Altea is a town and municipality located in the province of Alicante, north of Benidorm and south of Calpe in Costa Blanca. Altea has a population of 24,333 residents (2013 census). In the town there’s situated the Faculty of Fine Arts of Miguel Hernandez University.
The name of the town may come from the Moorish 'althaia' which means 'I heal' or from the Arabic word ‘aṭṭaláya’ which later formed the Valencian word ‘talaia’ (“the watchtower”). Archaeologists discovered in Altea the remains of ancient Iberian and Roman thermae (imperial bath complexes).
Altea is a multicultural town where the 39.5% of residents are not Spanish but the citizens of other European countries.
Since the 50s the main economic sector of Altea has been tourism which in its turn has provoked the expansion of the city and the growth of its population. Another source of public revenue is fishing, agriculture, oranges and loquat fruits farming.
Streets of the Old Town
Narrow streets of the Old Town leading down to the sea along little whitewashed buildings adorned with flowers give Altea its authentic atmosphere of a lovely Mediterranean resort, ideal for placid vacations with children or for a comfortable life after retirement. The historic city centre is full of cosy shops, craft galleries and charming restaurants.
The beach, the seaport and the beautiful marina (Club Náutico) hosting various good restaurants are the distinctive feature of Altea. It’s interesting to note that the town has always been a popular retreat for artists, sculptors and writers who often come here during local holidays. Altea is considered one of the most memorable towns of Costa Blanca.
- Monasterio de las Carmelitas Descalzas – the convent of the Barefoot Carmelites
- 'Torre de la Galera' – a cultural monument
- Torre de Bellaguarda – a medieval tower built over the remains of an old defensive tower located next to a park in the historic city centre
- Iglesia parroquial de Nª Sra. del Consuelo – the parish church of Virgin Consuelo famous for its beautiful blue ceramic typical Mediterranean roof. The church is set on top of a hill and is seen miles away.
A street in the historic centre
Close to the parish church there’s the city’s historic centre or the Old Town also known as Fornet district (Barrio del Fornet). This is one of the most beautiful areas of Altea situated on a hillside due to which it can be seen from almost every part of the town.
The Art Palace (Palau Altea) is the core of Altea’s cultural life as it holds the most important conferences, expositions, performances and other events.
The coastline of Altea stretches over 8 km and combines coastal cliffs and vast gravel beaches.
The natives respect their traditions and throughout the year celebrate numerous holidays, among which are: Cristo de la Salud in Altea la Vella, the Trinity in the district of Bellaguarda, San Antonio, San Juan, Santa Ana, San Lorenzo, San Isidro, Santisimo Cristo del Sagrario, Purisima, Santa Barbara, San Luis and others.
Altea has twin towns in other European countries among which are Germany, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Malta.
Altea Hills is an exclusive gated residential area spread over the hills of Sierra Bernia and boasting fantastic views over pine forests, mountains and the bays of Altea, Calpe and Benidorm. One of the main advantages of Altea Hills is its total integration into the natural environment – its meandering streets conform to the shape of the hills while some villas conserve their hundred-year-old Mediterranean pines. The residents of Altea Hills especially appreciate its pure mountain air freshened up by the sea breeze.
The architecture of Altea Hills is characterized by functionality and safety. Here you can see whether high-tech detached and semi-detached houses, modern flat developments or traditional Mediterranean-style villas and bungalows. The territory of Altea Hills is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The streets have security system with camera monitoring and are constantly patrolled by private security vehicles.
Altea Hills is very well communicated with the centre of Altea (15 minutes by car) and with Benidorm (a 20-minute drive). Altea Hills administratively possesses the beaches of Altea.
Altea Hills has all the amenities for comfortable living: three open-air communal pools, a covered heated communal pool, 2 playgrounds, various restaurants, cafes and one Irish pub. Very close to Altea Hills there’s the famous golf course Don Cayo and the spectacular yacht harbour Luis Campomanes – one of the best in Spain and the only marina in the world located on the Greenwich Meridian line (000º 00' 00'').
Altea Hills also has proper tennis club with four courts offering the residents a 10% discount. Another benefit available only to the residents of Altea Hills is a 20% discount on all services in the luxurious SPA-centre Salux Hills considered one of the best in Europe (Turkish baths, sauna and massage armchairs are free).
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