The Peñón de Ifach, a symbol of the Costa Blanca, is a 50,000 m2 limestone rock that rises 332 m above the sea and is a kilometer long. Connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus, it is the result of a landslide of the nearby Sierra de Oltà, and is one of the most unique and beautiful landforms on the entire Mediterranean coast.
It is one of the most visited natural parks in the Valencian Community, and a meeting place for scuba divers, climbers and hikers.
The first stretch reaches an approximately 30 m tunnel excavated into the rock in 1918, and runs along a path where you will find the lovely views of the Poniente and “Botánico Cavanilles” overlooks, and the remains of the Iberian settlement (4th century BC).
After going through the tunnel, on the Levante side, between the esparto, rosemary, and junipers, the path narrows and a more complicated stretch begins on the slope that leads up to the peak. It’s worth the effort for the sensation of touching the sky with your hand and enjoying the spectacular panoramic views of the Mediterranean, which on clear days reach as far as the island of Ibiza.
Various cultures have been established on the Peñón de Ifach since ancient times. On the western slope there is evidence of an Iberian settlement, which was abandoned during the Roman era and moved to the bottom of the isthmus. There are also indications that the slopes were occupied during the Middle Ages, it’s worth mentioning the “Pobla Medieval d’Ifac” from the 13th century, until the inhabitants descended to the town and created a new walled defense system due to attacks by sea. The Peñón de Ifach was also owned by various individuals until 1987, when it finally became the property of the Generalitat Valenciana, which declared it a Natural Park.
Its vegetation , studied since 1971 by the botanist Cavanilles, is home to over 300 species that form a plant community with important Valencian endemic species, including some of the most threatened Iberian flora . It also has a diverse fauna which is emphasized by the presence of migratory, vagrant, and nesting birds like Eleonora’s falcon or the cormorant as well as 80 other varieties.
Lichens, algae, sponges, and various fish also live among the marine flora and fauna that inhabit its cliffs. In addition, the important presence of colonies of Mediterranean algae and coral are an indicator of the good condition of the waters.