Calpe is a large town situated on the Costa Blanca North, a fast developing town with many new buildings currently being built and a few others which have been built over the past 2 or 3 years, from apartment blocks to new hotels. Calpe is a lot busier than it was 10 years ago with more tourist visiting the town and not just in the summer months but the quieter months too.
The climate here in Calpe has an average daily temperature of 20 degrees, reaching up to 40 degrees in the summer months and can sometimes go down to just a couple of degrees towards the end January and February as these are the coldest months, however in the winter you do have plenty of of blue skies and sunshine during the day.
The local climate is known to boast health, as there is a large natural salt lake on the main road here in Calpe and home to many flamingos and a large variety of other birds. The salt lake is believed to have many beneficial health properties including improving breathing problems and can help to reduce asthma. The high concentration of salt in the air circulating through Calpe provides a natural air filter creating a healthy micro-climate. You can also take a stroll around the lake and towards the back there are some nice walkways.
There are 2 main beaches in Calpe, La Fossa Beach, which is to the North of Calpe and the Arenal Beach, which is closer to the town the beaches are separated by the famous Ifach Rock, which puts Calpe on the map. You will find both beaches are Blue Flag, well maintained and great for snorkeling and sports activities.
There are some great supermarkets in the town with 2 Mercadona’s, which are the more popular ones and located each end of the town with ample parking and access, the Sol y Mar Supermarket which caters for more specialized food and drinks is located right in the town and the new My Mercat which is located on the main road, there is also a large Consum on the Levante side and a few more smaller ones around the town and they all have a good selection of international products. It’s much easier living here now than it was say 15 years ago as places are more geared up for the British and Europeans who are living here, there is also an Iceland supermarket in Benissa which is about a 15 – 20 minute drive from Calpe.
You also have the Fruit and Veg Market, which is held every Saturday morning in the old town and runs along the street where the entrance is to Mercadona. This is a really good market and a lot of the produce is grown in small holdings and is not produced for mass production. You can buy everything you need with all types of fresh fruit and the freshest of vegetables, flowers, plants, nuts, olives, herbs and spices and much more, all at a very reasonable price. Open from 7am till 2pm.
Calpe town has many shops on the main high street (Gabriel Miro) from gift, clothes, shoes, handbags and much more, with plenty of bars and restaurants in the heart of the town where you can stop off for a bite to eat or a refreshing drink, with Spanish, Italian, French, Indian, Chinese, Dutch and English dishes you will be spoilt for choice.
One of the most visited and interesting places to see is Calpe’s Old Town, which is situated at the top of the main high street. Over the past couple of years a few of the restaurants and bars have been taken over and have been modernized to fit in with the theme of the old town, as you enter you will see the beautiful lights draping over the Fisherman’s Square with the many Spanish restaurants and most of them with a terrace area, they have a good selection of Spanish food, tapas and local wine for you to enjoy.
When you walk through the old town you will see the famous “Spanish Steps” and the narrow cobbled streets with the multi coloured painted townhouses, as you stroll through you will come across the beautiful murals painted on some of the buildings. Take a wander around and stop off for a drink in one of the many bars, you will find the locals always friendly and welcoming and they love telling you about the town and have some interesting stories.
Whilst your in the old town another nice place to visit is The Parque de la Ermita, which is situated at the top of the old town on Av Masnou and has the oldest church in Calpe which is the Ermita De San Salvador which was listed from 1745 and only opens a couple of times a year for special services, Easter Sunday is one of them and 6th of August to celebrate the feast of San Salvador. When you get to the church (quite a few steps to climb) you will see an old olive tree at the front and this is where the sailors used to source the oil from to light their oil lamps, which served as a guide for vessels looking for anchorage
If you are looking for something a little bit different, then this is a lovely park to explore and have a BBQ or picnic, great also for the kids as there is a gated play park, and has spectacular sea and mountain views.
Calpe has a lot of fiestas throughout the year with many wonderful and colourful parades, with the main parade being the Moors and Christians, which is in Calpe every October usually around the 20th and is held in honor of the “Santisimo Cristo del Sudor” the Moors and Christians.
