Calpe draws in the international crowds by the plane full thanks to its rich history. It’s a real mixture of old-school Valencian and modern tourist facilities creating a wonderful blend of old and new.
Calpe, located in the province of Alicante in southeastern Spain, is a small but mighty coastal town that embodies all that is wonderful about Spain. With its white-sand beaches and turquoise waters, picturesque harbour, ease of access to both the beach and mountains, a multitude of outdoor activities, tasty food scene, and festive atmosphere, Calpe is the perfect spot to soak up all that this region of Spain has to offer.
Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, explore rugged hiking trails, enjoy fresh seafood, or experience traditional Spanish culture, Calpe is the ideal destination to spend a few days or weeks.
The coastal town is also home to a number of historical and cultural attractions, including the remains of a Roman bath and the defensive bastion constructed to defend against Moorish attacks in the 14th century.
In addition to its rich history, Calpe is also known for its lively nightlife and vibrant Festival de Moros y Cristianos.
Visitors can enjoy plenty of activities such as swimming, sunbathing, windsurfing, sailing and hiking. There are also a number of great restaurants and bars to relax in after a day of exploring. With its vibrant atmosphere and stunning scenery, Calpe is the perfect place to enjoy an unforgettable holiday.
To help you plan for your trip here, I have compiled my top X list of best things to do in Calpe Spain, so that you can concentrate on the fun stuff and leave the legwork of research and planning your dream vacation to me.
The Colourful History Of Calpe, Spain
The small town of Calpe is located in the Costa Blanca region in Spain. It has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and the first settlers were probably attracted by its strategic location and abundance of natural resources.
At the time of the Roman period, it was only known as a small fishing village, but during the Middle Ages, Calpe was ruled by the Moors, and it wasn’t until 1487 that it finally fell to the Christians.
Throughout the centuries, Calpe has remained a small town, but its importance has grown due to its prime location on the Mediterranean Sea.
The town is also home to a number of historical sites, including the remains of a Roman villa and a 16th-century fort.
Today, Calpe is a thriving town with a vibrant cultural life. Every year, it hosts a number of festivals and events, which celebrate its rich history and traditions.
While it may not be as well-known as some of Spain’s larger cities, Calpe is definitely worth a visit for anyone looking to experience the true essence of Mediterranean culture.
16 Best Things To Do In Calpe, Spain
1. Explore The Old Town of Calpe
The best way to start your exploration of Calpe is with a stroll through the picturesque old town. The old town is full of winding streets and traditional Spanish architecture, washed with typical white walls and colourful flowering plants.
The old town is home to a number of historical sites including the plaza de la villa and the Torreo de la Peca, a defensive bastion constructed to defend the city from Moorish attacks in dating back to the 14th century
Be sure to visit the Carrer de Puchalt as well – the vibrant mosaic staircase in the heart of the old town.
Today, the old town is a thriving pedestrian zone with a number of shops, cafes, and restaurants. There are also a number of hotels and apartments, which make it the perfect place to stay for your holiday.
Whether you’re looking to explore history or simply enjoy the Mediterranean atmosphere, the old town should most definitely be high up on your list of fun things to do in Calpe during your stay.
How To Get Here: Carrer del Santíssim Crist, 31, 03710 Calp, Alicante, Spain
2. Flamingo Watching at The Salt Lake
Salt Lake in Calpe is a spectacular natural wonder. The lake is actually a salt pan that has been cut off from the sea by a rockslide. As a result, the water is incredibly salty and has a beautiful blue hue.
Not only that, but it’s also home to countless pink flamingos! It is a pretty incredible notion to sit around a lake on the east coast of Spain and watch pink flamingos. Naturally, it’s a massive attraction for visitors and locals alike so make sure you bring your camera to capture some of your best nature shots.
The surrounding area is also incredibly scenic, with cliffs and rocky outcrops serving as the backdrop to this picturesque landscape.
Visitors can take a dip in the lake or simply enjoy the views. There are also several restaurants and cafes nearby, making it the perfect place to spend a morning or afternoon.
Whether you’re looking to relax or explore, Salt Lake in Calpe is definitely worth a visit and should most definitely be on your list of things to see in Calpe Spain during your time here.
How To Get Here: Les Salines, 03710 Calp, Alicante, Spain
3. Spend The Day at Playa de la Fossa
If you’re looking for things to do in Calpe that involve spending some time on the beach, then Playa de la Fossa is the perfect spot for you. This beautiful sandy beach is one of the most popular in the Costa Blanca region and it’s one of my favourites throughout the whole of Spain.
