Escape to Altea: Your Ultimate Guide to Spain’s Hidden Gem

March 20, 2024

Have you ever caught yourself daydreaming about a perfect getaway that combines the charm of a quaint Mediterranean village with the vibrant life of a coastal paradise? Let us take you on a virtual journey to Altea, Spain—a hidden gem on the picturesque Costa Blanca coast waiting to steal your heart.

Imagine wandering through cobblestone streets, and each turn revealing breathtaking views of the shimmering Mediterranean or an inviting café filled with the aroma of fresh coffee and Spanish delicacies. Altea is not just a location on a map; it’s a feeling. It’s where the sun kisses the sea, where history meets modern leisure, and where every sunset feels like it was painted just for you.

Hotel Abaco
Coast of Altea, Alicante, Spain

So, why Altea? Well, besides the fact that it’s an absolute visual feast, it’s packed with character, culture, and, let’s not forget, some of the best beaches you’ll ever set foot on. Whether you’re a history buff, a sun worshipper, or simply in need of a serene escape, Altea offers a mosaic of experiences that cater to every type of traveler.

Now, you might be wondering, “What’s so special about Altea compared to other Spanish destinations?” Stick around because we are about to spill all the secrets that make this town not just a place to visit but a place to fall in love with. Ready to be enchanted? Let’s explore together!

Where Exactly is Altea Nestled?

So, we’ve just dipped our toes into the inviting waters of Altea’s charm, but where on the globe do we find this hidden gem? Picture Spain’s sun-drenched eastern coastline, where the Mediterranean Sea playfully laps against miles of exquisite beaches. That’s where Altea makes its enchanting mark, right in the heart of the Costa Blanca region.

Nestled within the province of Alicante, in the broader embrace of the Valencian Community, Altea is more than just a dot on the map. It’s a short, scenic drive from the lively city of Alicante itself—about 60 minutes if you’re keen on keeping time. But here’s the thing: the moment you start approaching Altea, with its stunning vistas unfolding before you, time seems to slow down. It’s as if Altea whispers, “Why rush? You’re almost in paradise.”

Hotel Abaco

And that’s precisely what makes this town’s location so special. It’s not just about being easy to get to; it’s about where you find yourself ending up—a place where every sunset seems to pause, giving you enough time to appreciate the beauty of life. So, have you started imagining your journey yet?

Stepping Back in Time: The Charm of Altea Old Town

Now that we’ve pinpointed Altea on our mental maps, let’s wander into the heart of its old town, shall we? Imagine a place where time stands still, and every cobblestone tells a story. Welcome to Altea Old Town, a treasure trove of history, art, and architecture that feels like stepping into a living, breathing postcard.

As you meander through the narrow, winding streets, you’re greeted by a kaleidoscope of whitewashed houses, each adorned with vibrant bougainvillea that seems to spill over their balconies like a waterfall of color. It’s not just beautiful; it’s enchantingly so. And let’s not forget the iconic blue-domed church that watches over the town like a guardian of history—its image synonymous with Altea itself.

Hotel Abaco

Why does this matter, you ask? Picture this: you’re sipping on a freshly brewed café con leche in a quaint square, surrounded by art galleries, artisan shops, and the soft hum of Spanish guitar in the air. It’s not just a moment; it’s an experience, one that captures the essence of Altea’s old town perfectly.

But it’s not all about the visuals. The old town is a hotspot for culture aficionados, hosting vibrant festivals and art exhibitions that breathe life into its historic streets. Whether you’re an art lover, a history enthusiast, or simply in search of that perfect Instagram spot, old-town Altea welcomes you with open arms and a story to tell.

And if you’re wondering, “Is it worth the climb?” Absolutely. The journey to the old town might test your calf muscles, but the panoramic views of Altea and the Mediterranean from the top are nothing short of breathtaking. It’s a reminder that sometimes, the best views come after the hardest climbs.

Hotel Abaco

So, are you ready to lose yourself in the charm of Altea’s old town? Remember, it’s not just about exploring; it’s about discovering—discovering the stories, the laughter, and the quiet moments that make this place not just a destination but a journey to remember.

