Altea: the pearl of the Costa Blanca

The Spanish town of Altea is truly a gem. It was not given the honorary title of most beautiful place on the Costa Blanca for nothing. With its white houses and balconies adorned with flowers, it is a particularly picturesque town. It is situated on a mountainside and at the top is the famous parish church Nuestra Senora del Consuelo with its beautiful blue and white tiled dome. Since the 1950s, Altea has become a pleasant and peaceful holiday destination.

Altea became a meeting place for all kinds of artists, painters and writers in the 1950s and 1960s, which gave it the name of ‘city of artists’. The Mediterranean climate, the 6 kilometres of coast where cliffs and beaches alternate, the three different harbours and the picturesque ‘white’ city centre make Altea an attractive holiday resort.

Would you like to know everything about this picturesque Spanish seaside resort? Then read on!

General information

Altea is a municipality in Spain, located on the Mediterranean Sea in the province of Alicante. It is about 50 kilometres northeast of the city of Alicante and about 100 kilometres south of the city of Valencia. Altea has over 20,000 inhabitants and is situated on the beautiful Costa Blanca. This coastal region is mainly known for its famous seaside resorts Benidorm, Alicante, Calpe, Torrevieja, Dénia, Moraira and, naturally, Altea itself.

In 1729, Altea was granted city rights. During the 18th and 19th centuries, approximately 5,000 people lived there. For a long time, the local economy revolved around citrus fruits and medlars along with fishing. Tourism became increasingly important from the 1950s onwards, thanks to the Mediterranean climate, the beaches and the charming town centre. Today, tourism is the main contributor to the local economy. The local population only started to significantly increase with the arrival of mass tourism.


The Costa Blanca has a Mediterranean climate and the most stable weather pattern of the Spanish Costas. There is little precipitation throughout the year and the sun shines almost every month. There are very few temperature extremes. Frost rarely occurs and nor does the extreme heat experienced in other parts of the country. In short, Altea is perfect for a dream holiday in the sun!

Altea’s microclimate means that winters are significantly warmer. This makes Altea and the surrounding area very attractive for winter visitors.

The impressive landscape of Altea

The landscape of Altea is amazing. Along the coast are high cliffs, beautiful beaches, rocky coves and hidden caves. Altea has several well-known beaches that are very popular with both foreign tourists and the Spaniards themselves. On the south side of Altea is the main beach, Playa de Cap Blanc, which extends to the beach of Albir. On the northern side, you have the pebble beach Playa de Cap Negret with the small cave Cala Del Soia at the end, where you have to walk on black stones. On the southern border of Altea is the Playa de l’Olla where more caves can be found: the Barretta, the Solsida and the Galera. The Playa de la Roda is located in the old city centre.

The beaches are equipped with all the necessary facilities and are therefore ideal for a wonderful day with the whole family. The bays of Altea, on the other hand, are a little more difficult to reach, but well worth the effort. Here you can relax far away from the hustle and bustle.

Walking around Altea is one of the best ways of seeing more of the scenery. The countryside boasts orchards, nature and old historical remains. You can take beautiful walks and select different routes to suit every fitness level. There is plenty to see and places to rest and eat.

The unique centre of Altea

The authentic picturesque city centre of Altea is built on a hill at the foot of the Bernia mountain range. Via steep, narrow, cobbled streets and stepped alleys, past whitewashed houses and circular plazas, you reach the highest point of Altea. Of course, on the way, you can stop at all the lookouts. On the hill is the beautiful parish church with its blue domed towers. From here, you have a beautiful panoramic view of the coast of Altea and the surrounding area.

Don’t forget to visit the church as you won’t want to miss the impressive stained-glass windows and decorative baroque elements! In the city centre, you can enjoy flower-filled balconies, chic boutiques, lovely bars and remarkably good and welcoming restaurants. You will also find many lively cafés, craft shops, jewellers, potteries and art galleries. The great thing about Altea is that almost every restaurant has its own personality and provides a unique menu.

