Calpe is an old fishing village that has developed into a famous holiday resort on the Costa Blanca in Spain. Calpe is located in the province of Alicante, in the Valencia region, covers an area of 24 km2 and is located at 70km from Alicante and its airport. To the airport of Valencia it is about 110km. In 2012 Calpe had 29.560 inhabitants.
The sunny Calpe is characterized by the well-known conical cliff Peñón
de Ifach that dominates the landscape, the mild climate, extensive
beaches, long boulevards with palm trees, picturesque streets where you
can go for a stroll, various bars and many restaurants. This all makes
Calpe a delightful destination in both summer and winter. The
surroundings are hilly and in the village you will find museums, narrow
streets and several squares.
Calpe is rich in culture and history. Its strategic location has brought together here many different cultures over the years. Evidence of early Iberian settlement can be found around the Peñón de Ifach. Later, the Romans built a flourishing settlement here, based on the trade and production of salted fish.
During the Middle Ages, the area around Calpe consisted of small communities spread over several villages. Christians and Muslims lived here together in peace but were constantly under fire from pirates. In the 18th century the pirates were expelled and they were no longer a threat, that´s when they could begin with the reconstruction of the city as we know it today.
Landscape and surroundings of Calpe
The Morro del Toix and the Peñón de Ifach mark the two extremes of the bay of Calpe.
The Peñón de Ifach (Ifach means "north" in Phoenician) is the symbol of Calpe, and perhaps even of the Costa Blanca. It is the highest cliff in the Mediterranean area and divides Calpe's shoreline in two. The rock is 332 meters high and extends for one kilometer out into the sea, a unique geological phenomenon. One can climb this rock, it offers a rich flora and fauna and at the top you have a beautiful view of the entire Costa Blanca.
The Peñón was also an extremely good watchtower for the people who lived here at the foot. The Morro de Toix was another point that was used to look out over the Barranc Del Mascarat, which gave access to the coast.
The surroundings of Calpe can be admired by excursions or hiking routes.
Calpe has between Les Bassetes and the Morro de Toix a 11km long coastline with sandy beaches as Levante and Arenal and bays such as La Manzanera and Les Urques bay, where you can fish and snorkel.
The Cueva dels Coloms, in the Morro de Toix, overlooking Altea, is a freshwater grotto that is accessible only from the sea.
Sports and activities in Calpe
The Peñón de Ifach is famous with climbers because of its difficulty grade, and can be climbed via different routes.
In addition in Calpe you can play golf, tennis, go sailing, horseback riding, practice water sports like surfing and diving and many more.
Calpe also offers extensive shopping facilities and a beautiful harbor. Next to the boulevard that goes from the port to the city center you will find the 'Baños de la Reina´. These “baths of the queen” belonged to an old Roman pickling factory.
Calpe is not far from Benidormm where you can find several amusement parks like Terra Mitica, the first theme park in Spain. This amusement park is divided into five areas, five lost civilizations of antiquity and the rides take you back to the myths and legends of these ancient cultures.
Aqualandia on the other hand is a huge water park where children of all ages can enjoy a great day in the many pools, slides, waterfalls etc.
Mundomar and Terra Natura give you a day full of beautiful, exotic animals and different shows.
You can relax in one of the many bars or on the terraces in Calpe and enjoy excellent seafood in the numerous restaurants.
Typical Spanish dishes are highly available in Calpe and known for this region, as well as for the rest of the Costa Blanca, are the rice dishes which are prepared in more than 300 different ways.
Next to the sea, restaurants almost always offer numerous fish and shellfish dishes on their menu. The many (fish) restaurants in the harbor offer delicious local specialties.