Altea is a coastal Valencian town and municipality located in the province of Alicante, Spain, by the Mediterranean Sea. It has an area of 34.4 km2 and, according to the 2002 census, a total population of 17,608 inhabitants. At present, the more important economic factor of Altea is tourism, which started to grow in the 50s because of its good weather, beaches and the beauty of its streets. The town was settled by Iberians and Romans. In 1244 it was reconquered by James I of Aragon. One of its places of tourist interest is the church of La Mare de Déu del Consol, easily identifiable by its picturesque blue domes. Altea shares a campus of University Miguel Hernández. The city is a member of Douzelage.