Carved Cave

A unique place in the province of Alicante...
Cova Tallada - Sala del Lago Salado

The Cova Tallada is a spectacular cave at sea level, located in the cliffs of Cabo de San Antonio, between Denia and Javea.

The cave is half natural and half artificial, since centuries ago it was excavated by humans to extract rough stone for construction.

The Cova Tallada has many rooms, some of which are flooded by seawater. The deepest part can be visited with the help of a flashlight.

Guide to discover the Cova Tallada

Reservas Cova Tallada

The Cova Tallada is located in the municipality of Jávea / Xàbia (Alicante), at the foot of the cliffs of Cabo de San Antonio, a marine reserve that is part of the Montgó Natural Park. Visits are regulated in season and there are regulations to protect it.

It is a huge sea cave with several rooms. It was excavated by man centuries ago to extract large blocks of stone used in the construction of buildings such as the church-fortress of Xàbia.

The cave has different openings, larger or smaller, like doors to the sea. Some of the rooms are flooded by seawater, so you can swim or kayak into them.

For all these reasons, we can say that the Cova Tallada is one of the most fascinating places in the Valencian Community.

In high season (April, May and June-October) there is limited capacity and it is necessary to reserve in advance to gain access, either on foot, kayak or paddle.

How to get to the Cova Tallada?

There are several ways to get to the Cova Tallada. By way of summary, they are as follows:

Walking route from Dénia

Hiking route to the Cova Tallada from Les Rotes
Views on the route to the Cova Tallada from Les Rotes

From Les Rotes. The most common, although there are difficult points. All you need is your hiking gear and to book in advance.

If you are walking, the only entrance to the Cova Tallada is down the rocks with the help of a chain. The ground is very slippery and you have to help yourself with your hands, almost as if you were climbing. It requires good footwear and can only be entered when the sea is calm. Find out more here:

Walking route from Jávea

Viewpoint Molinos de la Plana, Jávea
Molins de la Plana in Jávea

It can be reached on foot from the port of Jávea, although it is a longer, more difficult and more demanding route. I do not recommend it for summer, as it can be very hot. Find out more here:

Kayak or paddle surfing route

Kayak route to the Cova Tallada
Kayak route to the Cova Tallada

If you go by kayak, you don’t need to go down the chain, you can enter directly from the sea, so it is easier to go with children.

In this case, I recommend booking with an active tourism company. Find out more here:

Catamaran Ride

Catamaran route Dénia Cova Tallada
Cape San Antonio Marine Reserve catamaran tour

For people who cannot do the route on foot or by kayak, this alternative is highly recommended, as it navigates close to the cliffs. You can see the large entrance to the cave from a distance. It is a beautiful walk and also this is an area of passage of cetaceans, so from time to time they can be observed.

4. Recommendations for the Visit

Cova Tallada - acceso a la cueva con cadena
Cova Tallada - acceso a la cueva con cadena

RESPECT THE ENVIRONMENT: avoid leaving trash, cigarette butts or any other trace in your path: keep in mind that many people visit the cave every day. Remember that you are in a Marine Reserve . Thanks!!

✅ The path to the Cova Tallada presents very uneven rocky terrain: use hiking shoes or, at least, sneakers with good soles.

✅ Keep your hands free and don’t go too heavily loaded or you won’t be able to get down the chain or suffer a fall.

The most complicated part of the route is the access to the cave. There are very slippery wet rocks. Use extreme caution at this point.

⚠️ Danger: once in the cave, there are falls at different levels and potentially dangerous areas for children and adults.

Danger: do not attempt to enter the cave if there is a sea storm. We recommend you check the weather forecast a couple of days before your visit. Note the wind and the height of the wave.

✅ If you plan to swim, wear booties or water shoes to protect your feet from the sharp rocks.

✅ If you go in summer, you will enjoy snorkeling. In this article you have more places to snorkel in Alicante.

What to do in the Cova Tallada?

Snorkeling in the Cova Tallada, Jávea, Alicante
Doors to the sea in Cova Tallada

Visiting the cave

If we go with flashlights we can visit, walking, the deepest part of the cave. Be very careful, watching where you step, as there are possible drops and ramps. Be very careful also not to hit your head. Never enter alone.


The Cova Tallada is an ideal place to combine hiking with snorkeling (diving with goggles, snorkel and fins). The Cabo de San Antonio Marine Reserve ( Montgó Natural Park) gives rise to clean and transparent waters. Of course, it will depend on the waves of previous days, as well as the influx of visitors that day. Also watch out for jellyfish , as they are common in the area. Here you can see more places to snorkel in Alicante.

Visit the Gerro Tower

If you go on foot to the Cova Tallada, it is worth taking the opportunity to visit the Torre del Gerro. Located at the top of the cliffs of Les Rotes, in a point with an excellent panoramic view of the coast.

