Cova Tallada (Cueva Tallada - in Spanish, Carved Cave - in English) is a cave located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, part of the El Montgó Natural Park. It was originally carved by the sea, then by the locals, who used the stone to build the surrounding fortresses. The cave stone can still be seen today on the facades of some buildings in Dénia and Xàbia, the neighboring cities.
The cave is very imposing in its size: heights that reach 40m, galleries of 400m and a width of up to 75m. Much of it is flooded by the sea, forming pools and galleries especially fitted for kayaking and snorkeling.
Cova Tallada can also be reached by land, on a hiking trail that offers spectacular views. Mediterranean rocks and plants work great together with the mesmerizing blue sea.
Why Cova Tallada and what are we looking for here?
These are the first days of April 2021, and we have been in Gandia, a small town in the Valencian Community, Spain, for more than a month.
Although the weather is still unpredictable, life on the shores of the Mediterranean is incredibly relaxing.
Last weekend the weather was amazing and we managed to climb the nearest peak, Mollo de la Creu. I wrote more in the story of that hike about why we are here, and what our first impressions of the encounter with the Mediterranean landscape were.
Yesterday we went to Valencia, and crossed Turia Parc from one end to the other. The park is huge. It is located on the banks of the river Turia and runs through the city. The river no longer passes through here, as it was diverted to avoid devastating floods.
Valencia is a beautiful city worth visiting. It's even more beautiful now that the restrictions due to Covid-19 are starting to be lifted, and it's full of life and energy.
Today we have great weather again, so we plan to go on another hike, to see what nice places are still hidden in the Valencian Community.
We drive south, towards the town of Denia, from where a promising route starts leading to the "Carved Cave", called in valencian Cova Tallada.
The chosen route is an out and back trip, with a circuit loop at one point.
It starts on the outskirts of Denia, goes along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea to the cave of Cova Tallada, then climbs to the neighboring plateau, and returns to the lighthouse Torre del Gerro, then returns to the original route.
Parking: Public Parking Playa Les Rotes
Route: Parking "Playa les Rotes" - "Las Rotas" Lookout Point - "Cova Tallada" Cave - Plateau - "Torre del Gerro" Lighthouse - Parking "Playa les Rotes"
Markings: The path is marked with yellow.
Height Difference: +/- 250m
Duration: 2h 45m
Water Sources: none
Tracking: AllTrails, Strava
Reservations can be made on the Spanish Natural Parks website.
After a relaxing drive of about 45 minutes, we leave the car in the public parking lot Playa Les Rotes, where we are lucky to find a place. Both the parking lots and the sidewalks are full of cars. Apparently, Spanish people don't like to stay home on the weekends. But who would love to stay home on this beautiful weather? And with so many cool things to see in the area, can you blame them?
From the parking lot we walk about a kilometer, and we admire the deep blue color that can be seen on the left, among the trees, over the people's yards.
At some point we turn right, following the sign, then we go a little further and we reach the place where the road ends and the path begins.
We are greeted by a picture frame at the beginning of the pathway, and indeed the scenery which unfolds in front of our eyes is especially beautiful. A true work of art.
We go up the path, but we stay by the sea. The water in the open sea is amazingly blue, but the color near the shore completely captivates us.
We continue up the path to the Las Rotas lookout point, from where we have a great view of the seafront length. We see the sea with the beautiful shades of blue, the tall and occasionally steep cliff, and the path that leads to Cova Tallada.
From the lookout point we descend to the left, towards the sea. It is a slightly steeper path, formed by stairs made of stone, which people climb up panting. The color of the water near the shore continues to captivate our eyes.
From time to time, the path is slightly exposed and a safety chain is set up. But we didn't find it dangerous at all.
A little further on we see the bay next to the cave. Here the waves are loudly smashed against the rocky shore, and now it’s easy to understand how, over time, the sea carved into the stone.
I don't know what the temperature is, but it's very hot. We are happy when we can go down to the cave, where we find shade and coolness that are so very welcomed.
With the help of chains and descending on slippery stones we reach sea level.
We climb yet another slippery rock, then we finally enter the cave. It's really imposing. And from within the cavern, the sea looks very beautiful.
If we had snorkeling equipment or a kayak, we would go and explore the other galleries. But having none, we admire what can be seen in the "main hall". We also admire the beautiful sea, then we prepare to set out.
We return to the trail, from where we follow the sign to the next destination: the Torre del Gerro lighthouse.
We walk a little further, and from above we see two kayakers preparing to approach the cave through the water. The color of the sea never ceases to fascinate us.
The climb starts slowly, but becomes steeper and steeper. In some places the route is fitted with auxiliary chains. The sea behind us encourages us to take long and frequent breaks, to savor it. But with each break the sea can be seen farther and farther away, and we soon find ourselves on the plateau.
On the plateau the path is smooth and we move forward without difficulty. We can admire the sea on the right, and El Montgo - the 750 m peak that looks giant - on the left.
Going through the Mediterranean vegetation and the reddish tinted soil, we reach the second destination of the day, the Torre del Gerro lighthouse.
Here the time seems to have stopped. We have the same feeling as we had on Mollo de la Creu. It's a pleasant silence. The only sounds we hear are a distant boat or a plane. We can do nothing but pause too. And we rest.
To the southeast you can see the lighthouses on Cap Sant Antoni. There are traces of boats on the sea. Or maybe they're just currents. But it doesn’t matter. It's breathtaking.
To the north we see Denia, and above it we see the sea and the beach beyond Gandia, right up to Cullera. You can also see the group of mountains to which Mollo de la Creu belongs. And higher than anything seen in the north, El Monduver.
At one point we mark the moment with a selfie, then we start on the paved alley that descends to the starting point of the route.
We zigzag down about 300 meters, then continue on the same road that we started on, until we reach the parking lot.
The route to Cova Tallada and Torre del Gerro is a short and relatively easy route, but very spectacular.
The color of the sea, the rocky cliff, the water-sculpted stony shore, the Cova Tallada cave, and the views from Torre del Gerro impressed us and made us return home fascinated.
If you pass through the area during the warmer period of the year, don't forget to take your swimsuit and a towel.
Have you been through Gandia, Denia or anywhere in the Valencian Community? What did you visit? What experiences have you had? What tasty food did you eat? What impressed you the most?
We want to go back someday, and we are searching for ideas.
Till’ next time!