Calpe (Valencian: Calp) is a town in the Costa Blanca region of Alicante, Spain. It is a very popular tourist resort, especially with British and German tourists, and also has a large expat community.

View of Calpe with the Serra d’Olta in the background

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The area has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and the first permanent dwellings were built by the Iberians. Subsequently the Romans, Visigoths, and Arabs controlled the area, until the arrival of the Christian reconquista in the 13th century. From the 15th to 18th centuries the town and nearby coastal areas were ravaged by Barbary pirates; in a particularly egregious event in 1637 a large portion of the town’s population was kidnapped by pirates and held hostage in Algiers for five years.

Mass tourism began in the 1970s, leading to the rampant development of tracts of holiday homes, with high-rise apartment buildings built right on the main beaches. Since the financial crisis of 2008 the building boom has largely ceased.

Map of Calpe

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