Altea la Vella, located inside the municipality of Altea, had its own entity from the Middle Ages to the sixteenth century. This territory, between the Algar River and the Sierra de Bernia, suffered population displacements and even demographic vacuums. The first evidence of occupation of the lands of Altea la Vella, although they are scarce, place us in the Neolithic. From s. V d.C. there was a demographic contraction but everything was revitalized in the Andalusian period, when the Altāya farmhouse became the organizing nucle of the territory. The Christians changed the name to “Altea”, a town which the feudal economic exploitation of the north of the Algar River was organized until the 16th century. In this period the houses of Altea were uninhabited until in the 18th century other people came back to live there, whose village they called “Altea la Vella”.
This route connects Altea with Altea la Vella through the Camí Fondo and returns to the Algar River through the historic Sogai. In addition to knowing the cozy old town of Altea la Vella, you can visit the hermitage of Santa Bárbara or enjoy natural spaces of great value such as the Font del Garroferet or the Algar River itself.
Throughout the year the Town Hall of Altea organizes many free guided tours. If you want to spend a different day and get away from the routine, come and enjoy them.
The old town of Altea has a lot of charm, in the main square we find the first parish of Altea. The church is dedicated to Santa Ana, in whose honor celebrations in their day are celebrated and to the Santísimo Cristo de la Salud.
The basilica building has a central nave, side chapels and an octagonal dome. Its façade is simple with a sober character.
The streets of the center of Altea la Vella have a special charm and walking through them transmits tranquility.
Fountain of the Garroferet
The Altea la Vella ravine runs along the western slopes of the town, and two drinking fountains that provide water supply are born 400 meters to the north. The Font Gran and the Font del Garroferet.
Located at the foot of the mountain, next to the road between the mountains and the town of Altea la Vella we find the Font del Garroferet. There are references to this source since the 16th century.
Chapel of Santa Bárbara
Located in the departure of the Cascall was consecrated in 1759, but there is evidence of its modern settlement since the 17th century. The simple facade with baroque aesthetic moldings is crowned by a belfry. The layout of the nave is transversal to the altar, with attached sacristy and a side porch. Its total dimensions are 12 by 9 meters approximately.
For Altea, the chapels represent a heritage of incalculable value, surrounded by the oldest traditions, preserved to this day. In addition, the City of Altea organizes every year La Ruta de las Ermitas, a cycle of concerts from the saturday before Easter until the next weekend, performing a concert per day. This activity attracts a large number of public, lover of good music. The cycle takes a tour of all the Altean geography, visiting seven places where the mentioned chapels are located, each of them dedicated to a Saint.
The Calvary is located on the north face of the hill of Altea la Vella, with views towards the Sierra de Bérnia. It is constituted by a zig-zag route made by terrain shakeings with dry masonry walls. The Stations of the Cross are factory-made with allegorical ceramic panels in the niches.
The first three stations are outside the Calvary precinct, one attached to the side façade of the Church of Santa Ana and the other two on Cura Llinares street.
You will know the richness of this natural space where birds stand out.
The Algar River rises in the Ferrer mountain range and descends along its 12.2 km long along the western slope of the Bernia mountain range. His most important contribution comes from the Fuentes del Algar in Callosa d’en Sarrià.
Due to the presence of a permanent flow, the Algar River harbors riverside fauna and vegetation of special interest. Such is the importance of this enclave that has been included in the Catalog of Humid Zones of the Valencian Community.
Spend a day in Altea la Vella
If you want to come and spend a day in Altea la Vella, in addition to visiting all the places and enjoying the views, you can take advantage and try the fabulous restaurants you will find. Ca Toni, Mallol Restaurant or La Soleada are, among others, some examples… Mediterranean gastronomy is a treasure and you will not regret it.
Some of the most typical dishes are putxero balls, paella, rice with seafood… If you are a lover of good food you will like to know that the Townhall of Altea organizes annually a very interesting gastronomic days, adapting the culinary products according to the season and with the participation of many bars and restaurants.
If you need to make your purchases, you can find supermarkets, flower shops, etc. And you cannot stop trying an artisan ice cream in the El Pecat Ice Cream Shop.