No matter where you look at it, Altea exudes Mediterranean beauty. Just 10 minutes from Benidorm, this quiet fishing town has become in recent years an essential stop for any traveler who chooses the Costa Blanca as a destination for their next vacation. The reasons? A beautiful historic old town with whitewashed streets, an atmosphere that invites you to stroll from terrace to terrace, the best local crafts and a bay that is a gift from nature.
Today we leave the hustle and bustle of Benidorm for an afternoon, to enjoy the calm of one of the most beautiful towns in the province of Alicante, where endless things to do, and countless corners to see, await us.
What to see in Altea?
In Altea, the blue of the Mediterranean contrasts beautifully with the white of its buildings. Endless small houses, walls and viewpoints that gradually climb the hill until they meet the domes of the Church of Nuestra Señora del Consuelo, making up one of the most picturesque old towns on the entire Spanish coast. Next, we show you the 4 essential places that no itinerary through Altea should ignore:
-The Church Square
Without a doubt, the (Church square) Plaça de l'Església of Altea is the nerve center of the town. There is always life in it and any walk through the old town must inevitably end at the doors of the charming church in order to admire the two beautiful blue and white tiled domes that have become the unmistakable symbol of Altea.
In the square there are terraces and restaurants with a craft market where you can take home a souvenir of your visit. And it is also the place where on June 24th, they celebrate the summer solstice, “L’arbret” is planted, a colossal tree over 25 meters high as a symbol of the fertility of the lands that surround the municipality.
-Viewpoint of the bay of Altea
Without leaving the (Church square) Plaza de la Iglesia, you will find the first of the great viewpoints, known as Mirador de los Cronistas, which are essential when it comes to enjoying the beauty of this place. Altea would be nothing without the sea, and this town rises up, dominating the bay, to the point of giving it its name.
After walking through any of the three beautiful streets that lead to the church, San Miguel, Mayor and Santa Bárbara, you can go to the Mirador Blanco, and enjoy its views to the south with the Sierra Helada on the horizon, or to the Mirador del Portal Vell, facing north with the Peñón de Ifach as a witness.
Strolling around, getting lost, resting for a while under the palm trees looking at the sea while the sun sets... it is a real pleasure to visit Altea. Don't miss the lovely streets of Bonavista and Costera Mestre de la Música either! The latter runs next to an old cistern from the Arab period and is most interesting.
-The Portal Vell
Like all Medieval towns, Altea had walls in the past that, little by little, over the years have opened up to the sea. But some vestiges are still preserved! Although there are more entrances to the old town, there is none as authentic as the Portall Vell, also known as Puerta de Valencia (door to Valencia), which since time immemorial has acted as the official entrance gate of the town. It is surreal to cross its arch and go from asphalt to cobblestone in an instant.
At the foot of the old town are the beaches of Altea, its other great attraction. But before diving into the sea, it is worth walking along its promenade and enjoying not only the views of the sea, but also the image that makes up the town of Altea facing the shore. Not to be missed!
What to do in Altea?
Not everything is going to be walking and enjoying the views! On your excursion to Altea you will be able to enjoy active tourism and practice sports experiences on its beaches such as sailing, snorkeling or scuba diving. And even enjoy one of the many concerts that are organized there on summer nights.
But if there is an event that brings together all the people of Alicante in Altea for one night, it is the Castell de l'Olla, an unparalleled aquatic pyrotechnic show recognized with numbers and prestigious tourist awards that takes place on the Saturday before August 15th in front of the municipality, in the water, in the surroundings of the small island of La Olla.
Not to mention its gastronomy! In its restaurants you can appreciate the essence of authentic Mediterranean food in a unique setting. It is worth trying their rice dishes!
The best beaches in Altea
Altea can boast a very varied selection of beaches, ranging from long urban beaches equipped with all services to small natural coves that are a bit more difficult to access. These are some of them:
To the south of the municipality, you can find Playa Cap Blanc, in the area known as El Albir, and Playa de la Roda, next to the old town, both are made of pebbles and extend for several kilometres and have all kinds of services.
To the north of Altea, there is the famous Playa de L'Olla, also made of small pebbles, very long and with many services and beach bars. And a little further, outside the town center, you can find the beautiful wild coves of Barra Grande and Racó del Corb. Which one is your favorite?
How to get to Altea?
Altea is close to the Mediterranean and has the easiest access by road through the N-332 and the AP-7. The best thing is that it is only 10 minutes by car from Benidorm, from where you can choose either of the two roads to get to Altea.
But if you prefer to go by public transport, you can also do it comfortably from the center of Benidorm by choosing the bus line or the tram. Tram line 9 connects Benidorm with Altea every half hour, takes 15 minutes and the ticket costs €1.45, with numerous reductions for different groups. If you prefer to go by bus, you can do it almost from the doors of your hotel in Benidorm, on Avenida del Mediterráneo, taking line 10, which takes about 20 minutes and costs €1.60.
Where to park in Altea?
This is the key question when visiting Altea, but don't worry, around the old town there are several free car parks so you can park without any problem.
In the lower part of Altea, next to the TRAM station, is the first car park, ideal for strolling along the sea and then going up to the old town. But if you prefer to park directly in the upper part of the municipality, you can also do so using the car parks near the Faculty of Fine Arts and the Palau de Altea. This is probably the most practical option of all!
Now you know all the details about what to do and what to see in Altea, so you have no excuse not to make the most of your next visit. When you return to Benidorm, do not miss the opportunity to enjoy the atmosphere and beauty of this white and quiet town, considered by many to be the most beautiful town in the province of Alicante. You'll love it!