Altea views

All About ALTEA

Altea is without doubt one of the most charming towns on the Costa Blanca North. Its old town is packed full of character and the impressive church with its blue and white tiled dome roof has to be one of the most photographed landmarks of the area.

The N332 splits the town in half. On one side are the sandy and pebbly beaches which are backed by the long promenade and the marina. On the other side of the road is the old and new town. The tram station and busy Tuesday morning market are both to be found in the new town.

GETTING TO ALTEA FROM BENIDORM CATCH THE NO. 10 BUS. anywhere along the Avenida Mediterraneo COST 1.60€pp

Or the Local Tram

Altea Tram Station - From here: there is only one platform which is used by the trams going North (Denia) and South (Alicante). 

A taxi from Benidorm will be in the region of 18€ - 23€

Places of interest and ideas of things to do in Altea

Old Town: steep cobbled streets packed with character, restaurants and shops.

Market: large Tuesday morning.

Church: Nuestra Senora del Consuelo with famous blue and white tiled dome.

Beaches: sandy and shingle beaches.

Promenade: long beach front with great selection of bars and restaurants.

Photos by David Wyn Thomas

All about Altea

Marina: at southern end of town.

The impressive church (Nuestra Señora del Consuelo) overlooks whitewashed buildings and a bustling square, filled with quality restaurants and cafes that encourage you to linger over lunch. Inside the church is flooded with light through the glorious stained glass windows and the murals and sculptures on display are equally beautiful.

All About ALTEA

Back outside look at the bell towers and you'll notice that one of the three, destroyed in the Spanish civil war, has been left as a symbolic reminder of the destruction that conflict causes.

A must see is the famous Mirador Cronistas de Espana, this is also known as the viewpoint of the Plaza de la Iglesia and from here you get the most amazing views of Altea the bay and port. a great photo opportunity day or night.

The cobbled streets, filled with wrought iron balconies overflowing with flowers, urge you to explore. Wander by the stylish shops selling handmade pottery, jewellery and other artifacts and you can see the old walled town has a unique charm.

All About ALTEA

There are many small art galleries which reflect that Altea was a haven for artists due to the fabulous light experienced here and along with the artisans, writers and musicians they give Altea a lovely bohemian feel.

The Old Town Square at Altea

Don't miss the opportunity of a photograph of the views. From the church square you can enjoy the vista of the sweeping bay, the mountains and a distant Benidorm with its high-rise buildings.

All About ALTEA

Ideas of places to twin Altea with day or night

Spend the morning in the hustle and bustle of the large street market, which is held every Tuesday near the new town. Then jump on the tram and visit Denia for a bit of lunch before enjoying the return journey back through the beautiful scenery of the Costa Blanca North.

Visit the tourist magnet that is the nearby Fonts del Algar waterfalls

Head to Allbir for a walk along the long beach front promenade and a filling menu del dia at any of the lovely restaurants which line it.

Altea Marina

Parking: is in the car park and is free

From here: walk down to the port, turn left and walk away from the boats for the sandy beach and promenade.

Altea Market - Tuesday Morning:  One of the largest markets in the area, drive or catch the No 10 bus from Benidorm, open from 08:00.  From 2nd January (2024) the location for both the fruit and general market will be the Basseta Centre Car Park.

Beaches in Altea

Cap Blanch Beach - Located south of Altea, and connects with the beach of Albir

Playa de la Roda - This is the most central beach, with very good access for people with reduced mobility.

Playa de l’Espigó -This is the “new” beach, and has good facilities such as toilets, changing rooms and life guard services, find plenty of shops, bars and restaurants in this area.

All about Altea

Playa del Riu - This sits at the mouth of the Algar River and is popular with surfers. 

Cap Negret Beach - A small, but wide stony beach.

Playa del Portet (or Cala el Soio) - This is a beach characterised by its volcanic rocks. Ideal for snorkeling.

Playa de l’Olla - A small stony beach with a few popular bars/restaurants. This is a dog friendly Beach

Playa de la Solsida - A quiet, wild beach, perfect for getting away from the crowds, note this is classed as a Nudist Beach.

Campomanes Beach - Easily accessible via car here you will find a small port with plenty of water sports on offer. 

Playa del Mascarat Norte- Just past the port of Campomanes is Mascarat beach, a quiet beach with crystal clear water, this is also classed as a Nudist Beach.

Cala del Corb: Inaccessible beach. You can only reach it by the sea. High walls of rock to climb and perfect for snorkeling. 

Playa Mar y Montaña - Located close to the residential complexes of Altea Hills. This is a small and narrow shingle beach, Playa Mar y Montaña has no services, but there is parking nearby, this is a dog friendly beach.

