I was gently forcing Dani to continue our way via Calpe. I have read a couple of nice reviews about this place and for the obvious, naturally given reason: The Rock of Ifach, I thought it would be a perfect place to have a break from driving and put our bodies into the refreshing Mediterranean sea.
We arrived around noon, and luckily we found a garage parking, enough close to the beach where we could leave the car, otherwise, on the streets, it was impossible to park. There were cars and cars everywhere, needless to say, it was peak season, full of tourists. We just took out our bathing stuff from the trunk and immediately ran into the beach direction. It was extremely hot. But it was a pleasant surprise to discover Estrella Damm beers in the closest beach bar in the shadow, and it was a clear sign that we are getting closer and closer to home. For a while, we were enjoying our well-deserved cañas in the shadow, and after we basically ran into the sea, since the sand around noon was so hot, overall the heat and the power of the sun rays didn’t allow us to do otherwise. Nevertheless, the beach in Calpe is stunning, golden sandy, clean, and the water is crystal clear. We spent lovely hours enjoying the perfect summer combination of sea, sand & sun. 🤩
Calpe, the ancient fishing village, is located at the heart of Costa Blanca, within the region of Valencia. By today it is transformed into a tourist magnet, due to the fact that the town sits in an ideal location, easily accessed by the A7 motorway and the N332 that runs from Valencia to Alicante, and it is approximately one hour drive from the airport at Alicante.
It’s quite a long way to Calpe from Andalusia, almost five hours from Nerja. The roads are excellent but the weather is not helping there in summer. Even with a nice car is wise not to be out of water. The landscape changes a lot crossing Almeria province when the always-present greenery of the olive trees switches to the desert loneliness and getting to Murcia to the plastic ocean of the greenhouses plastic covers. After a while the orange trees announced that we were in Valencia region and from there to reach Calpe was a sweet ride to a Mediterranean prototype of vocational town.
Calpe is 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 founded Calpe as a 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. The peace of the 18th century enabled Calpe to regenerate and form the current tourist location.
Calpe is dominated by the towering rock of Ifach which reaches an impressive 332m, rising almost sheer above the sea and is a nature reserve. It is dangerous to climb, but from the top, one can see magnificent panoramic views and on a clear day, even the island of Ibiza can be visible.
If you spend more time in Calpe, it’s worth to check the famous postmodern apartment complex La Muralla Roja (Spanish for “The Red Wall“) designed by Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill in 1968. In designing the building, Bofill referenced the architecture of North African Kasbahs.
As many other old villages on the Spanish eastern coast Calpe has started soon with the tourism and right now a century ago the first small hotels appeared on the beach, for that wealthy people who has time to invest in the sunbathing new eccentricity. The ratio of foreigner visitors were very low there till the 60’s when Spain finished the autarchic economic period and all along the Mediterranean coast started the massive construction (and destruction) of apartments and vocational residences as well as huge hotels. Nevertheless Calpe is worth to visit for its beach and the Spanish seasonal coast nightlife. In that sense there are a lot of similar places that for sure come to your mind but Calpe is still enjoyable for all kinds of visitors. It has all you will want to relax and a huge international community, almost 47% of the population is not Spanish there. So, if that amount of people decided to move there something nice should be there.
In 1986 the World Health Organisation recommended the climate of the area as one of the most equitable in the world – neither too hot in the summer nor too cold in the winter. On average it can boast 325 sunny days each year making it an ideal all-year-round destination.
After our visit to Calpe, we decided to continue our road trip to reach the border of Catalunya…😎