At the heart of the Costa Blanca, within the region of Valencia lies the ancient fishing village of Calpe. Calpe has a wonderful mixture of old Valencian culture and modern tourist facilities. It is a great base from which to explore the local area or enjoy the many local beaches. Calpe alone has three of the most beautiful sandy beaches on the coast.
Calpe is a small coastal town of Valencia located in the province of Alicante, in the Marina Alta region. Totally dominating the landscape of this town rises majestically the Peñón de Ifach, which is a symbol of the region. It is a limestone hill of 320 m above sea level which for centuries has exercised a strong attraction on humans and different civilizations that have walked these lands
PEÑON DE IFACH IN CALPE
Calpe is dominated by the towering Peñon de Ifach which reaches an impressive 332 m, rising almost sheer above the sea, and it is a nature reserve. The summit of the rock is reached after a tough climb up a footpath, by means of a short tunnel through the upper part of the rock. Be warned that the path above the tunnel has almost no safety features and is not recommended for anybody with a fear of heights, the very young, or the remotely unfit. It is a genuinely tough and dangerous climb. From the top, magnificent panoramic views can be seen. On a clear day, the island of Ibiza is visible.
Today, the Peñon de Ifach is an emblem of Calpe and one of the most beautiful and photographed places on the Costa Blanca. No postcard is more beautiful in Calpe than the one offered by this mountain at sunset, bathed in orange and red colours. One of the most popular activities among visitors in Calpe is climbing the Peñon where you can enjoy one of the best views of the Levantine coast.
Calpe is a coastal city that breathes history from all sides. The first archaeological remains date from the Bronze Age, from which have found some remains and funerary village. But it was during the Roman Empire when the area became really important due to its strategic location, facing the sea and next to the Salinas. An example of the heritage that has been preserved to this day are the Roman ruins of the Baños de la Reina, where fish was preserved and elaborated, because in the past it was a salted fish factory.
Later, the territory passed into the hands of the Muslims until 1254, with the Christian conquest becoming part of the Kingdom of Aragon. The remains of the defensive wall and Torre de Peça are inherited from a time when people lived in fear and tension due to the constant attacks by pirates and privateers between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This was always a land always desired for all.
When it comes to sightseeing, the ancient town centre, next to the Moorish quarter, is a good place to start. The old town walls and the church known as Iglesia Vieja are well worth visiting. This church is the only remaining example of Mudejar-Gothic architecture within Valencia.
Overlooking the Mascarat ravine are the ruins of the Moorish Castle of Calpe and all over the local countryside are the typical rui-rau country houses, with arched porticos for raisin drying. The town centre is also home to the Museum of Archaeology and the Fiestas Museum.
Beaches of Calpe
Calpe is a perfect place to enjoy the sun and the beach not only in summer, as its great weather allows you to enjoy this fantastic place all year round.
It offers 13 kilometers of coastline with 14 beaches and coves, allowing you to choose from endless beaches with fine golden sand, tranquil bays, small sandy coves or pristine rocky shores by cliffs, all recognized for the purity of their clean waters, which are an unmistakable turquoise. Arenal-Bol and La Fossa-Levante are seemingly endless sandy urban beaches where you can go for a relaxing stroll or enjoy sports and aquatic activities, which are available due to a wide variety of services and facilities. Calpe also has over 5 km of beautiful cliffs, including the Peñón de Ifach, Toix, and La Manzanera. You’ll also find lovely, tranquil coves sculpted by the wind and sea that are surrounded by vegetation, including El Penyal, Les Bassetes, and El Racó, magical places where diving, fishing, and sailing become unforgettable experiences.
Cove El Collao or Racó del Corb
Located in a unique natural setting, this beach located south of Calpe is only accessible by sea. It is especially recommended for diving and fishing.
This small and calm natural cove of gravel and pebbles can only be reached by sea and features the extensive silhouette of the Sierra de Toix as a background. It is suitable for diving and fishing.
