AlteaAlicanteCosta Blanca

Altea, Spain – Your Ultimate Guide to Altea

What to see and do in Altea

Altea, a picturesque coastal town in Spain’s Valencian Community, is a must-visit destination for those in search of Mediterranean beauty. Nestled on Costa Blanca’s breathtaking coastline, Altea is a captivating blend of tranquillity, historic allure, and stunning natural beauty. With its narrow, cobble-stoned streets, whitewashed houses, and the radiant blue of the Mediterranean, Altea is a destination that promises a memorable holiday.

Discovering Altea: An Overview

Located along the Costa Blanca, Altea is a charming seaside town known for its relaxed aura, stunning historical architecture, and vibrant local culture. Altea’s old town perched on a hill offers a scenic view of the coastline, while the newer neighbourhood exudes cosmopolitan charm.

Altea Beach - Costa Blanca

Altea’s economy thrives on tourism, which blossomed in the 1950s owing to its pleasant climate, beautiful beaches, and labyrinthine streets lined with whitewashed houses. The town’s seafront esplanade is adorned with towering palms, offering a perfect backdrop for leisurely strolls.

The town’s name, Altea, traces its roots back to the Moors who named it “Althaya,” translating to “health to all.” As you delve into the heart of Altea, you’ll find yourself captivated by its medieval cobbled streets, enchanting old quarter, and the serene seafront promenade.

Getting to Altea

By Air: The closest airport to Altea is Alicante-Elche Airport. From there, you’re just an hour away from this coastal gem. Hop on a direct bus or rent a car for a scenic drive that’ll have you swooning over the coastal vistas.

By Train: For those coming from nearby Spanish towns, the TRAM light rail service connects Altea to cities like Denia and Alicante. Imagine a journey where the views of the sea meet lush orchards – it’s pure magic!

By Road: If you’re on a Spanish road trip (lucky you!), the AP-7 motorway is your fastest path. Take the Altea exit and let the journey lead you to serendipitous encounters.

If you’re eager to experience Spain’s Costa Blanca through the eyes of a local, then the N332 is your perfect route. This coastal road offers an alternative to the AP-7 motorway, granting travellers a more intimate glimpse of the region’s stunning coastline and charming towns.

Navigating the N332 to Altea: Starting from Alicante in the south, follow the signs for Valencia on the N332. This iconic road meanders parallel to the coast, taking you through postcard-perfect towns like Villajoyosa and Benidorm. As you drive, savour the sea breeze and the ever-changing tableau of beaches, cliffs, and coves.

After passing Benidorm and the towering Sierra Helada Natural Park, you’ll soon spot signposts guiding you towards Altea. And just like that, you’ll arrive in this coastal haven!

This route is not just about reaching your destination; it’s a journey that invites you to stop, breathe, and immerse in the region’s beauty. Perhaps a detour to a hidden beach or a coffee break in a roadside café?

So, dust off that road map (or, you know, update your GPS 😉), roll down your windows, and let the N332 introduce you to the soul of the Costa Blanca. Here’s to the open road and the adventures it brings!

Things to do in Altea

Altea

Embark on a Catamaran Cruise

There’s something spellbindingly beautiful about the gentle swish of the Mediterranean waves and the allure of Altea’s coastline, and there’s no better way to soak it all in than aboard a catamaran cruise.

Why Altea? Beyond its enchanting old town, Altea boasts a shoreline that’s a tapestry of hidden coves, dramatic cliffs, and shimmering turquoise waters. A catamaran, with its dual hulls and expansive deck, offers stability and space, making it the perfect vessel to witness these wonders.

Setting Sail: Step aboard, feel the sun-kissed wooden deck beneath your feet, and let the sails catch the wind. Whether you choose a morning cruise to witness the sun rising over the Sierra de Bernia or a sunset voyage to bid the day adieu, every moment is poetry in motion.

Dive In: One of the joys of a catamaran cruise is the ability to anchor in secluded bays. Dive into the crystalline waters, snorkel amidst vibrant marine life, or simply float and let the Mediterranean cradle you.

Savor the Moment: Many catamaran cruises in Altea offer delicious Spanish tapas and refreshments on board. Picture this: sipping on a glass of chilled cava, tasting fresh olives, all while the horizon paints a masterpiece.

Tip: Look for local operators who offer small-group or private cruises. This ensures a more intimate and personalized experience.

