Caves to visit in the area.
Caves to visit in the area
The Cuevas de las Calaveras
A journey into the past on the shores of the Mediterranean…..
The Cuevas de las Calaveras are located along the road between Pedreguer and Benidoleig and are a great place to visit. The caves got their rather sinister name form the many skulls that were found in them when they were discovered in 1768. There is an interesting historical display which outlines the formation of the cave system and details some of its subsequent uses. During WWII soldiers used the cave to store food and even to repair aircraft engines!
Used by man since prehistoric times, it is associated with ancient Moorish and Christian legends.
This cave is formed in limestone from the early Cretaceous period, deposited approximately 135 million years ago. Known since antiquity, in 1768 the naturalist Cavanilles described archaeological discoveries made when drilling for water. In 1913, the pre-historian, H. Breuil, called attention to their high scientific interest. The cave has great geological and archaeological value, with Palaeolithic and Neolithic remains having been found, as well as paleontological vestiges of hyenas, horses, bears, bulls, hippopotami and rhinoceroses, now housed in Alcoy Museum.The entrance is 70 metres above sea level and the cave extends for 440 metres, the visitors’ path being over 300 m in length. In it, you can see stalactites, stalagmites and large domes, more than 50 metres high. The final leg of the route leads to a beautiful lake called Toll Blau.
Outside the caves is a small gift shop with a bar, childrens’ play area and ample free parking. Access is right off the main road.
Winter: from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Summer: from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Alicante Metro Tram operates a train from Benidorm to Benidoleig hourly. Tickets cost 3€ – 6€ and the journey takes 1 h 28 min. Alternatively, ALSA operates a bus from Benidorm to Benidoleig twice daily. Tickets cost 14€ – 23€ and the journey takes 2 h 5 min.
The cheapest way to get from Benidorm to Benidoleig is to drive 52km and takes 36 min.
Caves of Canelobre – Busot
The magnificent Caves of Canelobre are just 24 kilometres inland from Alicante near Busot and are said to be Spain’s largest and deepest cave system. The caves were not opened to the public until the middle of the 20th century.
During the Civil War, they were used as a repair shop for aircraft by the Republican army, and it was at that time that the current tunnel of access to the cavity was drilled, as well as several platforms inside.
The caves were formed many millions of years ago, but they are still slowly changing at a rate of just 1cm every 100 years! The stalactites and stalagmites are continuously growing and aided by the clever lighting take on the shapes and forms of all sorts of animals as well as giving the caves a cathedral like feel. The main attraction is the candelabra formation, from which the caves have taken their name. The caves contain one of the highest vaults in all of Spain, with a height of 70 meters. Within the caves there is a space of more than 80,000 m2 which can be accessed through a 45-meter tunnel, where water and rock have given rise to impressive shapes such as stalactites, stalagmites, columns and jellyfish, among many others.
The caves are open all year and can only be visited as part of a guided tour – remember to take warm clothes as it is cold inside! They do not close for siesta so make an ideal midday activity. The views from the entrance are simply stunning, and there is a small picnic area so that you can admire the amazing views whilst waiting for the next tour to begin.
Opening hours and Prices
From 1 July to 31 August and Holy Week
- Every day of the week from 10:30 a.m. At 7:30 p.m.
- At Easter, the closing will be at 18:30 hours.
- Saturday and Sunday after Easter open until 15.00.
- Closed the days of San Vicente (Monday after Easter Monday), December 25 and January
- Adults (from 14 years old): 7 euros.
- Organized groups (minimum 20 people), retired, : 4.50 euros.
- Children from 5 to 14 years old (in groups or individually): 3.50 euros.
- Children under 5 years free.
Busot can be accessed by road through the N-332 / A-70 and the county roads CV-800, CV-773 and CV-774. To access by public transport, bus line C-52 connects Busot with the neighboring town of El Campello, which can be reached from Alicante with line L1 del Tram. It will also be possible to access from Mutxamel with the bus line C-51 . To get to Mutxamel from Alicante, you can take bus line C-23 .
Les Coves de Sant Josep – North of Valencia
Although not exactly local, as they are just over 2 hours away from Benidorm, if you are ever visiting Valencia these are worth a 45 minute detour.
Located on the Costa de Azahar, in the heart of the Mediterranean and at the gateway to the Sierra de Espadán Natural Park, Les Coves de La Vall d’Uixó is the longest navigable underground river in Europe.
Embark on an adventure to the centre of the earth! A unique natural space where visitors discover new sensations, impressive silence, mystery of the origin and a feeling of travelling through time.
Experience life in the cave where its inhabitants lived more than 15,000 years ago.
The cavity is visited on a quiet boat trip, accompanied by a Guide-Barquero, sailing the underground river, more than three kilometers long explored at the moment, traveling 800 meters by boat (blue zone) and 255 by foot (brown zone ). There are more than two kilometers, at least, inaccessible to visitors at the moment (red zone and beyond).
The visit lasts approximately 40 minutes, with a constant temperature of 20º throughout the year.
Additional services on site include free parking, hiking trails, children’s entertainment (high season only), summer pool, picnic areas, children’s play area, gift shop.
In the 19th century, the neighbours used to visit “La Font de Sant Josep” (Sant Josep’s spring water) in order to celebrate “La Festa de les Flors” (The Festivity of the Flowers), where courageous people would go deep into the cave. However, the first exploration did not take place until 1902, when they reached “La Boca del Forn” (a narrow path which was the end of the accessible area).
In the next years, the interest in the cave grew and in 1915 Carlos Sarthou Carreres, an historian, carried out a partial exploration. In 1926 a group of neighbours reached “El Lago Diana” (Diana’s Lake), and found “La Galería de los Sifones” (The Gallery of the Siphons). In 1929 Herminio Arroyas Martínez, a resident of la Vall d’Uixó, died while he was trying to go through this gallery. The works to prepare the cave for tourist visits took place between 1936 and 1950, when walkways and a dam were installed. Blast holes were used in order to make some parts of the cave bigger and let the boats in, and “La Boca del Forn” was not the end of the accessible area anymore.
In 1954 a group of speleologists (Centro Excursionista de Valencia) carried out an exploration and in 1958 they drew the first topographical plan of the cave. In 1960 Joaquín Saludes (Centro de Investigaciones y Actividades Subacuáticas de Valencia) went through the Gallery of the Siphons. Then, dynamited was used in 1961, when the “Blue Lake” and the rest of galleries which can be visited today were discovered, including the “Dry Gallery”.
Between 1971 and 1975, speleologists from Castellón and Barcelona discovered new galleries and siphons and reached what is still known as the current end of the cave (2.348 metres), although its real end and the source of water are still unknown.
There is a bus service connecting the most important cities in the region.
Getting here is really easy. La Vall d’Uixó is connected to the Mediterranean coastline (A-7 highway) and to the centre of the country (A-3).