The Alicante coastal town of Calpe is an emerging destination for British tourists visiting Spain’s eastern seaboard. As it is within an easy travelling distance of the province’s main airport, anyone seeking cheap Calpe holidays will be in luck.
Calpe is a perfect choice for families and couples; this pleasant resort has three beaches and plenty of activities without the loud nightlife of Benidorm or Alicante. Like most Spanish towns, there is more to Calpe than sunny beaches and bars, although there are also plenty of both. Although Calpe has embraced its tourism industry, it still maintains a touch of old Spanish charm with an old town, church and Moorish quarter.
With similar conditions to the many other coastal resorts in Alicante, anyone seeking cheap Calpe holidays will be almost certain of a pleasant time. Being close to the sea, temperatures won’t be as stifling as they are further in land, although there will be plenty of sun if you want to work on your tan.
If you are looking for a more leisurely pace to your holiday, however, Calpe’s many playas – or beaches – are well suited for your needs. Great for families, the clear waters off shore can be used for snorkelling or just plain splashing about. If you’re in need of refreshments, a number of bars and cafes are located just off the seafront, including Tango Bar.
Calpe lies at the foot of the Penyal d’Ifac Natural Park, which is a key landmark in the town. The protected area contains a variety of species, including unique plant life and nesting seabirds, as well as over 300 types of animal, even though it is the smallest natural park in Spain. Consisting of a 332-metre-high rock that extends out to sea on a narrow strip of land, Penyal d’Ifac also overlooks a pleasant lagoon.
There’s also the huge Rock of Ifach rock that juts out into the sea, looming over the resort below. The rock has been developed as a nature reserve, and it’s possible to climb to the top for spectacular views. Calpe has a number of Roman ruins and a Moorish castle if you’re interested in the town’s history, and the promenade is a great place to wander and people-watch.
There are plenty of distractions for kids in Calpe, from watersports at the marina to boat rides around the coast to a simple day at the beach! Cantal Roig and Arenal-Bol are the most popular, while La Fossa holds open-air cinema nights in the summer. Another enjoyable activity is a boat ride around the coast, and it’s worth making the trip to Aqualandia or Terra Mitica theme park near Benidorm.
There are also a number of other interesting sights for Brits on cheap Calpe holidays, including the ruins of the Queen’s baths (Els banys de la Reina), the 18th-century tower of La Peça, and a Gothic-style church.
A railway runs from Alicante all the way up to Denia via Calpe, making it a great base for exploring the coast.
Food lovers will be left spoilt for choice in Calpe, as the resort boasts a variety of dining options. Calpe adopts many aspects of the traditional Mediterranean cuisine, with fish, rice and vegetables featuring heavily in the regional dishes. Originally a fishing village, fresh seafood is Calpe’s most popular offering; the local speciality is Llauna de Calpe, a peppered fish stew. Fresh tapas can be enjoyed at El Jabali Goloso, while gastro bar La Mansa offers views over the water from its terrace.
If you have a sweet tooth you’ll love the homemade pastries, and you can’t miss Jijona ice cream, a Valencian speciality made from almonds. You may also want to try the local Turron, a local nougat typically made tougher in Alicante so it has more of a fudge consistency, although it can also be made into ice cream.
Calpe is also great once the sun goes down, and while it may not be as hectic as its neighbour Benidorm, which is an hour’s journey to the south, there are a number of nightspots to keep revellers entertained, such as Hot Shots.
Those looking for a slightly more relaxing time can check out the numerous lounge bars and restaurants situated in the town. For example, you can listen to live music while you enjoy a drink or a meal at Chez Flo and El Toro Blanco offers a mix of English and Spanish styles.