Altea is a fabulous place to visit – the Old Town has beautiful cobbled streets and white-washed houses and reminiscent of days gone by. But down on the promenade all is not so cordial.
Less than two years after installing it and the butt of many jokes, not only among residents but disbelieving visitors, Altea Town Hall have finally relented on their bizarre bike path, which runs along the beach front.
The blue cycle lane, which was installed in 2013 meanders through the bar and restaurant terraces, at points weaving in and out of tables where visitors are trying to enjoy a leisurely drink or meal. Waiters have had to get use to looking left and right before stepping out for fear of being hit by a cyclist. One employee at Café Paris was not so fortunate and went flying through the air like a bullfighter, scattering the tray and its contents everywhere.
Councilor for Environment, Miguel Angel Chapel explained that the unconventional route was not the Town Halls idea at all – they favoured one that ran parallel with the edge of the promenade, but that Costas rejected their plans. Costas are the authority which protect the Spanish coastline, preventing building and development within 100 metres of the shoreline. Ministry representatives actually went down to Altea and witnessed the problems caused due to the weird layout and have given them permission to change it – which is being done in two phases. The first part has been completed – running alongside the parking area and they are now starting on the second phase, with works costing the council €69,000.