With quaint whitewashed houses and a palm fringed seafront promenade, Altea is a charming town that seems worlds apart from the nearby hustle and bustle of Benidorm. The hills of the Serra de Bénia in the north shelter the town from harsh winds, giving it a mild healthy climate that lives up to its original Arabic name Althata meaning health to all.
Claim To Fame
All towns in Spain seem to have some sort of claim to fame and Altea is no exception. Its aptly named Marina Greenwich is famous for being the only marina in the world through which passes the Meridian of Greenwich. Here is where you will find a good choice of water and board sports and one of the Costa Blanca's most reputable scuba diving centres that offers every level of PADI certification and a variety of thrilling dive adventures for already experienced divers.
Next to the marina is a small stretch of beach that is backed by the promenade and a few bars and restaurants as well as the all important Altea Doner Kebab 🙂 Further beaches can be found in the nearby resort area of L'Albir just to the south of the town. The striking blue and white tiled domes of the Church of La Mare de Déu del Consol is the dominating feature of the old quarter and spectacular views are present at every twist and turn of the steep narrow streets.
Altea Tuesday Market
The highlight of the week for local residents and expats, the Tuesday Market sees this usually sleepy little town come alive to the cries of stall owners flogging their wares and wizened housewives furiously haggling over every purchase. It really is a delightful market and, surprisingly for the size of the town, one of the largest on the Costa Blanca.
Great bargains can be found and old fashioned arts & crafts sit side by side with modern ‘knock-off' designer goods. After the market, follow the locals down into the town where tapas bar and restaurant owners increase their menu choices to cater for the hungry hoards.