Throughout the year in Altea a variety of highly
popular traditional festivities are held. In February or March
comes the Carnival, followed by Holy Week in March or April, which
is one of the cultural and religious feasts enjoying the largest
following in the town.
On June 24, the Feast Day of St John, the town
borough called Barrio del Fornet in the old town centre stages
the so-called Plantá de l'Arbre, a feast during which bachelors
from the town plant a tree as a symbol of an ancient tradition.
Another important celebration is the Virgen del
Carmen, on July 16, the day on which the image of the Virgin is
paraded by boat around the Bay of Altea in a beautiful display
of fisherman's pageantry.
In the nearby village of La Olla, the third Saturday of August
marks the celebration of the Castell de L'Olla, a fireworks festivity
on land and sea that enjoys well-deserved international fame.
During the last week of September, Altea holds
its traditional Moors and Christians, which are high feasts in
honour of the Holy Christ of the Sacrarium and St Blaise. During
these festivities there are typical processions of masqueraded
Moors and Christians, filling the town with music and the smell
Held each summer in Altea is the so-called Mostra
de Artesanía, or handicrafts fair, specialised in creative
handmade goods. Year after year this street market occupies a
magnificent location, in the church square called Plaza de la
Iglesia del Consuelo, one of the most emblematic sites on the
Yet another special attraction of Altea is its
cuisine, based on products from the sea and the local market gardens.
Among the typical dishes of the area are arroz a banda, or rice
cooked in fish broth, accompanied by alioli sauce, and the caldero,
a dish made from fish stock.
Also worth trying are arroz al horno, or oven-baked
rice with chicken, pork ribs, potatoes and chickpeas, or arroz
empedrat, a rice dish with baby broadbeans and cod, both forming
part of traditional Altea fare. Other succulent dishes that can
be tried in typical restaurants in the area are snails in onion
sauce, "creut de peix" (a fish stew), urchins and a
delicious flat sponge cake called "coca a la lluma".