About 50 km northwest of Alicante and 10 km away from Benidorm, you can find the small town of Altea. It is a typical Costa Blanca town with about 20,000 inhabitants, situated between Sierra de Bernia mountain and the sea.
This natural protection from the cold winds from the interior, as well as the river Algar that flows through it (known as a river of health in the past), create a special, very pleasant microclimate. It seems that the name Altea comes from the Greek Altahia, meaning “I cure”.
The town is well connected with other cities of Costa Blanca and the Valencian community by N-332 national road and AP-7 highway (exit 64). Alicane airport (El Altet) is just 57 km away – you can go there by renting a car or taking a taxi. There is also a local train connection (FGV – Tramo Metropolitano tramline Alicante – Denia) and good bus services offered by ALSA company. If you decide to spend your holiday in nearby Benidorm, you could make a nice one-day excursion in this lovely town – just take the frequent local bus Number 10.
Spending your holidays in Altea, you will have one of the most charming experiences in Costa Blanca. Although quite close to the skyscrapers of Benidorm, this town is a medieval gem with small, whitewashed houses forming a cobweb of narrow streets. There is no intense nightlife with noisy clubs, discos, musicals, and bright lights. On the contrary, you will find a quiet relaxing atmosphere, meet a lot of musicians, painters, and artists, and enjoy its old architecture.
The town is divided into three parts. The main tourist attraction in the old historical center is the unique church Nuestra Señora del Consuelo – one of the most distinct landmarks of Costa Blanca. It is crowned by two picturesque domes with blue and white tiles of glazed ceramics. Numerous irregular streets full of flowers wander around the church square forming the ancient hearth of the town. There are a lot of restaurants with traditional and international food, all kinds of shops with handicrafts, souvenirs, and gifts, as well as art galleries. During summer, you can enjoy live blues or jazz music while taking a drink in one of the bars.
The Old Town is situated on the top of the hill, offering you amazing views over the bay and the beaches. In the distance, you will also notice parts of Calpe to the north and skyscrapers of Benidorm to the south.
In another part of the town (which is somehow divided by the national road N-332) there is an important shopping area around the town hall. Down the hill, a stylish promenade stretches along the coast, framed by palm trees and a number of restaurants with local seafood. Try out various paellas (such as La Paella Marinera, Arroz a band and Empedrat, which are so typical in Costa Blanca.
The surrounding coast is a mixture of small beaches and numerous coves, which stretch along 8 km. In front of the Old Town, there is La Roda – the central beach close to the Algar river. Having the Blue Flag status, a lot of restaurants, bars, and small shops, as well as numerous water sports facilities, it is an ideal place to spend hot summer days. Placed in the south, the most important Altea beach is wide Cabo Blanco(Cap Blanch), which continues into the Albir beach. It offers a number of restaurants and a large parking place.
Other sites of interest are El Mascarat below Sierra de Bernia mountain; quiet Cap Negret with clear transparent water and black volcanic rocks; La Ola in front of a small rocky island La Isleta and numerous tiny coves with wild untouched nature.
Like many other places in the Valencian community, Altea is home to festivals. Honoring Christ of Health (Cristo de la Salud) at the end of January; celebrating the Holy Week in the spring; the festivals and pilgrimages dedicated to San Juan Bautista, the Virgin of Carmen, Santa Ana, San Roc, and other saints continue during the whole summer; ending with a great procession of Moros y Cristianos at the end of September. Most of the celebrations are accompanied by fireworks, colorful costumes, traditional music, and hundreds of participants.
In addition to sacral events, you can also enjoy a musical competition Certamen International de Altea, which takes part in November. This is a well-known international contest, attracting artists from many countries for more than three decades. Year after year, the festival impresses with its originality and a variety of scenic performances.
Map of Altea
Helps you find your way through the labyrinth of the narrow streets in this medieval place.