If you’re thinking of moving to Spain from the UK to experience Spanish culture, the charming city of Altea might be just what you’re looking for. Nestled along the picturesque Mediterranean coastline, Altea offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life. With its whitewashed buildings, cobbled streets and breathtaking sea views, Altea has captured the hearts of locals and British expats alike. If buying property in Altea is something you’re considering, we’ve created this helpful guide to help you get to know this enchanting city.
Where is Altea, Spain?
Known as one of the most beautiful cities in the Costa Blanca region, Altea is situated in the province of Alicante. This picturesque city is positioned approximately 12.5km north of Benidorm and around 11 km south of Calpe, making it the ideal destination for those looking for an authentic Spanish lifestyle without being too far from busy resort areas.
Is Altea Spain a Good Place to Live?
With a population of over 22,000, Altea is a popular destination for people looking to move to Spain with over 35% of the residents being non-Spanish. The city’s popularity among expats means that English-speaking newcomers can often find support networks to make settling in easier.
Schools in Altea
For those moving to Altea with a young family, schools like the Victorious International School provide a British curriculum and a chance for children ages 3-13 to embrace the school’s multinational community. Schools like Altea International School provide an alternative to traditional education with outdoor lessons and a focus on holistic teaching. For children ages 3-18, the privately owned Sierra Bernia School is the longest-established British school and is popular with families outside the local area as well as expats living in Altea.
Weather in Altea
If you’re coming to Altea from the UK, you’re probably wondering “What are winters like in Altea?” Newcomers to the city can look forward to a welcoming Mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm summers. With around 320 days of sunshine annually, the welcoming warm weather creates the perfect environment for enjoying outdoor activities and savouring Altea’s natural beauty. Surrounded by one of the most iconic natural features in the region, the stunning Sierra Bernia is a small mountain range that protects Altea and creates a mild microclimate that contributes to a healthy lifestyle and a sense of well-being throughout the year.
Altea Festivals and Celebrations
Spanish culture is renowned for its lively festivals, and Altea is no exception. Throughout the year, the city comes alive with celebrations that showcase its history and traditions. Castell de l’Olla is a well-known festival of fireworks that attracts around 50,000 people. This unique firework display takes place in the Mediterranean Sea and is held in August, usually on the Saturdays closest to the festival of San Lorenzo (St. Lawrence). Other celebrations include Festa del Porquet (festival of the pig), the Moors and Christians festival and Encontes which is a celebration in May that honours the tradition of storytelling.
Beaches in Altea
Altea’s beaches offer a serene escape for relaxation and recreation. With their picturesque views and clear waters, the beaches provide a stunning backdrop for sunbathing, swimming and water sports.
Playa de la Roda – has a mix of sand and pebbles and is located near the Old Town. This beach boasts a tranquil atmosphere, even during the high season.
Playa Cap Negret – situated in the residential area of Altea and the dark gravel sands are perfect for leisurely walks.
Playa de Cap Blanch – offers a family-friendly environment and is situated between Altea Nautical Club and nearby Albir beach.
Is Altea a Good Place to Retire?
Altea is widely considered a fantastic place to retire, with many attributes that make it a sought-after destination for those looking for a tranquil retirement. With over 21% of the population being over 65, the city has a serene atmosphere, amazing Mediterranean views and stunning architecture that creates a picturesque environment for a peaceful retirement lifestyle. The slower pace of life in Altea encourages relaxation, allowing retirees to truly embrace the joys of living in Spain. Additionally, the strong sense of community connects locals and fellow retirees, providing lots of opportunities for social engagement.
Top 10 Things to do in Altea
From its historic streets lined with vibrant bougainvillaeas to the picturesque waters of the coastline, Altea offers a captivating blend of culture, natural beauty and leisure. Whether you’re drawn to the historic ambience, tempted by the delicious cuisine or eager to embrace the Mediterranean lifestyle, Altea promises an array of activities to cater to everyone. Here are some of the ways you can pass the time when you move to Altea.
- Explore the Old Town – Wander through the narrow cobbled stress of Altea’s historic centre and admire its whitewashed buildings, local shops and art galleries.
- Visit the Church of Nuestra Senora del Consuelo – Admire the iconic blue dome of this church, which is one of Altea’s most recognisable landmarks, and enjoy the panoramic views from its surroundings.
- Relax on Altea’s Beaches – Spend leisurely days on Altea’s pristine beaches, enjoying the Mediterranean sun and crystal clear waters.
- Hike in the Sierra de Bernia – Visit hiking trails that offer stunning views of the coast and surrounding landscapes, with the option to explore El Forat de Bernia, a natural tunnel through the mountain.
- Enjoy water sports – Engage in water activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, and snorkelling in the inviting waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
- Experience the local cuisine – Indulge in the culinary delights of Altea, sampling fresh seafood, traditional Spanish tapas and international dishes at the town’s various restaurants and cafes.
- Explore Art Galleries – Discover Altea’s artistic side by visiting its numerous galleries and art studios where you can appreciate the works of local and international artists.
- Shop at the street markets – browse through local markets to find unique crafts, jewellery, clothing, and fresh produce such as the Tuesday Market held in the Old Town.
- Visit Altea’s Miradors – Find the city’s viewpoints (miradors) for stunning panoramic vistas of Alteas, the sea and surrounding landscapes.
- Participate in Workshops – engage in creative workshops, such as pottery or painting, to tap into Altea’s artistic energy and express your own creativity.
How to Find Properties for Sale in Altea.
If you have fallen in love with the idea of living in Altea, Welcome Estates can help you find the ideal Altea property for sale. As leading Spanish estate agents, we have been helping Brits move to Spain by helping them to source properties in Altea that suit their needs and budget. Trying to find a new home in a new country can seem like a difficult task, especially when you are unfamiliar with the city. To make the process less daunting, Welcome Estates organises inspection trips to Costa Blanca where you can tour Altea with our property experts to find your new home. To find out more about our inspection trips or for more information about the types of properties for sale in Altea, you can browse our listings or contact our team of property specialists.