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Calpe is seaside resort in the Valencia and Murcia region of Spain. It is 35 km south of Denia and north of Alicante. It is on a part of the Mediterranean coast known as the Costa Blanca.
Calpe (or Calp to the locals) is instantly recognisable for the huge limestone rock sat on its beach. The rock is called the 'Penon de Ifach' and measures over 600m in height. It can be seen for miles along the coast.
Calp was once a small fishing village but little remains of its origins and it is now a large tourist development. There are long, wide, sandy beaches on either side of the Penon de Ifach rock and these are the reason for the large numbers of tourists every year. Both beaches have the blue flag for cleanliness and have excellent facilities. They are surrounded by pubs, clubs and restaurants meaning that you never have to stray far in the search for restaurants.
Calpe harbour, tucked in next to the Penon de Ifach rock is a pleasant area and you can watch the day's fish catch being brought in. This is taken to the Calpe fish market just behind the beach, this is very popular and interesting to visit. The fruit and vegetable market in Calpe is held on a Saturday
In the town centre is a 15th century church, the Iglesia Antigua which is in the main town square, the Plaza de la Villa. It is built into the original defensive walls of Calpe. The old town of Calpe was originally surrounded by defensive walls to protect it from pirate attacks.
Because of its strategic location Calp is home to various Roman, Iberian and Arab archaeological sites. These include the ruins of a Roman Villa called the Queen's Baths, the 'Els Banys de la Reina'. Next to these, near the Plaza de la Villa is an Archeological Museum.
Also worth visiting are the 18th century tower of La Peca and a Museum dedicated to the 'Moros y Cristianos' festival (Moorish and Christian festival) in Calpe - the Fester Museum. This festival takes place every third week of October for 3 days.
There is a pathway taking you up the Penon de Ifach rock and as you can imagine there are several excellent viewpoints along the way. On a clear day you can see the island of Ibiza. The rock is a nature park, the 'Parque Natural de Penyal D'Ifach'. You can climb to the top, though you need sturdy boots and a head for heights. From the top you can get great views back over the sea, the beaches and the town of Calpe.
Very near to Calpe are the Calpe salt flats which are now a protected area and home to lots of birds including pink flamingos.
Benidorm is nearby and you can take a boat trip to get there and get views of the rock from the sea. The attractive resorts of Altea and Denia are also on this part of the coast giving you a wide choice of beaches and resorts to visit.
Map of Calpe and places to visit
Calpe places to visit
See more places nearby in the Valencia and Murcia guide