On either side of the magnificent Peñón de Ifach Rock you will find a stunning Blue Flag beach, considered to be the best the Costa Blanca has to offer. Both beaches have long, attractive promenades, great water sports and a huge choice of places to eat and drink. The beaches are kept in tip top condition and have excellent facilities including play areas for children. With the seafront, the large marina, the old fishing port and the markets, there is plenty for you to explore after a dip in the private pool at your villa, as well as the great variety of shops, bars and restaurants in the town centre, which buzzes with live music and entertainment after dark. As well as the daily fish auction, the main market of the town is held every Saturday morning on the Calle del Norte, until about 13.00. You can buy all kinds of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as furnishings, jewellery, music, toys, leather bags, clothes, and good quality locally-made holiday souvenirs.
Calpe has been inhabited for almost 3,000 years and is rich in history and tradition. For example, down by the seafront is an important archaeological site - the well preserved remains of an ancient fish salting factory known as the Los Baños de la Reina (The Queens' Baths) which were part of a Roman villa. The Romans established a wealthy colony here based on the trade of dried and salted fish, made into a paste known as "garum," a delicacy which was exported throughout the Roman Empire. The historic quarter of Calpe is surrounded by ancient walls, built in the 15th Century to defend the city against attack by marauding pirates from North Africa. The narrow cobbled streets of Calpe's Old Town are highly atmospheric, and you will feel you have entered a time warp as you prowl around them!
It is easy to explore the Costa Blanca from Calpe, and you don’t even need a car! The Alicante to Denia railway line runs for 58 miles along the Northern Coast of the province of Alicante and stops at around 40 stations, so you can visit Denia or Jávea for example, or go to Altea, a charming, medieval town built on a steep hillside and dominated by the blue dome of the church of Virgen del Consuelo. You can also check out Benidorm, still a top holiday destination welcoming millions of visitors every year to enjoy its great beaches and intense nightlife. You can travel to Benidorm by boat from the marina at Calpe – a great way to see the beaches, coves and cliffs of this remarkable coastline.
Another town that is good for a day out is Moraira, a charming, upmarket seaside town with narrow cobbled streets and an impressive marina, and stunning views back across to El Peñon de Ifach. Its sandy beaches are set in 5 miles of beautiful coastline against a backdrop of forests, vineyards and mountains. The 620-berth Blue Flag marina, built in 1985, is an exclusive yacht haven owned and operated by Club Náutico Moraira, and is a great spot for upmarket shopping, eating and people-watching. As with Calpe, fishing is still important to the town, with boats going out daily to supply fresh fish to the many waterside restaurants, and a popular fish market, La Lonja, where fish auctions take place every morning at 10am (except Sundays). Unlike some holiday resorts on the Costa Blanca, Moraira is still very much a Spanish community, and has resisted most of the high rise, mass catering aspects of modern tourism, protected by strict planning regulations.
Calpe's salt lake known as Las Salinas Natural Park isn’t far from your villa, just outside the town, about 500 metres from the Peñón de Ifach. The salt water lagoon is an important haven for wildlife, especially birds, and more than 170 different species have been spotted here. The lake attracts herons, large flocks of flamingos and other migrating birds at various times of the year. This unusual nature reserve with its reed beds was at one time an active salt works.