This page is all about the town of Calpe on the Costa Blanca coast of Spain.
It contains useful Calpe tourist information for people intending to visit or holiday in Calpe.
In this tourist guide to the tourist resort of Calpe on the northern Costa Blanca in Spain we help visitors who are planning a trip with useful and practical advice on many tourism related subjects such as Calpe car hire, accommodation, hotels, hostels, villa rental, apartment rental, beaches, map, sightseeing, Calpe weather, where to go, where to stay, travel information, airport transfers to Calpe and what to see and do in Calpe.
To make the best of your visit and holiday we cover everything you need to know about Calpe. We also have photos, picture galleries, views, videos and webcams of Calpe.
Sightseeing – What to See and Do
Calpe is a very well known town on the Costa Blanca. There are certainly nicer spots than Calpe but nowhere has the amazing landmark that is the ‘Penon de Ifach’. This is a gigantic granite rock towering over 600 metres high. The rock is right on Calpe beach.
It depends on your viewpoint but Calpe is slightly spoilt in our opinion by the high-rise apartment and hotel buildings which mar the sea front views. Just behind these high rise buildings are the Salinas de Saladar are which are salt lakes.
Calpe is definitely a big bustling town far removed from it’s origins as a tiny fishing village.
Make sure you visit the local market selling fresh fruits and vegetables as well as other locally-made goods and produce – market day in Calpe is on a Saturday.
The Calpe Oktoberfest is one of the most popular festivals on the Costa Blanca organised by the Carnaval Club Calpe Association and Calpe Town Hall. A traditional German festival this centres around a lot of beer drinking so Brits will enjoy this one too!
For other excursion ideas see our detailed Costa Blanca information guide.
On each side of the rock are two fantastic sandy Calpe beaches and this is the reason why most people come on holiday to Calpe – the beaches are of a very high quality sand and the waters are clean.
The beaches are so long and wide that unlike the nearby town of Benidorm, you can always find a spot on the beach. The facilities on the beaches are excellent with many play areas for the children right on the beach itself.
The Calpe beaches are superb and always hold a blue flag which means they are certified as being clean by the European Foundation for Environmental Education. They are surrounded by dozens of restaurants, bars and clubs offering a wide variety of food, drink and entertainment.
Calpe Fish Market
Also to the right-hand side of the rock is the famous Calpe fish market. You may not think it now but Calpe was originally a small fishing village.
Even now each day, the fishing boats bring their catch in and you can even watch the fish auctions on the quay and buy the fresh fish yourself. The Calpe restaurants display the raw fish out the front, you point to the plate you want and it then goes back to the kitchen to be cooked.
History of Calpe
Calpe’s old town still has nice wide avenues where modern buildings and old architecture collide. Calpe is almost three thousand years old and in this area it still retains a sense of history and tradition. The earliest archaeological findings, at the time of the Iberians were found at the Ifach cliffs. Later the Romans established a wealthy colony at the coast whose main activity was the trade of dried and salted fish.
In the Middle Ages, Calpe’s local population developed agriculture. Christians and Moslems lived here peacefully together, despite the many attacks from pirates between the 14th and 17th century. In the 18th century this threat was removed and Calpe enjoyed an economic upswing which continues to the day.
Pros and Cons of Going to Calpe
1. Landmark of the giant rock rising from the sea
2. Fish market
3. Great beaches
4. Bustling town with plenty of shops
1. High rise apartment blocks right by the beach
2. Feels a little over-developed
3. Can be overcrowded in summer
Calpe Tourist Information Office (Oficina de Turismo)
Are you thinking of going on holiday or visiting Calpe and you need help or assistance?
The official tourist offices below have English-speaking people who can help you with all sorts of tourist related enquiries such as where to stay, accommodation, transportation questions etc. Be sure to visit them while on holiday as there are many free maps and leaflets which will help you with things to do and see while on holiday.
Calpe Tourist Office (Centro) Address: Plaza del Mosquit s/n, 03710, Calpe, (Alicante – Alacant)
Telephone: +34 965 838 532 or +34 965 838 533
Opening Times: Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 18:00 h. Saturdays from 9:00 to 14:00 h. Summer hours (from 1 July). Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 19:00 h. Saturdays from 10:00 to 18:00 h.
Calpe Tourist Office (Bus Station – Estación)
Address: Avenida Generalitat Valenciana s/n (Junto Terminal de Autobuses), 03710, Calpe (Alicante – Alacant).
Calpe Tourist Office
Address: Paseo Marítimo Infanta Elena, 03710, Calpe.
Opening Hours: From 15 June to 7 September from 10:00 to 14:00 and 17:00 to 21:00.
Calpe Tourist Office (Penon)
Address: Avenida Ejércitos Españoles 30, 03710, Calpe.
