- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Visit Calp, Spain
Calp is a coastal town located in the comarca of Marina Alta, in the province of Alicante, Valencian Community, Spain, by the Mediterranean Sea.
Calpe was inhabited by many different Mediterranean cultures. Iberians, Phoenicians and Romans all found a surveillance privileged point in this land, thanks to the Peñón de Ifach. The present town of Calpe was established in the area surrounding the Rock. Its history is narrated by the remains it preserves, including the Baños de la Reina (Queen's Baths), from Roman times.
The historic quarter of Calpe is bordered by the old walls, erected in the 15th century to defend the city against pirate attacks. Next to the Moorish quarter of El Arrabal, part of the medieval walled precinct is preserved, some fronts and the large Tower of Peça. Nearby, the parish church devoted to the Virgin of the Snow, dating back to the 15th century, is the only Gothic-Mudejar temple in the Region of Valencia.
Two beautiful examples of religious architecture are also found in Calpe: the hermitages of La Cometa and San Salvador, both from the 17th century.
The rural tradition of this town is present in its outskirts. Hillsides covered with vineyards alternate with beautiful examples of local architecture, like Casa Nova, a typical farm with the appearance of a fortressand Pou Salat, the old water supply.
Calp is instantly recognisable for the huge limestone rock sat on its beach. The rock is called the 'Penon de Ifach' and measures over 600m in height. It can be seen for miles along the coast.
Calp was once a small fishing village but little remains of its origins and it is now a large tourist development. There are long, wide, sandy beaches on either side of the Penon de Ifach rock and these are the reason for the large numbers of tourists every year. Both beaches have the blue flag for cleanliness and have excellent facilities. They are surrounded by pubs, clubs and restaurants meaning that you never have to stray far in the search for restaurants.
Calp harbour, tucked in next to the Penon de Ifach rock is a pleasant area and you can watch the day's fish catch being brought in.
In the town centre is a 15th century church, the Iglesia Antigua which is in the main town square, the Plaza de la Villa. It is built into the original defensive walls of Calp. The old town of Calp was originally surrounded by defensive walls to protect it from pirate attacks.
Gastronomy, holidays and the outskirts
Calp's traditional gastronomy is mainly based on rice and fish. In addition to the famous paella, there are other rice dishes with beans and turnip, which are baked or served with Swiss chard. Also typical are dishes like the octopus casserole and Llauna de Calp (fish stew). The wines with the label Designation of Origin - Alicante should accompany any of these delicacies.
As is common in the remaining towns of Alicante, Calp also has cultural calendar filled with fiestas and leisure activities. From Carnival to Fallas de San José (March 19)and including the Bonfires of San Juan (June 24) and the festival of Moors and Christians (October). The local holidays, devoted to the Virgen de las Nieves (Virgin of the Snow), takes place on August 5.
From Calp, many different excursions can be taken to other towns on the Costa Blanca. Denia and Jávea are located north of Cabo de la Nao (Nao Cape). These are tourist towns with an extensive coastline of beaches and coves. The visit may continue to the Montgó Nature Reserve, where the outline of the mountains dives down into the Mediterranean, creating spectacular cliffs.