Peñon de Ifach
PEÑON DE IFACH NATURAL PARK
ABOUT THE PEÑON DE IFACH NATURAL PARK
The Natural Park of the Peñon de Ifach has become one of the most, if not the most, important symbol of the city of Calpe.
Calpe is a small seaside town on the Northern Costa Blanca, located between Altea and Moraira, and it has always been known for the famous rock of the Peñon de Ifach.
The Peñon de Ifach is a Spanish protected natural area, and it was declared a natural park by the Valencian government in 1987, with an area of 45 hectares. Subsequently, in 2015, the protection limit was extended to 53.3 hectares.
The park is located on an isolated rock on the north coast of the province of Alicante, and it reaches an altitude of 332 meters.
Plant Ecology, Animal Life & Marine Life at the Peñon de Ifach
The rock’s sheer cliffs and rocky escarpments, exposed to the sea winds on three sides, have created a variety of microhabitats that have fostered a diversity of specialized plant species. At the lowest levels, relatively deep soils with higher moisture content in areas protected from the sea have allowed the development of a typical Mediterranean scrub vegetation community including dwarf palms, juniper, lavender and white pine. Higher up as soils become thinner and more exposed to the sun and wind, alpine plant species have colonized cracks and gullies in the rock.
The Ifac silene, Silene hifacensis, a highly endangered species first discovered on the rock, has now disappeared from the locality; no more than 20 adult plants are thought to be left in the wild.
The rock face provides nesting sites for birds of prey including peregrine falcons and Eleonor’s falcon, seabirds including gulls and cormorants, and other birds typical of rocky habitats. There are also semi-domesticated cats that live near the peak.
The seabed around Penyal d’Ifac is varied, with rocky, stony and sandy areas sheltering a very diverse marine community.
Cala El Racó at the Peñon de Ifach
The Peñon de Ifach also counts with a small gravel cove closed at its southern end by the north dike of the port of Calpe and located at the foot of the Peñon de Ifach. The Princess of Asturias ecological walk begins from there. Suitable for diving and fishing.
In the cove of El Racó you will find an adapted underwater unique diving path, with signposted panels on buoys and informative posters of animal and plant species (high season only) whose interpretation is completed with the exhibition and the audiovisual in the IMEDMAR headquarters, former fish market.
If you prefer, you can walk while you take in the views along the Princess of Asturias ecological itinerary that begins in this cove.
Excursion to Peñon de Ifach Natural Park
One of the most popular activities in Calpe is hiking to the Peñón de Ifach. It is ideal for lovers of hiking and climbing.
The Peñon de Ifach is divided into two zones, a first zone that has easy access all the way to the tunnel, and from the tunnel to the top it becomes a more complicated walk/climb. The park entrance is located right at the foot of the mountain in a small car park where you can leave your car. The climbing is spectacular, passing through viewpoints, archaeological remains of an old military fortress and for the ones that are more fit and are able to reach the top, they will enjoy sublime views of the coast, a real treat for the senses.
The 2 km excursion usually lasts about 2 hours though a slope of 291 m. We recommend you wear comfortable shoes, and if you plan to walk the second half, wear hiking boots, water, a hat, sunscreen and try not to climb during the hottest hours in the summer.
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