Expat Exchange
Free MembershipSign In

Retire in Altea Guide

Retire in Altea with confidence, armed with the knowledge from our extensive guide. It covers critical considerations for retirees, from the cost of living and climate to housing, healthcare, and residency choices in Altea. We also delve into the social and cultural scene, volunteering options, public transportation facilities, and the city''s walkability, helping you make an informed decision.

Altea, a picturesque coastal town on Spain’s Costa Blanca, has become a haven for international retirees seeking a serene and sunny escape. With its charming old town, pebbled beaches, and vibrant cultural scene, it’s no wonder that retirees from around the globe are drawn to this Mediterranean gem. The allure of Altea lies in its perfect blend of natural beauty, relaxed lifestyle, and rich history. However, like any destination, it comes with its own set of challenges, such as navigating a new healthcare system and adapting to a different way of life. Let’s delve into what it’s like to retire in Altea, exploring both the highlights and the hurdles.

Living Costs in Altea

The cost of living in Altea is one of its most attractive features for retirees. Generally, expenses here are lower than in many parts of Europe and North America. Housing is relatively affordable, with options ranging from beachfront apartments to traditional townhouses in the old quarter. Groceries and dining out also tend to be less expensive, allowing retirees to enjoy the local cuisine without breaking the bank. However, it’s important to note that prime locations and luxury amenities can drive up costs, so budgeting remains key.

Altea’s Climate

Altea’s climate is a major draw for retirees, offering mild winters and warm, sunny summers. The Mediterranean weather means over 300 days of sunshine per year, ideal for those looking to escape colder climates. Spring and autumn are particularly pleasant, with temperatures conducive to outdoor activities and exploring the town’s scenic surroundings.

Healthcare Accessibility

Access to quality healthcare is a priority for retirees, and Altea does not disappoint. The town is in close proximity to several well-regarded hospitals and clinics, ensuring that medical care is never far away. Additionally, many healthcare professionals in the area speak English, providing peace of mind for those concerned about language barriers.

Public Healthcare for Retirees

Spain’s public healthcare system is known for its high standards, and international retirees can access it under certain conditions. Those who become residents and contribute to the social security system through taxes can enroll in the public healthcare system. However, some retirees opt for private health insurance to avoid wait times and to have wider access to English-speaking doctors.

Residency Options

Spain offers various residency options for retirees, including the non-lucrative visa, which is popular among those who do not plan to work in the country. This visa requires proof of sufficient financial means to support oneself without the need for employment. Once residency is established, retirees can enjoy the same rights as Spanish citizens, including access to public services.

Outdoor Activities in Altea

Altea’s natural landscape is perfect for retirees who love the outdoors. The town boasts beautiful beaches, hiking trails, and a picturesque promenade along the marina. The nearby Sierra de Bernia offers stunning views and challenging treks for the more adventurous. For a more relaxed pace, the town’s parks and gardens provide tranquil spots to enjoy the Mediterranean flora.

Local Dining Experiences

Altea’s culinary scene is a blend of traditional Spanish flavors and international cuisine. Restaurants like Xef Pirata – Gastro Bar and La Costera de Altea offer delicious dishes at reasonable prices. For those who enjoy cooking at home, the weekly market provides fresh, local produce to inspire your next meal.

Language Learning Opportunities

While many locals speak English, learning Spanish can greatly enhance the retirement experience in Altea. Language schools, such as the Centro de Idiomas Altea, offer courses tailored to all levels, helping retirees integrate more fully into the community and enrich their daily interactions.

The Local Community

Altea’s residents are known for their warmth and hospitality, making it easier for retirees to feel at home. The town’s international population also means that newcomers can find a diverse and welcoming expat community. Local festivals and cultural events provide ample opportunities to mingle and forge new friendships.

Meeting Other Retirees

Retirees in Altea can meet peers through various channels, such as local clubs, expat groups, and social events. Participating in activities like art classes, golf, or volunteer work also helps to build connections and establish a social network in the new environment.

Volunteering in the Community

For those looking to give back, Altea offers volunteer opportunities with organizations like the Red Cross or local animal shelters. Engaging in volunteer work can be a fulfilling way to contribute to the community and meet like-minded individuals.

Housing for Retirees

Retirees in Altea have a wide range of housing options, from modern apartments to traditional villas. Many choose to live in the town center to be close to amenities, while others prefer the tranquility of the outskirts. The choice often depends on personal preferences and lifestyle desires.

Transportation and Walkability

Altea is known for its walkable streets and efficient public transportation system. The town is compact enough to explore on foot, especially the old town with its narrow cobblestone streets. For longer distances, buses and trams connect Altea to neighboring towns and cities. While having a car can be convenient, it’s not a necessity for those living centrally.

Retiring in Altea, offers a lifestyle that many can only dream of – a blend of relaxation, culture, and natural beauty. Despite the challenges that come with adapting to a new country, the rewards of retiring in this Mediterranean haven are plentiful. With careful planning and an open mind, retirees can enjoy a fulfilling and vibrant life in Altea.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

Additional Information:

International Citizens Insurance

International Citizens Insurance
Get comparison quotes from our broker partner for Cigna, Allianz, IMG, GeoBlue and more.

Copyright 1997-2024 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal

LoginJoinPlease Login to Continue. New? Join today (it's free).
Since 1997, we've supported millions of people as they explore the world and share the adventures and challenges of living abroad.