Casco Antiguo

Altea Hidden Gems: Discovering the Unseen Beauty of a Spanish Jewel

Nestled along the picturesque Costa Blanca in Spain, the charming town of Altea is often overshadowed by its more famous neighbors, Benidorm and Alicante. However, for those in the know, Altea is a treasure trove of hidden gems, offering unique cultural insights, stunning natural beauty, and a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of larger tourist spots. This article explores some of Altea's most captivating yet lesser-known attractions.

1. Casco Antiguo (Old Town)

Altea’s heart and soul is its Old Town, a place where cobblestone streets wind their way up to the famous blue-domed church of Nuestra Señora del Consuelo. While the church itself is a well-known landmark, the magic of Casco Antiguo lies in its lesser-trodden paths. Wander off the main square and explore the narrow alleyways that offer panoramic views of the Mediterranean and the picturesque latticework of whitewashed houses adorned with vibrant bougainvillea. Hidden artisan shops and local galleries present an opportunity to witness the craftsmanship and artistry that define the region.

2. The Greenway of Altea

For nature lovers, the Greenway (El Paseo Verde) of Altea offers a scenic walking and cycling path that many tourists overlook. This route runs along the old Altea to Callosa d'En Sarrià railway line and is perfect for a tranquil day out. The pathway meanders through orchards and rural landscapes, with benches strategically placed for rest and reflection. The quiet and the lush surroundings make this spot ideal for bird watchers and those seeking a peaceful retreat.

3. Altea’s Market Days

Experience the local culture in full swing at Altea’s bustling market days. While markets are common in many Spanish towns, Altea’s version has a unique charm, offering a variety of goods from local farmers, craftsmen, and artists. The Tuesday market located near the river offers everything from fresh produce to handmade jewelry and ceramics. It's a fantastic opportunity to mingle with locals and discover regional specialties that are hard to find elsewhere.

4. La Olla Beach

Away from the more crowded main beaches of Altea, La Olla Beach presents a more secluded option. This beach is favored by locals for its tranquil atmosphere and stunning views of the mysterious Peñón de Ifach in Calpe. During the summer months, a small island not far from the shore hosts an impressive fireworks display, which is best viewed from La Olla. The beach also features several excellent seafood restaurants where you can enjoy fresh dishes right by the sea.

5. The Algar Waterfalls

A short drive from Altea, the Fonts de l’Algar (Algar Waterfalls) are a natural spectacle worth exploring. While it is a known location, the area surrounding the waterfalls offers numerous less-visited spots where you can enjoy the cool, clear waters away from the crowds. Nature trails in this conservation area provide an opportunity to explore the local flora and fauna in a more intimate setting.

6. Parish Museum of Altea

For those interested in history and religion, the Parish Museum, located near the church of Nuestra Señora del Consuelo, houses an impressive collection of religious art that many visitors often miss. The museum displays a variety of artifacts, including paintings, sculptures, and ceremonial garments, offering insights into the rich cultural tapestry of the region.

7. Serra de Bèrnia

For the adventurous, the Serra de Bèrnia, a mountain range just outside Altea, offers hiking trails that provide breathtaking views over the Costa Blanca. These trails range from moderate to challenging and lead to historic sites like the Fort of Bèrnia, built in the 16th century to defend against pirate attacks. The natural scenery and historical significance of the area make it a rewarding excursion for those looking to explore beyond the coast.

8. The Lighthouse of l'Albir

Situated on the scenic walkway between Altea and the neighboring town of Albir, this lighthouse is often overlooked by tourists. A gentle walk along the coast leads to this picturesque structure, which offers sweeping views of the Mediterranean. The path to the lighthouse is lined with indigenous plants and offers numerous spots for a serene picnic or a reflective pause. The area around the lighthouse, including the cliffs and the shoreline, provides an excellent opportunity for photography enthusiasts to capture the rugged beauty of the Costa Blanca coastline.

9. Altea Hills

Altea Hills is a luxurious and quiet residential area perched above the town, offering some of the best views over Altea and its bay. While the area is primarily residential, the winding roads and exclusive atmosphere make it a unique place for a leisurely drive or a quiet stroll. You can admire the architecture of the luxurious villas and the beautifully landscaped gardens, which blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings.

10. The Craft Workshops of Altea

A significant but often overlooked aspect of Altea's charm is its rich tradition in craftsmanship. Various workshops around town offer the chance to see artisans at work, creating everything from traditional ceramics to bespoke jewelry. These workshops not only provide a glimpse into the artistic traditions of the area but also offer hands-on workshops for those interested in learning the crafts. This is a wonderful way to engage with the local culture and perhaps bring home a unique souvenir.

11. Morro de Toix Point

Morro de Toix, or Toix Point, marks the end of Altea’s bay and the beginning of the towering limestone cliffs that characterize the area. Accessible via a hiking trail that offers moderate difficulty, the point provides a panoramic vista that includes views of the vast sea, Calpe’s iconic Peñón de Ifach, and on clear days, the distant Balearic Islands. This location is also popular among rock climbers for its challenging routes and spectacular setting.


Altea, with its blend of cultural depth, natural beauty, and quiet charm, offers more than just a typical tourist experience. The town’s hidden gems provide a glimpse into the authentic and varied offerings of this delightful Spanish locale. Whether you are a history enthusiast, nature lover, or simply seeking a quiet escape, Altea has something special to offer. By exploring these lesser-known sites, visitors can discover the true essence of Altea, far away from the crowded tourist trails, and immerse themselves in a genuinely enriching Mediterranean experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Explore the Casco Antiguo, walk the Greenway, visit La Olla Beach, discover the Algar Waterfalls, and hike the Serra de Bèrnia for a truly unique Altea experience

Yes, Altea offers unique cultural experiences such as the bustling Tuesday market, traditional craft workshops, and the Parish Museum showcasing religious art

Beyond its beautiful beaches, Altea is close to the Algar Waterfalls and the Serra de Bèrnia mountain range, both offering splendid natural landscapes and hiking opportunities

Absolutely, Altea's diverse attractions, including safe beaches, nature trails, and cultural sites, make it an excellent choice for families

To experience Altea like a local, visit its less crowded beaches, explore the Old Town's hidden alleys, participate in local market days, and dine at traditional seafood restaurants by the shore

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