Altea is a beautiful Spanish town situated in the province of Alicante on the Costa Blanca. No wonder it attracts crowds of tourists. However, in addition to Altea, there are many stunning places around. And today I want to present a few.
When I write “around” I mean the range of 15-20 kilometers. It is close enough so that you can combine visiting several places during the day. Of course, everything depends on the time you have and the preferred style of sightseeing. You can spend the whole day in each of these places. Personally, I would join Altea with the castle in Polop and Guadalest with waterfalls in Algar.
Altea – white city
Altea is above all beautiful streets between white tenement houses. It is situated on a hill so that walking around the city exposes us to wonderful views. How to move around Altea?
I suggest leaving the car in the free parking lot along the Carrer Benidorm Street. After just a few steps you will already see the characteristic white houses and narrow streets.
I think the best way to explore such places is to walk without any map. In the case of Altea, I suggest to first head to the church with a blue dome visible from far away. Then go where your eyes will take you. It will be beautiful everywhere.
You should definitely go down to the beach. The beach is stony, so it may not appeal to everyone, but the sound of pebbles sliding through the sea waves is magical. Additionally, there is a promenade along the beach with bars, restaurants and shops.
I recommend choosing another path when climbing up to the church. This way you will discover even more charming places in Altea.
Castell de Polop – Muslim fortress
The car can be left on the Plaça de la Diputació if you find a free space. Otherwise, you have to look for a place a little bit further into the town.
A relatively short path, which is also the Way of the Cross, leads to the very top. There are an old cemetery and a slightly newer restaurant in the ruins of the 12th-century castle. Both places give an opportunity to admire the picturesque landscapes. A truly charming corner.
Guadalest – the castle and the dam
El Castell de Guadalest was built in picturesque scenery among the mountains. At its feet shines the water reservoir Embassament de Guadalest.
It is best to leave the car on the parking at the foot of the castle (about 2 euros). The entrance to the castle area is free of charge. But you will pay entrance fees to numerous museums on its grounds.
I’ve already mentioned Guadalest on the occasion of my first visit here. I wrote then that in the streets among the ruins there are many cafes and shops with souvenirs and local products. However, this does not disturb the magic of this place. The views are truly impressive.
It’s a good idea to drive down from the castle to the dam at the Embassament de Guadalest. This reservoir was created in the 20th century. There is a path that leads to the water. You can also drive around the lake by car. You will get a different perspective on the castle and an unforgettable experience, as the road is very narrow and winding.
Fonts de l’Algar – bathing in waterfalls
The road to the waterfalls leads through mountain paths, as they are located in the middle of the mountains on the Algar River. Somewhere far below the entrance, you can supposedly leave your car in the parking for free, but the higher ones are more conveniently located. They cost about 3 euros. Let me remind you that it’s good to take your bathing suits and towels with you.
The entrance to the waterfalls is chargeable (about 4 euros). There’s not much walking, maybe 1.5 km, but it’s extremely charming, especially when you go during the oleander flowering season. There are several places on the route where you can bathe, jump to the water or at least get your legs wet. But be careful. The water is ice-cold!
There are prohibitions on picnicking everywhere, although many people treat them quite leniently. Before entering the waterfalls you will see some signs informing about picnic areas, but be careful, because you may be obliged to pay for using them.
Before the entrance, you will also find several restaurants with swimming pools and playgrounds and stands with local products. The area is famous, for example, for growing a fruit called níspero. It looks a bit like a nectarine. I must admit that this was the first time I’ve heard of it there. I am not particularly fond of it, though. Maybe I should’ve tried it in the form of the tincture?
This is my list of the best attractions near the town of Altea. I know there are plenty of undiscovered places in the area. Let me know if you know such. Nevertheless, I strongly recommend that you visit these four I’ve described today.