Main Fiestas in Altea

June - Sant Antoni, San Juan

The famous Tree Festival this is generally held at the beginning of San Juan, the village men find a large poplar tree, drag it through the streets to the main square in the old town (to show their masculinity), once the tree is in the square it is then erected and tied to nearby buildings and the men take it in turns to climb the tree to see who can get the highest.  A fun festival where looks of wine is drunk.

July - Sant Pere, Sant Jaume and Santa Anna,

August - Sant Roc, Sant Llorenç, Sant Isidre, Sant Lluís The fireworks of Castell de L’Olla,

Altea Fireworks

September - Sant Tomàs, Moors and Christians - The Moors and Christians festivals are a spectacle of noise, colour and tradition, with spectacular costumes, marching processions, battle re-enactments and fireworks. It celebrates the centuries old battles between the Moorish invaders and the Christians and is a must see for visitors and residents alike.   

Altea and the surrounding mountains

A short distance from Altea you will find the mountain area of Sierra de Bernia which reaches up to 1130 mt high, from that area you will have views of the Altea area and the coastline.

HISTORY

Like many of the fishing villages along this coast, Altea goes back many centuries. It has been settled by Iberians, Greeks, Romans and Muslims, and then eventually the Christians when it was captured in 1244 by James I of Aragon.

All these civilizations were especially drawn to Altea because it is where the mouth of the River Algar (which further inland feeds the popular Algar Waterfalls) meets the sea and this provided plenty of fresh water for sailors and fisherman, and the town prospered by producing dried salt fish.

Photo by David Wyn Thomas

But life was far from the idyllic town you see today; in the 17th century, increased pirate attacks caused a decline in the population and economy. Furthermore, its privileged position so close to the sea meant that for centuries whenever there was bad weather the waves crashed into the front line buildings and the inhabitants literally had to leave the doors open and let the waves crash through their homes. This was eventually solved quite recently in the 1970’s by the building of a dyke. But, although this protected the buildings it took away the town’s beach – and even worse, over the years the lake ‘el charco’, (the puddle) created on the inside of the dyke generated bad smells and was generally considered unhealthy, in 2016 the external dyke was removed, the lake dredged and the whole area replaced with an artificial beach. This acts as a break water so the buildings are still protected, but is far more useful for the locals and this new attraction has also done wonders for tourism.

MORE PLACES TO VISIT ON THE COSTA BLANCA NORTH

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Comments (4)
  • A walk along Altea Sea Front - May 26th 2023
    Reported
  • If coming by car be prepared to drive, round and round, and round trying to find a parking space. As wonderful as the new part of the promenadeIf coming by car be prepared to drive, round and round, and round trying to find a parking space. As wonderful as the new part of the promenade looks, a lot of that area used to be a car park, its great that they have spent millions on improving the look of things on the sea front, but not much good if no one can park anywhere to actually enjoy it.  More ...
    Reported
  • L'Arbret tree festival in Altea
    One of the oldest and most popular local fiestas is the Arbret tree festival, in Altea, which this year will fall onL'Arbret tree festival in Altea
    One of the oldest and most popular local fiestas is the Arbret tree festival, in Altea, which this year will fall on the same day as the San Juan beach party on Friday 23 June.
    Starting soon after 18.00, a procession of the "machos" of Altea will start to drag two huge trees through the streets of the old town, which will take some time, as they enjoy a rather wild party en route, drinking wine from "porron" jars, dancing to music and being dowsed with water by kindly neighbours.A second smaller tree is carried by more junior members of the association.

    This is a very old celebration, connected to fertility and the Summer solstice, which traces back to 1617. These days, the organisers are conscious of the need for sustainability, so they plant 25 new trees in the river area, to replace the ones they cut down.

    Once the trees finally arrive at the old church square, well before dusk, they are erected upright and the tops of the trees are securely fixed by rope to the rooftops of nearby buildings, the revellers take turns to climb the tree, to see who can reach the highest point. Not an easy task.

    This is a fun, lively fiesta, but it does get very crowded, especially in the church square, so local police will be on hand to keep people safely behind cordons.
    How to find the procession; It starts soon after 18.00 from the lower car parks of the Belles Arts university, below the Palau of Altea, working its way up to the main church square of Altea old town. Many of the roads are closed to traffic and parking can be difficult.
      More ...
    Reported
  • VISIT THE SUMMER EVENING CRAFT MARKET IN ALTEA!..
    This quaint Artisan Market located in the main church square, Plaza de la Iglesia, is open everyVISIT THE SUMMER EVENING CRAFT MARKET IN ALTEA!..
    This quaint Artisan Market located in the main church square, Plaza de la Iglesia, is open every night over the summer until the 10th September, from 7pm to midnight.
      More ...
    Reported
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