Altea property, holiday and tourist information
Always influenced by the sea, the town of Altea now combines the the ancient cobbled streets of the old town with one of the Mediterranean's finest palm lined promenades. Artists show their pictures along here on the summer evenings and it is nice place to relax or enjoy a paseo (evening stroll).
Artists and musicians have made the town their home since the 1960's and numerous galleries and craft workshops are to be found dotted around the narrow streets of the Old Townand round the Plaza de la Iglesia church square. From here you have a panoramic view over the Altea esplanade and the sea, and you could drop in to the popular La Plaza bar or reserve a table in one of the intimate old town house restaurants such as the El Negro.
The wide pebble beach stretches from La Olla island (spectacular firework display in August) to Albir and is a favourite place (La Olla) for it's chiringuito bars serving delicious Paellas and the comfortable cafés, pubs and restaurants that line the promenade. Try the Ostereicher for Viennese coffee and cakes or the San San for the younger crowd.
On Tuesdays the Altea market is worth a visit. It's the largest on the Costa Blanca taking. up much of the sea front an selling everything from fruit and vegetables to clothing and home furnishings. Altea harbour is a little further along with its 360 moorings (half of them for visitors) and boats of all flags from around the world. The luxury sports boat harbour of Luis Campomanes (543 moorings) is beside Pueblo Mascarat, along the coast towards Altea Hills and Calpe and on Greenwich Meridian 00.00.
Altea facts and figures:
Access: Motorway A7 exit 64 Calpe/Altea. National N332 passes through the town centre. Alicante airport "El Altet" 59km. Railway "Trenet de la Marina" Denia - Alicante. Tierra Mitica amusement park 10 km.
Nature: Altea is situated beside the sea in the centre of a beautiful wide bay with the Sierra Bernia mountains to the east and the Sierra Helada of Albir to the west. Mountain paths, notably Puig Campana and the PR V7 around the Sierra Bernia, and olive, almond and groves behind the town with orange, lemon and nispero orchards towards the village of Callosa de Ensarria. A 6km curving pebble beach coastline.
Restaurants and Specialities: The classic Valencian Paella and Arroz a Banda in the seafront restaurants. For something different try the Bodegon de Pepe along the Calpe end of the promenade. They've been serving only crispy sardines with spiced broad beans and beer and wine since the 1930's (no knives or forks or coffee or sweets) and are always popular. The beach bars / Paella restaurants on La Olla beach are a good place to go in summer although they can get a bit crowded. There are many intimate and atmospheric restaurants in the old town around the Plaza de la Iglesia, some with views over the coast, like the El Negro.
Sports: Golf - Golf Don Cayo with panoramic views of the Mediterranean. 3078 meters, 9 holes, par 36. Urbanizacion Sierra de Altea. Altea Hills Tennis Club. 4 clay courts open to the public. Sailing - Luis Campomanes Sports Harbour (543 berths - planned to extend to 1000) up to 5 metres, Altea Port (369 berths - 185 public) up to 7metres. Mountain Walking - The "Costa Blanca Mountain Walkers". Twice a week with an easier walk on Saturday.
Fiesta calendar: January 5th - The Three Kings. Arrival of the three kings with the children's presents. Easter week - concerts of religious, classical and traditional music. 4th week of September - Fiestas for the patron saint, Cristo de Sagario with the Moors and Christians parade. December - End of the year fiesta in the Plaza de la Iglesia. There are also local fiestas such as San Antonio (Partida Cap Blanc), San Juan (Partida El Fornet) including the "Planting the Tree" by local unmarried people, and San Pedro y Virgen Carmen (Calle San Pere).
History and Culture: The name of Altea appears to come from the Greek name of 'Altahia', which means "I cure". Situated beside the estuary of the River Algar, (the name meaning "the river of health"), Altea has seen many civilisations including the Iberians, Phoenicians, Muslims, Greeks and Romans, all of whom left their influences over the years.