Cuevas del Canelobre
Interesting article on the Cuevas del Canelobre caves, near Busot, Spain.
Costa Blanca Attractions - Cuevas del Canelobre
Cuevas del Canelobre - Tucked away on the northern side of Cabeçó d’Or just ten minutes from the sleepy Spanish village of Busot is one of the Costa Blanca’s little known treasures. The Caves of Canelobre are a hidden delight that boast being the largest and deepest open to visitors in Spain.
We took a half hour tour with Juanjo, an English-speaking guide, to find out more about the 150 million year old site. The entrance is 700m up the side of the mountain enjoying fantastic panoramic views of the countryside. Visitors enter through a manmade path, built by the republicans during the civil war of 1936-39. During this time they used it as an ammunition factory and as a secret place to fix aircraft. They built three platforms in the huge vault of the cave that is some 45m in height, 45m long and 35m wide - so those who suffer from claustropbia do not have to worry. Two of the platforms are still used by visitors today as they travel down the 141 steps through the heart of the vault.
The pathway winds its way down through a spectacular display of stalagmites and stalactites. As crystals glisten, you hear the gentle trickle of water as it falls from above and algae forms what appears to be green lagoons on the rock. Discreet and clever lighting emphasises the varied forms that the rocks have adopted, from a dragon’s head to a jellyfish, including, what is largely seen as the centre piece and the caves’ namesake, a stalagmite resembling a candelabra, meaning ‘canelobre’ in Valencian.
Juanjo tells us how the caves are still living and growing, but before you get too excited it takes 100 years to grow just 1cm! He points out a white mark on a rock, the sign that a stalagmite is beginning to form, it will be some years before there’s much more to see but that all adds to the delight of the experience, the fact that it is still living and a natural wonder.
The authorities are keen to preserve the caves and rightly so. They have instruments inside the cave that measure the number of visitors and any change to the formations or temperature to ensure that people are not disrupting the ecology of the area, and while they watch that, that leaves us to absorb the magic of the Caves of Canelobre.
The average temperature in the cave is 17 degrees centigrade and this never varies by more than 1 degree.
The caves are 24 kilometres from Alicante and 40 kilometres from Benidorm, you can reach them by heading along the A-7 and taking exit 67 following signs for El Campello then Busot.
The site is open from 1st Oct to 20th June from 11am – 5.50pm. For the rest of the year including Easter week from 10.30am to 7.50pm.
Entrance costs 4euros for adults and 2euros for children aged between 5 and 12.
Photography is not allowed in the caves.
Watch out for special concerts inside the cave. It’s a popular venue for groups due to the amazing acoustics.
Article provided by kind permission of The Leader Newspaper