altea,

  • Altea, without doubt, has to be one of the most picturesque and visited towns along the entire Costa Blanca coastline. It couldn´t be further apart culturally from Benidorm, yet distance wise so near and most definitely worth a visit. The Old Town is almost like stepping back in time and what many people envisage the “real Spain” to be like. Only a 10 minute drive outside of the bright lights and skyscrapers of Benidorm, you can even hop on the number 10 bus for a mere 1.50€.

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  • The much anticipated Moors and Christians parade is taking place in Altea this weekend – the highlight of the annual fiesta calendar. It began yesterday with with a street party for all the penyas, with fireworks and bands playing into the early hours of this morning. After the carnival in Rio this must definately come a close second for elaborate and eye catching outfits!

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  • 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.

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  • The coastline is littered with beaches and hidden coves and if you like exploring and getting away from the mainstream, then head to La Olla in Altea - past the main Altea strip and towards Altea Hills. The easiest way is by car, just drive along the N332 and it will take about 15 minutes, unless you choose a Tuesday when the market is on – the number 10 bus only goes as far as Altea centre and it´s quite a walk from there. Alternatively, take the tram to Olla de Altea then walk down towards the sea.

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  • If you are a fan of pyrotechnics then make sure you head to Altea on Saturday. The Bay of Altea has been the venue of the Castell de L'Olla since 1988 - a spectacular firework display close to the beach of La Olla. This year the breathtaking display will take place on Saturday 8th August, starting at Midnight - so make sure you get your afternoon siesta in! Altea Town Hall have allocated a budget of €70,000 for this annual event which attracts in the region of 50,000 visitors so a very important investment for the town!

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  • If you want to see tradition and custom, then Spain is a great place to be. Last night the first of the two annual Moors and Christians parades took place in Altea and it was the turn of the Christians - each year they alternate who goes first. Thousands turned out to watch the procession, with those living along the main route out on their balconies, suddenly very popular with friends and family!

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  • Traditionally and historically February is the coldest month here, so when it’s not beach weather and you want to do something, a great place to go and visit is Valencia – totally do-able for a day trip. I’d definitely recommend taking the coach rather than driving there yourself though and if you are flexible about your dates, you can get a ticket for as little as €5.20 one-way. Last year a channel 5 documentary series – Spectacular Spain with Alex Polizzi saw the hotel critic explore Valencia on her journey along the Costa Blanca, so why not try it for yourself.

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  • Altea and Villa Joyosa are both working fishing ports, which supply fish to most of the local restaurants and independent fishmongers in the province. However, the rough seas, caused by the recent bad weather have had a huge impact on productivity.

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  • An unforgettable way of seeing Benidorm and the surrounding area is from the air – and what better way than a private helicopter ride! To prove age doesn't matter and that you’re never too old for a thrill, 3 generations of one family, spanning from 87 years to 12 years old recently went up for a surprise birthday treat of a lifetime.

     

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  • Guadalest is probably the most visited village not only of this area, but also of the entire country… and once there, you’ll understand why. Located inland, aprox 30km from Benidorm and around 600 mt above sea level up in the mountains, it attracts millions of visitors every year. Access to the picture postcard village is through a 15 mt long tunnel, which has been carved out through the rock.

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  • Determined to help local charity “Emaus”, Derren Litten – writer and creator of the Benidorm series has set about organizing a fundraising evening. It will be held on Friday 29th May at 8pm in the UK Cabaret Club – opening specially for the occasion, which is underneath the Presidente Hotel. This promises to be a fun karaoke night with many cast members taking part. Topping the bill will be Jake Canuso, Tony Maudsley, Sherrie Hewson, Tim Healy and Johnny Vegas – even Derren has promised to take to the stage himself! Also due to make as appearance are Paul Bazely, Josh Bolt, Steve Edge, Elsie Kelly and Danny Walters – so a night not to be missed if you are a fan of the series.

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  • If you fancy a day out from Benidorm, head out in the direction of Altea/Calpe and just past Altea Hills – with the iconic golden domes of the Russian Orthodox church you will see a sign for Mascarat. Here you will find “Greenwich Marina” – a lovely area with bars and restaurants dotted around, where you can enjoy a drink while admiring the yachts and boats bobbing up and down.

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  • The annual La Olla firework display will light up the sky tonigh Saturday August 11 – always taking place on the nearest Saturday to 10th August, which marks the end of the local San Lorenzo fiesta. It attracts over 40,000 visitors, who come not only from this region but from all across Spain, so it has a huge beneficial economic impact on the town, with many spending the weekend there. If you were planning on driving - my advice is don't. Roads have been closed off since this morning.

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  • The night market "Les Nits del Castell" up at the Mirador in Benidorm Old Town has started - and will be on until the 15th September. The Mirador is home to probably the most spectacular view of Benidorm - you can see both the Levante and Poniente bays from there. It is a very popular tourist spot and a great place for an evening stroll - with plenty of bars to enjoy a drink while taking in the view.

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