Situated just 24 kilometres from Alicante and a short (and scenic) journey by hire car, the spectacular Canelobre Caves can be found on the northern slopes of the Sierra de Cabeza de Oro mountain range, with stunning views of the Mediterranean coastline.
Located near the bucolic village of Busot, this ancient natural cave system is thought to be the deepest and longest in the whole of Spain.
The Canelobre Caves were formed several million years ago and are particularly famous for their 70-metre high vaulted ceiling.
The caves are an ever-changing wonder of the natural world, with a cavern where minerals have been deposited to resemble “candelabras” – hence the name “Canelobre”.
The entrance is located 700 metres up the Cabezon de Oro, a mountain that is also popular for hiking and rock climbing.
This awesomely impressive natural site should be on anyone’s must-see list when visiting Alicante and the surrounding area. Guided tours take around 45 minutes and are held throughout the day.
There are usually English-speaking guides available to explain the history and general layout of the caves.
The 175-metre route twists and turns around a myriad of unusual shapes formed by thousands of stalactites and stalagmites built up into columns over millions of years of dripping water depositing sediments.
In addition to stalactite and stalagmites, there are also helictites forming delicately along the walls of the cave, as well as slimy looking formations that are created by running water and cling to the cave walls – these are known as “flowstone” due to their fluid stone-like appearance.
The natural appearance of the caves is often enhanced with intricate lighting which, together with the natural acoustics, reinforces the cathedral-like atmosphere.
Guided tours also frequently include coloured lighting to dramatically illuminate the caves and bring alive the jagged teeth of the stalactite and stalagmite formations – with added music.
With their exceptional acoustics and stunning ambience, the Canelobre Caves are regularly used to host musical events and concerts.
Summer schedule (1 July-31 August) – open daily 10.30am-7.30pm
Winter schedule (1 September-30 June) – open Tuesday to Friday 10.30am-4.50pm; Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, 10.30am-5.50pm; Mondays closed. (Winter opening days and hours are extended over Easter.)
There is limited free parking and a picnic area. For more information, check out the Busot Tourism website here.