Calpe (including rainfall and temperature averages)
Calpe’s coastal position has made it accessible to adventurers throughout history.
It might look like a mini-Benidorm now, but it was one of Ernest Hemingway’s main
inspirations for “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. For the first two thousand years of
its existence Calpe was settled by the Iberians, Phoenicians, Romans and Arabs,
all drawn by the imposing Rock of Ifach – a natural watch post – and the Morro de
Toix Mountain, from which they controlled trade routes. When the Spanish wrested
back control of the region in the 13th century, they built a walled town, which
was sacked by pirates. Small municipalities grew up around the ruins over the centuries;
in the 1700s the threat of invasion finally vanished and the townspeople were able
to rebuild their ancient home. It carried on growing slowly until the 1930s, when
it was developed as a resort.
The World Health Organisation describes Calpe’s climate as one of the best in the
world, with low humidity and over 300 days of sunshine a year. Be aware, however,
that this is a very hot place, with an average annual temperature of 19º which rises
above 40º on the fiercest August days.
There are seven miles of golden beaches, all of which display the European Blue
Flag for pristine conditions. Fishing and snorkelling are excellent in San Urques
Bay; nearby is the Cueva dels Coloms, a freshwater grotto that is accessible only
by sea. The salt flats just inland from Playa Levante date back to Roman times and
are an important location for many species of migrating birds. The Rock of Ifach
at the north end of the bay is still a huge attraction: 332 metres high, it extends
more than half a mile into the sea and has a unique ecology. It is now a protected
park but groups are allowed to visit to see the rich flora and fauna and enjoy the
spectacular view across the Costa Blanca.
The ruins of the Queen’s Baths, built by the Romans, are at the foot of the cliff.
A promenade runs past a Roman fish farm and pickling factory to the old town, the
most atmospheric part of Calpe. Some of the most beautiful buildings include the
Torre de la Peca (Tower of Sin), which dates from the 14th century and the Iglesia
Vieja, the last surviving Mudejar-Gothic building in Valencia. The ruins of Castellet
de Calpe, an old Moorish castle, the Moorish Quarter, arched porticos and various
mosaics are just some of the Moor influences that still exist in Calpe.
The local staple is definitely rice, which is cooked in over three hundred ways.
In the mountains, it is prepared with pork, sausage, pumpkin, turnips, white beets,
green peas, and beans. Seafood is as good as you would expect: especially delicious
are the outsize juicy prawns, which come in a palette of colours from pale pink
to deep crimson and are grilled on a plancha with plenty of garlic. Fish baked in
a salt crust is also very tasty, best washed down with regional wines from Alto
Vinalopó and the Marina Alta.
Monthly temperature and rainfall averages for Calpe
Average minimum temperature
Average maximum temperature
Absolute minimum temperature
Absolute maximum temperature
Average daily rain
Avg monthly rain
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