The Torre del Gerro and the cliffs of Cap de Sant Antoni

Frequent questions

It is neither a beach nor a cove. It is a place located at the foot of the cliffs, in the Natural Park of Montgó. It is a rocky place with a lot of history. Access is regulated during high season.

The shortest and easiest access is from Les Rotes, 6 km from Denia. You can get there walking, kayaking or paddle surfing. There are no kayaks for rent in Les Rotes, but you can go in your own kayak or book this kayak excursion from Denia.

From Les Rotes (Denia) it usually takes about 45 minutes on foot, and about 30 minutes if you go by kayak (depending on each person).

The cave is natural and therefore is open 24 hours although I do not recommend going at night because of the danger of the road.

Entrance to the Cova Tallada is free of charge. Just remember to book your visit in advance on the Parques Naturales website.

If they have experience in mountain routes or you go with kayak, yes. Recommended for children +9 years old.

The regulations of the Natural Park do not say anything about it, although in high season it is not recommended. Be aware that the road is dangerous.

In the Cova Tallada there is no cell phone coverage or lifeguard service. Be very careful!

Yes, on the Denibus website you can check the bus schedules. In summer there is a tourist train from the public parking located about 500 meters away.

7. History of Cova Tallada

Boca más grande de la Cova Tallada

The Cova Tallada is a large sea cave, half natural, half excavated. There is evidence that it was used as an old quarry of rough stone (sandstone) since the sixteenth century, hence the word tallada, in Valencian (cut).

It is not known for certain when the Cova Tallada began to be used as a quarry, but candles have been found inside dating from the 11th-12th centuries, as well as an inscription engraved in the rock that confirms the visit of King Philip III in 1599.

Tallada is a word in Valencian whose translation would be “cut”. As we have already told you, this place was an important quarry of rough stone (old fossilized dunes). The stone was quarried by cutting it into large blocks, which were loaded onto ships for easier transportation.

Some emblematic buildings of the Marina Alta, such as the church-fortress of Sant Bertomeu in Xàbia, the castle of Dénia or the windmills of Cap de Sant Antoni were built with the rough stone of the Cova Tallada.

Don’t miss: What to see and do in Jávea.

In a more modern era, some accounts speak of the Cova Tallada being used as a hiding place for submarines during World War II.

The Cova Tallada is, therefore, a marvel that is part natural and part artificial, the result of its use as a quarry.

Cova Tallada in Winter

Cova Tallada, Cap de Sant Antoni Marine Reserve, Xàbia, Alicante
Interior of the Cova Tallada, with the "inner lake" in the foreground

La Cova Tallada is a very, very impressive place. Undoubtedly we are in front of one of the most spectacular enclaves of the Costa Blanca. In recent years it has become very popular and, in order to protect it, visits in temparada have been regulated since 2019.

My personal recommendation is that, if you can, visit this wonder out of season. This way you will find it calm and quiet. I suggest you access it for what it is: a magical place , full of charm, full of history and mysteries.

Try to cross its threshold in silence , letting the murmur of the waves be the only sound that echoes in the high vaults of the cave. Listen… and let yourself be invaded by the history of this place, which will transport you to past centuries, when the master stonemasons carved the stone with the sweat of their brow…

You will find different rooms and galleries, from some very spacious and with high ceilings -between 12 and 15 meters- to others that are narrower and claustrophobic. The outermost rooms are partially flooded as they are open to the sea through a kind of doorway carved in the rock.

The route to the deepest part is about 300 meters and you will need to use a flashlight to reach the end. Be very careful because the ground is uneven and there are falls.

If you remain silent, you will hear a trickle of water coming from different filtrations that are collected in stone basins. This water is drinkable and was drunk by the quarrymen who excavated the cave long ago.

Do not miss...

This article about the hiking route to the Cova Tallada Article first published on November 30, 2009. Last updated: January 2023.

Good practices
Respect other people and private property.
Respect flora, fauna and environment. Enjoy in Silence.
Always follow the trails. Tackling damages the environment.
Respect the Cultural Heritage (ruins, stone margins, etc).
Do not leave a trace of your passage, nor organic remains.
Find out, Plan and Equip yourself well to enjoy to the fullest.
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Buenas Prácticas

• Sigue siempre los senderos. Atajar daña el entorno.
• Respeta flora, fauna y entorno. Disfruta en Silencio.
• No dejes rastro de tu paso, tampoco restos orgánicos.
• Infórmate, Planifica y Equípate bien para disfrutar al máximo.
• Respeta el Patrimonio Cultural (ruinas, márgenes de piedra, etc).
• Respeta a otras personas y propiedades privadas.

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