Telephone: +34 965 836 920
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 18:00 h. Saturdays from 9:00 to 14:00 h. Summer hours (from 1 July). Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 19:00 h. Saturday from 10:00 to 18:00 h.
IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS
Town Hall: 965 833 600
Local Police: 965 839 000
Guardia Civil: 965 830 080
Fire Brigade: 965 780 080
Red Cross: 965 831 616
Health Centre: 965 835 011
Club Nautico: 965 831 809
Post Office: 965 830 884
Accommodation – Where to Stay
Calpe has in fact eighteen beach front hotels of which the Hotel Porto Calpe, the Aparthotel Europa and the Bahia Calpe have been voted the best by holiday makers.
Calpe also has eight spa hotels of which the AR Imperial Spa Park Resort, the Hotel AR Diamante Beach Spa, and the Villa Marisol Hotel, have been voted the best.
Calpe has three luxury Hotels in Calpe which are the Gran Hotel Solymar, the Villa Marisol, and the Hotel AR Diamante Beach.
There are fourteen family hotels in Calpe of which the AR Imperial Park Spa resort, the Apartamentos Larimar and the Apartamentos Amatista are the most popular.
HOSTELS AND PENSIONS
A really cheap alternative to staying in a Calpe hotel is to book into a Calpe hostel or pension. Be advised that these hostels and pensions are very basic accommodation traditionally sought out by student travelers and backpackers on a budget.
Some hostels in Calpe will require you to sleep in a room with other guests and share bathrooms. In some cases there will be a strict time that you have to be in by which is no good if you want to sample the Calpe nightlife. Needless to say – staying in a Calpe hostel is the cheapest form of accommodation you can find in Calpe.
Hostal Terra de Mar in Calpe is a superbly renovated old town house, that offers very comfortable accommodation in the Casco Antiguo of Calpe. 12 rooms in the heart of the old town of Calpe. Address: Old Town , C/ Paternina 31, Calpe 03710 Telephone: +34 965 875 928
Albergue Abargues Avenida Juan Carlos I, 03710 CALPE. Tel: +34 965 832 435
Pension Casa La Diferencia Address: Urb Canuta De Ifach 45A , 03710 CALPE. Tel: +34 965 832 786
Pension Crespo Address: Calle La Pinta 1, Edificio Mar Y Paz, 03710 CALPE. Tel: +34 965 833 931
Pension El Parque Address: Calle Portalet 4 03710 CALPE. Tel: +34 965 830 770
Pension El Poble Address: Calle De La Libertat 22, 03710 CALPE. Tel: +34 658 618 284
Pension Gran Sol Address: Urb Gran Sol, 03710 CALPE. Tel: +34 965 836 282
Pension Le Vieux Bruxelles Address: Avenida Isla De Formetera 18, 03710 CALPE. Tel: +34 965 834 357
Hostal Residencial La Paloma ll Address: Urb Benicolada 6F, 03710 CALPE. Tel: +34 965 875 428
Moving to Calpe
If you are thinking of moving to Calpe, then you must read our expat interview with Frank H. Logchies of Just Homes below:
Frank, what would you say would be the advantages to living in Calpe compared to other Costa Blanca towns?
Calpe (Officially now called “Calp” – but I prefer the old name) has got a micro-climate due to the mountains surrounding the area, making that the temperature is nice and generally speaking the weather is better than for example on the other side of the tunnels that separate Calpe from the Altea/Benidorm area. Also the area is “greener” than elsewhere. From most of the places in the Calpe area one has got a nice sea-view.
Calpe is also nice because there are people living all year through, and you do not have the “Gost-Town-Effect” you might have elswhere in the winter. Neither you have the massification like in Benidorm in the summer.
Would the area not suit certain types of people, i.e. are there any possible downsides?
Calpe has something for all types of people, although it is more tranquil than Benidorm, which is conveniently close (20-30 min drive) for the younger people if they want to go to the discoteques. Calpe has got a more residential population. There are enough shopping possibilities to keep anyone satisfied, and the shopping centre is being modernised and big firms are said to be opening soon in there, but again, close enough to Benidorm shopping mall or Ondara Shopping Mall (20 min by motorway) direction north.
What proportion of the local population are Spanish?
Of the aprox. 21.500 inhabitants of Calpe registered in the “Padrón” – census, almost half (10.231 according to figures of 2015) are foreigners.
What are your favourite things to do in the area?
We like to go to the beach and do watersport activities such as snorkeling and windsurfing. There is plenty of sports activity available along the coast.
One thing that anyone, tourist or resident, should do at least once in a lifetime, is to walk up the Peñón de Ifach, the Rock of Calpe, which is the symbol of the Costa Blanca. The views from up there are really breathtaking!
Can you give us some insider tips to the best bars or restaurants?
