There is something incredibly refreshing about heading outdoors and enjoying the peaceful sound of nature after being cooped up inside home for months on end. The end of the COVID-19 pandemic may be near, but caution has to be taken. Instead of heading out to visit your favourite restaurants in Alicante, plan a trip with family or friends to nearby natural landmarks. Not only is it safe, but less crowded as well.
The Canelobre Caves are situated nearly 24km outside of the city of Alicante (located in the small municipality of Busot) and take about 30 minutes to reach by car. Often called ‘Nature’s Sagrada Familia,’ the sprawling caves are one of the most popular natural landmarks in Valenciana, with an area of 18,950 sq.m. (204,000 sq.ft.). The area is known popularly for hiking, cycling and rock climbing activities. The entrance to the cavern is roughly 700m (2,300ft) above sea level in the mountain ridge known as Cabezón de Oro (meaning “big golden head”).
It is naturally created with little to no man-made intervention. The architecture of the caves spans millions of years. It is a geological treasure trove filled with stalactites, stalagmites, columns, spars and even crusts that each have a deep-rooted history to tell, dating far back to the Arabs in the region. Besides being a second home for researchers studying the water, limestone rock and the microclimate inside the 70m (230ft) vault resembling Antoni Gaudi’s famous cathedral, it was also used to repair aircraft engines during the Spanish Civil War. The eerie dark atmosphere provides excellent acoustics making it a popular place for staging concerts on special occasions.
The picturesque Canelobre Caves were first opened to the public in 1963, and since then have been hosting guided tours with staged interior lighting. Carry a jacket and a scarf because it can get quite cold and humid inside. Book tickets in advance as the caves are open for visitors during the winter months from September to June every year, except on public holidays. Ignite your adventurous spirit and make sure to take a trip to the Museum of Ethnic Music located in the same municipality of Busot. Enjoy!