Altea Travel Guide
Altea © Wikipedia
Away from the madding crowds of Benidorm, the peaceful town of Altea offers plenty of amenities for those who prefer a less frenetic beach holiday, without the glitz, glamour and gusto. Of all the towns on the Costa Blanca, Altea is probably the one that remains the least exploited and overdeveloped, where daily life remains uninterrupted by tourists and huge hotels have yet to be built. Altea has a long jetty and attractive walkway fronting a calm stretch of shoreline with pebbly beaches encircling the town. The town's central Plaza de la Iglesia leads onto narrow cobblestone streets and offers beautiful Mediterranean views.
Quaint local shops can be found around town. They are mostly open until late at night, but closed for siesta in the early afternoon. From Easter until September there is an interesting market in the Altea town square - great for buying local produce and gifts such as embroidered linen, leather goods, pottery and olive oil. The Altea market is open on Tuesdays and has become known as one of the larger markets on the Costa Blanca. Visitors wanting a bigger shopping experience should head to either Benidorm or the Sunday market at La Nuncia, just north of Altea.
Altea is unusual in that it has more local, paella-style eateries than pubs. The Hotel San Miguel gets good reviews for its food and has great views over the sea. El Castell in the old town serves some of the region's best pizzas, while La Maja is the perfect spot for a cooling cocktail or a stylish Mediterranean dish after a long day at the beach.
All the nightlife is in Benidorm, a short trip by bus or car up the coast. Bar Plaza, on Altea's main square, has live music and jazz on summer evenings.
Don't miss seeing the church of Nuestra Senora Del Consuelo, famous for its hand-painted blue tiles. Mountain tours into the surrounding countryside can be arranged in town. There are golf courses both north and south of town that accept day visitors. Boat cruises, fishing and diving trips can be arranged in town, while other activities on offer include horse riding, windsurfing and even tennis.
Altea is quiet and traditional and not ideal for those wanting a party scene close to town.