Natural Beauty

The Botanical Beauty of Calpe: Gardens and Natural Parks

Nestled along the picturesque coastline of the Costa Blanca in Spain, Calpe is a destination celebrated not only for its iconic rock, the Peñón de Ifach, but also for its verdant gardens and tranquil natural parks. This enchanting town, with its blend of historic charm and natural beauty, offers visitors an exceptional opportunity to explore the botanical splendor of the Mediterranean landscape. The gardens and parks in and around Calpe serve as serene sanctuaries, showcasing a diverse array of flora and providing a peaceful retreat from the bustling beaches and town center.

The Peñón de Ifach Natural Park

Dominating Calpe’s skyline, the Peñón de Ifach is not only a symbol of the town but also the centerpiece of a protected natural park. This towering limestone outcrop, rising majestically 332 meters above the Mediterranean Sea, is home to a unique micro-ecosystem. The park harbors a rich variety of plant species, some of which are endemic to this area. As visitors ascend the well-marked trails to the summit, they are greeted by a tapestry of colors and scents. The lower slopes are adorned with aromatic rosemary and lavender, while higher elevations boast rare plants like the Ifach rockrose and the Valencian rock violet, thriving in the rocky crevices.

The botanical journey through the Peñón de Ifach Natural Park is not only a feast for the senses but also an educational experience. Informational plaques along the trails offer insights into the park's ecology, highlighting the delicate balance of this unique habitat and the conservation efforts in place to protect it.

The Queen’s Baths Botanical Gardens

A hidden gem within Calpe’s urban landscape is the Queen’s Baths Botanical Gardens, located near the ancient Roman fish salting factory. This quaint garden is a testament to Calpe's rich history and biodiversity. It features a collection of medicinal and aromatic plants that were traditionally used in the region, set against the backdrop of the historic baths, which date back to the 1st century B.C.

Walking through the gardens, visitors can appreciate the thoughtful design that blends historical elements with botanical beauty. The air is filled with the fragrance of thyme, sage, and other herbs, inviting a moment of contemplation and connection with nature’s healing powers.

Las Salinas Natural Park

Las Salinas, a natural saltwater lagoon located just a stone’s throw from the Mediterranean shore, offers a completely different ecological environment. This important wetland area is a haven for birdwatchers, as it attracts a plethora of bird species, including flamingos, herons, and ospreys, especially during the migration seasons.

The park is surrounded by lush vegetation, including salt-tolerant plants like the samphire and sea lavender, which paint the landscape with their vibrant hues. Informative trails around the lagoon provide visitors with the opportunity to learn about the local flora and fauna, emphasizing the importance of wetland ecosystems for biodiversity conservation.

The Calpe Arboretum

For those interested in a more structured botanical experience, the Calpe Arboretum offers a meticulously curated collection of Mediterranean and exotic plant species. This living library of plants is a resource for education and conservation, showcasing the adaptability and diversity of plant life in Mediterranean climates.

Visitors to the arboretum can wander through themed sections, each dedicated to different plant families or ecosystems, such as a succulent garden, a Mediterranean woodland, and a tropical oasis. The arboretum is not only a place for leisure and learning but also serves as a center for botanical research and conservation, contributing to the preservation of plant species at risk of extinction.

The Ecological Promenade

Linking some of Calpe's most scenic points is the Ecological Promenade, a coastal walkway that offers breathtaking views of the sea and the Ifach rock. Along this path, native plants and flowers have been carefully preserved and highlighted, creating a harmonious blend of natural beauty and human ingenuity.

The promenade is an excellent example of sustainable tourism, allowing visitors to appreciate the natural environment without causing harm. Informational signs along the way provide insights into the coastal ecosystem, including the plants, birds, and marine life that can be observed from the path.


Calpe’s botanical beauty extends far beyond its stunning beaches and historic ruins. The town’s gardens and natural parks are a testament to the diversity of the Mediterranean landscape, offering visitors a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of plants. Whether it’s the rugged terrain of the Peñón de Ifach, the serene ambiance of the Queen’s Baths Botanical Gardens, the ecological diversity of Las Salinas, the educational experience of the Calpe Arboretum, or the scenic views along the Ecological Promenade, Calpe’s natural beauty is sure to captivate and inspire all who explore it.

In embracing its natural heritage, Calpe provides a model for conservation and sustainable tourism, demonstrating the importance of protecting and appreciating the botanical wonders that surround us. For nature lovers, conservationists, and anyone seeking a peaceful retreat, Calpe’s gardens and natural parks offer a myriad of opportunities to connect with the earth and find tranquility amidst its botanical beauty

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the Peñón de Ifach Natural Park known for?

The Peñón de Ifach Natural Park is renowned for its towering limestone outcrop, diverse endemic plant species, and breathtaking views over Calpe and the Mediterranean

Can visitors learn about medicinal plants in Calpe?

Yes, visitors can explore the Queen’s Baths Botanical Gardens to learn about the medicinal and aromatic plants traditionally used in the region, set against a historic backdrop

What makes Las Salinas Natural Park special for birdwatchers?

Las Salinas Natural Park is a vital wetland habitat attracting a variety of bird species, including flamingos and herons, making it an excellent spot for birdwatching

Are there educational opportunities at the Calpe Arboretum?

The Calpe Arboretum offers a comprehensive educational experience, showcasing a wide range of Mediterranean and exotic plant species, and serves as a center for botanical research

What can visitors expect from the Ecological Promenade in Calpe?

The Ecological Promenade offers scenic coastal views, a walk through preserved native plants, and educational insights into the local ecosystem, highlighting sustainable tourism

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