Let me share my recent off-the-beaten-path discovery in the Province of Valencia – the small town of Bocairente. It was supposed to be a quick stop on my way from Castellon to Alicante. However, while strolling down the streets of Bocairente (or Bocairent in Valencian) every corner was so beautiful that I ended up taking thousands of pictures, including the smallest details.

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Bocairente Village near Valencia

My First Time in Bocairente

Visiting Bocairente

Are you interested in archaeological finds and the region´s history? Do you love places off the beaten track? Are you on a mission to explore more of the most beautiful villages in Spain? – Then Bocairente fits your bill.

I can’t avoid creating a separate photo-inspirational post about Bocairente, as it is one of Spain’s most beautiful villages I´ve ever been to.

If you don’t want to limit your sightseeing plan to Valencia city only, Bocairente could also be a great Valencia day trip idea (or even an Alicante day trip). It´s hard to reach by public transport, so to visit Bocairente you either need to travel by car, or book an organized day tour.

One day in Bocairente

This hidden little town surprisingly offers a whole heap of amazing things to explore: the historic quarter, the Moorish caves, the ice caves, the bullring, the fountains and bridges, the parish church…

Yes! I´ve told you it was supposed to be our quick stop on the road, but things rarely go as planned in my case! It´s already a fact. Besides, isn´t going with the flow the best travel experience anyway?!

We eventually ended up spending in Bocairente the whole day. But honestly, who wouldn´t?

Let´s talk about all the cool places you can visit in Bocairente.

Charming old houses in Bocairente, near Valencia, Spain

Must-See Places in Bocairente

1. The Moorish Caves

The Moorish Caves in Bocairente, Spain
The Moorish Caves

Before visiting Bocairente, I had never heard of the Moorish Caves.

The Moorish Caves are a group of artificial caves with window-like openings. It is the most complex and numerous group of cave windows in the area with over 50 windows leading to an equal number of chambers and distributed on 3-4 different levels.

Les Covetes de Los Moros” (e.g. the Moorish Caves) are surrounded by various theories explaining their origins: burial chambers from ancient times, or granaries, or even Visigoth monasteries. They are tough to date back, although it is quite possible they were created during the Hispano-Arabic period. The interior of the caves may be visited (if you don´t mind a climb), which makes the whole experience even more interesting.

Also read: The Most Beautiful Villages in Teruel, Spain

By the way, similar examples of the cave-windows can be found around the world. They used to be discovered in places, populated by the tamazigth (Berber) tribes in the pre-Saharan area of the Maghreb. French historians have identified these caves as primitive forms of what later became collective granary buildings called agadir (in Morocco)  or gorfas (in Tunisia), and which were in use up until the turn of the 20th century.

2. The Colomer Caves

Once in Bocairente, do not miss The Colomer Caves! This location was adopted for a small exposition where you could watch a documentary and get more of the historical data. Unlike the Moorish Caves, these are smaller and were reformed into the so-called interpretation center.

The Colomer Caves in Bocairente, Spain
The Colomer Caves in Bocairente
The Colomer Caves in Bocairente, Spain
Inside the Colomer Caves
Exposition at the Colomer Caves in Bocairente, Spain
Exposition at the Colomer Caves

Like most of the caves located in the Medieval Quarter of Bocairente, this one was carved out of the rock manually. It used to be an obligatory stop when entering the town. On market days traders had to pay the corresponding tax to the collector, called el consumer, who would shelter from the inclement weather inside this cave.

A cave outside the Interpretation Centre of the Colomer Caves, Bocairente, Spain
Another cave outside the Interpretation Centre of the Colomer Caves

3. Remains of the Ice Industry / Ice Caves

Before the arrival of fridge-freezer technology, nature’s cold was harnessed through the development of commerce in snow and ice – a business that reached its peak during the XVII and XIX centuries.

Ice Cave in Bocairente, near Valencia, Spain
Inside the Sant Blai Ice Cave 

Collecting snow, conserving it, transporting it, selling it, and consuming it – all these have formed part of an activity now lost in time! The rare testimony to this once-flourishing business – is the remains of the enormous deposits used to store snow (called ice wells, ice caves, or ice cellars).

I´ve never been inside an Ice Cave before, have you?

And you know what? – Despite all these years, it was still cold inside. So, the Sant Blai Ice Cave could probably serve its initial purpose even nowadays. Seriously, constructions like this one often make me question humanity´s progress. Like those out-of-this-world Roman mosaics I´ve recently seen in Cyprus, they dated back to the 2nd century A.D and yet looked better than some of the floor tiles in modern public buildings!

4. The streets of Bocairente

Bocairente’s peculiar geographical location has favored the development of different cultures throughout its long history, from the remains of Neolithic human settlements to the Romans, Arabs, and finally, the Spanish.

Also read: The Most Beautiful Villages in Asturias, Spain

The old town itself is an artistic-historical heritage site. A walk through the streets of Bocairente will reveal hidden corners of great beauty.

I think my photos will do better than words…

Magical street of Bocairente, one of the most beautiful villages in Spain
Bocairente, Spain
Local house with roses and green door in Bocairente, Spain
The house of Bocairente poet Abu Marc Muhamaj Ibn Ruhaim (1070-1121)
The house of Bocairente poet Abu Marc Muhamaj Ibn Ruhaim (1070-1121)
A church spotted from the city walls of Bocairente
Another church spotted from the city walls of Bocairente
Ancient street with flower pots in Bocairente, Spain
Flower pots on local walls of Bocairente Spain
pots with plants and ancient walls in Bocairente, Spain

More articles about the Province of Valencia

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For more Valencia tips, ideas, and itineraries check my Pinterest boards – Travel to Spain and The Best of Valencia Region.

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