Visit Campomanes

Campomanes Altea

Ah, Altea, with its mosaic of historic lanes and azure coastline! But if you tread a bit off the well-trodden path, you’ll uncover the chic, serene marina of Campomanes (also known as Marina Greenwich). This exquisite nook is a tribute to luxury, nature, and nautical elegance.

Why Campomanes? Located just a stone’s throw away from the heart of Altea, Campomanes offers a refreshing blend of luxury and tranquillity. It’s a world where sleek yachts anchor beside traditional fishing boats, under the watchful gaze of the verdant mountains.

A Nautical Dream: For the sailing enthusiasts, Campomanes is paradise. With its state-of-the-art facilities, it’s an ideal spot to moor your boat or charter a yacht for a day out on the Mediterranean waters.

Culinary Delights: The marina is flanked by a selection of gourmet restaurants and breezy cafes. Treat your taste buds to fresh seafood, sip on Spanish wines, and relish the panoramic sea views. It’s a gastronomic journey you won’t soon forget!

Exploration on Foot: Stroll along the marina’s promenade, feeling the gentle sea breeze and soaking in the sun. The surrounding cliffs and coves beckon for exploration, and you might just stumble upon a secluded beach perfect for a relaxing afternoon.

Tip: If you’re visiting in the evening, the marina illuminates with soft lighting, creating a magical ambiance. It’s a perfect spot for a romantic evening or a quiet moment under the stars.

Explore Altea Old Town

There’s magic in every cobblestone step, every white-washed façade, and each archway of Altea’s enchanting Old Town. Rising proudly over the Mediterranean coastline, this historic heart of Altea is a delightful blend of Moorish legacy, artistic charm, and Spanish hospitality.

Why Altea Old Town? Beyond the beaches, Altea’s true soul lies within its labyrinthine Old Town streets. Winding their way up the hill, they lead to awe-inspiring views and capture the essence of centuries past.

Historic Elegance: The crowning jewel of the Old Town is the iconic blue-domed Church of La Mare de Déu del Consol. As you approach its pristine steps, the panoramic vistas of the sea and surrounding region leave an indelible imprint on the heart.

Artistic Vibes: With its history as a haven for artists, every corner of the Old Town tells a story. From art galleries showcasing local talent to the vibrant hues of bougainvillea against white walls, Altea’s artistic spirit is palpable.

Culinary Adventures: Nestled within these historic streets are myriad cafes and restaurants, offering a taste of the Mediterranean. Savor traditional tapas, fresh seafood, and local wines, all while overlooking the twinkling lights of Altea below.

Nighttime Magic: As the sun dips below the horizon, the Old Town transforms. Soft lighting, the sound of live music, and the chatter of evening patrons lend a mystical aura to this ancient enclave.

Tip: Wear comfortable shoes. The allure of Altea’s Old Town is best enjoyed on foot, navigating its meandering streets and hidden alleyways.

Trek to the Sierra Helada

Sierra Helada

Lace up those hiking boots and fill your lungs with the invigorating scent of Spanish nature! Just a whisper away from Altea’s coastal charms lies the Sierra Helada Natural Park – a rugged paradise that promises sweeping views, diverse flora, and a trekking experience like no other.

Why the Sierra Helada? Stretching grandly between Altea and Benidorm, Sierra Helada boasts of soaring cliffs, hidden coves, and trails that dance with the whispers of the Mediterranean wind. It’s a captivating blend of land and sea, high peaks and deep blue waters.

Paths Less Travelled: Diverse trekking routes cater to both novices and seasoned trekkers. Whether you’re tracing the coastline, climbing to the highest peak, or meandering through fragrant pine forests, every path unveils a new perspective.

Views to Remember: Reach the summit and let your gaze wander! The panoramic vistas of Altea’s white-washed buildings, the shimmering coastline, and the expansive sea will etch a memory forever. And if you’re early enough, the sunrise from here is nothing short of magical.

Nature’s Wonders: The park is a sanctuary for a rich array of flora and fauna. From aromatic herbs to birds of prey soaring in the sky, Sierra Helada is a testament to the Mediterranean’s natural bounty.

Tip: Pack some essentials – sunscreen, water, a hat, and a camera. The sun can be fierce, and you’ll want to capture every breathtaking moment.

