During your stay in Benidorm, if you are planning on taking a few day trips be sure to include Calpe and its breathtaking Rock of Ifach. Situated less than 30 minutes drive form Benidorm, the rock is visible for miles before you reach the town. Inhabited since prehistoric times, Calpe has seen its fair share of turbulent times, and the Rock of Ifach has served the town's past inhabitants well as a lookout point against raiding armies and marauding pirates.
Its coastal position boosted Calpe's marine trade and fishing industry, and the nearby El Saladar salt flats provided the salt for mass production of dried fish, an important staple in sailors diets on long sea journeys. Now, the town's main economy is tourism and its popularity is evident in its 60% foreign population.
Out & About
Calpe's two main beaches, located on either side of the rock, offer golden sand and calm, clear waters and have received the prestigious Blue Flag Award. There are a number of smaller beaches and coves offering a more relaxed setting, as well as good snorkelling and fishing among the craggy rocks. The town has a picturesque marina and a mixture of smaller ports. From here visitors can enjoy a selection of water sports and the opportunity to try a bit of sailing at the Nautical Club.
A walk around the old town centre and Moorish quarter offers sightseeing opportunities that include its Gothic Catholic church, Iglesia Vieja, the Museum of Archaeology, and the remains of the old town walls. There are ample places to enjoy food and refreshments, as well as parks and plazas to escape the midday heat. If you head along the Prince of Asturias Promenade there are some lovely views, and the Banys de la Reina, part of an old Roman fish factory locally known as the Queens Bath.
Rock of Ifach
As impressive as Calpe is, it's the Rock of Ifach that most visitors come to see. Standing over 300 metres high and rising dramatically from the sea, the island of Ibiza can be seen from its summit on a clear day. Being a nature reserve, there is an interesting array of flora & fauna to explore among its nature trails, but the footpath to the summit is very steep and can be dangerous in parts, so a decent level of fitness and sturdy hiking boots are advisable for those who wish to brave the climb.