February 2007- Alicante

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Calpe beach

Calpe beach

A massive number of chart and scheduled flights now bring holiday makers to Alicante, opening up the entire coast for holiday makers.

For families this is an ideal location with safe beaches set right beside the hotels and apartments and bars and restaurants that look out from the pedestrianised promenade.

Life moves at a leisurely pace here during the day and nightlife whilst being there nevertheless is not hectic.

Accommodation is mostly apartment blocks, fully equipped for self catering with modern bathrooms that include bath and shower facilities.

If you go self catering be sure to visit the local fish market where the choice is incredibly and as for the prices you will be pleasantly surprised. Literally for nothing.

But if you don’t want to cook in the evenings the open spaced restaurants make an issue of making the children welcome and again the value almost takes your breath away.

Calpe has three of the most beautiful sandy beaches I have seen on the coast and the seemingly endless Paseo Maritimo (seaside promenade) is lined with bars and restaurants, and several kilometres of fine sandy beaches.

The resort’s landmark is its rock with sheer cliffs rising straight out of the sea. You can climb 330 metres to the top or walk through the tunnel which leads to the top, from where you have breathtaking views of the surrounding villages and countryside. You can see across to Ibiza on a clear day.

Calpe has a wonderful modern marina that sits alongside the old fishing port. From here it is possible to take boat rides around the rock and to the nearby resort of Benidorm.

Be sure to organise a boat trip along the coast. We left Benidorm by road to visit Calpe but returned by pleasure boat and took in the breathtaking coastline.

Calpe is a good base to visit Benidorm and the town will not disappoint you. It was 30 years since I last visited and the many changes have been for the better.

 

  • Moros y Cristianos, the Moors and Christians Festival, on  October 21-24, is a mock re-enaction of two battles along the beaches and in a  mock castle, specially constructed for the occasion. There are musical acts, fireworks and plenty of food and drink for all.
  • Fallas de San José, the Feast of St Joseph each 19th March, big statues of wood and cardboard are burnt at Midnight to celebrate the beginning of Spring.  There is a procession  and a firework display at Midnight.
  • Cruises along the Benidorm coast leave Calpe at 12.00 midday. Underwater vision with a glass-bottom boat departs at 10am and every hour thereafter.

 

  • Calpe’s star attraction is the stunning Peñon de Ifach (Rock of Ifach). It is the largest single rock in the Mediterranean and a lot more spectacular than Gibraltar a few miles u the coast.
  • You can explore the remains of an ancient Roman villa which once formed part of the Roman fish factory, known as the Banys de la Reina (Queen’s Bath).
  • Overlooking the Mascarat ravine are the ruins of the Moorish Castle of Calpe and all over the local countryside are the typical rui-rau country houses, with arched porticos for raisin drying.
  • The town centre is also home to the Museum of Archaeology and the Fiestas Museum.
  • Alicante is one of Ireland’s leading charter destinations and is also served by Aer Lingus and Ryanair. Gerry O’Hare travelled with Budget Travel to Spain. www.tourspain.co.uk
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