Calpe, a popular holiday destination on the Costa Blanca coast of Spain, is a magnet for British tourists seeking sun, sea, and a touch of culture. With its impressive rock formation, Peñon de Ifach, beautiful beaches, charming old town, and a wealth of activities, Calpe is an ideal location for a holiday. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the numerous attractions and experiences that Calpe has to offer for British holidaymakers.
General Information about Calpe
Calpe, situated in the province of Alicante, is a beautiful coastal town that has transformed from an ancient fishing village to a bustling tourist hot spot. It boasts a mix of old Valencian culture and modern tourist facilities, providing a perfect base for exploring the local area or simply enjoying the delightful beaches. Calpe has three main beaches of exceptional quality, as well as numerous smaller coves waiting to be discovered.
Getting to Calpe from the UK
Reaching Calpe from the UK is relatively easy, with regular flights from various British airports to Alicante. The town is located approximately one hour’s drive from Alicante Airport and is well-connected by the A7 motorway and the N332 road that runs between Valencia and Alicante.
Things to See and Do in Calpe
Calpe offers a diverse range of activities and attractions for British holidaymakers to enjoy. From historical sites and natural wonders to beaches and recreational activities, there’s something for everyone in this charming coastal town.
The Peñon de Ifach
The most iconic landmark in Calpe is the Peñon de Ifach, a towering limestone rock that rises over 330 meters above the sea. This natural wonder is a protected nature reserve and offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding coastline. For adventurous tourists, a challenging hike to the summit is an unforgettable experience, providing stunning vistas of Calpe and beyond.
Old Town of Calpe
The charming old town of Calpe is a must-visit for history and architecture enthusiasts. The ancient town centre, situated next to the Moorish quarter, features narrow cobbled streets, colourful murals, and fascinating historical buildings. Key attractions include the 15th-century town walls, the Iglesia Vieja (Old Church), and the Torreo de la Peça, a defensive tower housing the Museo del Coleccionismo.
Calpe’s Beautiful Beaches
Calpe is renowned for its stunning beaches, making it a haven for sun-seekers and water sports enthusiasts. Some of the most popular beaches include:
- Playa de la Fossa (Levante Beach): This beautiful sandy beach offers a high-quality seaside experience, with crystal-clear waters and a blue flag certification for cleanliness. The beach is surrounded by numerous restaurants, bars, and clubs, providing ample entertainment options for visitors.
- Playa del Arenal-Bol: As the main beach in Calpe, Playa del Arenal-Bol is famous for its golden sands and impressive views of the Peñon de Ifach. The palm-lined promenade is home to a variety of restaurants and shops, making it a popular spot for both relaxation and recreation.
- Cala El Raco: This picturesque cove is located at the foot of the Peñon de Ifach, offering a unique and tranquil setting for sunbathing and swimming. Crystal-clear waters and a diverse array of marine life make this a popular spot for snorkelling and diving.
Calpe’s picturesque marina, located at the end of the Paseo Infanta Elena promenade, comprises a fishing port and a marina for leisure boats. Visitors can enjoy leisurely strolls along the waterfront, admiring the beautiful sailing boats and taking in the views of the Peñon de Ifach. The harbour is also home to a number of excellent fish restaurants, where fresh seafood is a must-try for British holidaymakers.
Calpe Salt Lake and Flamingos
For nature lovers, a visit to Calpe’s Salt Lake is an absolute must. This unique urban wetland is home to a large population of pink flamingos, providing a fascinating spectacle for visitors. The lake is easily accessible from the town centre and offers a peaceful escape from the bustling tourist areas.
Baños de la Reina (Queen’s Baths)
History buffs will delight in exploring the Baños de la Reina, a Roman site dating back to the 2nd-4th centuries. These ancient baths, once part of a royal spa, are located on the waterfront near Playa del Arenal-Bol and can be visited free of charge. Visitors can even swim in the crystal-clear waters of this historic site, immersing themselves in the rich history of Calpe.
Mirador Monte Toix Viewpoint
For breathtaking panoramic views of Calpe, the Peñon de Ifach, and the surrounding coastline, a visit to the Mirador Monte Toix viewpoint is essential. Located on a hill to the west of the town, this viewpoint can be reached by car, with a short walk required to reach the summit. The stunning vistas from this vantage point make it a must-visit attraction for photographers and nature lovers alike.
Best Hotels in Calpe
Calpe offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit the needs and preferences of British holidaymakers. Some of the best hotels in Calpe include:
- Gran Hotel Sol y Mar: This adults-only hotel is situated in a prime beachfront location, offering stunning views of the Peñon de Ifach and a luxurious infinity pool.
- Suitopía – Sol y Mar Suites Hotel: This family-friendly 4-star hotel boasts a fantastic Sky Lounge Bar with 360-degree views, a delicious breakfast, and excellent facilities.
- Apartamentos Vista Bella: These beachfront apartments offer beautiful views and stylish furnishings, making them an ideal choice for self-catering holidays.
Restaurants in Calpe
Calpe offers a diverse range of dining options to suit the tastes of British holidaymakers. From traditional Spanish cuisine to international fare, there’s something to satisfy every palate. Some of the best restaurants in Calpe include:
- Casa Florencia: Renowned for its delicious paella and rice dishes, Casa Florencia is a must-visit for fans of authentic Spanish cuisine.
- Restaurante Baidal: Situated in Calpe’s harbour, this popular fish restaurant offers a wide variety of fresh seafood dishes and stunning views of the Peñon de Ifach.
- Restaurante Mejias: For a taste of local Spanish cuisine at an affordable price, this restaurant offers a range of dishes and a welcoming atmosphere.
- Punjabi Curry Indian Restaurant: Those craving a taste of home can enjoy delicious Indian cuisine at this popular restaurant.
Calpe is a fantastic holiday destination for British tourists, offering a wealth of attractions, activities, and beautiful beaches to enjoy. Its rich history, charming old town, and stunning natural landscapes make it an ideal location for a memorable Spanish getaway. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a mix of both, Calpe has something for everyone.