Cove Les Urques
A cove located on the southern coast of Calpe, close to Puerto Blanco marina.
Puerto Blanco Beach
A small pebble and sand beach, located on the old Puerto Blanco marina.
Cove La Manzanera
An alluring environment where you can relax next to a natural amphitheater carved by the sea while enjoying the view of buildings designed by architect Ricardo Bofill, which were models of the advanced architecture of the ’70s due to their coloring and geometric conception.
One of the most popular beaches in Calpe, Arenal-Bol features over a kilometre of fine golden sand and clear waters, dotted with small palm trees that give this urban beach a special allure. Enjoy its thriving promenade that offers a vast selection of services, restaurants, cafés, ice cream shops… and shops of all kinds in a very clean and comfortable environment. In the summer, it also has a special area with various services that help people with limited mobility to swim (top of C/ Holanda).
Cove del Morelló
An urban cove with a landscape that will transport you back in time…
A small cove with fine sand located on the paseo marítimo Infanta Elena, it gets its name because of its location next to the 19th century tower known as Torre Molí or del Morelló. It emphasizes the presence of the site known as Baños de la Reina, a collection of structures from the Roman era that housed an ancient fish farm and some baths.
Cantal Roig Beach
A small, calm beach located next to the fishing port and the Peñón de Ifach. It has numerous restaurants and is ideal to visit with children. While you sunbathe at Cantal Roig beach, you can watch the boats arrive at the port at the end of the day, experience the fish auctions, or taste the local cuisine in nearby restaurants.
El Racó Cove
A small gravel cove closed at its south end by the north dock of Calpe’s port and located at the foot of the Peñon de Ifach. The paseo ecológico Princesa de Asturias eco trail begins here. It is suitable for diving and fishing.
At El Racó cove, you’ll find an underwater diving trail, the only one in the Valencian Community, with signal panels on buoys and informative signs about animal and plant species (high season only). You can learn even more by visiting the exhibition and audiovisual presentation at IMEDMAR headquarters, located in the old fish market. If you prefer, you can also go for a stroll and enjoy the sea views while on the Paseo Ecológico eco trail that starts at this cove.
Cove del Penyal
This small natural cove with clear water is ideal for sport diving, fishing, and anchoring your boat. It’s a tranquil place where nature is the protagonist.
Levante or La Fossa Beach
With fine golden sand and clear waters, this tranquil, family-friendly urban beach offers all the amenities you need for a good beach day. From here you can admire an exceptional view of the lesser-known face of the Peñón de Ifach, with its small remnants of natural vegetation that slide down to the edge of the beach itself.
It is outlined by a well-kept promenade where you can find a large number of restaurants, ice cream shops, pubs, and shops of all kinds. In the summertime, it also has a special area which provides services that help people with limited mobility to swim (C/ Llevant and Hipocampos building).
You can access this curious cove from the ramp located at the end of the La Fossa-Levante promenade. The remains of underwater vegetation accumulate on its rocks, which guarantees that its depths are healthy and full of life.
Next to Calalga park, you’ll find the tranquility you desire for your day of sunbathing.
Cove del Mallorquí
A small cove with clean waters located between Les Bassetes marina and Cala Calalga. It is accessible by stairs from the Voramar trail. It provides a lovely view of the north face of the Peñón de Ifach. It is suitable for diving and fishing.
Cove Les Bassetes
A calm cove located next to the Bassetes marina, suitable for diving and fishing. It provides an unusual view of the Peñón de Ifach.
The Marina OF CALPE
Calpe has a wonderful modern marina that sits alongside the old fishing port. From here it is possible to take boat rides around the rock and to the nearby resort of Benidorm.
One of the best ways to enjoy the local coastline is by means of the narrow gauge railway that runs from Alicante to Denia, stopping at Calpe.
The port has a nautical club and facilities for yachting, windsurfing and water skiing. If it’s dry-land sports you want, then the rock of Ifach offers climbing facilities.