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.
The beach San Gabriel in Alicante is one of the +10 beaches in the city (click to see the list of all the beaches in Alicante). It is not very known and is not one of the top beaches in the city.
San Gabriel’s beach is 240m long and up to 55m wide sandy beach southwest of Alicante city centre. It is situated next to the cargo harbour’s mouth, a dry river’s estuary and a sewer drainpipe. The beach is good for calm sunbathing but just on the baseline for swimming. The water temperature ranges from a min of 18.5°C in June up to 28.2°C max in August.
This beach has no easy access and it is sort of forgotten by the Alicantinian council. Let’s see what makes it Special
The San Gabriel beach is one with the shortest services list beach in Alicante. The services list is the same as in Serragrosa Beach and it is reduced to:
There are three notorious services missing: first aid-lifeguard, shower for feet and public toilets.
The beach is also far from shops, restaurants and chiringuitos.
San Gabriel’s beach gets its name from the neighbourhood where it is situated. So it is, actually a nameless beach.
San Gabriel is a southeast neighbourhood in Alicante. It is a mix of ancient houses with new apartments and flat estates.
The access to the beach is crossing the road N-332/Avenida de Elche crossing a pedestrians bridge. On that side of the road, there is access to the beach and to the small San Gabriel train station.
The beach environment is actually calm. The harbour mouth can be an entertainment for sunbathers and the views south of the city are appealing. It is also protected from any bad weather coming north and east so only specific bad weather conditions affect San Gabriel beach.
The water quality is low on the list of beaches in Alicante. San Gabriel beach is close to the cargo harbour mouth. But also close to the mouth of the dry river “Barranco de las Obejas“. This river gets water only during the rainy season when torrential rains happen.
If this closeness to potential sources of dirtiness is not enough, there is a sewerage pipe releasing water into the area. Alicante follows all the European regulations regarded dark waters release so dirty water gets cleaned and is not an issue… usually. Sometimes, if there are heavy rains or other types of engineering setbacks some dirty water can be released (this article in Spanish is an example).
The beach is sandy, surprisingly, of better quality than other more famous beaches such as La Almadraba. But there is still a gap with the sand quality of other top beaches such as El Postiguet or San Juan.
The sand maintenance is more basic than on other more recognised beaches. That means it is clean but with more natural dirtiness such as Pelotas de Mar (or sea balls made from the rest of Neptune grass or Posidonia oceanic fibre).
San Gabriel beach address is: Av de Elche, 92, 03008 Alicante, Spain
The beach is isolated by the N-332 also called Avenida de Elche. And there is a pedestrian bridge to access it from the neighbourhood of San Gabriel.
There is a tiny car park with 4 or 5 spaces in front of the beach, that can be accessed from the N-322 to Alicante centre.
It is probably easier to try parking the car around the San Gabriel neighbourhood. The downside is that there are not many private car parks underground and the neighbourhood gets quite packed with cars all year round.
Here is the exact location of the car park:
The beach is not very well communicated by public transport. But there is the possibility of getting the train from Alicante’s train station or the bus to San Gabriel.
The train line C1 to Murcia goes from Renfe Alicante to San Gabriel beach and the journey takes about 10 min.
The downside of the train to San Gabriel is that the service is not designed for this short journey so Renfe’s website doesn’t offer it to buy online. Also, the price might be higher than the bus.
As it happens with the train, there is a bus line that stops at San Gabriel but the price schema is not designed for this trip. It is the airport bus line C6 Alicante to Alicante airport and there is all the information you need by clicking over this sentence.
The issue with the airport bus line is that the price is higher than just getting an urban red bus, 3.85€ vs 1.45€. But we have traditional buses going to San Gabriel with stops close to the beach. All the info about urban bus transport in Alicante is here.
The closest stop to San Gabriel beach is Plaza Fester Paco Botella:
The price of a single bus ticket is 1.45€ which can be paid by contactless card, by cash or by bonus cards. Here is the bus line 01 timetable:
This is a beach focused on locals living in the area. The lack of proper car park spaces or easy public transport connections, plus the location near to potential sources of dirty water sinks this beach to the lower rank among the best beaches in Alicante.
Despite the doubts about water quality it is permitted and safe to go for a swim. But no life-guard services operate on the beach. Please, adapt your behaviour to the lack of rescue and first aid services as every single year we have to regret painful and evitable casualties on Alicante beaches (article in Spanish).
An example of good use to give to this beach is sunbathing. The beach environment is calm, it doesn’t overcrowd as much as El Postiguet or other top beaches and the sand quality is good enough.
I wouldn’t recommend this beach to casual tourists but if you live in Alicante it might be a good beach to relax and solo tan on a calm and not overcrowded beach. Also, I would recommend to families going with children if they live nearby.