Choosing Your Stay in Altea

The Unforgettable Hotel Abaco Experience

After wandering the enchanting streets of Altea’s old town, you might wonder where to rest your head. Let us introduce you to Hotel Abaco, a gem where historical charm meets modern luxury. Nestled in a picturesque corner of Altea, this boutique hotel, housed in a restored 18th-century bakery, offers a unique stay. With 18 exquisitely designed rooms and eight unique houses, Hotel Abaco promises a cozy and intimate atmosphere.

Hotel Abaco

Adelina and Thomas, the heart and soul behind Hotel Abaco, bring unparalleled dedication to the guest experience. Their expertise in hospitality shines through in their meticulous attention to detail and personalized service. Located in the serene Bellaguarda neighborhood, the hotel is a peaceful oasis just moments away from the bustling old town, offering guests the best of both worlds.

Hotel Abaco’s commitment to creating an exceptional stay is evident in every aspect, from the elegantly appointed rooms to the warm, welcoming atmosphere. It’s not just a place to stay; it’s an invitation to experience the magic of Altea in a setting that feels like home.

Hotel Abaco

This bespoke approach ensures that every guest leaves with cherished memories, making Hotel Abaco a jewel in Altea’s crown.


Things to Do in Altea

After settling into the warm embrace of Hotel Abaco, Altea unfolds its cultural and historical tapestry, inviting exploration beyond the comfort of your room. Let’s delve into the heart of Altea, guiding you through its most captivating sights, each a testament to the town’s enduring allure. From the iconic Church of Our Lady of Consolation, with its striking blue dome that watches over Altea, to the serene vistas offered by the Sierra de Bernia mountains, this journey promises to be a kaleidoscope of experiences that showcase the essence of Spanish vitality and tranquility.

Church of Our Lady of Consolation (Nuestra Señora del Consuelo): Perched atop Altea, this architectural marvel is more than just a landmark; it’s a journey through time. The church’s blue dome, a beacon against the sky, not only defines Altea’s skyline but encapsulates the essence of Mediterranean spirituality. Inside, the modernist frescoes tell tales of faith and artistry, offering a visual feast that complements the serene views from its vantage point. A visit here offers a moment of reflection, where the panoramic views of the bay serve as a backdrop to a rich historical narrative.

Escape to Altea: Your Ultimate Guide to Spain's Hidden Gem
Church of Our Lady of Consolation (Nuestra Señora del Consuelo)

Viewpoint of Portal Vell: Standing at this viewpoint, you’re granted a privilege—a panoramic embrace of Altea in its entirety. From here, the bustle of daily life seems distant, allowing a moment of tranquility as you gaze over the bay. The viewpoint acts as a reminder of the natural beauty that has inspired artists and writers who have called Altea home. It’s a spot that ignites the imagination, where the changing colors of the sky at sunset paint a picture of endless possibilities.

Cervantes House (Casa Cervantes): Stepping into Casa Cervantes is like turning the pages of a novel, each room a chapter in Spain’s storied past. This 16th-century manor house not only connects visitors to the legacy of one of Spain’s most famous literary figures but also to the everyday lives of those who lived during his era. The house, with its preserved architecture and period furnishings, offers a tangible connection to history, inviting guests to ponder the layers of stories contained within its walls.

Escape to Altea: Your Ultimate Guide to Spain's Hidden Gem
Casa Cervantes

The Sierra de Bernia: Beyond the cobblestone streets and historical facades, the Sierra de Bernia mountains offer an escape into nature’s embrace. This rugged terrain, with trails winding through dense foliage and over rocky outcrops, offers hikes that range from leisurely walks to challenging treks. The journey rewards adventurers with stunning vistas of the Mediterranean and a unique perspective on Altea’s natural beauty.

Escape to Altea: Your Ultimate Guide to Spain's Hidden Gem
Sierra de Bernia, Alicante, Spain

The Algar Waterfalls: A short journey from the town’s heart leads to the refreshing oasis of the Algar Waterfalls. Here, crystal-clear waters cascade into natural pools, inviting a plunge into their cool embrace. Surrounded by lush greenery, it’s a perfect spot for relaxation and nature photography. This serene destination offers a tranquil contrast to the vibrant energy of Altea, providing a refreshing interlude during your exploration.

