The Costa Blanca towns of Javea, Denia, Moraira and Calpe
are often overlooked as holiday destinations for UK tourists. For many people Benidorm is the first place
to come to mind with it’s high-rise hotels and apartment buildings,
over-crowded beaches, British bars, fish & chips, and a lively and often
noisy night life.
The Costa Blanca still has much more to offer. Calpe is one such example. It also has apartment buildings and hotels,
but is not as large as Benidorm just a few miles down the coast, and does not
suffer from over-crowding. The town
itself lies along the coastline beginning at the “old town” at the top of a
hill. This part of town is full of
narrow streets and passageways, old houses and shops and the church. As you get nearer the beach the buildings and
shops become larger and more modern. The
shopping area extends all the way to the Arenal Beach which leads to the port.
The port area of Calpe boasts the “Penon de Ifach” which at
first glance looks like a smaller version of the Rock of Gilbralter. The only way to reach the top of the rock is
by footpath, but you are rewarded with stunning views over the entire Northern
Costa Blanca, but make sure you allow a couple of hours to get up there, and another
couple of hours to get back down again.
At the base of the rock are Calpe’s famous fish
restaurants. They all display a
selection of locally caught fish in chilled cabinets outside their restaurants,
often with waiters offering passers-by a glass of complimentary Sangria in the
hope that you will go in and try their food. The fish dishes served in these restaurants are made from fish caught by
Calpe’s own fishing fleet. You can’t get
much fresher than that.
On the other side of the Rock are most of the holiday
apartments and hotels built alongside the Levante Beach. This is where you will find many of the bars
and restaurants that are open late into the night. Both of the main beaches have their own water
sports ranging from water-skiing to parascending.
If you want to see other parts of the area Calpe is a good
place to stay as it is located only half an hours drive from most parts of the
Northern Costa Blanca. There are a
number of car rental outlets in the town, as well as at Alicante airport. If you do not want to drive there are several
ferry services that run from the port to Benidorm, Javea, Denia and Altea, and
some parts of the coastline can only be seen from the sea, or in some cases
under it, as some of the boats have glass bottoms.
In Calpe port the “Submariner” is instantly recognisable by it’s yellow
paintwork, in fact it’s known by the locals as the “Yellow Submarine”. It is not actually a submarine, but a catamaran with glass panels in
the hull so passengers can see the marine life around the base of the Rock. A trip on this boat lasts about an hour and
takes you round the far side of the Rock and back to the port.
Calpe has the best of both worlds. It has nightlife, shopping and beaches, but still
maintains the atmosphere of a small resort.