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Blanca Cars - Car Hire Costa Blanca - have chosen this fantastic list of Things to do in Calpe, Spain - including the Peñon d'Ifach / Calpe Rock, Calpe's stunning beaches, Las Salinas / Salt Flats, Family Park, Club Hipico Calpe, Los Baños de Reina (the Queen’s Baths), Calpe Harbour & Fish Market, Olas de Zen Wellness Studio & Surf Shop, Calpe Old Town Museums and Galeria Café Casino.
21st September 2023
The iconic Penyon d’Ifach rock that dominates the skyline above Calpe has entranced tourists and expats for decades.
High-rise hotels have flocked to the marina area of Calpe, but a year-round flamboyance of flamingoes, a natural park and jaw-dropping beaches make sure you never feel crowded in Calpe.
At Blanca Cars we’re often asked: ‘what are the best things to do in Calpe?’. Below you’ll find our top 10 list, as told to us by thousands of happy car hire clients on the Costa Blanca.
One hour’s drive north from the Alicante airport – and just off the AP-7 motorway – lies one of the most beautiful beachtowns on the Costa Blanca, Calpe.
Calpe (or Calp in the Valencian dialect) is a wonderful mixture of Valencian culture and modern tourist facilities. Calpe’s major attraction is three of the most beautiful, sandy beaches on the Costa Blanca this side of Benidorm.
But whereas it’s hard to find anything more than 50 years old in Benidorm, in Calpe you’ll find yourself bathing in Roman-era fishponds carved right into the rock.
Calpe averages nearly 3,000 hours of sunshine each year (325 sunny days) and the average temperature easily exceeds 20 degrees. In 1986 the World Health Organisation recommended the climate of the area surrounding Calpe as one of the most pleasant in the world – neither too hot in the summer nor too cold in the winter.
If you decide to come to live in Calpe or maybe you just want to visit for a couple of weeks, we have made a list of 10 things to do in Calpe to keep the whole family amused!
1. Playa de Levante or la Fossa
If you want a day out with the kids to a beautiful sandy beach – with shops and restaurants nearby – a trip to Playa de Levante (aka La Fossa).
Only a 5 minute car journey from the centre of Calpe, the Playa de Levante boasts calm, warm, clear waters, a magnificent view of Calpe Rock and parasols and sunbeds you can rent for 5€ each a day.
All you need are your bathing suits, towels and suntan cream to make the most of this wonderful location.
Image: David Robinson
2. Las Salinas / Calpe Salt Flats
A Calpe must-see. The beautiful Calpe salt flats are home to hundreds of flamingos, which make for a spectacular backdrop, whether you’re a bird watcher or not.
The salt flats have been here since Roman times, when they were used for fish preservation. These days they serve as a spectacular spot for rare flora and fauna. There’s a rough footpath that takes you round to the far side of the lake where there is a birdwatch shelter very close to the largest flocks (signposted over bridge at side of main dual carriageway ).
Even better than an open-air zoo right in the heart of Calpe, it’s free too!
Image: Mike Belshaw
3. Parque Natural de Penyal D'Ifach
For those of you with stamina and a love of hiking, the journey up to the top of the Penyal D’Ifach (Calpe Rock) will be unforgettable.
Rising 322 metres above the Mediterranean sea, and with incredible views of the surrounding area, Penyal D’Ifach is one of the most famous sights along the Costa Blanca coastline. It’s also a protected Natural Park.
If you are looking to climb Calpe Rock, the signposted route starts at the Visitor Centre, where there is a parking area. You can take part in a guided excursion which takes you along the walking trail, taking you all the way to the summit by way of a tunnel constructed in 1918 to make the climb easier. You can also climb the Rock without a guide.
Unfortunately this outing is not for small children or those with health problems – it is rocky and certain areas are just metres from a steep drop. (But since you’re in Calpe, staying on the beach or enjoying a cold drink by the pool aren’t a bad alternative!)
4. Family Park Calpe
Just a short walk from the salt flats you will find a small theme park with something for all of the family to enjoy.
With bouncy castles, bumper cars and a pirate ship ride among the many things to do, the children of the family will be well entertained.
If rides aren’t really your cup of tea then why not have a go on one of the games, like darts or target shooting where you can win an assortment of prizes to take home with you!!
Before leaving don’t forget to try a delicious hamburger or waffle from the food cart.
