I visited Altea, as many people do, on an afternoon trip from Benidorm. It’s easy to get to – there is a local bus service, or you can do as I did and take the tram and enjoy the coastal scenery on the way.
The first thing I saw when I got off the tram is a view of the old town perched high on the hill. Unfortunately there is no public transport to the top, though you could of course take a local taxi.
If you don’t mind walking uphill it’s a fantastic place for a walk, with plenty to see on the way.
I didn’t head straight for the old town though, but turned towards the coastline for a wander along the seafront. Like most places in the Costa Blanca, this is a great place to find somewhere with a view to have a coffee or a spot of lunch.
I think it probably gets pretty busy here in the summer months (most very pretty places do!) but in the middle of winter it was quiet.
Walking along there are a few good places to stop and take in the coastline view, and if you chose to drive to Altea there is also a car park on the front – again, I’m assuming that it gets pretty full in summer. The beach is stony rather than fine sand.
After reaching this statue – I’m a huge fan of public art – I turned away from the coastline and into the town.
A couple of streets back I reached an old Franciscan convent, the Iglesia de San Francisco, which sits behind a square planted with mature olive trees.
And yes, even in early January the sky really was that blue!
A little further back came the steps, spreading up and through the streets ahead. They looked very beautiful, though I’m not sure I’d appreciate them so much if I had to carry my grocery shopping up them!
Still heading upwards, I took a slight detour to the right to have a look at the remains of a medieval water cistern, now protected behind glass.
Just beyond there is a really pretty square, with a great view of the countryside. In fact, the whole of this area of Altea is really picturesque to wander round.
And then it was back to the steps again, up towards the top of the town.
It is quite high, but there are lots of places to stop and catch your breath if you need to!
Keep a look out for an archway, which goes through into the very heart of the old town, through old town walls,
This leads into yet another lovely square, with restaurants and orange trees – and you’re almost at the top.
Just one more uphill path to go!
The square below is right at the top of the town, and is a great place to stop for a coffee or a cold drink and watch the world go by.
There are several viewpoints to gaze out over the coast or the town from here.
If you have time, it’s worth going into the church there, as it’s quite beautiful inside.
These are the blue domes are the ones you could see from the tram station.
You don’t have to retrace your steps to get back to the tram station, there are some much faster (but slightly less scenic) ones signposted off the square.
My tips for visiting Altea
This is an upscale town, but fortunately the cafe and restaurant prices are very reasonable.
As well as being a resort, it’s a thriving community, so there are always people around and it’s perfectly safe to visit and wander through alone.
I wasn’t aware of any public toilets – the general rule in Spain is to buy a drink at a cafe and use their facilities.
And lastly, do wear flat shoes or boots, as the paths aren’t suitable for negotiating on heels!