CALPE. 11 Essential Plans next to the Peñón de Ifach

A journey through the history, culture, nature and gastronomy of Calp.

Qué ver en Calpe
Qué ver en Calpe

Calpe is a historic town that needs no introduction. Located in the Marina Alta region, in the north of the province of Alicante, the town is unmistakable for its iconic Peñón de Ifach: a limestone mass of more than 300 meters high that, thanks to its unique environmental values, was declared a Natural Park in 1987.

Known mainly as a “sun and beach” destination, in this article, however, we are going to discover that Calp – official name, in Valencian – has many other natural and cultural attractions that are worth knowing… Will you join us to discover them? Stay until the end!

10 Must-Do Plans in Calp / Calpe

Index of contents

1. Bathing in a Roman Site

Baños de la Reina de Calpe (Alicante)
Vista general de los Baños de Reina

Calpe has exceptional beaches of fine golden sand, such as Playa de la Fossa and Arenal-Bol, as well as rocky coves and boulders that are difficult to access, such as Cala del Racó del Corb, shared with neighboring Altea.

But, probably, the most special beach in Calpe is the one known as “Calpe Beach”.The Queen’s Baths“a complex and fascinating 2,000-year-old Roman site which consists of 3 parts: a Roman villa, a thermal complex and fish farms excavated in the rock in which today we can swim or snorkel, emulating the “Moorish queen” that the popular legend places in these rafts interconnected by various channels.

2. Visiting the old town of Calp / Calpe

Calpe old town cultural route
Calpe Old Town

Although the protagonists of Calpe’s coastal facade are -with the permission of the Peñón de Ifach- the huge skyscrapers that emulate the nearby Benidorm, if we move a little away from the coast, a visit to the old town of Calpe is a must: perched on top of a hill, it preserves medieval elements of great attraction such as the walls or the Torreó de la Peça.

To discover the interesting history of the various monuments, we recommend a guided tour. An excellent option is to book this free-tour where we decide how much to pay (although the code of the good tourist tells us that it is advisable to contribute around 10 euros per person).

3. Eating at a Michelin Star Restaurant

Orobianco Restaurant © Cédric Pascal Photography
Orobianco Restaurant © Cédric Pascal Photography

Calpe holds the prestigious “Michelin Star” award in three of its restaurants. Getting a table at any of them is no easy task, so if you plan to enjoy Calpina’s gastronomy during your visit, don’t forget to book in advance.


The only Italian restaurant with a Michelin Star in Spain offers 2 tasting menus that reinterpret Italian cuisine with local produce as a base.


Beat is the restaurant of the prestigious accommodation The Cookbook Gastro Boutique Hotel & Spa. A restaurant where the Valencian chef José Manuel Miguel delights us with a fascinating symbiosis between Mediterranean cuisine and contemporary French cuisine.

Audrey’s by Rafa Soler

Chef Rafa Soler offers two tasting menus to surprise us with a Valencian cuisine elevated to the maximum creativity and where local products shine with their own light.

4. Look out over the Mediterranean from the Serra d'Oltà.

One of the best viewpoints of the Costa Blanca is located in the Morro de Toix, natural border between the towns of Calp and Altea. To reach this spectacular observation point, you will have to enter the Maryvilla urbanization, built on the northern slope of the Sierra de Toix. Once the vehicle is parked -make sure it is out of the way-, you will have to walk for only 10 minutes (uphill, of course) to reach the viewpoint. I tell you all the details here:
Morro de Toix viewpoint

5. Overlooking the Mediterranean from Serra d'Oltà

Peñón de Ifach desde la Sierra de Oltà

In addition to the well-known Penyal d’Ifac, Calpe has other natural areas of great beauty and environmental relevance. One of them is the
Oltà mountain range
One of them is the Sierra de Oltà, an excellent vantage point from which to look out over the Costa Blanca and from where, on clear days, the outline of the island of Ibiza can be seen towering above the horizon.

To enjoy Oltà we can take the complete hiking route or simply walk from the Oltamar park to the Ermita Vella or Ermita de Sant Francesc, from where you can see a magnificent panoramic view of the coastal town and its eternal watchman.

5. Sailing next to the Peñón de Ifach

As a Mediterranean town, Calpe’s history has been intimately linked to the “Mare Nostrum” for centuries (remember the Roman fish farms in the first point of this article?). So, a day of sailing in the bay of Calpe is an experience not to be missed.