The water here is crystal clear and perfect for swimming, with gentle waves and shallow waters, also making it perfect for the little ones.
And of course, you have the imposing Penon de Ifach – a natural limestone rock that serves as a symbol of the Alicante region dominating the views out from the beach.
If fun in the water is your vibe, then you’ll be pleased to hear there are plenty of water sports on offer here, including stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, and windsurfing.
Playa de la Fossa is the perfect place to spend a day under the sun, working that tan and having fun splashing around. With great amenities, restaurants and bars all lining the beach promenade, you can easily pass a whole day here (or week) without a stress in the world.
How To Get Here: 03710 Calp, Alicante, Spain
4. Climb Penon de Ifach
Standing at an impressive 332m tall, this limestone click sits between the two beaches of Fossa and Arenal-Bol, and is a landmark that can be seen from practically anywhere in Calpe.
The views from the top are incredible, and on a clear day, you can even see across to the island of Ibiza!
Climbing to the top of Penon de Ifach is one of the most popular things to do in Calpe and definitely something you should consider if an active holiday sounds more like your cup of tea.
The first half of the hike is relatively easy with a man-made path and a steady incline. The second half couldn’t be more different, with loss, slippery rocks and a chain to grasp as you make your way to the top.
The second part isn’t easy and it doesn’t get any easier until you reach the top, but don’t let this put you off though, it’s worth every second once you reach the top and look out across the 360-degree panoramic views.
You’ll need to be relatively fit and a decent pair of boots wouldn’t go a miss either. It’s a great way to challenge yourself, and trust me when I say, it feels reallyyyy good once you’ve completed it.
The hike will take you around 2.5 – 3hrs depending on your fitness level, and make sure you pack enough water (and suncream) and avoid the midday day heat of the sun.
How To Get Here: 03710 Calp, Alicante, Spain
5. Spend The Day on Playa del Arenal-Bol
This stunning golden sandy beach is situated just south of Penon de Ifach and is one of the busiest beaches in Calpe, especially during the peak summer months.
The beach is just on the other side of the limestone rock to Playa de Fossa, and it is around 500m long. It has a Blue Flag certification too, so you know the water is clean and perfect for swimming for people of all ages.
If you’re looking to add a bit more excitement to your day to get the adrenaline going, there are plenty of things to keep you entertained, with banana boats, jet skis and parasailing all on offer.
Arenal-Bol beach is also lined with more restaurants, bars and shops and has umbrellas and sun loungers to rent, so you can turn up on the day with zero preparation and without a care in the world
Enjoy the views looking out to sea with the Rock of Ifach to your west, relax, unwind, and make the most of the day soaking up the sun’s rays between dips in the sea.
6. Visit The Monte Toix Viewpoint (Mirador)
This is one of the best things to do in Calpe if you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the beach for a couple of hours and take in some incredible views.
The Mirador de Monte Toix, or Monte Toix viewpoint, is located on the outskirts of town and can be reached by car. There is a car park just before the lookout point where you’ll just need to walk the 5-10 minutes to reach the top.
If you’re feeling active, there are a number of different hiking routes to get you to the top too
The viewpoint itself is located at the top of a large hill and offers panoramic views of the town, the sea, and the surrounding mountains.
It’s a great spot to watch the sunset or enjoy a picnic while taking in the incredible views.
How To Get Here: playa del arenal-bol, Calp, Alicante, Spain
7. Wander Around Calpe Harbour
Calpe harbour is located just north of the town centre and is a great place to take a leisurely stroll, especially in the evening when it’s cooler.
The harbour and surrounding area are home to a handful of restaurants and bars, so it’s a great spot to stop for lunch or dinner with friends or family. Naturally, the restaurants all serve up fabulous seafood dishes which I would strongly recommend giving a go.
It’s also really nice to enjoy a walk here from close-by Arenal-Bol Beach, less than 2km away, it’s a very pleasant walk along the promenade and perfect to break up the day in the later afternoon.
Calpe harbour is a great place to relax and soak up the atmosphere of the town, and it’s also a popular spot for fishing, so you may even be lucky enough to catch your dinner!
How To Get Here: Av. del Puerto, 03710 Calp, Alicante, Spain
8. Dip in The Banos de la Reina (Queens Baths)
Located in between Playa del Arenal-Bol and the harbour, this archaeological site could easily be missed if you didn’t know about it.
The Banos de la Reina has been shielded for centuries by the Penon de Ifach, leaving these very well-preserved Roman baths stepping down into the sea, and it’s one of the best things to see in Calpe Spain.
