Calpe - Peñon de Ifach
 
Calpe - Peñon de Ifach
 
The symbol of Calpe is undoubtedly the famous rock "Peñon de Ifach" which is sometimes called "the little Gibraltar". "Little" is a relative term. This 332-meter-high limestone whopper, with its 50.000 m², appears to be the smallest protected area in Spain.
 
The official Spanish name for the natural park is "Parque Natural del Peñon de Ifach". The rock rises high above the sea. The connection with the mainland was naturally created by debris that fell off the rock over a period of thousands of years. There are several rare plants on the rock that only occur in this place. More than 300 species of animals have found their habitat here and several birds find this the ideal location to build their nest. Behind the rock there is a lagoon separated by strips of sandy beach from the sea. The marshy land behind the lagoon is all that remains of the former Marina Alta swamp. On the west side there is a cave with a freshwater source. This is only accessible to divers.
 
The rock is very easy to reach. You take the N332 to Calpe and there you follow the "Parque Natural de Peñon" sign. The signpost will take you to a free parking space. From there you go on foot to the visitor center. A footpath to the top of the Peñon de Ifach starts from the visitor center. You can start at a height of 50m and you can climb to a height of 332m. Since the rock is a protected nature reserve and only belonged to the plants and animals a century ago, the number of visitors is limited in the months of April, May, July and August. Be especially careful in spring. Many seagulls build their nest on the Peñon de Ifach. They can get pretty upset and get pretty aggressive if you get too close to them. The walk itself takes 2 to 3 hours (round trip) and is divided into two parts.
 
The first part up to the tunnel is suitable for everyone with a little condition. The path is well laid out and goes up zigzagging evenly. You could even do this on your flip flops, although we do not recommend this. You will reach the tunnel after passing some beautiful viewpoints. If you have come on your flip flops then you should turn around here. The second part of the walk starts here. The tunnel is approximately 50 meters long, runs diagonally upwards and is quite slippery. The stones were worn down by the rain and the many walkers. Although ropes are attached to the side of the tunnel to prevent falling, taking the tunnel is quite exciting. It requires more effort and sturdy mountain boots are no superfluous luxury here. Beyond the tunnel it doesn't get any easier. The road becomes more dangerous because it goes along narrow cliffs. From here you have to pay attention where you place your feet. Here and there ropes are placed that you can use as a handhold to facilitate the passage. The path from the tunnel and the remaining part to the top is only suitable for a trained hiker with good grip boots. At the top that lies at an altitude of 332 meters, you have a beautiful view of Calpe and the Costa Blanca. In clear weather you could even see Ibiza from the top about 90 km far in the sea. The way back takes the same path. Remember that there are no facilities en route. Make sure you bring enough water, food or snacks, sun protection and possibly a windbreaker at the start of the walk. It can be quite fresh in the tunnel.

kind of trip :
* nature
entrance fee :
* free
opening hours :
* parque natural : accessible from the morning until the evening
* visitors center :
   ° Monday to Friday : 8:30 am - 2:30 pm
   ° Saturday, Sunday and public Holidays : 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
contact :
* email : ifac_cma@gva.es
* phone : (+34) 965 837 596  -  679 195 912
address :
* Carretera del Peñon, 03710 Calpe
* GPS : 38°38'18.4"N 0°04'26.2"E - decimal 38.638443,0.073939
distance :
* Torrevieja : 122 km, 98 minutes
* Guardamar : 113 km, 92 minutes
* La Marina : 101 km, 81 minutes
most recent update : 12 April 2019