Here it is time to choose. Do you prefer a private tour on a skippered boat or a more economical – though less intimate – catamaran excursion around Ifach?

In both cases you will be able to contemplate the hidden face of the great rock and you will have the opportunity to swim surrounded by crystal clear waters. Your choice.

6. See the fish auction at the fish market, fishing port of Calpe.

Fish auction, photo ©

We stayed in the port of Calpe to know one of the aspects that give personality to the town of Alicante: its deep-rooted seafaring tradition.

From Monday to Friday, at around 5 p.m., the fish auction takes place at the fish market, with the catches obtained during the day by the Calpe fishing fleet. A whole seafaring ritual of about 2 hours that is worth knowing during your stay on the Costa Blanca.

7. Visiting Benissa and the Marina Alta Cathedral

Very close to Calpe, about 6 kilometers inland, the beautiful village of
surprises by the beauty of its monumental old town as well as by a coastline punctuated by beautiful coves, which are among the most beautiful in Alicante.

To learn about the rich history and cultural heritage that Benissa treasures, it is worth booking a guided tour.

As for its beautiful coves, we can explore them on our own through the ecological coastal walk or rely on an expert guide and book this free tour that runs along the coastal stretch between Calpe and Benissa.

And if you love hiking trails, from Benissa you can take the scenic road to the hamlet of Cases de Bèrnia (Xaló), the starting point of one of the most spectacular hiking trails in Alicante: the Forat de Bèrnia.

9. Watching flamingos in the salt flats


Along with the Peñón de Ifach, the Salinas de Calpe are one of the most unique natural areas of the town. If you love birding, that is, bird watching, here you will be able to contemplate a good number of species, being the flamingo the most striking.

The salt pans, nowadays in disuse, are evidence of Calpe’s past in terms of fishing activity. Thanks to the exploitation of the salt mines, already in Roman times, food could be cooked using the traditional brining or salting method.

Also in this case we recommend hiring a guided tour in order to learn about the history and environmental importance of this wetland area of the municipality.

10. Enter the Mascarat Canyon, the old entrance to Calpe.

Mascarat Ravine
In order: old bridge of the N-322, modern bridge and railway bridge.

If you arrive in Calpe from the south, on the N-332 road, your attention will be drawn at a certain point to a succession of tunnels and bridges that cross a spectacular geographical feature: the Barranc Salat or Mascarat Canyon.

This unique enclave of Alicante’s orography was a serious obstacle for communications in the area until, at the end of the 19th century and after many years of delays, the construction of the dizzying 60-meter-high bridge was completed.

Well, today it is possible to enter the Mascarat Canyon, a spectacular abyss of rock sculpted by the force of water. A breathtaking place that can be visited on a simple route, suitable for all audiences.

For the most experienced mountaineers, there is also the possibility of ascending to the Castellet de Calp, an old watchtower that guarded the primitive entrance to the town.

And if you practice climbing, in the Sierra de Toix there are some of the most spectacular routes in the Mediterranean.

11. Conquering the summit of the Peñón de Ifach

The Rock of Ifach, Calpe
Aerial view of the Rock of Ifach, in Calpe

In this selection of essential plans, we have left for the end the “highlight” of the activities that can be enjoyed in Calpe. Climbing to the top of the Peñón de Ifach is possible and highly recommended if you want to enjoy exceptional views.

To do so, you will have to book in advance, as the daily capacity of visitors is regulated. If you want to know all the details, don’t miss the article with the
Route of ascent to Peñón de Ifach

If, on the other hand, you prefer to enjoy the Rock in a different and more relaxed way, we encourage you to book this guided night tour suitable for children.

Accommodations in Calpe

Muralla Roja de Calpe
Muralla Roja de Calpe

✔️ Apartamento Muralla Roja. If you’re an instagramer, you’ve surely seen photos of the Red Wall, that iconic residential area of Calpe. Only if you stay there will you be able to access it for a photo shoot.

✔️ Residential Terra de Mar. Located in the old town of Calp, it offers a “zen” and relaxed atmosphere.

✔️ Hostel SEA&DREAMS Calpe . It offers shared rooms, private rooms and suites. Activities for guests.

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