Calpe is one of the most beautiful villages of the Costa Blanca located in the north of the province of Alicante (between Altea and Moraira), close to our campsite in Benidorm for families has the Mediterranean seal more than verified, with its beaches, one of the strongest fishing gastronomic identities of the whole region, historical sites and the great rock of Ifach.
It is a town with a warm climate (almost as warm as Benidorm) and its beaches are of fine sand and crystal clear water, so it is not surprising that it is the holiday destination of many national and international tourists.
We are going to make a review of the most beautiful and interesting places to see in Calpe.
Peñon de Ifach
The magnificent Peñón de Ifach is the mythical mountain that crowns the town facing the Mediterranean Sea. It has a height of 332 meters, its fauna and marine area have been declared a national park.
There is a route that leads from the foot of the rock to the top. The first section is a trail that passes through the Pobla d’Ifach, a medieval settlement of the SXIII, reaching the Interpretation Center of the Peñón d’Ifach, where we will find information and curious facts about the vegetation and fauna of the natural park.
As an etymological fact, the origin of the word Calpe means “rock”, and Ifach means “from the north”. This was so named to differentiate it from the rock of Gibraltar.
Once we leave the Interpretation Center behind, we continue along the path that leads to the tunnel where the steep climb begins. Be careful with the second final stretch because it is not at all easy and depending on the age of the adventurous it can be even dangerous.
Halfway up the climb the terrain changes from dirt to rocks where the footwear must be appropriate for the occasion and it is at this point that we realize that the climb becomes more complicated. You have to advance carefully but the final reward is incredible; beautiful views of Calpe. Some say that you can see Ibiza from there.
The salt flats
Another of the hallmarks of Calpe is the area of the Salinas. Located in the center of town, it consists of several saltwater lagoons where you can observe some majestic birds such as flamingos, storks, herons and ducks. Historically, this salt has been used for canning fish. It is currently a protected natural area.
The Queen’s Baths
The beach of Calpe hides part of its history, here is a Roman site called Los Baños de la Reina. It is said that these Roman ruins in the sea were a fish farm belonging to the Queen of the Roman era, but there is also talk that it was simply a small private pond (also belonging to the Queen, of course).
More ancient sites
Right next to the Baños de la Reina we can find the ancient Roman Baths.
We will also see the Torre Molí del Morelló, which was an Arab windmill.
Prince of Asturias Ecological Walk
Surrounding the Rock, we find this beautiful promenade that gives us magnificent views of the Mediterranean, and the rock from another angle. It is a very pleasant path that starts from the port of Calpe, passes through the Peñón and ends at the Cala del Racó.
In this area of the town is concentrated much of the magic and DNA of Calpe. The fishing tradition is something that the inhabitants of the village have deeply rooted and is part of its historical heritage. In this area, in addition to the boats, we can also find more interesting things.
Fish auction at the port fish market
The fish auction at the fish market is the historical event that defines the gastronomy of the town, it is something worth seeing (Monday to Friday 5:00 pm).
The boats unload the merchandise in boxes that are deposited on a conveyor belt that carries the fish in front of the potential buyers, who bid for the pieces with a remote control. The selected pieces are then covered with ice and delivered to the new owner.
It is not a coincidence that next to the fish market there is a good number of top-quality restaurants that are supplied by the fresh fish that arrives at the port, so if you are in Calpe and do not know where to eat, do not hesitate to stop by this area to try the unbeatable mediterranean fish gastronomy.
The old town
We are welcomed to the old town by the 15th century walls of this historic area. Next to the walls we can contemplate the Torreón de la Peça, a defense tower of the time.
In the historic center of Calpe we can find several cultural and historical buildings to visit:
- The Gallery of Contemporary Art at the Ajuntament Vell
- The Hermitage of San Salvador (XVIII century)
- The Church of Nuestra Señora de las Nievas (SXX)
- Museum of collecting
- La casa de la Senyoreta (archaeological museum)
- Fester Museum
- Forat de la Mar urban crossing
La Cala del Racó
This beach is right at the foot of the Peñón d’Ifach, with crystal clear water, is a cove that many divers appreciate for its richness of marine fauna. In fact, it is the only beach in the Valencian Community that has an underwater route signposted with underwater panels indicating the way to follow.
The Calpe-Benissa ecological walk
There is a path of about 9 kilometers approximately between Calpe and Benissa that is drawn by the coast itself. A nice path without difficulty that is divided into the southern section (the coves of Calpe) and the northern section (those of Benissa).
It is a well known route that has information panels about the local and natural environment that we will be visiting. The duration is about 3 hours (as long as we go at a fixed pace and do not stop to observe the landscape) and can be done at any time of the year, taking a little care in summer (hat and water highly recommended).
Anyway, these are just some of the things you can do to get to know the beautiful town of Calpe. As we have seen the Costa Blanca is full of charming places to fill our vacations with good memories and get to know a bit of Mediterranean life.