This charming historic town near Benidorm offers a relaxing beachfront with sparkling coves, markets and cafés serving sangria.
Whether you come for the Moorish-influenced food, exhilarating watersports or celebrated Spanish-Christian architecture, you will have plenty to choose from in Altea. This bohemian town is a great place to stay for a few nights or to visit during an explorative daytrip of the Costa Blanca.
Altea is much quieter than nearby Benidorm and offers a slice of Spanish history and many art galleries. With whitewashed houses perched on a scenic hill and cobbled streets weaving down to the blue Mediterranean Sea, Altea’s streetscape is actually one of its biggest attractions.
Stroll through the town to see heritage buildings and galleries around every corner. In the Poble Antic (Historic Quarter) soaring walls rise to the highest point of the town, the bell tower of the parish church called The Virgin of Consuelo. Explore the labyrinth of streets and catch glimpses of the beach and the distinctive blue-and-white dome of the Our Lady of Solace church.
Quench your thirst at the several cafés and restaurants that line the city’s best lookout points. Be sure to sample some sangria; Altea’s traditional recipe is a delicious combination of wine, fruit and herbs.
The Altea market in the old town is the place to go for fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers. Other local markets near the Altea sports center sell traditional Spanish dresses in bright colors and have musical stalls, adding to the festive atmosphere.
The palm tee-lined beach is never far away. Go for a swim or take your pick from the available watersports, from serene paddleboarding to adrenaline-charged wakeboarding. Book a snorkeling or scuba-diving tour to the coastline’s coves to enjoy one of the world’s most lively marine environments.
Altea is only a 15-minute drive northeast of Benidorm by car. The town can also be reached by bus or train. Note that the old town square and wider area around the church is for pedestrians only. Be sure to pack protective footwear and a mat or foldable chair, because Altea’s beach isn’t as sandy as the others on the Costa Blanca.