Altea Spain: Picturesque Old Town & Beaches
Altea, the snow-white coastal town in Spain is a true pearl on the Costa Blanca and for many it is one of the most beautiful holiday destinations in the Alicante region. The popular white old town of Altea, which is located on a hill, is considered to be the landmark, and at the same time the most important attraction in town. You can stroll through narrow streets and marvel at the unique beauty of the snow-white houses, but also the beaches of Altea are perfect for a beach holiday and thus attract sun-hungry travelers from all over the world. A fantastic place for everyone who wants to combine sun and sea with sightseeing and excursions.
In this travel guide we show you everything you need to know about a holiday in Altea in Spain. There are also useful tips and information on the best things to do, beautiful beaches and the most recommended accommodations.
General information about Altea
Altea has approximately 22,000-inhabitants and is located in the heart of the Costa Blanca (Alicante), which is around 10 kilometers from the major holiday destinations of Benidorm and Calpe. The city actually consists of 2 parts, Altea old town at the sea and Altea la Vieja 1 km inland. The highest point of the city is the bell tower of the Nuestra Señora del Consuelo church, which enchants with its beautiful blue domes.
In the wider area there are also neighborhoods, such as the Altea Hills, a huge villa and apartment complex with gorgeous sea views. Behind the town, the approximately 1,100-meter-high Sierra Bernia Mountains emerge from the ground, which, together with the deep blue sea and the white old town, characterize the marvelous landscape.
Altea is also considered to be an art and culture center. Here you fill find the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Miguel Hernández Elchauch. Also numerous galleries, authors and musicians have settled here.
Things to do in Altea
There are plenty of amazing things to do in Altea and also in the area around Altea you can discover several enchanting attractions. The old town already offers a lot of places to visit, but there are also brilliant excursion destinations in the area surrounding the holiday resort. Here are the most beautiful attractions summarized at a glance.
The Old Town of Altea
The charming old town of Altea is the heart of the coastal town and for sure one of the most important places to visit in the region. A walk through the beautiful little streets up to the charming church square – the “Plaza de la Iglesia” – is almost a must-do on every trip. Unique is here the scenery with the many white town houses which are characteristic for Altea.
On a walk through the narrow cobblestone streets, you will discover something beautiful behind every corner. You can do some shopping in one of the many handcraft’s shops, there are plenty of good restaurants and always amazing viewpoints from which you will enjoy a breathtaking coastal view.
Nuestra Señora del Consuelo
One of the most beautiful attractions of Altea is the church “Nuestra Señora del Consuelo“, also known as “Iglesia de Arriba” – translated “the upper church”. Here, the magnificent domes are made of blue bricks, which shape the cityscape already from afar. The church is also worth seeing from the inside and can be visited free of charge during opening hours. Delicious coffee and snacks are available in the small bars at Plaza de la Iglesia, the picturesque church square of the city.
Since the old town is located on a hill, on the way up you will pass numerous beautiful viewpoints. From there you will enjoy a wonderful view of the sea and over to Benidorm, to the Sierra Helada Natural Park and to Calpe. Particularly recommended, regardless of whether during the day or at night, is the viewpoint Mirador de la Plaza de la Iglesia near the church square.
Just below the old town and next to the beaches is a picturesque, palm-lined 2 km long promenade, which forms the tourist center of Altea. Along the coast restaurants, cozy cafés and tapas bars are lined up and invite you to come in.
The Iglesia Ortodoxa Rusa San Miguel Arcangel Altea is another interesting place to visit in Altea. It is located in Mascarat just outside the old town when you drive towards Altea Hills. For the construction in 2002, specialists from Siberia were flown in, who built this magnificent and unique wooden church.
One of the best things to do in Altea is to visit the Marina Greenwich, which is unique to this port because of its location directly on the prime meridian, which is said to have a longitude of 0°. During a walk you will spot many expensive luxury yachts, you can treat yourself to a coffee in one of the numerous harbor-restaurants, or relax at the nearby Mascarat beaches.
Sierra Helada Natural Park
Another brilliant attraction in Altea is the beautiful Sierra Helada Natural Park. The more than 400 meters high cliffs are the highest on the Spanish east coast and therefore a highlight of spectacular coastal walks. A must-do for all hikers and nature lovers!
Altea is well known for its many wonderful beaches. Especially the large city beaches are popular here, such as the beaches Playa la Roda, Nueva Playa De Altea and Platja de l’Espigó – all of them picturesque pebble beaches with top water quality. But also in the vicinity there are beautiful bays and bathing spots, such as the Mascarat Bay or the beautiful beach Albir. Here are the most beautiful beaches of Altea, summarized at a glance:
- Beach Playa la Roda
- Beach Nueva Playa de Altea
- Beach Platja de l’Espigó
- Beach Platja del Cap Negret
- Beach Platja Mascarat & Cala El Collao
- Beach Playa Albir
Excursions from Altea
Altea is located in the Alicante region, which is famous for its many stunning things that you can do. During a holiday you should definitely take a trip to Calpe, where you will admire beautiful beaches, the imposing mountain Ifach and the flamingos, which are resident there.
Just 10 kilometers from Altea is Benidorm, a huge holiday resort with immense skyscrapers, a lively nightlife and one amusement park after another. Certainly a town that’s worth visiting!
One of the most popular excursions from Altea is a trip to the mountain village of Guadalest. This town amazes with a wonderful view over the nature scenery and the cobalt-blue lake. Also interesting are the waterfalls las Fuentes del Algar, which are also not that far from Altea.
We also recommend a daytrip to Villajoyosa, a coastal town that enchants with its many colorful houses. Also the provincial capital Alicante with its impressive castle is worth a visit.
Where to stay in Altea
The wide range of beautiful accommodations and recommended hotels makes a holiday in Altea just perfect. Most of the accommodations are located next to the city beaches, in the old town or in the surrounding areas, such as Albir and Mascarat. Here are our top recommendations for the best accommodations in Altea:
- Apartment: The MAGNÍFICO APARTAMENTO JUNTO offers a top location right on the beach of Playa La Roda and convinces with fantastic facilities and a brilliant view.
- Apartment: The Villa Las Palmeras is a beautiful, clean and spacious apartment with a wonderful pool and garden.
- Boutique Hotel: The Hotel Boutique La Serena is an exceptionally beautiful hotel in the middle of the old town. It enchants with many lovely details, a beautiful pool and delicious breakfast
- 4-star hotel: The Hotel Cap Negret impresses with its direct beach location, 2 pools and a very good breakfast buffet.
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