Calpe and Altea

Transport

Use your own car, take the boat from Dénia to Calpe, take the  train (the Trenet de La Marina) or take the bus.

From Dénia to Calpe

If you go by car, take the motorway AP-7 (exit no.63, Benissa-Calpe), or use the main road N-332, via Gata-Teulada-Benissa-Calpe.

CALPE is situated 30 kms from Denia.  Look out for the imposing Peñón de Ifach (the Ifach Rock) which you can see from the road as you approach; Spain declared this a Natural Park in 1987.

The archaeological remains of "Los Baños de la Reina" (The Queen´s Baths"), dating from IV-V centuries AD, are located between Calpe town and the Peñón; these remains of a Roman villa formed part of a fish factory which, as you will see, is still in a good state of preservation.

Peñón de Ifach Natural Park. Climb up to the summit of the Peñón to enjoy the beautiful views.  At the start of your climb you will find the  Aula de la Naturaleza, (The Visitors' Nature Centre) where information is displayed about the Natural Park in exhibitions and audiovisual shows.

You will be amazed at how big the Peñón de Ifach actually is; its imposing shape reaches a height of 332m, as it rests in the Mediterranean waters far below.  At the summit we are surrounded by incredible views, the immensity of the sea, the reflection in the water of Calpe itself, and all the nooks and crannies of the rocky coastline.  The Ifach is also a favourite destination for rock climbers and  deep sea divers.

Visit Calpe. In the old town you will find the "Torreó de la Peça", which houses the architectural remains of a military fortress dating from the end of the 14th century.  These remains were reinforced in the 18th century by order of Felipe III and further restored in 1981.  Nearby are the "murallas" (XIV and XV centuries), and the"Forat de la Mar", which is a gateway into the town opened by the French troops in 1813.  "La Iglesia Antigua" ("The Ancient Church", is the only example of Mudéjar Gothic architecture in the Valencian Community, and "la Iglesia Parroquial Ntra. Sra. de las Nieves" ("The Parish Church of Our Lady of the Snows") is of great interest for its stained glass windows and its façade decorated with mosaics.

Next you can make your way to the "arrabal" and visit the Archaeological, Fiesta and Collectors' Museum and the "Casa de la Senyoreta" (a typical urban mansion dating from the 18th century).

Lonja (the Guildhall).  In the early evening, about 5.00 pm, from Monday to Friday, just like in Dénia, the fishing boats land here and set up the fish auction in the Port Lonja.  You can watch the auction taking place from the visitors' viewing point inside the Lonja Tourist Information Point

In the centre of the old town you will find "la Casa Cocó", a typical rural style house of the Marina Alta, now used as the Town Museum, "el Llavador de la Font", the old fountain and laundry area for the village, and various buildings designed by Ricardo Bofill in the sixties and the eighties in "La Manzanera" urbanization.

In other parts of the town you can visit  the San Salvador and the San Juan chapels (18th century), and the 19th century Pou Salat.

Coastal walk. Parallel to the coast are the promenades and walkways known as the Infanta Elena promenade, -along the Arenal-Bol beach- and the  Infanta Cristina promenade –along the  Levante or La Fossa beach.  The Prince of Asturias Promenade is situated at the foot of the Peñón de Ifach, bordering the southern slope.

The glass-bottomed boat based in Calpe harbour is worth checking out.  A trip in this boat will allow you to observe the sea bed as closely as if you yourself were a fish living down there!

It´s also possible to take boat trips to Jávea, Dénia, Altea or Benidorm,  sailing down the whole coastline.

ALTEA, our next stop, is located 10 kms from here (N-332).

Altea, a bohemian village atmosphere living and breathing art and culture round every corner!)

Visit Altea

In the centre of Altea you will come to a crossroads with traffic lights and a small square with a church, which was a former Franciscan convent.  The commercial town centre is situated all around this square.  From here, you begin the ascent up to the old town, following Calle Pont de Moncau, until you reach a road junction where you take a right turn.  On the corner is the Casa de la Cultura, the"Navarro Ramón" Art Museum and the "Casal Fester" Museum with its exhibitions about the local town fiestas.

Further along the same street, you come to the barrio de Vella Guarda, a part of the town where you can see the  reconstrucción of an old watchtower.

Having arrived at the Plaza de la Cruz, proceed to the Cuesta de los Machos and from there to Portal Vell, the old town gate; it´s now clear that we are in the old walled part of the town: el casco antiguo. On Costera dels Matxos you will see the Fundación Scholter (Scholter Foundation) exhibiting paintings.  You should also pay a visit to "El Palau" a beautiful modern concert hall, also containing the Museum of World Musical Instruments, displaying an interesting exhibition of musical instruments made of cane and wood.

Go up the Calle Mayor (Main Street) and admire the cobbled and stepped streets, and the balconies with their wrought iron balustrades .... Before you know it, you´ve arrived at the outstanding  Plaza de la Iglesia de la Virgen del Consuelo (Church of the Virgin of Consolation).  A typical Mediterranean atmosphere fills this charming part of the town, with the church of the Virgin of Consolation crowned with unusual blue and white tiled domes.

The magnificent buildings clustered together in the old town give it a unique charm.  The peace and quiet and tranquility of the old town have made Altea into a haven for artists and artesans, whose shops and stalls fill the old quarter with a bohemian atmosphere.

The Craft Fair is held from 7.30 pm until midnight during the summer season and at Easter, with stalls selling glass objects, puppets, hand made gold jewellery, silver, leatherware, etc..

In the evening, this is one of the best areas in the town to have a good dinner in one of the many restaurants.

Continue your walk, going down the Calle Costera del Mestre de la Música towards the Paseo del Mediterráneo promenade, where you will find lovely gardens and a wide selection of cafés, restaurants, and shops – in fact everything to help you enjoy a gentle stroll.

The Mirador.  From this Mirador beside the Church Square you can enjoy magnificent views.

Weekly market. This is held on Tuesdays beside the river, in cami del Algar, just beside the Sports Centre.

Return to DÉNIA.  In-depth visit.  Get back to Dénia feeling satisfied and relaxed after a morning spent out in the fresh sea air, having enjoyed the beautiful countryside, the rich cultural history of the monuments and buildings you have visited, and the delightfully old fashioned ambience of Altea.

Optional trips.

There are other very interesting places around this area that you may wish to visit on another day: for example, the "Villa Gadea Museum" , the village of Altea La Vella and the Sierra de Bèrnia mountain, also accessible from Altea.

How to get there. Taking the road to Altea La Vella you will find the Villa Gadea, a UNESCO International Centre, 3 kms. from Altea.

After visiting the "Villa Gadea" go on to the Caserío de Altea La Vella, situated at the foot of the Sierra de Bérnia mountain.  This hamlet is welll-known for its typical village houses clustering together around the church.

Not far from Altea la Vella , on the main road to  Callosa d'Ensarrià, a side turning will take you up to the summit of the Sierra de Bérnia mountain, to the  Fort de Bernia (ruins of an old castle), to the fuente del Runar (Runar Waterfall) and to the Forat,  a needle of rock through which you pass to the north side of the mountain.  Hiking is very popular in this area.  There is also a special picnic area for the use of visitors.

The Callosa road takes you to various other interesting places, such as the Fuentes del Algar (Algar Waterfalls) and to Guadalest.  You can find more information about these places a bit further on in this booklet.