The Penon is the coastal landmark of the Costa Blanca region. It is a magnet for rock climbers, hikers, and naturalists. The monolith is a peninsula jutting out from the town of Calpe. As such it is the smallest natural park in Spain. A trail blasted through the limestone leads to the top. But the draw for climbers are excellent climbing routes ranging from 6 to 10 pitches in length, trad to fully bolted sport, and difficulties from 5.10a to 5.12b. In an area packed with climbing venues of all types, this is a standout climbing objective that is on every visiting climbers tick-list.
Several of the North side routes have been closed to climbers. Closures are extended in the months of April, May, and June to virtually the entire North face for bird nesting. South side routes are open for climbing, but climbers need to keep a low profile, as some park administrators are investigating if climbing is appropriate to a nature preserve.
Fly to Alicante or Valencia. Most climbers will arrive via Alicante.
From Alicante: Drive on the A7 following signs for Benidorm and Calpe. Drive past Benidorm, and take exit 64 signed to Altea/Calpe. From there drive the N332 through the Mascarat Gorge. After the Gorge, the Peñon and the towers of Calpe come into view. Turn at the Calpe Sur exit, and negotiate several roundabouts through the old town, until driving along the strip of beach resorts. There are clear signs for the Peñon natural area. Those wishing to hike will find a dirt parking lot that can hold about 20 cars. Those wishing to climb would do better to park along the marina. Roads and parking are changing due to continued construction in the area.
From Valencia: Drive the A7 toward Alicante for about 1.5 hours. Turn off at the 63 Exit signed Benissa/Calpe. Follow signs for Calpe nor which leads almost directly to the Peñon.
When to Climb
Summer: Way too hot, except for North side routes.
Fall: As good as Spring, but with higher chances of rain.
Winter: Perfectly possible, but sometimes it can be windy and cold.
Why? Renting an apartment in Calpe outside of the summer months is cheap. It can be as low as £7.00 per person per night if traveling with friends.