What is Altea in Spain Known For?

Nestled on the picturesque Costa Blanca of Spain, Altea is a small town renowned for its historical significance, artistic flair, and stunning Mediterranean views. With its origins dating back to the Iberian period, Altea has evolved through the Roman and Moorish eras into a beacon of cultural heritage and natural beauty in the Alicante province. This article explores the unique attributes that make Altea a cherished destination.

Historical and Cultural Heritage

Altea's history is a tapestry woven with various cultural influences, evident in its architecture and urban layout. The Old Town, perched on a hill, is perhaps the most emblematic symbol of its rich past. Cobblestone streets and whitewashed houses create a charming atmosphere that seems suspended in time. The pinnacle of this historic quarter is the Church of La Mare de Déu del Consol, often simply referred to as the Virgin of the Consol. This church is easily recognizable by its picturesque blue and white tiled dome, which has become an iconic image of the Costa Blanca.

Around the church square, visitors can explore numerous art galleries, craft shops, and boutiques, each presenting a piece of Altea's artistic soul. The town has long been a haven for artists, drawn by its luminous light and serene landscape. This artistic community contributes significantly to the local culture, with frequent art exhibitions, workshops, and cultural events that attract visitors from across the globe.

Natural Beauty

Altea's geographical location offers more than just beautiful beaches. The town is surrounded by rugged hills and the expansive Mediterranean Sea, providing spectacular scenery that can be enjoyed from countless vantage points. The pebbly beaches, such as Playa de la Roda alongside the bustling promenade and the more secluded Playa de l'Olla, are popular with both locals and tourists for their pristine conditions and the clarity of their turquoise waters.

Moreover, the Sierra de Bernia, a mountain range close to Altea, offers excellent opportunities for hiking, cycling, and nature photography. The range provides not only a stunning backdrop to the town but also a natural playground for outdoor enthusiasts. The viewpoints along its trails offer panoramic views of Altea and the vast coastline, making it a rewarding experience for those who venture there.

Culinary Delights

The culinary scene in Altea is a delightful reflection of its Mediterranean setting. Local cuisine features a bounty of seafood, with dishes like "arroz a banda" (rice cooked in fish stock) and "caldero" (fish stew) highlighting the menus of many traditional restaurants. Tapas bars and seaside eateries offer a taste of local flavors that are both rich and varied, influenced by the agricultural produce of the region.

The town also hosts several food festivals throughout the year, celebrating everything from local seafood to international cuisine, bringing together food lovers and chefs in a festive atmosphere. Additionally, Altea's market days are a culinary adventure of their own, where fresh local produce, cheeses, olives, and other artisan products can be sampled and purchased.

Leisure and Festivities

Altea is vibrant with festivals and events that showcase its dynamic community spirit. One of the highlights is the Moros y Cristianos festival, a colorful and dramatic celebration that reenacts the historical conflicts between Moors and Christians in Spain. This festival is marked by elaborate costumes, parades, and mock battles, and is a profound cultural experience for participants and spectators alike.

The town also offers various leisure activities to suit any interest. Water sports enthusiasts will find plenty of options like sailing, windsurfing, and paddleboarding. For those who prefer a more relaxed pace, there are numerous wellness centers and spas that offer treatments inspired by the natural surroundings.


Altea is a town that offers more than just a beautiful destination; it provides a deep dive into a rich tapestry of history, art, and nature. Its unique charm attracts those who seek a blend of cultural depth and natural beauty, making it a special place on the Costa Blanca. Whether you are wandering through the narrow streets of the Old Town, relaxing on its stunning beaches, or enjoying the local cuisine, Altea offers a memorable escape into a world where tradition and beauty converge. This town is not just known for its scenic views and cultural festivals, but for being a living museum and a vibrant community, continually evolving while respecting its cherished past.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Top attractions include the Old Town, the Church of La Mare de Déu del Consol, Sierra de Bernia, and the pebbly beaches like Playa de la Roda.

Altea is renowned for its exceptional light and serene landscape, which attract artists who contribute to the town's vibrant art scene with galleries, workshops, and exhibitions

The best time is during the summer, especially around the Moros y Cristianos festival in September, which features colorful parades and mock battles

Definitely try "arroz a banda" (rice cooked in fish stock), "caldero" (fish stew), and tapas featuring local seafood and produce

Yes, outdoor activities include hiking in the Sierra de Bernia, water sports like sailing and windsurfing, and exploring the scenic trails for panoramic views

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