Calpe is large scale tourism with only Benidorm on the Costa Blanca having more high rise buildings. The main attraction is undoubtedly the beautiful blue flag beaches with golden sand and crystal clear water. The whole resort of Calpe is dominated by the huge Peñon de Ifach, an enormous Gibraltar like rock which separates the two main beach areas of Playa la Fossa and Playa Cantal Roig.
The Peñon de Ifach is a Natural Park which is the symbol of the whole Costa Blanca. It is 332m high and extends for a kilometre out to sea. You can climb to the top from the information office at its base but whether you’d want to in the summer heat is another matter.
Arriving along the coast road from the north you’ll be confronted with a selection of large supermarkets and even larger apartment blocks and hotels running adjacent to the coast. These cater for holidaymakers who come to spend their days on the 900m long beach of Playa la Fossa (also called Playa Levante).
Playa de la Fossa is a first class beach with golden sand and excellent facilities including several children’s play areas, tennis courts and even a bowling green. It has been awarded a Blue Flag.
The majority of the restaurants along Playa la Fossa are geared towards Spanish tourists with local fish and rice dishes very popular. The occasional British establishment appears with its typical fare which strikes a nice balance as far as the resort is concerned. There is a pedestrianised promenade (Paseo Infanta Cristina) the full length of the beach with a number of cocktail bars which help generate a lively nightlife scene.
On the other side of the Peñon is a smart marina followed by narrow, rocky beach called Playa Cantal Roig. A promenade (Paseo Infanta Elena) runs from here past a Roman fish farm and Roman baths as far as another superb beach at Playa Arenal-Bol. The end of this 2000m long beach is pretty much in the old town. Just follow c/Valencia for two minutes and you’re in the Plaza Mayor. Both of these beaches have also been awarded Blue Flags.
The old town of Calpe is worth a wander around to see some historical buildings and squares. There’s a street market every Saturday in the town and a flea market every Wednesday. In the summer months there are crafts fairs in the old town. Another worthwhile visit is to the daily fish auction at La Lonja in the port. These take place every weekday afternoon at 5pm. The salt flats just inland from Playa Levante date back to Roman times and are an important location for many species of migrating birds so don’t forget your binoculars.
Recommended Hotels in Calpe
Located just back from the beach near the salt flats is the splendid Hotel Villa Marisol which only has 17 bedrooms. All are spacious, bright and decorated to a very high standard. The hotel has an excellent restaurant which food lovers will really enjoy, an arroceria which specialises in rice dishes local to the region and a cafeteria. There is an excellent spa which includes a jacuzzi, a sauna Turkish baths and an indoor pool.
Located less than a 5 minute walk from the Fossa Beach and a short walk from the harbour is the SH Ifach Hotel which also has spacious rooms with large balconies. It is advisable to ask for a room with a pool view and on one of the higher floors as the views are better and you won’t be overshadowed by another building. This is a quiet area of town in the off season but is only a 20 minute walk or a short taxi ride to the town centre.
Our recommended 3 star option which is also just a short stroll from La Fossa beach is the Hotel Galetamar which has a selection of two bedroom family apartments available. Its outdoor pool is surrounded by a lovely sun terrace and is heated in winter. It is just a 10 minute walk into the old town of Calpe along the promenade.
There are vast numbers of private apartments available for rent as well as campsites. Camping Levante is just off Avda. Juan Carlos I as you enter from the north and Camping La Merced is just out of town in the same direction.
Holidaymakers to Calpe generally fly into Alicante Airport which is about a 50 minute drive away.