For more information: FAMILY PARK CALPE
5. Club Hipico Calpe
What better way to enjoy the beautiful scenery in Calpe than from horseback?
At Club Hipico Calpe you can do just that. No matter whether you’re an experienced rider or have never ridden a horse before, the very experienced staff will take you on a relaxing hour trip through the valley.
The paddocks are set in a quiet part of Calpe no more than a 5 minutes car ride from the town centre. Children (and adults!) can also help to feed the horses and other animals that live there. English is spoken so you can listen to all the stories and information the staff provide about the riding school itself. It’s a wonderful day out for horse lovers.
To find out opening times and prices there is a WhatsApp option on the official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ClubHipicoCalpe
6. Baños de la Reina
Los Baños de Reina (the Queen’s Baths) is an archaeological site right next to the promenade in Calpe. This site was a fish salting factory, constructed by the Romans in 2 separate phases, in the II & IV centuries.
The site is in good condition. Although parts have been eroded by the sea, it’s still possible to view several channels together with caves carved into the rock.
Enjoy a Guided Visit to the Baños de la Reina (Queen's Baths) every Tuesday at 09:30 during July & August. Meet at Torre Molí del Morelló (windmill) on the promenade between Arenal Beach and the Port.
Remember to take your swimming suit and snorkel if you want to swim amid the rocky ruins!
DISCOVER MORE: The Roman Fish Farms of Baños de la Reina
Image: Turismo Costa Blanca
7. The fish market in the port of Calpe
Local fish markets are a must in traditional Costa Blanca fishing towns. Yet too few people actually realise they can visit one.
Among the fishing boats that unload their goods in Calpe’s port area, you will find yourself a part of one of the most unique atmospheres in Calpe. The most exciting times of the day is when owners of restaurants in Calpe come to check out the quality of that day’s catch and then bid on what they would like to buy in the auction.
As the boxes laden with fish pass by their purchasers there really is a thrill in the air. It’s also one of the most popular activities in Calpe, which you can attend from Monday to Friday, between 5pm and 8pm.
Guided tours are also offered where you can learn about the history of the port. The fish market is only 8 minutes from the town centre by car.
DISCOVER MORE: CALPE FISH MARKET
Image: Claire Nicholas-Racz
8. Olas de Zen Yoga & SUP
Combining yoga and the sea, Olas de Zen is a wellness studio and surf shop.
They are located in Playa de la Fossa (a journey of 7 minutes by car from the town centre) and rent out paddle boards (SUP), surfboards, kayaks and jet skis. They also offer several yoga classes for those preferring to stay on dry land!
You can book a sunset SUP (stand up paddle) session to watch the sun set whilst gently floating on the warm mediterranean sea. Prices range from 15€ to 25€ a session.
Official website: http://www.olasdezen.com/surf-sup-kayak-yoga-calpe/
9. Calpe Old Town / Museo De Coleccionismo
The Museo de Coleccionismo houses some of the most intriguing private collections of the Marina Alta region.
Located in Calpe old town, the Museo de Coleccionismo is housed inside the Torró de la Peça, a small fort destroyed in the 20th century that once contained pieces of original artillery. The museum was inaugurated in 1997 with the intention of hosting the private collections of the Marina Alta Collectors Association – today you’ll find several private collections, installed in temporary exhibitions.
Summer opening hours (July to September) are from 10am until 1pm and 6:30pm until 10pm, closed on Monday.
The winter opening hours (October to June) are 10am until 2pm and 4:30pm until 7pm, closed both Sunday and Monday.
DISCOVER MORE: CALPE OLD TOWN
10. Galera Café Casino Calpe
If you’re a group of adults looking to have some excitement, eat good food and gamble a bit of money (without having to go all the way to Las Vegas) this location may be just what you need!
The Galera Café Casino Calpe has a great atmosphere, a large screen TV, free tapas with every round of drinks you buy plus slot machines, poker tables, roulette and live betting on many sports.
The casino is located in Carrer Pintor Sorolla, and only a 3 minute drive from the centre of Calpe.
Official website: https://galerasalonesjuego.com/es/galerias/ver/salones/galera-cafe-casino-calpe
If you’re visiting Costa Blanca north and need a hire car in Moraira give Blanca Cars a call.
We are one of the most highly-rated car hire firms in the Costa Blanca, praised for our no excess, no deposit car hire and door-to-door delivery services.