Living in Altea: An In-Depth Look at Life and Costs in the Mediterranean Gem

Nestled along the Costa Blanca in Spain, the town of Altea is a picturesque and charming locale that offers a unique blend of historical richness, cultural vibrancy, and coastal beauty. Known for its whitewashed houses, narrow cobblestone streets, and a tranquil pebble beach that meets the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean, Altea is more than just a holiday destination; it's a delightful place to live. This article explores the lifestyle, attractions, and, importantly, the cost of living in this beautiful Spanish town.

Lifestyle and Culture

Altea's lifestyle is quintessentially Mediterranean, emphasizing relaxation, family, and enjoyment of life. The pace of life here is leisurely, with siestas in the afternoon and late dinners being the norm. The town's cultural scene is vibrant, with numerous galleries, craft shops, and boutiques lining its historic streets. The iconic blue-domed church, the Virgin del Consuelo, stands at the top of the hill, offering panoramic views of the coastline and serving as a focal point for both residents and visitors.

The community in Altea is a blend of native Spaniards and a significant number of expatriates, mainly from Northern Europe, which adds a cosmopolitan flavor to the small-town atmosphere. English is widely spoken, especially in tourist areas, though a basic understanding of Spanish is beneficial for deeper integration into the local culture.

Attractions and Recreation

Altea offers a variety of recreational activities that make the most of its scenic surroundings. The town is a haven for artists and art lovers, with its inspiring landscapes and numerous galleries. For outdoor enthusiasts, the nearby Sierra de Bernia provides excellent opportunities for hiking and nature walks. Water sports are popular activities, given Altea’s extensive coastline, with options like sailing, kayaking, and snorkeling readily available.

The town hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the traditional Moros y Cristianos festival, which features elaborate parades and reenactments celebrating the historical conflicts and coexistence between Moors and Christians. Additionally, the local market held every Tuesday offers a chance to purchase fresh local produce, crafts, and other goods.

Cost of Living

Living in Altea can be surprisingly affordable compared to other coastal towns in Europe, though costs can vary widely depending on lifestyle choices and specific locations within the town. Here’s a breakdown of the primary expenses:


Rent in Altea varies significantly. A one-bedroom apartment in the town center averages around €500-€700 per month, while the same outside the center may cost about €400-€600. Purchasing property can also be a good investment; prices per square meter in the town center hover around €2,500, while outside the center, it might drop to about €2,000.


Monthly utility bills (including electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage) for a standard 85m² apartment average about €100-€150, depending on usage and season. Internet services are relatively modern, with costs approximately €30-€50 per month for a decent speed connection.

Food and Groceries

Grocery prices in Altea are reasonable and on par with the rest of Spain. Expect to spend around €200-€300 per month on groceries, depending on dietary habits. Dining out is also a popular option, with meals at inexpensive restaurants starting around €10-€15 per person and three-course meals at mid-range restaurants averaging €30-€50 for two people.


Many residents find that owning a car is not necessary due to Altea’s compact size. However, for travel around the region, having a car can be beneficial. Public transportation options are available, with local bus fares within the town costing about €1.50. For those opting to drive, petrol prices are approximately €1.30 per liter.

Health Care

Spain has an excellent health care system, and Altea is no exception. Expatriates who are registered residents can often access public health care at low costs. Private health insurance is also available and recommended for faster access to specialists and services, with plans starting around €50 per month.


Living in Altea offers a delightful mix of sun, sea, and culture, making it an attractive place for those looking to relocate to a quieter part of Spain without sacrificing the comforts and conveniences of modern living. The cost of living is reasonable, and the quality of life is high, influenced heavily by the beautiful surroundings and the warm, welcoming community. Whether you’re considering a move or a long-term stay, Altea provides a charming escape into Mediterranean bliss.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The average cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in Altea's town center ranges from €500 to €700 per month, while outside the center it is slightly cheaper at €400 to €600 per month

Yes, Altea hosts a significant number of expatriates, primarily from Northern Europe, and English is widely spoken, especially in areas frequented by tourists

Altea offers a variety of activities including hiking in Sierra de Bernia, water sports along its coastline, and numerous cultural festivals such as the Moros y Cristianos festival

Expatriates who are registered residents in Spain can access public healthcare at low costs. Private health insurance is also available and advisable for quicker access to specialist services

While owning a car is not necessary due to Altea's compact nature, it is beneficial for exploring the broader region. Public transportation options are available, but a car can offer more convenience

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *