Welcome in Altea,

The municipality of Altea consists of the villages of Altea La Vella, Olla, the town centre of Altea and with the part along the coast and the urbanizations on the slope of the mountain range “La Sierra de Bernía”. This surrounding mountain range protects Altea against the Norder Wind and creates a microclimate. This climate ensures that the winters are significantly warmer compared to other regions of La Marina Baja.
Altea has a coastline with beautiful cliffs, bays, pebble and sandy beaches. The coastline is divided into 4 beaches, namely Cap Blanch (opposite the beach of Albir), Playa de la Roda (nearby the old city centre), Playa de Cap Negret and finally the beach “L'Olla” that is located across the equally named island.
The name Altea would derive from Greek mythology, referring to the Greek Goddess “Althaea”. At the joins of the river Algar and the coast, the Greeks established a market place called “Althaia”. It is assumed that the region was a place of healing and that is the reason why this place has a healing connotation. Later on, the Romans also settled along this coast and the remains can be admired in the “Museo al Aire Libre de Villa Romana” in Albir. The village of Albir is part of the municipality of L'Alfàs del Pí.
Over the centuries, Altea underwent a great deal of influences thanks to the diversity of people who lived in the region. Because of this mix cultures through the ages Altea became a unique and interesting place. Between 1950 and 1960, Altea was the favorite place for many artists and painters. That is why the city obtained the name of “City of the artists”. Until today Altea remaines a source of inspiration for artists and is also “the cultural capital” of the region Valencia.

The people of Altea lived and still live of fishing and cultivation of citrus fruits like for example nísperos. The nutritious fruit “níspero” looks like an apricot but has a sweet-sour taste and is much juicier than the apricot. The name “níspero” and “mispel” often creates confusion. But besides the fact that the fruit “mispel” exists, this name is also the German translation of “níspero”.

In addition to fishing and agriculture, tourism was also becoming increasingly important for the economy of Altea. The urbanization Altea Hills became the flagship of the region and therefore the place for the richer population from all over the world.

Sightseeing and activities in Altea

  • A “must-have-done” is a walk through the old town centre of Altea, or Casco antiguo de Altea, which is located in the street “Calle Mayor”. A perfect way to enjoy the Spanish atmosphere, is strolling along the little romantic streets with its many stairs and magnificent views over the harbor of Altea.

  • The harbor of Altea is the only harbor in the world where the meridian of Greenwich runs through. This is a nice place for a walk along the impressive yachts and this is also the ideal place to practice a lot of different water sports.

  • From the village Altea La Vella several hiking trails start from the East or West side of the Sierra de Bernía. Tip: check www.wiciloc.com for your hiking, cycling and mountainbike routes.

Tip: The romantic old city center of Altea is undoubtedly worth a visit!

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Festivities in Altea

  • The first party of the year is organized in January and is called the “Cabalgata de Reyes” or “Three Kings Festival”. This party is celebrated exuberantly in Altea La Vella and also in the old town centre of Altea with religious processions and marching bands. According to the tradition, one bakes a sweet cake or a pastry and hides a bean in it. The person, with the piece of cake with the bean in it, gets a paper crown and can stipulate the course of the day.

  • During the Spanish midsummer festival in June the party “Noche de San Juan” is celebrated at the location “Partida el Fornet”. These parties are organized with food, drinks and music on the beach. The Spanish midsummer celebration in honor of “San Antonio” takes place at “Partida Cap Blanch”.

  • Arround the period of 10 August, during the festival “San Lorenzo” nearby “Castell de L' Olla” and starting from 12 o'clock at night you can view fireworks at the beach L' Olla accompanied by classic music!

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Gastronomy in Altea

  • Stew and rice dishes, cooked with those local products, are part of the traditional cuisine. An example is the ”Guisado de Raya con patatas”, this is a stew of white fish with potatoes and vegetables.

  • ”Coca a la Llumà” is originally a Catalan dish, but is also typical for Altea. This dish looks like a pizza but is usually rectangular and without the cheese added. 

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