The enigmatic Penon de Ifach stands proudly at 332m at the head of Calpe, surrounded by the shimmering blue of the Mediterranean Sea. It's a huge calcareous rock, joined to the mainland by a detritic isthmus. With a protected surface area of just forty five hectares, Penon de Ifach is among the smallest nature reserves in Europe. Despite its measurement, the reserve attracts roughly a hundred,000 guests each year.
Historical past of Penon de Ifach
All through history, Penon de Ifach has served a number of purposes. In the 4th to 3rd centuries earlier than Christ, there was an Iberian village on the foot of the rock, on its western side. Later, in Roman times, the settlement moved to the isthmus joining the rock to the mainland, although findings affirm that the sides of the rock have been as soon as once more inhabited throughout the Center Ages.
Penon de Ifach once served as a landmark for mariners. It was then used as a watchtower, with its lofty peak of 332m offering an excellent vantage level to identify approaching pirates and invaders. Regardless of finest efforts, continuing attacks from the ocean pressured inhabitants down to the village of Calpe.
Originally, the municipality of Calpe owned Penon de Ifach. However, in 1872, it turned privately owned. After having a number of different non-public owners, it was purchased by the Generalitat Valenciana Authority, before being declared a nature reserve in 1987.
Flora and Fauna
Penon de Ifach is dwelling to a various colony of natural world, together with some rare and endangered species. Toward its base, there are many types of vegetation frequent to the Mediterranean, however at greater elevations, they turn out to be extra Alpine in nature. Species such as the practically extinct Silene hifacensis, Rock scabious and Thymus Webbianus, develop in crevices and ledges on the sheer rock face.
As regards to fauna, there will be as many as 60 fowl species nesting and congregating at completely different times of the 12 months, together with the winter wren, shag, pallid swift and peregrine falcon. Other species embody reptilian inhabitants corresponding to ocellated lizards and Montpellier snakes, in addition to mammals such because the hedgehog, shrew and rabbit.
Walking up Penon de Ifach
The walk up Penon de Ifach is achieved by following a pathway called the Crimson Route. The stroll begins at the information middle, and progresses up the north aspect of the rock. Along the trail are eight designated factors of curiosity, together with a number of scenic overlooks providing gorgeous panoramic views over Calpe.
The walk might be break up into two principal sections; the winding path that results in the tunnel, and then the stroll from the tunnel onwards. The walk to the tunnel is steep, however options even ground. In comparison to the walk starting at the tunnel, it’s a reasonably straightforward walk. Nevertheless, in summer season, it may well get very popular and humid due to the tree cover.
This path options 2 named vantage factors; the Western Vantage Level near the beginning, and the Botanist Cavanilles Vantage Point, a bit further up. Both offer views to the West and overlook the coast and the encircling area. You will also pass the stays of an Iberian village, relationship back to the 4th - third century BC, as well as the ‘Windblown pines’, which are trees growing in uncommon shapes as a result of the wind. The trail encompasses a lush, shady panorama, dominated by an abundance of polipody ferns and numerous lichens.
On the finish of the winding pathway, hikers will encounter a tunnel that passes by way of Penon de Ifach, exiting on its northeast side. To proceed by way of the tunnel, you will want appropriate footwear. Mountaineering boots or trainers are recommended, because the rocks are very slippery. Just outside the tunnel exit, there's small vantage level that offers a spectacular view of Fossa Beach. The trail from here onwards features slim, slippery, rocky paths, which can be hazardous.
The following focal point is where the path splits, referred to as the Fork. One path results in the Guard Put up vantage level, whilst the opposite results in the summit. The Guard Submit vantage level is a small lookout platform that gives lovely, panoramic ocean views. This can be a shorter and simpler path to comply with, so is recommended if you happen to find the walk to the fork tough, as reaching the summit from the Fork requires traversing the most troublesome part of the trail. Nevertheless, reaching the summit certainly affords the grandest reward: breathtaking views that span the horizon from Serra Gelada to Calpe, all the way in which to the Punta de Moraira.
When is the most effective time of day to stroll up Penon de Ifach?
It's advisable to stroll up Penon de Ifach in both the morning or night as a way to keep away from the midday heat. That is significantly the case in summer time as the weather in Calpe can be very hot.
Climbing Penon de Ifach
In addition to the purple route for walkers, Penon de Ifach offers various completely different spectacular sport routes for climbers, of a variety of grades. The most well-liked routes are climbed often and are moderately nicely geared. There could also be free rock, so climbers are advised to take warning and to wear a helmet.
How you can get to Penon de Ifach
Penon de Ifach is well accessible by automotive via the N-332 trunk highway and A7 motorway, taking the Benissa and Altea turnoffs. Upon reaching Calpe, Penon de Ifach could be very well signposted. There may be automobile parking obtainable at the base of the rock and at the nearby harbor. Calpe is also properly served via public transport, with both buses and trains working at quite a few totally different times all through the day.
Guidelines and Safety Recommendations
There are a number of rules and security recommendations that try to be conscious of previous to your journey to Penon de Ifach, which are as follows:
- Use marked paths
- Use proper footwear - mountain climbing boots are recommended. Don't move further than the tunnel with unsuitable footwear.
- Observe crops and animals without disturbing them. Do not feed the animals.
- No tenting, fires, bicycles or smoking.
- Be answerable for your pet - hold it on a lead and clear up its excrement.
- Don't litter - hold the park clear and use the waste bins provided.
- Be respectful of others and don’t make plenty of noise - hearken to the silence and sounds of the pure environment.
- Respect opening occasions - don't enter the park after dusk.