Calpe rocks! This bustling resort midway between Moraira and Benidorm is famous for the giant rock jutting into the Mediterranean. The Peñon de Ifach stretches across one kilometre and stands 332 metres high. It is a great icon in the Alicante region and is one of the many reasons why Calpe has developed from a fishing village into a bustling holiday resort. Climbers of all abilities take up the challenge of getting to the peak and enjoying the view.
On both sides of the Ifach are 13 kilometres of fine, sandy beaches, including three Blue Flag beaches awarded for their safety and cleanliness. The clear blue waters tempt many divers to see what lies beneath – shoals of fish, flora and fauna are seen in the crystal-clear waters.
At the foot of the Ifach is the port where you can go and watch the fishing boats haul in their precious catch of the day. Many varieties of fish, shellfish and squid will make their way from the port to the nearby restaurants.
Calpe's salt lakes are a haven for wildlife and attract many flamingoes and herons to the town, adding another interesting attraction to this unusual resort.
Calpe has a good range of hotels from luxury four-star hotels to budget hostels, apartments and campsites. Come dinnertime, you will never go hungry in Calpe with many restaurants serving up fine Spanish and international cuisine including Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Mexican. Many restaurants will serve Calpe's two signature dishes – Llauna de Calp which is a mix of fish, potatoes and tomatoes, and Arros de Senyoret featuring a mixture of fish, garlic and rice.
Come to Calpe – it'll take your breath away in more ways than one!
Harbour and Promenade
If tackling the Ifach Rock seems too strenuous, there are various other walks in and around Calpe. A wander around the Calpe fish market and harbour is a pleasant stroll. If you go at around 17.00hrs, you can watch the fish being unloaded from the boats and auctioned. This should help you work up an appetite for dinner.
Alternatively, walk along one of the seafront promenades for a gentle stroll among breathtaking scenery. The Principe de Asturias promenade starts at the foot of the Ifach and is about one kilometre long. It is a great way to admire the imposing Ifach as well as the shimmering Mediterranean sea. The Infanta Elena promenade is a 2.5 kilometre stroll from the Arenal-Bol beach, port and town centre. There are some great views of the Ifach as well as plenty of bars and restaurants where you can rest your weary legs.
When you travel into Calpe from the AP7 motorway, the Ifach seems to be rising straight out of the sea. It dominates the town and is one of the Costa Blanca's most dramatic sights. It can be tackled the easy way or the hard way. A short tunnel leads to the Ifach's gentler slopes for an easier climb to the summit. A round trip will take about two hours. Hardier folk can climb the sheer rock face on the opposite side. Walkers will wander among juniper and palm trees amid interesting flora and fauna, surrounded by wild birds. Once at the top, catch your breath and enjoy the view across the Mediterranean. On a clear day you can see the island of Ibiza. Don't forget to take your camera because there are stunning picture postcard scenes every step of the way.
This is a lovely museum in Calpe Old Town with a fine collection of the comic works of Elias Urbez. One of his murals can be found above the fountain in Del Mosquit Plaza.
The museum is housed in the old Town Hall and Courts in C/ de la Llibertat, which was also a tavern in a previous life. Now it is used to display costumes and accessories from Calpe's festivals, such as the Moors and Christians.
The museum in C/ Francisco Zaragoza houses many artefacts from a bygone age which have been unearthed in and around Calpe. A visit gives you a taste of Calpe's past and how this has shaped the town as we know it today.
Let the tourist train take the strain with a slow ride around Calpe's main streets. You could also take a boat trip to neighbouring resorts such as Javea, Altea or Denia. The coastline is beautiful with many coves and cliffs along the route.
Shoppers may like to visit the Saturday market for a variety of goods including leather bags and clothes. The secondhand market is held in Calpe on Wednesday in front of the sports centre.
Calpe is one of the best places for business conferences because of its range of large hotels.
At the foot of the Penon de Ifach rock is the port and fish market where visitors can see the fishing fleet bringing home its catch of the day
Calpe has two special dishes to call its own. Llauna de Calp consists of fish, potatoes and tomatoes while Arros de Senyoret is similar to paella with fish, shellfish such as prawns and lobster, garlic and rice.
Calpe has a very interesting walled old town built to defend the former fishing village against marauding pirates in bygone days.
Calpe has a population of nearly 30,000, about 11,000 are Spanish, 3,600 are German and 3,200 are British.
Calpe hosts a spectacular Moors and Christians fiesta in October with running battles and plenty of fireworks.
Calpe also holds its own version of Oktoberfest with plenty of German beer and food on offer as well as Oompah bands and lederhosen (although this is not compulsory!).