Peñón de Ifach, Calpe, 2023 ~ Route, Reservation, Activities and more

Route to the top of "Penyal d'Ifac", natural park and symbol of the Costa Blanca

Peñón de Ifach, Calpe, Alicante
Peñón de Ifach, Calpe, Alicante

Whether you enjoy hiking routes or you are more of an urbanite, the Peñón de Ifach in Calpe is one of the must-see places in the area.
must-see places
to see in Alicante if you come to spend several days on the Costa Blanca.

If you feel ready for a challenging route, you can book your excursion to the summit, over 300 meters above sea level. If you come with children, you can visit the interpretation center and go to the tunnel of the rock.

You can also enjoy snorkeling or strolling at the foot of the Rock, or even sail around this iconic rock colossus.

In this article we tell you the best plans in the Peñón de Ifach as well as more ideas to enjoy Calpe to the fullest.

Stay until the end to discover them, let’s get started!

Index of contents

What is the Peñón de Ifach?

Penyal d'Ifac at sunrise

The Rock of Ifach ( Penyal d’Ifac in Valencian) is a huge limestone mass 332 meters high that rises majestically and defiantly off the coast of the tourist town of Calp (Calpe) , north of the province of Alicante.

The Peñón de Ifach is an icon of the Costa Blanca , a visual reference not only for the Marina Alta region in which it is located, but for the entire Alicante geography.

This enormous rock is a natural space of singular environmental importance and for this reason it was declared a natural park by the Generalitat Valenciana in 1987, being the oldest natural park in Alicante. Being located in an area of great tourist influx, this natural park is the most visited in the Valencian CommunityThis fact has led to the fact that, as of 2020, the influx of visitors will be regulated, making it necessary to request an appointment (free of charge) to take the route that allows you to ascend to its summit (I’ll tell you more about it later).

The Penyal d’Ifac Natural Park is an environmental jewel that is home to several endemic flora (unique species in the world), as well as being an important refuge for birds.

Climbing to the top of the Peñón de Ifach is one of the most surprising routes on the Costa Blanca. A route with some difficulty , due to the unevenness to overcome and the steepness of the terrain. Once at the summit, however, the effort is worth it as we enjoy spectacular views .

Don’t miss: What to see and do in Calpe.

Information of Interest and Frequently Asked Questions

The red route (ascent to tunnel and summit) of the Peñón de Ifach has a daily limitation of visitors. Therefore, you will have to book on the official website of the Penyal de Ifach Natural Park to gain access. It is best to book in advance to ensure availability. The route is of easy difficulty up to the tunnel, while the section from the tunnel to the summit is of high difficulty. It requires physical preparation, hiking shoes, plenty of water and experience in rough terrain.

No. As long as the daily quota has not been filled, you can book on the same day.

If you do not get a place, at the end of our article on the Peñón de Ifach we propose several alternative routes that you can do without prior reservation.

It usually takes between 3 and 4 hours to climb up and down to the summit, not counting stops.

The total distance is about 5 kilometers (2.5 km uphill and 2.5 km downhill) and there is an ascent of about 300 meters.

Also, from the tunnel, the difficulty increases, so progress is slower. It is important to be properly equipped (hiking or sports shoes with good soles) and it is mandatory to reserve our visit (it can be done on the same day if there are places left).

Access to the Peñón de Ifach is free. However, as of 2020, there is a daily limitation of 300 people on the path to the top. It is therefore necessary to make a reservation before visiting the Peñón de Ifach, whether we are going to climb to the summit or to reach the tunnel (see reservation section). It is possible to book on the same day, as long as there are still places available.

In principle, it is allowed to go up at any time (by appointment). The only requirement is that it be during daylight hours, since it is forbidden to walk at night in Ifach.

If we go to the Peñón de Ifach with children, we can go up to the tunnel . From the tunnel, according to the regulations of the Natural Park, access is not allowed to children under 18 years of age due to the dangerous nature of the path.

Yes, as long as they are tied at all times , to prevent them from disturbing the fauna and damaging the local flora, since some species are protected and/or in danger of extinction.

The old dirt parking lot at the beginning of the route is now closed. Now we can park in any nearby street (ORA in season) or in the open space next to the salt pans of Calpe (recommended).

There is also a parking area for people with reduced mobility , next to the interpretation center (accreditation required).

Visitors Center

Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Weekends and holidays: 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Landline: 965 693 300 (9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.)

Mobile: 679 19 59 12 (9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.)


Kayak route around Ifach

Ifach Visit Reservation

Currently it is necessary to make a reservation in advance to access the ascent path (it does not matter if we go to the summit or only to the tunnel). Reservations are personal and non-transferable and may be requested by park staff.

Click on the button and then click on “process electronically”:

The Natural Park of Penyal d'Ifac

On January 19, 1987, the Penyal d’Ifac was declared a Natural Park by the Generalitat Valenciana, thus becoming the first protected area of its kind in the province of Alicante.

Silene Hifacensis - Silene of Ifach
Specimen of Silene de Ifach (Silene Hifacensis) in its natural habitat.

With its 53.3 hectares, the Penyal d’Ifac is one of the smallest natural parks in Europe. However, its special geological characteristics confer a great singularity to its flora and vegetation , being its most outstanding natural aspect.

In Ifach we find more than 400 species of cataloged plants, some of them in danger of extinction , as is the case of the Silene de Ifach ( Silene Hifacensis ). To recover this endemic species (unique in the world in this region) a recovery plan was launched a few years ago in the Valencian Community, which is gradually bearing fruit.

For this reason, it is vitally important to respect the layout of the paths and not go off the path, to avoid causing damage to the flora and vegetation, as well as the fauna that has its habitat in the Penyal.