Visit the Torre de la Galera

Torre de la Galera

Whispers of history, panoramic sea vistas, and a tale of vigilance await you at Altea’s Torre de la Galera. This ancient watchtower, perched gracefully on Altea’s coastline, offers a captivating glimpse into the town’s storied past and maritime heritage.

Why the Torre de la Galera? Built in the 16th century as a defence against pirate invasions, this tower stands as a testament to Altea’s resilience and strategic importance. Its name, which translates to “Galley Tower,” evokes images of old-world ships and sea-faring adventures.

A Journey Back in Time: As you approach the tower, it’s easy to imagine the lookout guards, their eyes scanning the horizon for approaching ships, their hearts filled with duty and determination. The very stones seem to resonate with tales of bravery and bygone eras.

Stunning Surroundings: Set against the backdrop of the shimmering Mediterranean, the tower offers breathtaking views. Whether you’re capturing a sunrise, watching the boats drift by, or simply losing yourself in contemplation, the scenic beauty is unparalleled.

Easily Accessible: Nestled between Altea’s bustling center and the tranquility of the Sierra Helada Natural Park, the Torre de la Galera is easily accessible, making it a must-visit for history buffs and nature enthusiasts alike.

Tip: Wear sturdy shoes and carry a camera. The terrain around the tower can be uneven, and you won’t want to miss capturing its rustic charm and surrounding beauty.

Relax at Altea Beaches

Golden shores, gentle waves, and the embrace of the Mediterranean sun – Altea’s beaches are the stuff of dreams! With a coastline that stretches and winds, every cove and bay in Altea offers a unique slice of paradise.

Why Altea’s Beaches? Beyond the town’s historic allure, Altea’s beaches are a testament to nature’s grandeur. From expansive sandy stretches to secluded white pebble coves, there’s a spot for every kind of beach lover.

Playa de La Roda: Located near the old town, this beach is a favourite among locals and visitors. Its promenade, lined with cafes and eateries, allows you to indulge in Spanish delicacies with the sea just a stone’s throw away.

Playa de Cap Blanch: Stretching southwards, this beach offers plenty of space to lay down your towel and bask under the sun. With its calm waters, it’s perfect for a refreshing dip.

Playa de Cap Negret: A mix of pebbles and sand, this beach offers a tranquil ambiance. As the sun sets, the silhouette of the nearby marina and the glimmering lights of Altea make for a mesmerizing view.

Hidden Gems: Altea’s coastline is dotted with intimate coves. Venture off the beaten path and you might just discover your personal haven of tranquillity.

Tip: While Altea’s beaches are wonderful throughout the day, there’s something magical about the early mornings. The soft glow of dawn, the sound of lapping waves, and the promise of a new day – pure bliss.

So, whether you’re seeking a sun-kissed tan, a splash in azure waters, or simply a space to relax and rejuvenate, Altea’s beaches beckon. Let the rhythms of the Mediterranean lull you into a world of peace and pleasure.

Visit the Orthodox Russian Church

Altea Orthodox Russian Church

Nestled amidst the scenic backdrop of Altea, the towering domes and glistening gold of the Orthodox Russian Church stand as a testament to architectural splendor and spiritual tranquility. This unexpected gem offers a serene escape, merging Slavic spirituality with Mediterranean beauty.

Why the Orthodox Russian Church? This church, officially named the Church of the Archangel Michael, is more than just a place of worship. It’s an architectural masterpiece, handcrafted entirely out of wood, without using a single nail. It offers a unique blend of traditional Russian design against the picturesque backdrop of the Costa Blanca.

Architectural Majesty: At first glance, the church’s gleaming golden domes, intricately carved wooden exteriors, and ornate icons transport visitors straight to the heart of Russia. It’s a slice of Moscow amidst the palm trees of Altea.

A Sanctuary of Peace: Step inside and the world seems to pause. The serene ambiance, accentuated by the glow of candles and the fragrance of incense, offers a haven for reflection and spiritual connection.

Surrounding Beauty: The church’s gardens, adorned with vibrant flowers and well-manicured shrubs, offer a peaceful spot for contemplation. The distant views of the Mediterranean further amplify the church’s ethereal aura.

Tip: Even if you’re not particularly religious, a visit to the Orthodox Russian Church is worth it for the artistry alone. Remember to dress modestly, respecting the sacred nature of the site. The Church is open to visitors on weekdays from 10 am to 2 pm.

So, in the heart of Spain’s coastal paradise, embark on an unexpected journey of faith, art, and heritage. The Orthodox Russian Church in Altea invites you to explore a confluence of cultures, where east meets west, and spirituality meets the sky.

