La Cova Tallada (Cueva Tallada or Cortada, in Spanish), is a sea cave located on the northern slope of Cabo de San Antonio. It has a natural part and an artificial part, the result of human action, because it was used as a quarry to extract rough stone for the construction of buildings (the architecture of Xàbia is full of this typical stone).
Although it is located in the municipality of Xàbia, the main route and organized excursions leave from Dénia, which has easier access. It can also be reached by sea, kayak or canoe.
It is very important to note that Currently the Cova Tallada has restrictions for visitors: between June 15 and September 30, it can only be accessed by reservation. Free access from October 1 to June 14.
Next you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with.
Organize the visit with or without prior reservation
According to a regulation of the Generalitat Valenciana, it is mandatory to request an authorization or prior appointment to access the Cova Tallada both by land and by sea between June 15 and September 30. The reservation is made online and it will only be valid for the day and section indicated.
La Cova is free to access from October 1 to June 14. We also recommend visiting the official website of Parques Naturales de la Generalitat to follow their instructions.
How to get there
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.
There are two access paths to the Cova Tallada, one from Dénia and the other from Xàbia. We will take care of the one in Dénia because it is the easiest access and to which the organized excursions and the indications of the Natural Park itself refer.
Where to park
From the center of Dénia, it will take about 10 minutes by car, traveling the entire road from Les Rotes until the end (provincial highway Monyo Canyon). It is important to remember that this option is only available outside of the summer high season, since during July and August from the summer of 2021 access to the traffic of the final section of Les Rotes is closed. In the environment of restaurant Mena and from 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. From here you have to continue on foot, but bear in mind that parking space is limited, so it is best to avoid weekends. When you've left the car, take the Milky Way.
Free parking and bus
During the summer of 2021, the best option is to park in the Les Rotes public car park located on the main road at the Hotel Las Rotas. From there a free minibus leaves every 15 minutes that leads directly to the last section, which is cut off at that time.
The route has a steep slope in one section and is very irregular. The total distance is 1,5 km but it takes almost an hour to do it. It is considered to have a high difficulty and is not suitable for people not used to walking in the mountains. Here you have the route in Wikiloc.
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
You should know that recreational fishing is prohibited in all its forms. You can access the Cova Tallada by kayak with various authorized companies. Here are their names and contacts:
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 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
- Don't 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 snorkeling gear
This is an interesting recommendation: enter the water from the cave itself or through the other two windows in the wall that open 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.
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.
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 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, in Xàbia.
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).