Escape to Altea: Your Ultimate Guide to Spain's Hidden Gem
The Argalar Waterfalls

In Altea, every alleyway, viewpoint, and historic site offers a doorway to the past and a window to the soul of the city. These landmarks, rich in history and beauty, provide a tapestry of experiences that weave together the narrative of Altea. As you explore, you’re not just a visitor but a part of its ongoing story—a story that continues to evolve with each footprint left behind.


The Call of the Coast: Altea’s Beaches Await

Dive into the heart of Altea’s coastal charm with a visit to its pristine beaches, a slice of paradise that beckons sun seekers and tranquility hunters alike. Imagine the feeling of warm, golden sand underfoot, the soothing rhythm of waves gently lapping the shore, and the mesmerizing dance of sunlight on crystal-clear waters. Altea’s beaches are more than just stretches of sand; they’re canvases of nature’s artistry, each offering a unique vibe and beauty.

Playa de la Roda: Right next to the buzzing heart of Altea, Playa de la Roda is the perfect blend of convenience and beauty. Picture yourself strolling down a lively promenade, ice cream in hand, as you find the perfect spot to soak up the Mediterranean sun. This beach is ideal for families and friends looking to enjoy the sea with all the amenities close by.

Escape to Altea: Your Ultimate Guide to Spain's Hidden Gem
Playa de la Roda

Cap Blanch: Stretching towards the south, Cap Blanch offers a seamless transition from Altea to the neighboring Albir. It’s like discovering a secret passage where the water becomes a tranquil mirror, reflecting the serene sky. This longer stretch is perfect for those morning jogs or leisurely walks at sunset, where the colors of the sky turn the sea into a masterpiece.

Escape to Altea: Your Ultimate Guide to Spain's Hidden Gem
Cap Blanc Beach

Playa de l’Olla: Across from a picturesque islet, Playa de l’Olla is the postcard-worthy beach that dreams are made of. Here, the pebbles underfoot massage your cares away as you wade into the refreshing embrace of the sea. It’s the ideal spot for snorkeling enthusiasts or those who prefer a serene spot to unwind and maybe, just maybe, dip their toes into the world of paddleboarding.

Escape to Altea: Your Ultimate Guide to Spain's Hidden Gem
Playa de l’Olla

Playa Mascarat: Nestled between towering cliffs, Playa Mascarat is Altea’s hidden gem. Its clear, calm waters are a haven for divers and swimmers seeking tranquility away from the crowd. This secluded beach feels like a secret shared between friends, a place where the world slows down, and the beauty of nature takes center stage.

Escape to Altea: Your Ultimate Guide to Spain's Hidden Gem
Playa Mascarat

Remember, each beach in Altea tells its own tale, from the lively shores of Playa de la Roda to the tranquil hideaway of Playa Mascarat. Whether you’re here to bask in the sun, dive into the underwater world, or simply enjoy the view with a book in hand, Altea’s beaches promise a slice of paradise for every visitor. So, grab your sunscreen, your favorite hat, and let the shores of Altea be the backdrop to your next adventure. Who knows what treasures you’ll find?


Dining and Nightlife in Altea

As the sun dips below the horizon, painting the sky in hues of pink and gold, Altea’s bars and eateries come alive, offering a feast for the senses. Let’s dive into some of the top spots to eat and relax as the stars begin to twinkle above this enchanting town.

Escape to Altea: Your Ultimate Guide to Spain's Hidden Gem
Paella Mixta

Xef Pirata: A local favorite, this spot dazzles with its creative cuisine, served up as exquisite tapas. It’s the go-to place for an informal yet memorable evening with friends or a special someone. Just remember, it’s popular for a reason, so booking ahead is a wise move.

Castell – Your Italian Haven: Nestled close to the church in the old town, Castell offers a slice of Italy in Altea. With its stunning decor and location, it’s a fantastic place to indulge in Italian delicacies. And let’s not forget the XXL-sized pizzas – they’re a sight to behold!

