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The Costa Blanca resort town of Calpe is well known for its super beaches, great restaurants and most of all, the gigantic rock of Penon de Ifach. Due to its very strategic coastal position, the town has a long and colourful history. There is evidence of very early Iberian tribes in the region, but it was the Romans that established a large colony with an economy based around the production of dried fish. In later years, between the 14th and 17th centuries, Calpe was often attacked by pirates, thus the need for the strong defenses that were constructed during this era.

As you would expect with the History of Calpe, there are a few historic sights inside the old town of Calpe, most notably the early fifteenth century church which was originally converted from an earlier Moorish fort. unusually, some parts of the church are incorporated into the old town walls and inside is some well preserved art on wood which is thought to date from the 15th century. Near to the remains of the ancient Roman fish site is the Museum of Archaeology, which displays artifacts discovered in the local region. Also inside the old town is the Festival Museum which displays some historical costumes that have been worn during previous fiestas. The most important of these festival is the Moors and Christian fiesta which happens every September.

Dominating the town of Calpe is the 1000 foot high rock, the Penon de Ifach, which is certainly one of the best known landmarks on the Costa Blanca. If you are feeling energetic you can walk right to the summit of the rock to enjoy the wonderful vistas. The whole site is now a designated nature reserve, attracting a selection of birdlife including peregrine falcons and marine ravens. Also an extremely rare wild orchid is also found on the reserve. Close to the base of the rock are saltings that provide the perfect environment for flocks of beautiful flamingoes and other birds. The Penon de Ifach, which is of a similar shape to the Rock of Gibraltar, has been of strategic importance since early times. Several ancient artifacts have been excavated from there, including Roman coinage and pieces of Greek and Byzantine pottery.

Calpe has over six miles of varied coastline consisting of small coves, long stretches of white sand and some very impressive cliffs. The main beach in Calpe is the 2km Playa Arenal-Bol which has been awarded the European Blue Flag award. To the north is the Playa de la Fossa or known as Playa Levante) and is separated from the Playa Arenal-Bol by the Penon de Ifach. Both of these quality Calpe beaches have clean, fine golden sand. Playa de la Fossa also has great facilities, including a playground for children and alongside it runs the esplanade of Paseo Infanta Cristina which has some recommended Spanish restaurants. This area also has lots of music bars which makes for a lively evening scene.

Alongside the Rock of Ifach are several rocky inlets, such as El Raco, Del Panyo and Playa Cantal Roig. There is also a small yacht marina and fishing harbour, Puerto Pesquero, which also has a sail training school, restaurants, tapas bars and a morning fish market. It is possible to take glass bottomed boat ride from there round the rock, an area which is also very popular among the scuba diving enthusiasts due to the clear water.
For more expert travel advice and holiday information about Calpe on the Costa Blanca please see Calpe

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