The city of Altea, Spain has one of the largest markets on the Costa Blanca. Held every Tuesday, the Altea market is a perfect place to find some bargains, as well as to have a fun morning out.
How To Get To The Altea Tuesday Market – Just like everywhere in Spain, the public bus system is so good there’s no need to take a taxi or rent a car. The number 10 bus runs from Benidorm to Altea every 15 minutes, and you can get on or off the bus at any of the many stops on its route.
If you’re coming from the neighboring town of Albir, a popular getting on point for many of the area’s tourists, you’ll find several stops on the main street of town, as well as a couple more stops on the outskirts before the bus leaves Albir and heads to Altea. Bus fare is only 1 euro 75 centimos, ($1.75), and is the same price no matter where you get on or off.
Once on the bus, enjoy the ride along the ocean until you reach the town of Altea. Here, the bus climbs up to the top of the town and, at its last stop, everyone gets off. It’s here you’ll find Altea’s Tuesday market.
What to Buy at Altea’s Tuesday Market – Due to Spain’s disastrous economy, prices are dirt cheap at the Altea market right now (and just about everywhere else in Spain too).
Look for costume jewelry (i bought rings and bracelets as cheap as 1 euro ($1.44), leather belts, sweatshirts, jackets, leather gloves, and shoes. Also check out the many stalls selling leather bags. While there are a lot of Chinese knock-offs of designer bags, you’ll find some beautiful Spanish-made leather bags for only 5 euros ($7.25) and the quality is lovely.
Don’t miss the stalls selling hand-embroidered tablecloths and napkins, a steal at less than 20 euros ($30), and if you’re looking for gifts to take home, the boxes of traditional Spanish nougat, chocolate and cookies are cheap yet still a nice gift.
Finally, check out the market stalls selling Spanish pottery. Everything from plates, cups, platters, vases, and serving dishes is here – all brightly colored, hand-made and gorgeous.
After the Altea Tuesday Market – After the market, many of the Spaniards and the tourists in-the-know walk down into Altea, to the main street, and relax over cafe con leches and some of the most delicious pastries ever.
Just walk back to where you got off the bus and down the hill to the first main street. You can’t miss it, as it’s lined with shops on both sides and is busy. Wander into one of the many patisseries, or sit outside at a table in the square and order a coffee, a brandy and a cake and watch the world walk by.
One final hint. On market day, get on the bus before 10am. Altea’s Tuesday market is so popular, after 10am, the bus will be packed and it’s a much less pleasant journey if you’re squashed in with 200 other people.
Photo – Woman returning from market in Altea