We wrote before about how we hadn’t expected much of Denia and then it exceeded our expectations in every way. We then headed just a short distance down the coast to Calpe with high expectations. Everyone had been telling us about how they had enjoyed a long-term and reasonably priced stay in Calpe over the winter months and we should go and take a look as it might suit us for next winter.

Perhaps we hadn’t spent enough time looking at all of the camping options, but they really did leave us feeling uninspired. Every campsite we saw appeared to be bursting at the seams with motorhomes packed in close together like sardines. The first such campsite we stopped at did have a nice looking bar and a small pool, but it was €31 a night! Far too rich for us. Just across from that one was another that looked similar and was only €13 a night so we took the last spot. Lucky we arrived by midday.

Wild camping, or free camping is completely banned around the Calpe area and you will be moved on by the police. So this appears to lead to a lot of low priced camper car parks that are still jam packed.

Campsite name: Mediterráneo Camper Area
Location: Just behind Mercadona supermarket on the road that runs between Lidl and Aldi. Calpe.
Sat Nav: 38.651205, 0.069305
Price: €13 a night including EHU and Wifi (for 2 nights)
Facilities: Hot rainfall showers and hot water for laundry, washing machines, excellent fast wifi, small bar, water fill up /discharge station
Park4Night / SearchForSites / website

The campsite actually had a lot of plus points going for it. It was close to 3 or 4 good supermarkets. The showers were great and had plenty of hot water – not those annoying push button ones. There was a laundry with machines and free hot water, a good emptying and filling area for motorhomes, and the internet speed was excellent. We were able to upload some videos while we were there and download a couple of things we had been waiting on. Best internet of the trip so far.

But the pitches let it down for us. They were on a deep gravel and just SO dusty. Certainly the dustiest site we’ve been on so far. And they were small, so you were up close to the next van with barely room to put out a table and chairs. It was a bit weedy, just a little bit shabby and it just felt like we were packed in there in a dusty car park. So as much as there were upsides, we just didn’t feel the love for this campsite and really couldn’t understand why there were people who appeared to have been living there for months.

Visiting Calpe

Calpe seemed nice enough but just didn’t have the appeal of Denia. There is of course the HUGE rock (Peñón de Ifach) right there imposing itself on the landscape that defines the area. You can’t miss it. We took the short walk as far as you can around the base of the rock. There are also much more challenging climbs you can do here, as well as abseiling.

Worth a look is Les Salines, a lake just behind the coastal stretch that used to be worked as a salt mine. Now it’s a wildlife reserve and home to quite a number of flamingos. They don’t have the striking pink color though, just very pale pink, but still interesting to see them living there in the town.

The bay in Calpe is again, nice. It’s not such a big area to walk as Denia and there wasn’t so much to see. I think perhaps we just didn’t do Calpe the justice it deserved. Certainly the road into Calpe from Denia, through the mountains was spectacular with amazing views, but Calpe itself just didn’t light our fire. Maybe we were just so uninspired by our choice of campsite that we didn’t give it the time to grow on us and show us it’s hidden treasures. But if you love cycling, you might well love Calpe – there are cyclists everywhere, but be warned, you’ll need to be fit. Those hills are steep!

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