Dining in Altea

Altea, with its rich tapestry of history and culture, serves up an equally vibrant culinary scene. From humble tapas bars to elite dining establishments, this charming town offers gastronomic experiences that titillate the palate and warm the soul.

Why Dine in Altea? Nestled between the mountains and the sea, Altea’s diverse geography is mirrored in its cuisine. Fresh seafood, local produce, and a medley of Mediterranean flavours come together in dishes that celebrate both tradition and innovation.

Budget Eats:

  • Tapas Bars: Dive into local culture by visiting one of Altea’s many tapas bars. Bar Tomás is famed for its delicious ‘patatas bravas’. These little bites, paired with a cold beer or sangria, promise an authentic taste of Spain without breaking the bank.

Mid-Range Delights:

  • La Costera de Altea: A charming spot that offers a modern twist on traditional dishes, all while overlooking the marina.
  • Ca Joan: Craving meat? Their grill serves up some of the juiciest steaks and lamb chops in town.
  • Columbus 1492: Set amidst the enchanting backdrop of Altea’s port, Columbus offers a diverse menu that beautifully marries land and sea. Their seafood paella is a crowd-favorite!

Luxurious Indulgences:

  • Crown of India: Elevate your dining experience with gourmet Indian dishes, combined with mesmerizing views of Altea’s bay.
  • Oustau de Altea: Located in the heart of the old town, this restaurant offers refined Mediterranean-French cuisine in a romantic setting.

Local Dishes to Try:

  • Arroz a la banda: A traditional rice dish made with fish stock, often accompanied by alioli sauce.
  • Espencat: A roasted vegetable medley, usually featuring peppers, eggplant, and garlic, bathed in olive oil.

Dining Spots: From the atmospheric alleyways of the old town to the breezy promenade by the beach, Altea offers diverse dining locales. Whether you’re looking for a cozy café, a family-friendly eatery, or an intimate spot for a candlelit dinner, Altea has you covered.

Tip: Altea’s dining scene is vibrant and ever evolving. It’s always a good idea to reserve a table in advance, especially during the peak tourist season.

Where to Stay in Altea

SH Villa Gadea in Altea

Whether you’re seeking luxurious pampering, a cozy nook, or an affordable yet comfortable spot, Altea has a plethora of accommodation options. Here’s a curated list of where to stay, catering to various budgets:

Budget-Friendly Stays:

  • Hostal Fornet: Located in the heart of the town, this quaint establishment offers clean, basic rooms with the bonus of being steps away from Altea’s main attractions.
  • Altea Town House: A charming bed and breakfast, it provides guests with a cozy ambiance, typical of Spanish townhouses, without breaking the bank.

Mid-Range Comfort:

  • Hotel Tossal d’Altea: Housed in a former olive mill, this hotel perfectly captures the spirit of Altea. With a swimming pool and an in-house restaurant, it offers a delightful balance of comfort and value.
  • Cap Negret Hotel: Beach lovers will appreciate this hotel’s prime location, right by the sea. Rooms offer stunning sea views, and the establishment boasts modern amenities to ensure a comfortable stay.

Lavish Luxuries:

  • SH Villa Gadea: For those looking to indulge, this 5-star hotel offers opulence at every turn. With sprawling pools, a spa, and gourmet dining options, guests are treated to a world-class experience amidst panoramic views of the Mediterranean.
  • Hotel Boutique La Serena: Tucked away in the old town, this adult-only boutique hotel promises serenity and luxury. Its intimate setting, complete with a spa and rooftop pool, offers a secluded haven for relaxation.

Stay Local: For longer visits or those seeking a more home-like ambiance, consider renting one of the many apartments or villas available. Sites like Airbnb or local real estate agencies can offer gems that provide both authenticity and comfort.

Tip: No matter where you choose to stay, always check for reviews, and consider booking in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Altea is not just a destination; for many, it becomes a feeling, a memory etched into their being. And having the right place to call ‘home’ during your stay can make all the difference.

How Long to Spend in Altea

Although Altea is small, it offers enough attractions to make a half or full-day trip worthwhile. However, those planning a longer stay can combine sightseeing with relaxation, spending time at the beach, lounging by the pool, or exploring the local culture. But how long should you spend in this Mediterranean gem? Let’s break it down, and if you’re thinking of an extended stay, we’ll highlight some nearby treasures too!

