Altea is without doubt one of the most charming towns to be found on Spain’s White Coast. It is well-known for its iconic blue-and-white tiled dome on its church dominating the hilltop old town. Its beautiful beaches, the marina, the cobblestone paved streets, the cool cafes and the many fashion stores give Altea a unique charm.
The magic light, natural beauty, the narrow streets and whitewashed walls have inspired artists for generations, turning Altea into a cultural haven with festivals, fiestas and exhibitions. Altea hosts many festivals throughout the year, some – of worldwide cultural interest. Moors and Christians, fireworks, battles, bands, carnival, dancing, story-telling and food – they all form part of Altea’s annual festivals.
From all the events hosted by Altea throughout the year, here are a few of the upcoming ones:
Storytellers’ Festival, in May
An original event that you cannot witness very often, Encontes festival is held in Altea each year, and Spanish speakers of all ages can enjoy dozens of events, arranged with tales and songs adapted to different audiences. A celebration of literature with books read out in castellano and valenciano, the festival of the storytellers started in 2004.
Live Music Festival on the Beach, in June
In honour of San Antonio, whose feast day is June 13, there is a mini festival on the beach, so you can enjoy the sun and sea by day with your nights filled with live music for the whole weekend around the saint’s day.
The Fireworks, in August
Altea is the backdrop to one of the biggest and best firework displays in Europe, with an awesome play of light and gunpowder set to music. This event, which takes place on the Saturday closest to San Lorenzo day in August, is held at midnight at El Castell de l’Olla and attracts more than 50,000 visitors. The fireworks display has been taking place for about the past 30 years. El Castell de l’Olla was declared as a tourist attraction as it is one of the few firework castles that is fired entirely from the sea and is also a reference for pyrotechnics.
The Feast of Moors and Christians, in September
Firework displays, music and fun rush through the white town in the fourth weekend in September for the annual fiestas. You’ll witness parades and battles showing how the Moors took control of the town before the Reconquest when the Christians battled victoriously for the honour of Altea. As many other Spanish towns, Altea holds the Moors and Christians festival to commemorate the Moors 500-year rule over the Iberian peninsula, which ended in the 15th century with the Reconquista. During the festival, the townsfolk are divided into groups of Moors or Christians and enact running battles complete with gunpowder through the historic old town and along the beach.