Local Information about Calpe
Calpe is a beautiful coastal town with great beaches, a rich history and a wide range of
activities. There is much to experience and do, for both young and old. The main attraction of
Calpe is the imposing limestone rock Peñón de Ifach. This giant rises 332 meters above sea
level and dominates the city skyline. The rock has become one of the highlights of the Costa
Blanca. Do not forget to explore the surroundings of Calpe during your stay.
Calpe has a wonderful mixture of old Valencian culture and modern tourist facilities. It is a great
base from which to explore the local area or enjoy the many local beaches. Calpe alone has
three of the most beautiful sandy beaches on the coast.
The “Royal Calpe Yacht Club” is the town’s most important harbour, with extensive, first-rate
facilities, and also a lively atmosphere The Port is sort of divided into two, the fishing area and
the yacht club area, enjoy a meal at one of the many fish restaurants that can be found here.
Calpe Salt Flats – Las Salinas
The salt flats are located in a marshlands close to the centre of town, near the base of the
Peñón de Ifach. These were formally a working salt mine, but have not been active since 1988,
but for centuries the salt mines were the livelihood for many local families.
During the Roman Empire, the salt mines were already fully operational, and produced large
quantities of salt to flavour and preserve their food such as fish and meat
1n 1993 this area was declared a maritime zone and a protected natural area which is a rich but
fragile ecosystem and is a place for hundreds of species of natural flora and fauna and attract
more than 160 species of migratory birds, the most famous being a large population of pink
flamingos and storks.
History & Culture
Calpe’s old town still has nice wide avenues where modern buildings and old architecture
collide. Calpe is almost three thousand years old and in this area it still retains a sense of history
and tradition. The earliest archaeological findings, at the time of the Iberians were found at the
Ifach cliffs. Later the Romans established a wealthy colony at the coast whose main activity was
the trade of dried and salted fish.
In the Middle Ages, Calpe’s local population developed agriculture. Christians and Moslems
lived here peacefully together, despite the many attacks from pirates between the 14th and 17th
century. In the 18th century this threat was removed and Calpe enjoyed an economic upswing
which continues to the day.
To the right-hand side of the rock is the famous Calpe fish market. You may not think it now but
Calpe was originally a small fishing village.
Even now each day, the fishing boats bring their catch in and you can even watch the fish
auctions on the quay and buy the fresh fish yourself. The Calpe restaurants display the raw fish
out the front, you point to the plate you want and it then goes back to the kitchen to be cooked.
The beaches are surrounded by dozens of restaurants, bars and clubs offering a wide variety of
food, drink and entertainment.
On each side of the rock are two fantastic sandy Calpe beaches and this is the reason why
most people come on holiday to Calpe – the beaches are of a very high quality sand and the
waters are clean.
The beaches are so long and wide that unlike the nearby town of Benidorm, you can always find
a spot on the beach. The facilities on the beaches are excellent with many play areas for the
children right on the beach itself.
The Calpe beaches are superb and always hold a blue flag which means they are certified as
being clean by the European Foundation for Environmental Education.
The port has a nautical club and facilities for yachting, windsurfing and water skiing. If its
dry-land sports you want then the rock of Ifach offers climbing facilities.
The Ifach golf course is situated in Moraira (Benissa) on a country estate. The challenging
course offers magnificent views of the sea and mountains. It’s a nine holes course and although
the holes are quite short, the terrain and the narrow fairways make them tricky and entertaining.
Local public Spanish schools are free in Spain. The Law of Education makes it compulsory and
free for pupils to attend school between ages 6 and 16 years old.
International schools in and around Javea are the most popular choice for expats, with several
in the area.
British schools usually follow the UK curriculum and offer GCSEs, A/S and A levels. Many also
now offer the internationally- recognised International Baccalaureate diploma as an alternative
to A levels.
Moraira enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate, with cool sea breezes in summer and protection
by surrounding mountains against the cold North winds in winter. The area averages nearly
3,000 hours of sunshine each year and the average temperature easily exceeds 20 degrees.