Altea is one of the prettiest towns in the Alicante region and has a very Spanish feel to it, largely thanks to its interesting historic Old Town with its narrow, cobbled streets. It has been a haven for painters, poets, musicians and photographers for more than 40 years as the streets and beaches provide plenty of inspiration.
Altea is between Calpe and Benidorm. The town can be divided into two main areas: the Old Town with its sparkling blue-tiled dome buildings and the beach. It is a lovely peaceful town providing a stark contrast to the brash and buzzing Benidorm to the south.
The Old Town is found at the top of the hill with the impressive Nuestra Senora del Consuelo church taking centre stage. It was only built at the beginning of the 20th century but looks much older with its glazed blue and white tiled dome, stained glass windows and interesting murals. Many art galleries, shops, restaurants and bars are also found here.
Altea has both sandy and shingle beaches with some good restaurants along the seafront offering local specialities such as arroz a la banda (fish and rice), paellas, sea urchins, and the catch of the day.
Take time to enjoy a meal here to soak up the atmosphere and marvel at the splendid views across to the Penon de Ifach rock at Calpe. The bay is one of the Mediterranean's finest and is protected from cold winds by the Sierra de Bernia mountain behind it. The main town centre beach is called Playa de Cap Blanch and is to the south of the town. The Playa de Cap Negret to the north of Altea is worth a visit. It is a shingled beach with a small cove which has black pebbles called the Cala del Soio. At the Playa de l'Olla you will find one of the smallest ports in the region, where you can rent catamarans and windsurf boards during the summer.
Altea is not as built-up as some resorts and is perfect for a relaxing seaside holiday. There is a golf course and yacht club for sports lovers who want a little more action. Many five-star hotels can be found here for the more discerning clientele.
The watchtower is in the old Bellaguarda neighbourhood. It was part of an extensive network of towers along this part of the Mediterranean where the watchkeeper could keep a look out for potential invaders from the sea. As such, it has fine views over this part of the Costa Blanca and is a good vantage point for taking photographs.
The Altea Palace can seat nearly 1,000 people and hosts exhibitions, conferences, ballets, concerts and plays. More than 2,000 musical instruments are on display in the museum next door.
Navarro Ramon Museum
A museum dedicated to the paintings of Navarro Ramon who was born in Altea in 1903. His home town provided the inspiration for many of his works.
Altea is a pretty little town with lovely beaches and Old Town. The trek to the Old Town is a steep climb so take your time - or get the bus or a cab!
In August, a magnificent fireworks display is held by L'Olla castle, which attracts 50,000 people or more. Many boats sail in to Altea for the display.
Altea has lovely restaurants along the seafront or in and around the Plaza de la Iglesia in the old town.