Nestling between the sea and the mountains sits a little slice of paradise on the Costa Blanca. Altea is a peaceful seaside town where time seems to have stood still. A destination that really epitomises the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle that is locally known as the cúpula del Mediterráneo, the cupula of the Mediterranean, which refers to the striking blue dome of the town’s main church.
What to do in Altea
Altea can be divided into two areas: the seaside district and the historic centre. As you head into the narrow and cobbled streets of the old town, you will be embraced by whitewashed houses decorated with pretty flowers and led down streets that will surprise you with unexpected vistas and the most picturesque of scenes. You will, before long, find yourself standing in front of Nuestra Señora del Consuelo church, an iconic image of the Costa Blanca. Altea’s historic centre really is a beautiful example of a town that has been shaped by its Muslim past.
And then there is the beach. Extending for over 6km, the Altea coastline has stunning beaches, namely L’Olla, Solsida, Cap Negret, Albir, Cala del Mascarat and La Roda. This stretch of the Mediterrean is defined by pebbly beaches – rather than sand – and tiny coves overshadowed by impressive cliffs. Spending lazy days here is nothing short of pure magic. The golden sunshine, gentle breeze and a sense of tranquillity all come together on this uncrowded part of the Mediterranean.
A wonderful way to explore the waters is to hire a kayak and paddle to one of Altea’s greatest natural treasures: Isla de la Olleta. This island is part of Serra Gelada natural park and has some archaeological remains dating back to the Roman period. Not far off the coast, it is easy to get to. If you love diving and snorkelling, the island is the perfect place to indulge your passion as the area has crystalline waters and a beautiful seabed.
The natural landscapes surrounding Altea are also absolutely stunning. Sierra de Bèrnia, for instance, is a mountain range bordering the counties of Marina Alta and Marina Baixa. There is a ruined castle and golf course here. The network of hiking routes – such as Ruta de los Arcos and Ruta del Forat de Bèrnia – will lead you into the most spectacular scenery. Another great walking spot is Serra Gelada natural park, which is snaked with trails that will treat you to breathtaking vistas.
And as if all that weren’t enough, Altea also boasts delicious cuisine. Combining the freshest fish caught in the sea and the produce grown in the local huerta, the gastronomy is defined by classic seafood dishes such as arroz a banda, paella con boquerones and arroz del senyoret.
Enveloped by both the sea and the mountains, Altea offers the best of both worlds. Come to this beautiful seaside town to savour the Mediterranean, stroll through the historic centre and breathe in the fresh air of the great outdoors. A destination that you will hold dear in your heart.
How to get here:
The A-7 motorway, exit 64, leads to Altea and the N-332 (Valencia-Alicante) main road crosses the population. It has a railway station on the FGV, Alicante-Dénia line. There is also a bus service that communicates the municipality with the rest of the province. The Altet airport (Alicante) is to 61 km away.