Typical of many Spanish towns along the Mediterranean, Calpe has evolved from a small fishing village with its shops and houses set well back from its harbour in order to give the inhabitants timely warning in case of a sea born attack by raiders and pirates.
Over the years the region has gained popularity with both tourists and the many Spanish and foreigners looking to settle and live in the Costa Blanca.
This has allowed Calpe to develop into a vibrant cosmopolitan resort to cater for a growing population and the influx of holidaymakers from all over Europe.
The ‘Penon de Ifach’, one of the most impressive natural features to be found along the Mediterranean coast of Spain, dominates Calpe.
This massive rock standing on its own peninsula jutting out into the sea is reminiscent of a small Gibralter. The town also boasts a salt-water lake that plays host to a variety of sea birds, including flocks of flamingos.
Calpe is still an active fishing port with a daily fish market well worth a visit, even if only to admire the displays of fresh fish and shellfish outside the many restaurants surrounding the harbour.
You may very well be tempted inside by the offer of a free glass of Sangria as you stroll along. Nearby is Calpe Marina, a modern development with a ‘Club Nautico’ where you can enjoy an excellent meal or just a drink or tapas on the veranda while admiring the yachts and cruisers at their moorings.
On the other side of Ifach is the ‘Puerto Blanca’ marina, much smaller and older but with a charm all of its own and well worth a visit. Walk up the hill from the port past fashionable shops and a multitude of restaurants and bars to the old town where you suddenly become immersed in its history and the typical Spanish day-to-day way of life.
Calpe old town is a world apart from the bustle and glitter of high rise tower blocks, smart modern hotels, the lure of the two splendid beaches of soft white sand, wonderful bathing and a promenade bristling with bars, restaurants and shops.
Find the time to wander round the narrow streets and the two ancient churches. Look in on the archaeological museum where artifacts dating back to the time when the Romans colonised the town.
The ambiance of the traditional bars and restaurants that have retained their original features is an experience not to be missed.
Outside Calpe can be found quiet hotels offering excellent and reasonably priced accommodation in a countryside atmosphere. Also several excellent restaurants with specialities from North Africa to typically Spanish, at prices that are pleasantly surprising.
Keen walkers will find plenty of opportunities to enjoy the diversity of choice that abounds in and around Calpe, with its backdrop of scenic mountain routes or ambles through the orange groves. Try a climb up Ifach as a truly memorable experience to round off your visit.