Climbs with Views of the Sea
Peñón de Ifach rock. Calpe
The variety and quantity of rock, along with the number of schools to be found in Spain, make it one of the world’s number one climbing destinations. The attractive walls near to Costa Blanca are an excellent option if you want to climb with sunshine and pleasant temperatures. Peñón de Ifach, El Ponoch and el Puig Campana have a good number of classic and sport climbing routes suitable for all levels. These three climbing areas are close to each other, not far from the tourist city of Benidorm.
The long, marked mountaineering tradition of Spanish climbers, recognised throughout the world for its intense activity, is reflected in the routes marked out on these huge Mediterranean walls. Benidorm and Calpe’s surrounding areas are a major attraction, offering the chance to discover villages, landscapes and scenery that are far removed from life on the coast. The area’s unique characteristics make it an ideal place to climb with the sea as backdrop. El Peñón, el Ponoch and el Puig Campana have vertical walls bathed in sun with cleftcracks that are an irresistible temptation for all climbing and mountain lovers.
From the sea and from the mountain come Finestrat, Calpe and Polop de la Marina--three places in the heart of Alicante that serve as base camps for adventurers, before and after their climbs.
Peñón de Ifach
Located in the coastal town of Calpe, Ifach Peak is 332 metres high and its limestone walls, along with others nearby, are the best choice for climbing. The rock is generally good quality, although depending on the route chosen for the climb, you should be careful on the final stages.
In the 18th century, this monumental rock was used as a lookout point to prevent attacks from invaders approaching by sea. The silhouette of this crag, deep in the Mediterranean, is slender and beautiful, similar to a ship anchored on land.
Although classical climbing routes predominate here, sport climbing routes are also available. Climbing is beautiful and acrobatic, with overhangs, roofs and spectacular vertical slabs. The atmosphere is breathtaking, with the sea always beneath your feet, and in the distance, the geometrical Ponoch peak and the Alicante Mountains.
At Peñón, many of the routes require the use of personal safety equipment such as: friends, figure 8s, ropes and even spurs in some areas.
Climbers can make their descent comfortably using a well-marked trail, the same used by tourists to reach the peak of this amazing natural lookout point.
At the foot of this impressive 1400 meter rock wall, standing near the sea, we find Finestrat, the “sea and mountain village”, as its called in the Marina Baixa. Looking at the rock from the village, you can make out an infinite number of routes that lead to the peak; some are long, while others are shorter and vertical, best suited to sport climbers.
Its two peaks are easily distinguished thanks to the characteristic rectangular depression at the top of the rock. The south and west faces of the mountain feature long, classic climbing itineraries with up to 800 meters of vertical drop. To tackle these routes, good knowledge of the use of safety gear and experience in climbing large rock faces are recommended.
This rock, with more than 400 m of excellent limestone, has come to be known as “the sleeping lion”. From the nearest village, Polop de la Marina, its silhouette against the sky looks like this very animal. It was first climbed more than 30 years ago, and since then some 50 routes have covered the south and east walls – a magnificent limestone setting with views to the Mediterranean. The wall is just a half hour walk from the nearest point of access from the road.
The walls, just ten kilometres from the sea, are divided into two sections known as “Torre de Enmedio” and “Tozal de Levante”. Climbing in Tozal requires good physical preparation. Some overhanging sections can only be climbed using aid-climbing methods.
The descent is made on the ravine formed by Tozal and Torre de en Medio, requiring you to rappel down a few short sections.
In addition to these three peaks however, the Autonomous Community of Valencia has countless climbing schools perfectly equipped for leisure climbing and to give you an introduction to this exciting sport, which in Spain can be done by the sea.