A Brief Getaway: 1-2 Days – Ideal for those on a whirlwind tour. Dive into Altea’s heart with a stroll through the Old Town, a visit to the iconic blue-domed church, and a relaxing evening by the beach. This quick stay will give you a taste, but it might just leave you yearning for more.

A Balanced Stay: 3-5 Days – Perfect for immersing in all of Altea. From exploring every nook and cranny of the town to dedicating a day for the beaches and another for a trek to Sierra Helada, this duration allows for a deeper connection with the locale.

Extended Exploration: 1 Week or More – Altea might be compact, but its allure is vast. An extended stay not only lets you experience the town’s rhythm but also provides ample time to explore nearby attractions.

Nearby Gems for Extended Stays in Altea:

Benidorm

  • Calpe: Just a short drive or tram ride away, Calpe offers a blend of sandy beaches and historical monuments. Don’t miss the Peñón de Ifach, a massive limestone outcrop offering panoramic views.
  • Guadalest: Nestled in the mountains, this picturesque town is famed for its castle and stunning reservoir views.
  • Benidorm: Looking for lively nightlife and bustling beaches? Benidorm, a major Costa Blanca hub, is just around the corner and is only 15 minutes away and can be reached by bus, tram or taxi. Its skyscraper-filled skyline contrasts with Altea’s low-rise charm.
  • Fuentes del Algar: A series of natural pools and waterfalls, it’s an ideal spot for a refreshing dip amidst nature.

Tip: Even if you have a fixed itinerary, leave a day or two unscheduled. Altea has a knack for unveiling hidden gems when least expected.

Ultimately, the duration of your stay in Altea is a personal choice, guided by interests and time constraints. But one thing’s for sure: every moment in this coastal paradise will feel timeless.

What to Pack for Altea

When packing for Altea, think Mediterranean comfort with a touch of style. Lightweight, breathable clothing is essential for the warm days, while a light jacket or shawl might be needed for cooler evenings. Remember your swimsuit for those inviting beaches and a pair of comfortable walking shoes for exploring the cobbled streets of the Old Town. Sun protection is a must, so pack your sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunblock. Lastly, don’t forget a camera or smartphone to capture the breathtaking landscapes and charming local scenes. Whether you’re lounging by the sea or dining in a hillside café, being prepared will make your Altea experience seamless and memorable.

What is the Weather Like in Altea?

Altea, located on Spain’s Costa Blanca, enjoys a Mediterranean climate characterized by mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. Here’s a brief overview of Altea’s weather:

Spring (March to May): Spring sees a gradual rise in temperatures, making it a delightful time to visit. The landscape starts to bloom, and there’s less tourist traffic compared to the summer months. Average temperatures range from 15°C to 23°C (59°F to 73°F).

Summer (June to August): This is the peak tourist season, with long, sun-drenched days. Beaches are bustling, and the town comes alive with various events and festivities. Temperatures can soar, with averages between 25°C and 33°C (77°F to 91°F), but occasionally they might reach higher, especially in July and August.

Autumn (September to November): Fall is another pleasant time to visit Altea, with mild temperatures and fewer crowds. The sea remains warm enough for swimming at least through September. Average temperatures during these months hover between 18°C and 26°C (64°F to 79°F).

Winter (December to February): Winters in Altea are mild compared to much of Europe, making it a popular escape for those seeking a warmer winter retreat. There might be occasional rainfall, but snow is rare. Temperatures generally range from 12°C to 18°C (53°F to 6°8F).

Additionally, thanks to its coastal location, Altea often receives sea breezes, which can be particularly refreshing during the hotter months. It’s always a good idea to check the forecast closer to your visit to ensure you pack appropriately for the weather conditions.

Map of Altea

An Invitation to Explore Altea

Altea offers a serene and scenic destination, perfect for those who enjoy a slower-paced holiday away from bustling tourist hotspots. With its enchanting old town, beautiful beaches, and rich history, Altea offers a unique Spanish holiday experience that will leave you with fond memories. So why wait? Pack your bags and set out to explore Altea, the tranquil paradise on the Costa Blanca!

 

 

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Pablo

Hi, I'm Pablo, an internet marketer who enjoys working and travelling around the Costa Blanca, Spain. I have been fortunate enough to have met some amazing people on my travels and was lucky enough to be able to make Spain my second home in 2018.

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