By Lisa on Apr 06, 2014 with Comments 2
Did you know that this cave, the Cova Tancada, existed in the north of Mallorca, near Alcudia?
Cova Tancada means the closed cave, and is one of Mallorca’s real treasures and best kept secrets, with huge dramatic underground chambers that just keep opening up and seem to go on forever.
My Winter Activities friends and I went to explore it a few weeks ago and what an adventure we had! If you are looking for some off-the-beaten-track adventure in Mallorca, look no further…
For a visit to the Cova Tancada you will need:
- Sturdy and comfortable walking shoes with a good grip
- Head torches + spare batteries
- Tealight candles + gas stove lighter
- Smartphone with GPS if following Wikiloc route (below)
- Compact camera with flash
- A dry, sunny day
- Big roll of string or fishing line to leave your trail inside the cave so you can find your way out again
- Bottle of Champagne to drink inside the cave (or is that just our Winter Activities group that does that?)
Location of the Cova Tancada
The Cova Tancada is located just outside Alcudia near Es Coll Baix beach. When you leave Alcudia heading towards Es Coll Baix you can follow the signs for fundación, which will lead you to the Fundación Ben Jakober, a stately home and sculpture park well worth visiting on another occasion.
You can continue driving for a little while after the Fundación Ben Jakober and park a little further at the beginning of the walk to Es Coll Baix.
Depending on your vehicle you may have to park earlier, as the road becomes a rough track without asphalt.
Following Wikiloc to the Cova Tancada
To get to the Cova Tancada we used Wikiloc, which is an extremely good way of following a route. You just charge the route onto your smartphone while you have internet connection and set off. The GPS gives you real-time indications about your location according to the map, and even beeps if you divulge from the way. Once you are following the route, the GPS takes over and you no longer need internet connection.
This was actually the first time I had used Wikiloc and it was Alicia who introduced me to it. Alicia is one of the members of Winter Activities and she does plenty of excursions in Mallorca on her own too.
Alicia has a blog called Mallorca T’Estim, which means “Mallorca We Love You” in Mallorquin. It’s written in Spanish but you should check it out – it has loads of great information about everything Mallorca.
This is the route that we followed on Wikiloc:
The hike to the Cova Tancada
If you are setting off from the same place as we did, just near Es Coll Baix, the walk to the cave is mostly downhill, after a steep initial uphill climb, and is moderate. The hike only takes about an hour.
The way to the Cape of Menorca, which is where the cave is located, is marked with cairns and the path is something that half represents a footpath.
The landscape is rugged mountain landscape with a few sparse pine trees and with spectacular views out over the sea.
As the descent becomes steeper you’ll find that the steps that have been hewn into the rock are of great assistance, as well as the hefty chain that has been fixed with cast iron pins onto a particularly steep rock. When you reach the part of the path with the chain, take firm hold of it with both hands and walk on the surface of the rock as you lean away from the rock like an abseiler.
Once you are almost at the entrance to the cave you have one last tricky climb down a steep rock that looks scarier than it is just because you can see the sea swirling happily far below the sheer rocks.
Then you can pull yourself up onto the ledge which is the entrance to the cave and you are ready for your head torch…
Discovering the Cova Tancada
We solemnly entered the cave one by one feeling extremely intrepid if a little apprehensive. I certainly don’t have claustrophobia but I don’t think anyone actually likes small spaces, do they?
The first part of the cave is a narrow corridor which gets lower and smaller as you continue through it.
After only 30 seconds you are in the first enormous chamber.
We all gasped, shocked. How were we suddenly in such a big room inside the cave? Suddenly we were all standing up straight and were able to move around freely.
Our head torches cut through the dense darkness and cast eerie shadows on the walls of the chamber, lighting up the impressive stalactites and stalagmites which continued their business of forming millimetre by millimetre as individual drops of water clung stubbornly to the existing prong before relenting and dripping on the ground.
The tealights we lit and left to guide us back to the entrance later gave a mystical air to the damp hot cave.
Many people only see this chamber but we were eager to see more and as we advanced forward we were delighted as chamber after chamber opened out in front of us.
When we had gone as far as we could we got the champagne out and then one by one switched off our head torches. Now we could not see the person in front of us but we could see the whole cave shimmering gently in the light of the scores of candles that we’d left in our wake.
It was absolutely magical and I would highly recommend it.
We stayed inside the Cova Tancada for about half an hour and we would have stayed longer but the intense humidity was making us very sweaty and uncomfortable.
To get back we just followed our own track out of the cave and we followed the same route back to the car. There’s a last effort on the way back as you have to climb up a very steep hillside, which didn’t seem remotely as steep on the way down at the beginning.
I would like to remind you that all the photos used on InMyShoesTravel.com are my own unless otherwise stated.
You can see my whole collection of Travel Photos here.
On this particular occasion I have used photos by two other members of Winter Activities: Toni Alenyar and Teresa Jimenez. You can see their full photo galleries by clicking on any of the photos in this post.
About the Author: Lisa, born and grew up in England, live in Mallorca, Spain... Have visited more than 20 countries, have twice as many to yet visit, love sharing experiences....