One of Spain’s most visited tourist destinations, Calpe on the Costa Blanca is an ocean side resort town full of interesting things to see and do. If you like walks along miles of beach side promenade, sitting at fashionable cafes watching the crowds walk by, wandering around interesting fishing harbors or shopping at traditional street markets, you’ll adore staying in Calpe. With so much to see and do in Calpe, in any season, these five things are the top.
Climb or Walk Calpe Rock – Calpe Rock is an unusual volcanic rock formation jutting out into the ocean. Called Penon de Ifach in Spanish, Calpe Rock is visited by hundreds of thousands of people a year, many of whom actually climb the rock to the lookout point near the top.
If you’re visiting the town of Calpe, the number one best thing to do in the city, and one not to miss, is walk to the top of Calpe Rock. The rock itself is a nature reserve, full of wildlife and plant life, and the walk through the long tunnel to the lookout point is one of the most beautiful walks you’ll ever do, with the resulting view from the top simply stunning. If you’re in average shape, the round-trip walk takes just over two hours. If you’re extremely fit, you can do it in about an hour and a half. For those who don’t like to leave ‘civilization’, don’t worry, you’re not too far out of Calpe and there are bathrooms part way up.
Of course, if you’re a seasoned climber, you can climb the rock face of Calpe Rock on the other side. Just don’t attempt this if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Visit Calpe’s Old Town– Calpe has a beautiful old town located at the top of a steep hill. At the top of the main shopping street, simply take any of the small side streets on the left hand side, and you’ll soon find yourself in an area of winding cobblestone lanes, beautiful churches, tiny museums and side walk cafes and bodegas.
In Calpe’s Old Town, don’t miss the beautiful painted and tiled murals located on walls and houses all over town and take photos of some of the pretty lanes lined with potted plants and colorful flowers. Have a glass of Sangria, the delicious Spanish wine-mix, at a traditional bodega and don’t miss ordering a plate of the Spanish national dish, paella.
Walk the Length of the Promenades – One of the most beautiful parts of Calpe are the long tiled promenades, which stretch along the beach from one side of the town to the other.
Walk along the promenades, from one end to the other, and you’ll get a workout that will last several kilometers. While walking, check out the lovely beach side cafes you pass, watch the sand artists creating sand sculptures of enormous crocodiles, beautiful mermaids and exotic castles, and take photographs of the stunning ocean views and Calpe Rock from every angle.
Visit the Nightly Fish Auction and Eat Dinner at a Fish Restaurant – After the fishing boats come back at the end of the day, that day’s catch is taken to the Calpe Auction House down by the harbor and auctioned off to the numerous restaurants and hotels around Calpe. Anyone can go to the auction house and settle in to watch the fish being hauled in in crates and on slabs, hurriedly auctioned off to the highest bidder, then hauled off again.
It’s fun, it’s fast and it’s exciting and you won’t have a clue what’s going on, but you’ll have a great time. After the auction, head out to the one of the many fish restaurants close to the harbor and order some of the freshest fish you’ll ever eat. Prices are inexpensive too.
Relax at a Beach Side Cafe – One of the most fun and best things to do in Calpe, if you just feel like a morning or afternoon relaxing, is to sit at a beach side cafe (and there are hundreds of them), order a cafe con leche or a La Mumba (hot or iced chocolate with brandy) and watch the crowds walk by.
On an average day, in just an hour’s time, you’ll see thousands of people from all over the world casually ambling by on the promenade, cycling, rollerblading, speedwalking, walking dogs, pushing wheelchairs as well as the beach vendors selling their wares.
Sitting at a beach side cafe in Calpe is the perfect way to see the world go by without moving yourself. Plus, don’t miss the specials most cafes offer – apple pie and coffee, coffee and brandy, tea or coffee and scones, an English breakfast and more.
Calpe in Spain is a wonderful place to visit for the day, spend a vacation, or even move to for a few months or permanently. Populated by Spaniards plus a huge number of foreign expats, Calpe will soon feel like a home away from home, no matter how long you stay there.
Photograph – one of Calpe’s cool bodegas. You’ll find many in the old town.