If you like paella and other rice-dishes, you should try Restaurant Casa Florencia as they are the real paella-style-rice-dishes specialists. They have got a diffrent type of rice every day: Paella mixta, Arroz del Señoret, Arroz a banda, Arroz Negre, etc. We also have some nice fish restaurants in the harbour of Calpe. My favourite is Restaurante Baidal. For a real good and cheap “Spanish-workers” restaurant, 4plates, bread and wine, for €9.50, I can recommend Restaurante Mejias 1, 2 or 3 (they have 3 restaurants in town). When we fancy an Indian meal, we go to the Punjabi Curry Indian Restaurant. Really good!
Are there many facilities such as doctors and dentists, shops etc?
There are doctors and dentists speaking all languages in Calpe, and recently a clinic has opened from the Imed-Group, a private health-scheme hospital.
Are there smaller villages nearby that you might also recommend?
If one likes touring around, we have the picturesque town of Guadalest at a 40 minutes drive. The Jalón valley is beautiful to drive through, certainly in the coming weeks, when the almond trees start blossoming. Also near are Benissa, Moraira, Jávea and Denia, all of them with beautiful old town centres, worth a visit.
What are the nearest international schools and how good are they?
Our kids go the the Almedia School in Callosa d’Ensarria, being picked up by the bus in Calpe. Also the children that go to the international Lope de Vega school in Benidorm and the Lady Elizabeth school in Lliber and Benitachell are being picked up with buses in Calpe. All these international schools are of a very high level.
Is crime an issue for expats?
I am not saying there are no break-ins in this area, but my impression is that, after a possible peak during the economical crisis years, things have normalised. Honestly, lately I have not heared of any break-ins or robberies.
Coming onto buying property, what is the market like now in terms of prices going up, or down or staying the same?
As elsewhere in Spain, the real estate market in calpe and surroundings has had some very bad years, but one can notice now that things have definitely changed. The market has picked up and even though things are not yet as they used to be, one can feel that “bottom has been reached” and the sales are reviving. It is “The” moment to buy, because prices are starting to rise again. I do not think they will be rising as they did in the booming years, but, as soon as the vendors notice things are being sold, they always want to get a bit more out of it.
Is this a good time to buy and are there any repossessions or very cheap properties still available to buy?
As I said before, this is the moment to buy, as there are still some bargians and bank repossessions available (although less every day).
What urbanisations are there and can you describe each one and how they might differ from each other?
The point is that around the town of Calpe there are more than 60 urbanisations, and trying to describe the ins and outs of these areas would be virtually impossibe. Nevertheless, the most sought after areas (because they are close to towns and have nice seaviews) are Ortembach, La Canuta, La Cometa III, La Vallesa. Then we also have Maryvilla and Cucarres, with “postcard Seaviews”. Casanova, at walking distance of town, La empedrola, where the plots are a bit bigger (around 1200 m2) than elsewhere.
Basically all areas have their pros and cons. Nevertheless, the nice thing is that, no matter in which urbanisation you live, they are all at maximun 5-10 minutes by car to the centre of Calpe and its wonderful beaches.
How much are the typical property prices in Calpe for apartments, villas etc?
One can find a villa with a private plot and pool for prices starting around 180.000 – 200.000 euros. First line apartments with 1 bedroom for around 90-100.000 euros, 2 bedroomed ones for around 130-150.000 euros. Semidetached townhouses with 2-3 bedrooms as from 120-130.000 euros. And if you want to construct your dream house, you can find an 800 sq mtr plot for prices starting at 80-100.000 euros.
Any tips and advice to people looking to buy in Calpe or surrounding area?
Get yourself a good Real Estate Agent to guide you through the purchasing process. In Calpe there are possibly more than a hundred agencies, so it is not easy to choose.
A safe move is to take an agent of the Real Estate Association my office belongs to, called “INMOCALPE” , which is an association set up by the original API-agencies (Official Real estate Agents) that have the largest and longest experience in the real estate market of calpe and surroundings.
The offices of Inmocalpe work together and share their properties in a common database, so people wanting to buy do not need to “shop around” in all the agencies of Calpe.
Frank, thank you so much for taking the time to help our readers with your experiences in Spain. If you want to contact him, you can find his details below.
Real Estate JUST HOMES
Plaza Constitución S/N
03710 – Calpe – Alicante – España
Phone: +34 965 830 608
Fax: +34 965 830 116
TOURIST INFORMATION VIDEO
This excellent video below shows various images of Calpe’s most popular tourist attractions.
Contact us to be featured – we want more expat interviews for our newsletter and website. You don’t need to be an estate agent, we want to hear from anyone who lives in Spain whether you are working or retired.
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- Calpe Estate Agents
- Calpe Long Term Rentals
- Calpe Map
- Calpe Oktoberfest
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- Calpe Webcams
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