These would have once served as a royal spa for those in power here, and you can walk over the rocks to get here and snap a few cool photos and take a dip yourself.
The surrounding waters are also a very well-kept secret for snorkelling, so make sure you grab your snorkel and mask before heading here if you like to get underwater a bit.
How To Get Here: Av. Europa, 20, 03710 Calp, Alicante, Spain
9. Visit The Calpe Craft Market
The Calpe Craft Market is located in the Avenida de Rumania neighbourhood and it’s open every Saturday from 9am until 2pm.
This is a great place to pick up some souvenirs or gifts for friends and family back home, with plenty of traditional Spanish items on offer including pottery, jewellery, hand-painted plates, and vintage clothing.
You can even grab some fresh and organic produce here, plus some tasty homemade pastries, fresh bread and cakes.
Even if there’s nothing you need to buy, it’s still a great way to spend a morning before the beach, or even better, pick up some fresh snacks and pastries here to take with you.
How To Get Here: Av. de Rumania, 03710 Calpe, Alicante, Spain
10. Wander Around The Fish Market & Auction (Lonja del Peix)
The Lonja del Peix is the fish auction market in Calpe and is one of the best things to do in Calpe if you love your seafood.
It’s located right on the harbour front and is open Monday to Friday at 5pm. It is open for around 2 hours and is one of the city’s most important seafaring traditions.
The boats arrive in an organized fashion according to their numerical designations, which are rotated on a regular basis by the Fisherman’s Association. The first four ships must unload their cargo before the start of the auction, while the rest of the fleet gradually unloads theirs as the auction runs.
It’s an impressive and orderly sight and one you should definitely make time for if you’re visiting the harbour in the early evening.
How To Get Here: Av. del Port, Calp, Alicante, Spain
11. Snorkelling at Cala El Raco Bay
Cala El Raco is a secluded little bay located just past the harbour and close to Penon de Ifach. It is one of my favourite places to visit in Calpe, Spain, and if you’re looking to escape the crowds and enjoy some peace and quiet, I would recommend you definitely get yourself to this cute little bay.
The bay is only accessible by foot, so it’s a great spot to come for a wander and explore. Once you’re down at the water’s edge, you’ll be rewarded with crystal clear turquoise waters that are absolutely perfect for snorkelling in
There are a few little rock pools to explore too, with plenty of fish around. If you walk a little further, there is a small stony beach for each access into the azure waters here.
How To Get Here: Ctra. Puerto, 16, 03710 Calp, Alicante, Spain
12. Sample The Local Cuisine
Arroz a Banda, or “rice on the side” in English, is somewhat of an Alicante Speciality, so it would be rude not to try it during your visit to Calpe.
The rice is cooked with fish broth and generally doesn’t include any other ingredients as you would expect with a Paella. It’s the perfect side plate for a fish dish or a light meal in itself.
Other popular dishes in Calpe include “suquet de peix” (a fish stew), “all i pebre” (garlic prawns) and “fideua”, which is like a Paella but made with noodles instead of rice.
Make sure you try some of the local wine too, as Alicante is known for its sweet Moscatel wines.
Collectively, the food and drink of this region are fab…make sure you add it to your list of things to do in Calpe, Spain whilst you’re here.
Things To Do Around Calpe (Day Trips)
13. Day Trip To Altea
Altea is a beautiful town located just 15-20 minutes drive from Calpe. This is the perfect place to come for a day of exploring, with plenty of things to see and do.
Start by strolling around the old town, which is full of charming narrow streets and pretty buildings. Make sure you stop by the blue-domed church, which is one of the most photographed buildings in town.
Once you’ve explored the old town, head down to the seafront where you can enjoy some stunning views out to sea. This is also a great place to pick up some souvenirs, as there are plenty of shops and stalls selling local arts and crafts.
In the afternoon, make sure you head up to the Cronistas Mirador, or viewpoint, which is located at the top of the old town. Here you can enjoy panoramic views out over Altea, the coastline and even across to Calpe in the distance.
14. Day Trip To Benidorm
Benidorm is a lively resort town located just 30 minutes drive from Calpe. This is the perfect place to come if you’re looking for things to do in and around Calpe that are a little more lively and fast-paced.
There’s plenty to keep you entertained here, from water parks and theme parks to bars and clubs. There’s also a great selection of shops, restaurants and cafes to enjoy.
