Photograph fascinating geological formations, spot varied wildlife and look out at a chain of scenic bays from the top of an emblematic rock.
The Natural Park of Penyal d’Ifac (Parc Natural del Penyan d’Ifac or Parque Natural del Peñón de Ifac) is a protected reserve on the 1,090-feet (332-meter) Peñón de Ifach limestone outcrop. Learn about the headland’s history, follow trails to viewpoints and observe the range of marine plants and animals. Peñón de Ifach is a 12-acre (5-hectare) headland and connects to the mainland via an isthmus. Today a popular tourist attraction, it was once inhabited by Iberian villagers and Roman settlers.
A 2.5-hour hike to the summit of the headland begins at the Natural Park of Penyal d’Ifac visitor center. Before starting your journey, browse the center’s exhibits that highlight the geology and wildlife of the park and other protected areas of the Costa Blanca. On the trail you’ll encounter steep inclines and pass through a 98-feet (30-meter) rock-cut tunnel. There’s also an opportunity to inspect the ruins of the Iberian village, which dates back to the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C.
Take time to admire up to 300 different plant types. Among them are typical Mediterranean plants such as esparto grass, juniper trees, palms and rosemary. The rock's microclimate attracts some 80 bird species, including cormorants, gulls and falcons.
For many, the major highlight of the park is the panoramic view from the outcrop’s summit. You might see rock climbers as you gaze down the cliff face at the sparkling blue Balearic Sea. Look along the coastline at beach resorts lined with high-rise buildings and framed by rolling countryside. See the outline of the Balearic Islands on a clear and sunny day or with a pair of binoculars.
The Natural Park of Penyal d’Ifac is only a short walk from Calpe’s town center. There’s a car parking lot at the base of the headland. The park is open daily until dusk. If visiting in the summer months, plan your hike for the morning or late afternoon in order to avoid the hot midday sun.