The swimming season in Spain will end soon. But it does not mean, that Spain becomes uninteresting. In the country, there are a lot of natural beauties and routes, which can be visited at any time of the year. Today we will talk about the top 10 caves in Spain, mysterious and impressive.
This article was prepared with the support of the Spanish real estate agency Virtoproperty.
1. Grutas del Aguila (Avila)
Grutas del Aguila caves in province Avila was discovered by chance. On Christmas eve in 1963, some people were hunting in Sierra de Gredos mountains, and on the south side of the ridge, they found the entrance to a 12 million years old dungeon.
Grutas del Aguila is famous for its high “celling” and impressive stalactites several meters long. Some of them are covered with the ‘cave corals’, which are crystals of calcite.
2. Cueva del Tesoro (Malaga)
Also known as “Treasure cave”, Cueva del Tesoro is located a few kilometers from Malaga, in small-town Rincon de la Victoria. There are many rumors about this cave: locals are sure, that in 86 year BC the ancient Roman commander Marcus Licinius Crassus sheltered here. Others say, that in XII century in this cave emir Tasufin ibn Ali hid a treasure. He was going to come back for it later, but Reconquista broke plans of the Arab monarch.
Later, Swiss engineer Antonio de la Nari tried to find lost treasures using dynamite but died during one of the explosions. His body was not found.
3. Cueva del Viento (Canarian Islands)
On the Tenerife island, in addition to the famous Teide, there is the Pico Viejo volcano. 27 thousand years ago, as a result of the eruption, inside was formed a three-level cave. Cueva del Viento is a system of tunnels and labyrinths and is considered the most complicated lava tube in the world. It is the fifth-largest volcanic cave on the planet (18 km).
Sometimes in Cueva del Viento archaeologists find the mummies and burials of the Guanches — the aboriginal inhabitants of the island. Also in the cave were discovered fossils of some extinct animals. For example, the giant lizard Gallotia goliath.
4. Cueva de Los Verdes (Canarian Islands)
It is no secret that the entire Canary Archipelago has a volcanic origin, so a similar story happened on the neighbor island of Lanzarote. During the eruption of the Korona volcano, lava burned the rock and formed a tunnel.
In the Medieval ages, Guanches was hiding here from pirates and Spanish conquerors. In the 1960s, in the cave appeared lighting and tourists. Nowadays Cueva de Los Verdes has a concert hall and a restaurant. At the lower level, you can meet rare blind albino crab Munidopsis polymorpha, which lives only here.
5. Cuevas de Altamira (Cantabria)
Altamira cave has a small size and ordinary shape, but inside there are primitive cave paintings. Pictures appeared here in the Late Paleolithic era (12-40 thousand years ago). Images of horses, bison, and human palms are made of coal, ocher and other natural paints.
Some scientists call Altamira the ‘Sistine Chapel of primitive art’.
6. Cuevas de Canelobre (Alicante)
This cave is located near town Busot, 25 kilometers from Alicante and 40 kilometers from Benidorm. During the Spanish Civil War, republicans cut a tunnel into the cave, which is still working. Soldiers used the cave as a shelter, as well as a workshop for repairing aircraft engines.
Age of the cave is about 7 million years. Cuevas de Canelobre is the largest cave in Spain, open for tourists.
7. Cuevas del Drach (Balearic Islands)
Next stop of our virtual tour is located at Mallorca island. Cuevas del Drach or Dragon caves were formed using the water system of the Mediterranean Sea. Dungeon goes to a depth of 25 meters and surprises with many stalactites and stalagmites of different colors.
In the farthest of the four caves is situated a beautiful lake 115 meters deep. There you can visit concerts of live classical music, and at the end of the performance, cross the lake by boat.
8. Cuevas de Arta (Balearic Islands)
Next cave is also situated at Mallorca island. There were found remains of primitive people, and in the Medieval in Cuevas de Arta moors were hiding from the Catalan troops. Nowadays several halls with artificial lighting are open for visitors. Rooms are connected by footpaths.
According to one legend, the huge stalactites of this cave inspired Jules Verne to write ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’.
9. Cueva de Nerja (Malaga)
Cueva de Nerja is called the “natural cathedral” of Costa del Sol. Since 1960, the dungeon has been visited by an endless stream of tourists. The four-kilometer-long cave has a natural amphitheater, where musicians often perform concerts. And every July they organize the International Festival of Music and Dance (Festival Cueva de Nerja).
In the Nerja Cave, there is a giant column (32 meters), listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest stalagnate on the planet (stalactite, going from the “ceiling” to the “floor” of the cave).
10. Cuevas de Las Rotas (Alicante)
The last point of our route is suitable for tourists who want to combine a visit to caves with a beach holiday. To the south of Denia, there are some rocky beaches with beautiful bays. Among them, you will find Cuevas de Las Rotas.
Inside the red stone, arches await a mysterious atmosphere. Some grottoes, especially during high tide, are flooded, so you can swim there both handed and on kayaks that you can rent nearby.
Enjoy your time in Spain and discover new places!