The Alicante province is probably most well-known for its beautiful beaches and bustling tourist towns that attract thousands of visitors from Europe and other parts of the world every year.
But those that have explored the region thoroughly know that Alicante has so much more to offer if you just take the time and effort to look.
In this hot weather, yes, the beach may be your first point of call, but have you ever thought of visiting some of the province’s most important caves? They are just as great if you want to cool down. And, you could even learn a few interesting facts while you do so.
Ok, so these caves are much more than just a hole in a mountain or rock formation; they have so much to offer historically, geologically, artistically and are of great tourist value.
Here is a brief description of the five best caves to visit in the Alicante province:
Cuevas de Canelobre
These are probably the most famous caves in the Alicante province. They are located in the municipality of Busot, around 20km from the city of Alicante itself. The Canelobre Caves are probably most well-known due to containing one of the highest underground caves in the whole of Spain, at 70 metres high. It also contains a 25-metre-high column, known as the Sagrada Familia due to its similarity to the cathedral in Barcelona of the same name. And right in the centre of the caves, visitors can see the 100,000-year-old Canelobre stalagmite, which looks like a candelabra and gives the caves their name.
For more info, please visit: http://turismobusot.com/las-cuevas-del-canelobre/
Cueva de las Calaveras
The Skull Cave takes its name after 12 dead bodies were found in the cave in the 17th century during a potholing expedition. But, there’s no need to be afraid as visiting the 300m-long cave is not dangerous. It is located in the municipality of Benidoleig, to the north of Alicante. Inside, you will find the typical stalagtites, stalagmites and vaults measuring more than 50m high. There is also an underground lake towards the end of the route called the Toll Blau, which was used during the Arab reign to irrigate nearby crops.
Cueva de Rull
This cave is situated in the Ebo Valley, to the northeast of Alicante. It is of important geological value. José Vicente Mengual, who is commonly referred to as ‘Uncle Rull’, accidently discovered the cave in 1919 during a hunting outing in the 60s. He put air-conditioning in and opened the cave to the public, although it now belongs to the town hall.
For more info and opening times, visit: http://www.lavalldebo.org/en/que-veure/la-cova-del-rull
This impressive cave is located at the point where Denia ends and Javea begins. It sits on sea level, which is unusual, and is situated within the natural marine reserve of Cabo de San Antonio. This is a great place to visit during the summer months, as at the end of the route you have the option of taking a swim in the cool, clear water. You can also visit the cave by kayak, and trips are offered locally.
For more info, visit: http://www.provinciadealicante.es/cova-tallada/
Abric de la Cantera
Abric de la Cantera, formerly known as the “Frozen Cave”, is located within the Sierra Helada mountain range that separates Benidorm from Altea. This site was inhabited by Palaeolithic hunters more than 25,000 years ago. Many vestiges have been found here that date back to that time, making this cave of utmost archaeological and historical importance.
For information in Spanish and photos, please visit: http://arqueologiaalicante.blogspot.com.es/2015/02/sierra-helada-y-abric-de-la-cantera.html