Altea has become a popular home for numerous artists thanks to its charm and distinctive aura. At dusk, they set up shop under the palm trees of the lively boulevards to display their work, and their galleries and craft shops are located in the narrow streets of the old town. During the summer months, the main square in Altea hosts an art market every evening. You can sit on a terrace and listen to soft blues or jazz music. Besides the numerous art galleries, Altea has a library, various music groups and the Altea Palace where exhibitions, concerts, congresses, ballet, opera and theatre performances take place.

3 Must-See Sights in Altea

1. Nuestra Senora Del Consuelo Parish Church

The most extraordinary attraction in Altea is, of course, the parish church Nuestra Senora del Consuelo. A visit to this church is truly a must. This church, which is situated on top of a hill, has striking domes of blue mosaic and offers a beautiful view of the Mediterranean Sea. Not only is the church magnificent, but the road leading up to it is equally rewarding. You pass beautiful white houses, through narrow streets and climb up steep stairs. Next to the church is a small plaza with cosy terraces.

2. Iglesia Ortodoxa Rusa

Another striking and impressive building is the Iglesia Ortodoxa Rusa, a Russian Orthodox church. A Russian billionaire had this church built for his mother, based entirely in the Russian architectural style. The coloured towers and domes catch the eye immediately, and the interior is full of splendour. It is a spectacular piece of architecture.

3. Castillo de Bernia

Climbing the Bernia mountain range is a magnificent experience. You can walk all the way to the top and then pass the Castillo de Bernia. The walk takes around three hours. Although the old fortress is only a ruin, the view over Altea is breathtaking.

What to do in Altea, Spain?

Altea has a very modern marina and about six kilometres of beach where pebble beaches, smaller recreational harbours and rocky coves alternate. You can enjoy wonderful snorkelling or other water sports here, such as diving, surfing, paddle boarding, windsurfing and jet skiing. There are various water sports companies, so you can enjoy a sporty day at the beach!

Prefer a boat trip along the coast? No problem. There are plenty of rental companies where you can rent a boat yourself.

Want to leave the beach behind for a while but are still looking for some adrenaline? Then visit the Aqualandia water park. This is not in Altea itself but just outside of town. It is without a doubt one of the best water parks on the Costa Blanca with a wide range of attractions. Sunbathing peacefully, while the children explore the park. Doesn’t that sound great?

Altea is also an attractive holiday destination for golf lovers. At the foot of the Sierra de Bernia, you will find one of Alicante province’s 12 golf clubs. The golf club Don Cayo has a very attractive 9-hole golf course surrounded by a Mediterranean forest and overlooking the blue sea of Altea.

The weekly Tuesday market is the largest market on the Costa Blanca. Locals, tourists and residents of the surrounding villages go there in search of quality products: from fruit and vegetables to clothing, furniture, toys and household goods.

In September, the annual fireworks festival ‘Moros y Cristianos’ takes place. With spectacular fireworks, Altea remembers the centuries-long struggle of the Christians against the dominant Moors.

For those who like concerts, the Plaza de l’Agla in Altea is the place to visit, as various concerts are held there. Enjoying a good glass of wine and jazz on a summer’s evening is one of the seven delights of a holiday in Altea.

Great accommodation options in Altea, Spain

There are some beautiful waterfront villas to rent in Altea at a great price, so renting a villa in Altea in Spain is definitely recommended. The temperature is certainly not an issue! All the holiday homes and villas are spacious with beautiful living rooms, fully equipped kitchens, luxury bathrooms, comfortable bedrooms and a beautiful outdoor area and private pool. The holiday home is all yours and you will not have to share it with anyone else. Discover the most beautiful villas and holiday homes in Altea here that Club Villamar has selected especially for you!


If you want to find out more about holidays to Spain, read Holidays Spain – Discover all you need to know about the sunny destination Spain and get into the holiday mood.

Want to know more about the Costa Brava? Then read: Discover the beauty of the Costa Brava in Spain!