Back country | Geology and archeology in passing
The hinterland is not only a treasure trove in terms of cultural economy. The region is also fascinating in terms of landscape and geology and offers out- standing highlights for hikers, explorers, mountain bikers and climbers.
The region around the town of La Vall d‘Ebo, only about 40 km from the coastal town of Xàbia has spectacular things to offer. Above ground, the Rio Girona has cut impressive gorges into the rock. The „Barranc de l‘Infern“ and the „Vall de Laguar“ are eloquent witnesses of the immense water and erosion forces that have acted here over thousands of years and have shaped the face of the landscape. Today a paradise for geologists and hikers, in earlier times the gorges were a refuge for Moors, among others. More than 6,000 steps in the Vall de Laguar, dry stone walls and evidence of sophisticated irrigation systems testify to how people overcame hostile living conditions here and created a refuge for survival.
Underground, Marina Alta is just as much a jew- el, as countless caves provide a glimpse into a world where nature was sculptor, artist and painter. Unique sculptures of stalactites, stalagmites, stalagnates have created magical underworlds that seem mystical and eerie at the same time. Besides the Cova El Rull, the 9 km long cave system of the Cova de les Calaveres is a place that documents earth and human history. Since its discovery in the 18th century, the remains of twelve cave dwellers have been found in the cave, which was formed about 150 million years ago, in addition to countless animal bones. The Cova Fosca, which was discovered in 1980 and is not accessible to the public, is also an archive of human history, like the Cova d`Or or the Barranco de los Grajos. Rock paintings and carvings from the Paleolithic period from about 15,000 years ago and evidence of later use indicate a lively traffic in the cave and document the early settlement of the still highly attractive region.
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