This is a fun packed 3 day event for both adults and children and starts with the famous parade (not to be missed) which comes down from the main street of the Gabriel Miro on Saturday evening, usually starts around 6pm and lasts for about 3 hours and will certainly keep you entertained throughout the evening.
There are many other events going on over these few days from street parties up in the old town, street battles down on the beach, music, fireworks in the day and evening and lots of firecrackers going off here, there and everywhere.
Another event not to be missed is the reenactment of the battle on the beach which takes place on Sunday morning on the Playa Del Arenal which is just in front of the fountain, this is very interesting as they dress up in costumes and shoot their guns in the air and carry this on up through to the old town, it fun to watch but it can be very loud if you are quite near to them.
It is said that 2 battles that took place which were between the Moors and Christians and the first one took place on the beach where the Moors disembarked their magnificent ship to find the Christians were waiting to attack and after a long battle the Moors cried victory, then the second battle took place with the children’s cry of “foc en Ifach, moros en la costa” which means (fire on the Ifach, moors on the coast). The Moors proceeded to enter the village but the Caragol managed to close the gates on them. It’s an important part of Spain’s history.
Easter is also a wonderful event and you will need to make your way up to the Old Town in the evenings as they have the Easter Parades every night with wonderful costumes. The beginning of December is when they hold the Christmas Market in the old town, another event which is worth visiting with arts and craft stalls, donkeys and animals for the children, ample food stalls and much more, this is usually held over 5 days and has a lovely atmosphere to it.
The nightlife in Calpe has something for everyone from karaoke bars, late night music bars, nightclubs and plenty of cocktails bars, so whether you want to dance the night away into the early hours or just sit and relax with a nice cocktail. Most of the nightlife is in the main town but there is another popular nightclub on the La Fossa beach, which is geared more to the younger generation and is open till the early hours of the morning.
You couldn’t be in a better place for exploring around the area with the lively town of Benidorm just 20 minutes away and the beautiful town of Altea just a 10 minute drive with it’s own wonderful old town. You are also just 1 hour 15 minutes from the amazing and historic Valencia and of course not forgetting the nearer surrounding town of Benissa, Moraira and Javea all of which are definitely worth a visit. You can also visit the medieval town of Guadalest, which is approximately a 40-minute drive where you will have a great day out.
Locally if you are feeling energetic we have some great mountains for you to explore, firstly is the Ifach, Parque Natural Peñón de Ifach. You get some breath taking views from here, the climb up is fairly easy as there are wide footpaths to take you up to the tunnel, its when you get to the tunnel that is gets tougher. Maybe not recommend for small children or people with walking difficulties to go past the tunnel, as it can be a little dangerous.
There is also the Sierra de Oltá Mountain which is a great place to spend a few hours and is just a couple of minutes drive out of Calpe town, you can drive up to the main car park by heading up to the train station and turn left just after and follow the winding road up, walking is not recommended, just a bit too far. Once you get to the main car park you will see there is a children’s play area and BBQ and picnic area, then you can choose which path you would like to take for your trek around the mountain, Most of the paths are quite wide and not too steep with the most amazing views looking down onto Calpe and beyond. Also if it’s a really clear day you can just see the island of Ibiza in the distance.
There is also a camping area and a circular route, which has signposts on the paths so you can follow the trails, you can also follow the trail up to the summit, which is 586 meters high, it’s a journey of approximately 10 km and takes about 4 hours.
There are also plenty of excursions in Calpe so you can go and explore further a field, you could join the U3A who offer some great trips and there is also a company in Javea who runs some fabulous trips throughout the summer called Bus 2.
Calpe is a great place for cycling around too. From January to April hundreds of cyclists come from all over Europe both professional and amateur to train as it’s the perfect place with the area being so mountainous.
So Fed up of the weather in the UK and the expense, put your umbrellas away and come and visit the sunshine on the beautiful Costa Blanca, where you will find you will have a very enjoyable holiday.
pain is a fantastic country to both live in and to visit. You can enjoy the relaxed way of life as well as the 300 days of sunshine a year, stunning beaches, cheap food and drinks and the Spanish way of life, indulge yourself in all the exploring and adventuring that is on offer. Once you have been here for a few days the only question you will be asking yourself is why you didn’t visit this place do this sooner!