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As you approach Altea in Spain’s Alicante region, you will see the beautiful blue mosaic domes glittering in the sunshine. This magnificent sight will let you know you are just about to arrive in one of Costa Blanca’s most stunning and gorgeous regions. Whether you approach the town from the north via Denia or Calpe, or via Benidorm from the south, the glistening blue domes will be the first sight that greets you.
You really won’t be able to locate a more ideal vacation spot than Altea. Each direction you turn in offers a breathtaking vista of the sea. In the town itself, the winding streets welcome you to explore all of the interesting sights and sounds as you view the whitewashed houses sparkling in perpetual sunshine. You will feel so alive and revitalized when you breathe in the wonderful fresh sea air. Altea has been able to evolve into a fantastic vacation spot while still protecting the area’s natural beautiful and maintaining its small town charm. Despite all of the restaurants and hotels that have been constructed there since this small corner of heaven was discovered by the world, Altea has been steadfast in retaining its beauty and old world charm.
Because the area is so tranquil, the typical tourists are not found in Altea. Instead a more respectful and cultured group of travelers are attracted to the area, including many actors, writers and artists. Usually these people stay at the old hotels located close to the church. They like to eat in the restaurants on the old winding streets of that quarter. The restaurants take pride in serving their local specialties in addition to international dishes the clientele is accustomed to. Accommodations are newer in the modern part of the town. However, the old styles are still respected.Traveling on foot, like in most old towns, is the best way to really enjoy the local scenery. Mestre La Musica Street is a good place to start. There is a long winding stone stairway that makes its way past small stone homes and leads you to a doorway that provides an entrance to this walled town. This street can then be followed to Mayor Street. You will end up at a modest church that is central to the town’s local activities. From Easter through summer, there are markets that sell local craftsmen products. This bohemian and old world setting offers many beautiful handmade crafts that can provide you with fond memories of your vacation. Virgen of the Consolation church was constructed in 1910 on the old parish’s foundation. Every interior tile is hand painted. The towers have a quintessentially Mediterranean feeling to them with the beautiful ornamental dome. Although there isn’t much left of the adjoining castle ruins, the site is still interesting.
There is a fish exchange market that takes place every day at 6:00. It offers an interesting and fun free show. At the end of every day on the docks, local fishermen sell the fish that they caught that day to local restaurants. The rapid auction pace employed is something you definitely will want to hear and observe. It all takes place at high speed in their local Valencian dialect, so you won’t understand anything they are saying. However, it provides a colorful and fun show as the fishermen hawk their wares.
Altea’s restaurants, as you can certainly imagine, can offer an amazing variety of fish and fresh foods. You can enjoy just about every meal you eat out on a terrace that overlooks the sea. One notable restaurant is Bogedon de Pepe, which is renown for its incredible mussel platter and old world decor. There is a wide variety of restaurants in the old quarter to suit anyone’s taste and budget.
Altea is a beautiful and quiet town that is perfect for rejuvenating and relaxing in. However, you won’t have too far to travel if you want some excitement. Other seaside towns like Benidorm and Torreviejos are nearby and offer many attractions, including shopping, a great nightlife and exciting water sports.