Escape to Altea: Your Ultimate Guide to Spain's Hidden Gem

Oustau de Altea: For those in pursuit of a culinary adventure, Oustau presents a sophisticated and original fusion menu. Known as one of the area’s most exquisite dining experiences, it’s a must-visit for food enthusiasts.

Restaurante D’els Artistes: Imagine a romantic evening with a backdrop of Altea’s Bay and the Church Square. This restaurant offers quality dishes prepared with love, making it an ideal spot for a romantic rendezvous.

La Capella: For a taste of traditional Altean cuisine, La Capella offers the best meat dishes at great prices. Don’t miss out on their delicious starters and homemade desserts, perfect for a cozy meal or a romantic evening.

Escape to Altea: Your Ultimate Guide to Spain's Hidden Gem
Arros amb Ceba

La Mascarada: For the best selection of gin tonics, a lively atmosphere, and unparalleled views, La Mascarada won’t disappoint. It’s another gem that’s become a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

Every corner of Altea whispers tales of grandmothers passing down recipes through generations, preserving the essence of the town’s culinary heritage. These cherished recipes, steeped in tradition and love, form the backbone of Altea’s gastronomic identity.

Among the beloved classics are dishes like “arròs amb fessols” and “arròs amb ceba,” each a testament to the simplicity and richness of Altea’s cuisine. Whether it’s the comforting embrace of rice cooked with onions or the hearty warmth of rice with kidney beans, these dishes evoke memories of family gatherings and shared meals.

Escape to Altea: Your Ultimate Guide to Spain's Hidden Gem
Paella d’aladroc

And then there’s the iconic paella, a culinary symphony that brings people together in joyous celebration. From the traditional “paella d’aladroc” to the sumptuous “paella mixta,” each rendition tells a story of tradition and innovation, blending old-world charm with modern flair.

But Altea’s culinary journey doesn’t stop at rice dishes. The town’s bakeries are treasure troves of delights, offering savory “cocas a la llumà” and sweet “bollos de bleda” that melt in your mouth. Every bite is a homage to craftsmanship and tradition, a reminder of the simple pleasures that bring communities together.

Escape to Altea: Your Ultimate Guide to Spain's Hidden Gem
Cocas with vegetables, meat and fish

Altea’s culinary and nightlife offerings are a testament to its vibrant spirit and Mediterranean soul. Whether you’re in the mood for a casual drink under the stars, a romantic dinner, or an evening of culinary exploration, Altea has a spot that will capture your heart and delight your palate. So, where will you start your gastronomic journey?

Why Altea Should Be Your Next Destination

So, you’ve journeyed with us through the cobbled streets of Altea, discovered its hidden gems, and savored the tastes and tales of this Mediterranean haven. But why make Altea your next travel destination? Let me give you the lowdown.

Altea is not just a place; it’s a vibe. It’s where the sun kisses the sea, history dances with modern flair, and every corner promises a new adventure. From the iconic blue-domed Church of Our Lady of Consolation offering a window into the soul of the Mediterranean to the serene beaches where each grain of sand tells a story, Altea is a world unto itself.

Escape to Altea: Your Ultimate Guide to Spain's Hidden Gem
Faro del Albir

Fancy a taste of local cuisine? The town’s dining scene is a treasure trove of culinary delights, where each meal is a celebration of life. And when the stars light up the sky, the town’s bars and nightlife offer a cozy corner for every mood, be it romantic, lively, or somewhere in between.

But it’s not just the places; it’s the people, the atmosphere, and the sheer joy of discovering something new at every turn that makes this town stand out. Whether you’re an art lover, a history buff, a foodie, or simply in need of a picturesque escape, Altea welcomes you with open arms and a warm heart.

Escape to Altea: Your Ultimate Guide to Spain's Hidden Gem
Altea town at night

Why choose Altea? Because in Altea, every moment is a story waiting to be told, a memory waiting to be made. So pack your bags, bring your sense of wonder, and let Altea be the next chapter in your travel diary. Trust us, you’ll leave with a suitcase full of memories and a promise to return. See you in Altea!