Cova Negra, Xàtiva

Passage at Cova Negra (Black Cave) in Xàtiva, Valencia / ALC
Location:

CV-620 road from Xàtiva to Bellús. Xàtiva

Phone:

962 273 346 - Tourist Office

Over millions of years, the River Albaida has eroded a deep winding valley in the hard limestone of the Sierra Grossa, creating scenery of great beauty that combines river and mountain environments. An attractive and popular footpath follows the lower part of the valley, parallel to the river and next to a masterpiece of medieval hydraulic engineering: the Bellús to Xátiva canal. This is an underground channel over 10km long, with hundreds of air vents whose mysterious appearance has given rise to stories and legends about their origin. One kilometre before reaching Cova Negra, travellers on the Way of El Cid will discover the monumental aqueduct of Les Arcadetes, which forms part of the same canal and attests the importance of its construction.

The shelter provided by this section of the River Albaida must have attracted communities of hominids since the Middle Palaeolithic, as demonstrated by the archaeological site of Cova Negra, where remains of Neanderthals have been found. This site is inside a large rock-shelter with blackish walls that can only be viewed from outside because it is a protected site.

The footpath to Bellús reveals many other surprises, such as the climbing routes on the vertical walls of El Aventador, the house of La Llum (former electricity works) and the spectacular wild vegetation, including many Mediterranean dwarf palms (only palm tree originally from Europe) and species native to Valencia, such as pebrella, a kind of thyme.

  • Access by car: the footpath is not accessible by vehicle. To visit the site, travellers should take the CV-620 road (from Xàtiva to Bellús) as far as Kilometre 2.6, next to Bixquert Hermitage and then turn left on to Camí de Pont Sec, where you can park and continue on foot for 400m.
  • Access for people with limited mobility: there are no infrastructures adapted for people with limited mobility.
  • Legal protection: it is designated a Municipal Natural Park and a Property of Cultural Interest. 
  • Seasonality: it can be visited at any time of the year, but the woodland around the footpath fills with wonderful colours in autumn.
  • Recommendations, what to see and do: visiting Xàtiva and the monuments in its historical-artistic centre is a must.

Rev.: PAB 11.05.23