Spain Guide

 

Altea Spain

Altea is located in the Spanish region of Alicante on the Costa Blanca. This is without doubt one of the most charming towns to be found on Spain's "White Coast". If you want all night clubs and the bright city lights on your holiday, give Altea a miss. This town is a holiday haven for the more discerning tourist who will be captivated by its medieval cobbled streets, its picture book old quarter and the delights of its palm fringed seafront esplanade.

The town is just 11 kilometres north of Benidorm but these two resorts are worlds apart. Altea is a restful resort where there's plenty to see and do without being bothered by the mayhem which typifies some of the busier coastal towns in high season.

You'll find it 62 kilometres north of Alicante's El Altet international airport. Flying time from London is two and a half hours and the drive to Altea takes about 45 minutes on the toll paying motorway.

You'll pass by the skyscraper city of Benidorm and looming majestically in the distance you'll see one of the Costa Blanca's most distinctive landmarks the church of Altea with its magnificent dome of blue and white glazed ceramic tiles. Make a trip up to the church, through the narrow streets of the old quarter, one of your fist priorities. Wind your way up through the cobbled lanes (many are stepped and inaccessible to traffic) until you come to the plaza at the top of the hill where you'll find the church and the most magnificent views of the mountains and Altea bay.

It's easy to understand why Altea became a Bohemian centre for musicians, artists and writers from all over Europe when they first discovered its delights back in the early 60s. The town is now geared to the demands of the modern day tourist but still retains that Bohemian air. You'll find a fascinating array of tiny shops offering exquisite local crafts, paintings and gifts. There are top class restaurants where you can enjoy the local seafood and rice dishes as well as some excellent international cuisine.

The impressive new arts centre and concert hall the Palau Altea Centre d'Arts provides a wealth of entertainment and cultural activities for the benefit of residents and holidaymakers alike.

Down at the seafront you'll find a series of pebble and shingle beaches where the full gamut of water sports is available during the summer months. The seafront promenade is also the venue for the huge Tuesday market, one of the biggest of its kind on the Costa Blanca. It's the place to pick up some great bargains (Moroccan rugs, cheap clothing, ceramics etc) along with some highly suspect "designer" watches, T shirts and sunglasses.

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