Travels

Climbing the rock of Ifach in Calpe, Alicante

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The views from the top to the south

It often happens that you end up knowing much better areas that are thousands of kilometers from home than what surrounds you in your province. That is my case. You can ask me how is the best way to cross Mozambique and I will tell you, but when you ask me about the mountain routes of my rugged province -Alicante is the second most mountainous province in all of Spain- I will be totally blank. It is sad and I have decided to remedy it.

Last week I met with my friend Manu and his friend Pedro -alias Palenco- and we went up one of the icons of the Costa Blanca of Alicante: the Rock of Ifach.

He Peñón de Ifach Natural Park It is located about 65 kilometers north of Alicante, in the Marina Alta region.

To get to him From the capital, you can choose between taking the national 332 or the AP-7. If you choose the highway you will arrive faster but at a price of 5.10 euros per vehicle. We felt splendid, like the sun that looked that morning, and we decided to take the highway until we left it at the exit that would take us to Calpe, the town that lies at the foot of the rock.

The rock seen from the first ramps on its west face

Calpe -like so many others in the area- it is a small town agitated in Summer and asleep in Winter whose permanent residents speak Nordic or Central European languages ​​and spit some Spanish. Its promenade restaurants are recommended, famous for the fruits of the sea. However, it is a pity the excessive urban development that has been loaded with a natural site that must have been beautiful 60 years ago.

We parked the car in a small open field right next to the small ramp that leads to the entrance of the Natural Park. There is a lathe that you have to go through to access it, but nobody worries because it only serves to count the number of visitors and nothing should be paid.

We begin to ascend the first ramps under the shadow cast by that huge calcareous rock of 332 meters high. I wanted to increase the pace a little in that first section to reach the area bathed by the midday sun as soon as possible, but I recognize that I was tempted to stop at several places that already offered extraordinary views. I took several photos that would later be discarded in favor of those I took a couple of hundred meters above.

Some carrascos pines were interspersed with different varieties of shrubs that clung to the rock as fearful of falling into the Mediterranean.

There are also archaeological sites in the rock

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