Altea (Valencian: [alˈtea], Spanish: [alˈtea]) is a city and municipality located in the province of Alicante, Spain, north of Alicante on the section of Mediterranean coast called the Costa Blanca.
At present, the economy of Altea is based on tourism, which started to grow in the 1950s because of its good weather, beaches and the labyrinthine streets with whitewashed house-fronts that characterize the town. Altea is protected on the north by the bluffs of the Serra de Bèrnia, creating an especially mild microclimate. Its seafront esplanade is planted with palms.
The Iberian coastal settlements at the mouth of the
Algar river in the wide Bay of Altea were later joined by a Greek marketplace, named Althaia.
During the Moorish domination the land around Altea belonged to the Taifa of Dénia until it was recaptured by the Christians in 1244 under James I of Aragon. The town was quickly fortified, and walls were erected to enclose what is now known as the "old town" from outsiders.