At the core of the Costa Blanca, within the region of Valencia lies the old fishing village of Calpe. Recently it has been transformed into a tourist magnet, the town sits in an ideal location, easily accessed by the A7 motorway and the N332 that runs from Valencia to Alicante; its approximately one hour drive from the airport at Alicante.
Calpe has the best proportion 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 town rich in history and culture and its strategic position on the coast has attracted many voyagers and settlers throughout history. Remains of Iberian tribes have been found around the town. Later, the Romans landed and trurned Calpe into a wesalthy and prosperous colony, whose main activity was drying and salting fish.
Christians and Moors lived peacefully for a time but were subjected to attacks by pirates during the 14th-17th centuries. Fortunately the peace of the 18th century enabled Calpe to regenerate its stability and formed the current tourist location.
The Rock of Ifach
Calpe is distinguished by the towering rock of Ifach which reaches an impressive 332m, rising above the sea and is clasified as a nature reserve. The summit of the rock can be reached but only after a tough climb up a footpath, by means of a short tunnel through the upper part of the rock. Be warned 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 had. On a clear day, the island of Ibiza is visible.
Leisure & recreation
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 its dry-land sports you want then the rock of Ifach offers climbing facilities.
The Ifach golf course is situated in Moraira (Benissa) on a country estate. The challenging course offers magnificent views of the sea and mountains. It’s a nine holes course and although the holes are quite short, the terrain and the narrow fairways make them tricky and entertaining.
Within one hour’s drive there are a good selection of golf courses to keep the fans of this Scottish game thoroughly entertained.
Cuisine from the Costa Blanca combines delicacies from both land and the Mediterranean Sea. Many civilizations have lived in this area (Celts, Iberians, Greeks, Romans, Muslims), all of which have all left their mark on the gastronomy.
If you have a sweet tooth then you will enjoy the local homemade pastries and deserts that the area is famous for. Or Jijona ice-cream (Nougat), which is made with the almonds of the region.