Ifach from the Sea

In addition to the climb to the Peñón de Ifach, we recommend a boat trip to contemplate this colossus of rock from the sea , setting sail from the port of Calpe.

Route of Ascent to the Top of the Peñón de Ifach

Climbing route Peñón de Ifach - Calpe
Views from the summit of the Peñón de Ifach.

The route up to the top of the Peñón de Ifach can be divided into two parts :

Part One. The beginning, up to the tunnel, is of low difficulty, being suitable to do with children. It is a cobblestone road.

Part Two. From the tunnel, the difficulty increases and the regulations do not allow access to children, as the path becomes irregular and dangerous, partly because of the slipperiness of the rocks, polished by the continuous coming and going of visitors.

Data sheet

Route with Previous Reservation

To climb to the top of the Peñón de Ifach , we have to follow the official “red route” of the Natural Park.

Since 2020, it is mandatory to request an appointment to climb the Peñón de Ifach. There is a daily quota of 300 people. You can book on the same day, subject to availability. If you access without a reservation, you are subject to fines of up to 600 euros. Book your appointment by clicking on the link below:

Ascent to Ifach: Recommendations

Ascent to the Rock of Ifach, Calpe
After overcoming the tunnel, we find a passage equipped with chains.

1. Equip yourself properly.
We should not trust ourselves with this route. If you plan to climb to the summit, I recommend wearing mountain shoes or, at a minimum, closed running-type sneakers. If you come in summer, bring enough water as it can get very hot on the way up. Don’t forget sun protection (hat, sunscreen).

2. Do not go off the beaten track.
The Penyal d’Ifac is a protected area under the figure of a natural park. It is important not to leave the marked paths and not to damage the flora (there are species protected by law) or the fauna.

Map of the Ifach Summit Route

Map route Penyal Ifac

Description of the route and photographs

Route of ascent to the Peñón de Ifach
Cobbled path between pine trees, before the tunnel

We leave the car in the parking mentioned in the “how to get there” section. We begin to climb the asphalt and immediately arrive at the site of the Medieval Pobla de Ifach , of great archaeological value. Shortly after we arrive at the Natural Park Visitor Reception Center , with an exhibition that we can visit. There are also restrooms and a fountain.

From there, we will follow a paved path , protected by wooden railings, which runs in the shade of the pine trees. Little by little we are gaining height, and we can enjoy the first views of the port of Calpe (bottom photo).

Port of Calpe, ascent to the Peñón de Ifach
Views of the port of Calpe

The path gently climbs in a zigzag pattern. Almost without realizing it, and after passing several viewpoints, we arrived at the tunnel . It is equipped with some ropes/chains on the sides, but it is not illuminated. Extreme caution should be exercised, as the floor is very slippery . Crossing it will undoubtedly be a great adventure for the little ones.

Route of ascent to the Peñón de Ifach
Going through the Peñón de Ifach tunnel

After crossing the Tunnel, increase the difficulty

On the other side of the tunnel, the path turns into a path, at the beginning of which there are some steps equipped with chains . We follow the path, well marked, until a fork, where we head towards the Mirador de Carabineros .

Fork in the Rock of Ifach Route
Fork towards the Mirador de Carabiners

Along the way we can enjoy the great botanical wealth of the Peñón de Ifach, which is home to a multitude of endemic species (they only grow here) as well as some in danger of extinction . Remember to be very respectful, as some of them are considered in danger of extinction.

Final stretch to the summit, the most difficult

Seagulls on the summit of the Peñón de Ifach
Seagulls on the summit of the Peñón de Ifach

We return from the viewpoint to the fork , to take the path that leads to the summit of the Peñón de Ifach. This last section is the most mountainous and “dangerous” of the route. Be careful because the limestone rock is really polished and very slippery . It is not recommended to climb if you do not wear mountain shoes.

Finally, we reach the summit of the Peñón de Ifach, 332 meters above the Mediterranean. The moment of maximum enjoyment of the day arrives: the panoramic view from the top of Ifach is truly spectacular , with a great sensation of verticality.

From up here you can see a good part of the mountains of the province of Alicante. From left to right: Serra Gelada, Puig Campana, Toix, Oltà, Bèrnia , Cau, Montgó , Puig de la Llorença and many others.

In our case, the sun was already quite low when we reached the top, so we decided to stay and enjoy the sunset from the top of Penyal d’Ifac…

By now, most visitors have already left. The seagulls begin to recover their natural territory, and offer us images of great beauty…

Recommended Hotels in Calpe

Photo: Residential Terra de Mar

✔️ 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.

How to get to the Rock of Ifach

To visit the Peñón de Ifach, we must go to the town of
(Calp), in the north of the province of Alicante.

The old dirt parking lot at the foot of the Rock has been closed.

I recommend this large open space next to the Salinas. From there we reached the beginning of the climb in just 10 minutes on foot. You can also park closer, but keep in mind that in season there is ORA (blue zone). Below you can see the location on Google Maps.

Links of interest

This article about the hiking route to the summit of Penyal d’Ifac was first published on March 21, 2015 and updated in June 2022.

Alternative Routes

If you have not been able to book in advance, or there was no availability for the chosen day, we suggest these nearby routes that are an excellent alternative .

Good practices
Respect other people and private property.
Respect flora, fauna and environment. Enjoy in Silence.
Always follow the trails. Tackling damages the environment.
Respect the Cultural Heritage (ruins, stone margins, etc).
Do not leave a trace of your passage, nor organic remains.
Find out, Plan and Equip yourself well to enjoy to the fullest.

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