Escaletes Tower, locally known as Torre de Escaletes or Torre del Pep, lies on a hill west of the town of Santa Pola in the province of Alicante in Spain.
Ever since the Turkish settlement in Algiers in 1516, the entire coast of the Spanish Mediterranean was threatened by attacks of Barbary pirates who landed on the coast and ravaged and looted towns and rural settlements, taking away the inhabitants as slaves. So, in 1552, during the reign of Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, lots of defensive watch towers were started being built along the coast, from Alicante down to Cádiz. Most were built or completed during the reign of his son, Philip II of Spain, during the second half of the 16th century.
Escaletes Tower was probably built on the site of a Arabic predecessor. It not only had to guard the sea, but also the nearby island of Tabarca. If enemy ships were sighted, it communicated with nearby Santa Pola Castle by means of smoke during daytime and fire during nighttime.
Escaletes Tower is a round tower with a tapering body, crowned by a garland of corbels. The entrance was at first floor level for security. Its regular garrison was 3 men; 2 guards and a warden.
At present the exterior of Escaletes Tower can freely be visited. The interior of the tower can not be visited. A nice watch tower ruin.