Called the Rock of Ifach,the Northern Rock, by The Phoenicians distinguish it from Gibraltar, the Southern Rock, as these were the two spectacular promontories on the western shores of the Mediterranean. Ifach is 332m high and is now a nature park to protect its unique vegetation and over 300 species of animals, including colonies of sea birds that use it as a nesting area. This massive rock juts out into the sea joined by a narrow isthmus to the town of Calpe. The rock dominates the surrounding coastline. On either side it is flanked by two coves with sandy beaches crowded with holidaymakers.
The park itself can be reached up a zigzagging track on the sloping north eastern face which leads to a panoramic view over the entire Marina Alta coastline from Moraira to Altea. Mountaineers use the southern face which drops straight down to the sea.The walk to the summit is via a tunnel bored through the solid rock.It takes about two hours.This looks like an easy walk, but can be deceptive. Wonderful views can be obtained from the tunnel entrance so there is no need to go further onto the open rock at the top. You can sit at the top with your picnic and watch the the rock climbers come over the edge, showing you there are more difficult ways of getting to the top.
The commanding views from the top of Ifach meant that it was
used as a watchtower in the sixteenth century. Warning fires were lit to signal
the approach of the African Barbary pirates that terrorised the Spanish coastline
at that time
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