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Altea is a Valencianmarker town and municipality located in the province of Alicantemarker, Spainmarker, north of Benidormmarker on the section of Mediterranean coastmarker called the Costa Blancamarker. It has an area of 34.4 km² and, according to the 2002 census, a total population of 17,608 inhabitants.

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 beauty of its labyrinthine streets with whitewashed house-fronts. Altea is protected on the north by the bluffs of the Serra Bernia, 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 joined by a Greek marketplace, named Althaia. During the Moorish domination the land around Altea belonged to the Taifa de Deniamarker until it was recaptured by Christian Spaniards 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. This maze of cobbled narrow and crooked streets with glimpses of the bay is one of the better features of the town. One of its places of tourist interest is the church of Nuestra Señora del Consuelo or La Mare de Déu del Consol ("Our Lady of Solace"), easily identifiable by its picturesque blue and white domes, tiled with glazed ceramics.

File:Calle_típica_Altea_Alicante.JPG|A street of Altea by nightFile:Altea3.jpg|La Mare de Déu del ConsolFile:Altea01.jpg|Streets of AlteaAltea shares a campus of the University Miguel Hernándezmarker.

International relations

Twin towns - Sister cities

Altea is a founding member of the Douzelage, a town twinning association of 23 towns across the European Union. This active town twinning began in 1991 and there are regular events, such as a produce market from each of the other countries and festivals.


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