Leaving Valencia we steered clear of the AP7 toll road, and drove the 150km to Calpe on the national roads. The weather in this part of Spain has been great – sunny most days with hardly any rain, and daytime temperatures in the 20’s (though it does get quite chilly at night).
We need to return to the UK in February to have the van serviced and MOT’d, and we’ve decided that as the weather is so good we’ll be staying in Spain until late January, when we’ll drive north through France and back to Blighty. We’ll be staying in this part of Spain until the new year, after which time we’ll set off to visit more towns and cities in central and northern Spain that we’d like to see.
We’d booked ahead and reserved a pitch on an ACSI campsite in Calpe. Unfortunately there were no €19/night pitches available, but they had one of their larger pitches available which they let us have for €23/night, which suited us fine. There are vans here from all over Europe, and again we’re the youngest here by some way, but that’s not a problem as everyone’s friendly. The site is well located, just a few minutes walk from the promenade and town centre.
Many coastal towns have now closed down for winter, but Calpe is still open for business, with only a few bars and restaurants on the sea front having closed down. My last visit to Calpe was in 1974, when we took our first family holiday abroad, coming on a daytrip here from Benidorm, and I could still remember the iconic Peñón de Ifach, the huge rock which dominates the seafront.
We’ve been here for a week now, and there’s been plenty to do to keep ourselves busy. There’s a pretty ‘casco antiguo’ (old town) at the top of the hill, with lots of narrow lanes which we haven’t fully explored yet. Most of the restaurants along the promenade offer a ‘menú del día’, and when you can have a three course meal of grilled sardines, hake and ice cream for less than €11, it would be rude not to.
We’ve enjoyed it here so much that we’ve decided to stay for another week. After that, we’ll move down the coast a bit to another busy town before heading inland to a smaller town near Elche, where we have booked a site over Christmas.