And of course not forgetting the world-class beaches on offer here such as Levante Beach. It gets busy in the summer months though so I would arrive early and then explore in the afternoon
If you’re looking for something fun to do during your stay in Calpe that is suitable for the whole family, then a day trip to Benidorm is definitely worth considering. There’s something here for everyone to enjoy, no matter what their age or interests.
15. Daytrip To Alicante
Alicante is a beautiful city located just 50 minutes drive from Calpe. This is the perfect place to come if you’re looking for things to do near to Calpe that are a little more cultural and historic.
There’s plenty to see and do here, from exploring the old town to visiting one of the many museums or galleries. You can also enjoy some stunning views of the city and coastline from the castle walls.
Make sure you try some of the local cuisines too, as Alicante is known for its delicious seafood dishes. And of course not forgetting the famous Paella!
16. Day Trip To Villajoyosa
Villajoyosa is a beautiful town located just 30 minutes drive from Calpe. This is the perfect place to come if you’re looking for things to do around Calpe that are a little more relaxed and traditional.
The town is known for its pretty coloured houses, which line the seafront. It’s also home to a chocolate museum, where you can learn all about the history of chocolate making in Villajoyosa.
Make sure you try some of the local chocolate too, as it’s delicious!
16 Best Things To Do & See In Calpe, Spain
- Explore The Old Town of Calpe
- Flamingo Watching at The Salt Lake
- Spend The Day at Playa de la Fossa
- Climb Penon de Ifach
- Spend The Day on Playa del Arenal-Bol
- Wander Around Calpe Harbour
- Dip in The Banos de la Reina (Queens Baths)
- Visit The Calpe Craft Market
- Wander Around The Fish Market & Auction (Lonja del Peix)
- Snorkelling at Cala El Raco Bay
- Sample The Local Cuisine
- Day Trip To Altea
- Day Trip To Benidorm
- Daytrip To Alicante
- Day Trip To Villajoyosa
Where To Stay In Calpe
Calpe has a little something for everyone, from budget-friendly hotels to plush spa resorts.
The great thing about Calpe is it’s a very walkable town. Even from the old town to the west to Playa de la Fossa at the east, it’s only 3km away and you can walk there, passing the salt lake, in under 40 minutes.
of course, you can always take a taxi too if things get a little too hot or you have kids screaming to get to the beach. But know that wherever you stay in the town, you are never going to be too far away from anything.
Best Hotels in Calpe, Spain
Budget-Friendly – Aparto Residence Galetamar
Located on the west side of town, you’re just a 2-minute walk from la Calaga Beach or a 10-minute walk to Fossa Beach. With a fantastic pool, kid-friendly atmosphere and incredibly good value studios, it’s the perfect stopping place for a couple or young family who are planning their trip to Calpe.
Mid-Range – AR Diamante Beach Spa Hotel
3-minute walk to Fossa Beach, with large balconies, a buffet restaurant and fantastic pools. Again, it’s another great value hotel with a lot of bang for your buck.
Top-End – Hotel Bahia Calpe by Pierre & Vacances
As you would hope for, this hotel is right on Arsenal-Bol Beach with fantastic views over to the Rock of Ifach. Kid-friendly hotel with a dazzling pool overlooking the beach, with ratings of 9.4 out of 10 for a two-person trip. Not bad.
How do I get to Calpe?
The best way to get to Calpe is by flying to Alicante airport and then making your way to Calpe by car. You can hire a car at fantastic prices from right outside the airport. Another popular option is to book a shuttle bus which will collect you from the airport and drop you at your hotel. You can take a taxi but this will cost you around €100 for the 1-hour drive.
How long should I spend in Calpe?
If you’re just visiting for the beach and some relaxation, then a long weekend is probably enough. However, if you want to explore some of the surrounding areas such as Alicante or Benidorm, then I would recommend staying for at least a week or two.
Is Calpe suitable for families?
Yes, Calpe is definitely suitable for families. There’s a wide range of things to do that will keep everyone entertained, from visiting the zoo or waterpark to taking a day trip to one of the nearby towns or villages.
What is the best time of year to visit Calpe?
The weather in Calpe is beautiful all year round, but the peak season is definitely in the summer months. If you want to avoid the crowds, then I would recommend visiting in late spring or early autumn.
What is there to do in Calpe at night?
In terms of nightlife, Calpe is pretty low-key. There are a few bars and clubs dotted around the town, but nothing that would rival some of the bigger party towns in Spain such as Benidorm. That being said, there’s still plenty to do in Calpe at night. You can enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants or take a walk along the promenade and soak up the atmosphere.