Route to the top of "Penyal d'Ifac", natural park and symbol of the Costa Blanca
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 Community , a fact that has motivated that, since 2020, the influx of visitors is regulated, being necessary request an appointment (free of charge) to take the route that allows you to ascend to its summit (I’ll tell you 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 .
Do you dare with this challenge? Keep reading!
Do not miss : 10 essential plans in Calpe .
El Peñón de Ifach: Route, Reserve and Information of Interest
Information of Interest and Frequently Asked Questions
Is access free and free?
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. For this reason, it is necessary to make a prior reservation before visiting the Peñón de Ifach, whether we are going to climb to the summit or reach the tunnel (see reservation section).
Is there a Schedule to climb the Rock?
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 through Ifach at night.
How long does it take to complete the route to climb the Peñón de Ifach?
The usual thing is to take between 3 and 4 hours to go up and down , not counting stops. Keep in mind that the total distance is about 5 kilometers (2.5 km up and 2.5 km down) and that you have to overcome a difference in altitude of about 300 meters. Also, from the tunnel, the difficulty increases, so progress is slower. It is important to go properly equipped and it is mandatory to book at least one day in advance .
Can I go with children to the Peñón de 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.
Can dogs be brought to the Peñón de Ifach?
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.
Is there free parking in the Peñón de Ifach?
Yes, there is a free unguarded dirt parking area at the beginning of the route. There is also a parking area for people with reduced mobility , next to the interpretation center (accreditation required). You can see how to get there below.
What can I do if I haven't booked on time?
At the end of the article we propose several alternative routes so that you can do it without the need for prior reservation.
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.
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
The route up to the top of the Peñón de Ifach can be divided into two parts :
1. The first, up to the artificial tunnel that crosses the mountain, is of low difficulty , being suitable for doing with children.
2. From the tunnel, the difficulty increases and the park does not allow access to children, since the path becomes irregular and dangerous , in part because of the slippery rocks, polished by the continuous coming and going of visitors. .
To climb to the top of the Peñón de Ifach , we have to follow the official “red route” of the Natural Park.
ATTENTION : from the year 2020, it is mandatory to request an appointment to climb the Peñón de Ifach. You can request an appointment by clicking on this link . For more information, visit this link .
The route up Penyal d’Ifac is divided into two parts:
PART 1. low difficulty. The first, up to the tunnel (point 5 on the map), is very easy and suitable for children.
PART 2. high difficulty. In the second part, starting from the tunnel, we find some points with some difficulty: irregular and slippery rocks, and sections where we will need to help ourselves with our hands to progress. I do not recommend this second part to do with small children.
Ascent to Ifach: Recommendations
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
Description of the route and photographs
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. 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).
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.
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 .
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
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
How to get to the Rock of Ifach
To visit the Peñón de Ifach, we must go to the town of Calpe (Calp). Once there, we will head for the port, as the rock is very close to it. When we are close, we will see indications of the Penyal d’Ifac Natural Park .
There is a dirt car park (not guarded) in the lower part of the Rock. We can leave the car at this point and start the route here. The car park tends to fill up easily, so we recommend arriving early. Then we leave you location on google maps.
Advance Reservation Ifach
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”:
Links of interest
- Official website of the Penyal d’Ifac National Park . It is highly recommended to consult it before our visit, to know the regulations, routes, values of the natural park, etc.
- The Peñón de Ifach on the Calpe tourism website
This LinkAlicante.com article about the hiking route to the Penyal d’Ifac summit was first published on March 21, 2015 and updated on March 2021.
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 .
The Route of the Cliffs or Penya-Segats is a surprising path at the foot of the impressive rocky walls that shape the coastline of El Poble Nou de Benitatxell , in the Marina Alta region of Alicante. This simple round-trip