to anchor depending on where Isla de Tabarca maritime reserve area they are situated. This measure allows flora such as Posidonia (Mediterranean endemic sea plant) and the different fish spices to beautifully and picturesquely grow in the area.
The island has also public toilets next to the beach. In the same building complex, there is a museum that explains the centuries-long history of the island and the flora and fauna that can be found at Tabarca Island.
There are also some shops where to find typical beach products, such as icecreams, SPF cream and other beach items. Have in mind that the island can get ridiculously busy during peak season. It also can be extremely empty outside the touristic season. The same is happening with bouts anchoring around the beach.
Cabo de Las Huertas literal translation is Cape of the Orchards. Traditionally, the cape was used as land to grow food plants. Now, it is one of the most expensive and beautiful areas in the city of Alicante. El Cabo has a historic defence tower and a lighthouse for sailors in its inland area. The coast has several coves.
El Cabo de las Huertas coves are probably the second-best place for snorkelling in the city of Alicante, after Tabarca island, so it might be the best place at Alicante’s mainland. There are several coves with different ease of access. For example, Cala de la Palmera, probably the most famous cove, has no regulated lifeguards and no tarmac parking space for cars to park. The access to the coves is rocky and hilly. Ironically, good hiking shoes are encouraged as you will need to pass through short but hiking-like paths.
Once you are at the cove, there are just a very few places with sand. It is recommended to also have aquatic shoes you can use for swimming as the accesses to the sea are sometimes through beaches or coves with rocks instead of sand.
It is a perfect place to explore the different areas. If you head right while looking at the sea you will get closer to Alicante centre and the views of Santa Barbara Castle, El Postiguet beach and further places such as Tabarca Island or El Palmeral Park. The views are a sight for sore eyes. If you head left, you will get closer to San Juan beach but the cape shape doesn’t allow you to see San Juan beach until you are literally next to it.
Here is the list of recognised coves at El Cabo. Click to find the location at Google Maps: Cala de la Palmera, La Calita, Cala Cantalar, Cala de los Judios. Rember that a common strategy is to park at Cala de la Palmera and walk from there to the different coves.
Cala de la Palmera has a parking lot with no tarmac. Other coves might have parking spaces available also. The closest tram line 4 stop might be Cabo Huertas and the closest bus stop Camino del Faro 17 on Alicante bus services line 22.
San Gabriel beach is a small local sandy beach in Alicante, next to the cargo port entrance. It doesn’t have most of the services that other beaches have. For example, there is no lifeguard, first aid services or foot showers.
This beach in the San Gabriel neighbourhood serves people living locally that want to get a quick bath not spending much time commuting. Is not in such a privileged area as other beaches and the views are not so impressive yet you can see boats and ships coming in and out from the harbour. It has beautiful views of Tabarca island, Urbanova beach and south of Alicante’s province up to Santa Pola cape.
The beach is officially recognised by the city hall so it has litter bins, and wood access gateways and it is cleaned and maintained but just not daily as most of the other beaches in Alicante city.
As it is well known to everyone, the rivers for inland cities and the sea for coastal cities are the way out for sewer waters after they are cleaned in the treatment plants. Between the San Gabriel beach and the port of Alicante entrance there is one of the pipes releasing treated water into the sea. This pipe has previously released untreated water due to technical issues or extreme weather conditions at the treatment plant.
Alicante’s city hall has recursively forbidden the bath in San Gabriel beach until neighbours would complain too much about the restriction to then allow the bath again and improve the cleaning services to forbid the bath once again. It is a polemic beach due to its closeness to the sewer pipe and how near is to the harbour. It has always been a fight between the neighbours who want to use it and the city hall that wants to completely unattended this beach.
Serragrosa is the name of one of the hills in Alicante. It is situated between the centre of Alicante and El Cabo De Las Huertas. It is near to the coastline allowing space for a road and few buildings between the sea and the hill.
There are a few man-made coves in front of Serragrosa. It is a calm place with easy access by car as there are a lot of parking spaces that can get quite busy during peak season. It is a good and calm environment for families with children or local people who don’t want to commute.
Some of the coves will be sandy, some other coves will have stones or be a mixture of both. Aquatic shoes are recommended for going into the sea. The water might be transparent in no deep shores and there are few places where is easier for children to enjoy as it won’t get deep too soon while you see the down water land.
The water might be a bit warmer than on other beaches as it is more protected from currents from the open sea and the water floor might receive more sun to warm up the waters. Don’t expect any sort of natural sauna. The difference might be a couple of degrees warmer when compared with other more open beaches.
The Blue Flag is a European distinction given to the beaches that match some quality standards. Some of the qualifying criteria are:
As an international award, there are many beaches around Europe with this distinctive. It is reviewed every year and the city of Alicante displays usually 5 beaches with this distinctive: La Albufera Beach, El Postiguet Beach, Saladar-Urbanova Beach, San Juan Beach and Tabarca Island Beach.
Blue Flag is not only for beaches and can be found also on marinas and even boats. More information about Blue Flag can be found on their official website.
Yes, Alicante city has more than 10
Beaches do not physically close with fences but during the cleaning times at night you are expected to not be around
Most of the beaches in Alicante are adapted. Look at the accessible beaches list on the Alicante tourism page