The famous Cova Tallada It is called that because it was used as a quarry for the extraction of rough stone (the architecture of the center of Xàbia is full of this characteristic stone). The Carved Cave (or cut in Castilian), is in the walls of the Cape San Antonio, and consists of parts flooded by sea water and dry rooms.
Next you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with.
Where is the Cova Tallada
The Cova Tallada is located within the limits of Xàbia. The cave is within the Marine Reserve of the Cap Sant Antoni and therefore, under the influence of Natural Park Montgó, so it is essential to respect the rules and follow the recommendations to visit it.
How to access Cova Tallada
Access to the cave can be done both by land (on foot) and by sea (kayak or canoe, access with motor boats is already prohibited). If we choose to do it on foot, there are two paths to get to the Cova Tallada, one from Xàbia and the other from Dénia, with Dénia being the main route and the one chosen for organized excursions since it has easier access.
It must be taken into account that since 2019 there has been a regulation of the Generalitat Valenciana in which access to this cave is restricted in the summer season to avoid overcrowding and thus preserve the environment.
To access the Cova Tallada, both by land and by sea, between June 15 and September 30, it is mandatory request a prior authorization online through natural parks of the Generalitat Valenciana.
This reservation will only be valid for the day and section indicated. Outside these dates, we also recommend visiting the official website of the Generalitat Natural Parks to follow their instructions, although in the period from October 1 to June 14, access to Cova Tallada is free.
Through the path marked PR-CV 355, which starts from the port (it takes 2 hours 20 minutes to cross it), or from the Sanctuary of the Mare de Deu dels Àngels (from where it takes 40 minutes), in The flat of Montgo. It should be noted that the return of this this route can be done along the same path or complete it by making it circulate to be able to observe other places in the environment.
This has always been a route not suitable for children and people unaccustomed to mountainous terrain. It is of high difficulty and in some parts it becomes a very narrow path with a rope on the cliff wall to hold on to.
From Dénia you have to go to the area of Les Rotes, reaching the end (provincial road of the Monyo Canyon). In the surroundings of the Mena Restaurant and the whale watching point of the Marine Reserve, we will see the beginning of the Milky Way street: that is the path that will lead us to the Cova.
The route has a steep slope in one section and is very irregular. Once you arrive at an information booth, you enter the path to start the route. The total distance is 1,5 km but it takes almost an hour to do it. It is considered to be of high difficulty and not suitable for people who are not used to walking in the mountains.
If you need more information, go to Montgó Natural Park Visitor Center. It is in Camí de Sant Joan 1, in Dénia. Their phones are 966467155 y 679196461, and your email on Park_montgo@gva.es
Tips and recommendations to enjoy the cave
In summer, it is best to avoid weekends and the middle of August to find parking more easily and to be able to savor every corner with more privacy.
What to wear
- It is best not to overload yourself, but at the very least, bring a backpack with water, some food and a first aid kit
- Very important: bring a bag to collect the garbage you produce
- For the access trail, closed shoes, hat and sunscreen
- Booties to walk on the rocks in front of the cave
- The more prepared can carry a headlamp to explore the dry rooms inside. Be very careful, there are slopes and you have to be careful. And also, a submersible camera, to record or take photos of the seabed
- Your team of snorkel
Enter the water from the cave itself or through the other two windows in the wall that open out to the sea. You will find a turquoise bottom with calm waters, protected by a rocky tongue that isolates it from the open sea. The best thing is to make a circular route around this natural pool, leaving the wall always on our right.
Care of the environment
If you go on foot you must take into account the following obligations to take care of the environment and these precautions to take care of yourself:
- Do not go off the path and respect the flora and the whole environment (do not do graffiti, do not leave garbage)
- It is forbidden to collect any type of organism
- You must enter the Cova Tallada only if the state of the sea allows it: if it is moved, the waves break at the entrance and make it impossible to access
- On the way there is no mobile coverage, and in this area of the coast there are no lifeguards
If your access to the cave is by sea with a kayak, you should know that recreational fishing is prohibited in all its forms. Cova Tallada can be accessed by kayak with various authorized companies. Here are their names and contacts:
- KAYAK Jávea - Xàbia - 679 753 761
- AVENTURA Pata Negra - Dénia - 679 155 061
- ACTIVE TOURISM MONTGÓ - Dénia - 617 065 893
- TURURAC SLV - Denia - 630 992 488
- SEGWAY TRIP DENIA - Denia - 633 423 204
- OK ADVENTURES - Dénia - 961 112 112
It is possible that the Cova Tallada was in operation as a quarry of rough stone since the XNUMXth century. But remains from the Muslim period (XI-XII centuries) have been found inside, which means that at least it was visited or occupied.
The Cova Tallada is about 75 meters wide and has an average height of about 15 meters, although it reaches a maximum height of 40 meters. It is divided into different rooms, some of them dry, where seawater does not penetrate.
The rough stone: what it is and why it is important
It is a calcareous rock that originated thousands of years ago on the Alicante coast. It has a porous and rough texture, and it is a rare stone, found in very few areas of the world. Its brown color gives warmth and is seen a lot on the facades of the historic center of Xàbia: an example of typical architecture made with tosca is the Fortress Church of Sant Bertomeu. According to the Valencian geographer Figueras Pacheco, the extracted stone was also used for the construction of some towers of the Dénia castle. In addition to being extracted from the Cova Tallada, it was also obtained from the First and Second Muntanyar.
Between the 50s and 60s of the last century many chalets with tosca were built. Today, this stone is highly valued because it is no longer mined from anywhere (it has been banned since 1972 for environmental protection reasons). So it can only be achieved when there is a demolition of a building built with it.
This inscription could be seen inside the Cova Tallada, but it disappeared decades ago: Philipus III HISP REX CAVERNAM HANC PENETRAVIT AN MDXCIX (Felipe III, King of Spain, entered this cave in 1599).